The next time you find a VHP guy wielding a sword and a saffron flag, throw a molotov cocktail at him, if you can. If you have the cover of a wall, or if you are behind a burnt car, just do it, wilya? Otherwise, you can get that guy home and ask him what a Hindu is. Who are Hindus after all? What is Hindutva all about? What are they being so sensitive about when a couple hold hands and roam around in the relative privacy of a park? What in that act is anti Hindu?
If you don't know what Hindu means, you can't answer these questions. It is such a difficult question, people have to study hard for years and come up with explanations. They have to write fat books on what Hinduism is all about. Simply put, this religion itself is a big farce. It is just some thousands of different customs and rituals masquerading together as a religion. A Marathi hindu and an Assamese hindu are so different from each other in their culture and practices, they can't be of the same religion. A Tamil hindu landlord will not allow a Malayalam hindu tenant to cook fish in his kitchen. While the Bengali gods are made to look like beautiful humans, the Gods down south are carved out of black granite and don't resemble humans. The names are different, the practices are different, the languages are different, the offerings are different. Can you offer a whole fish to any god in UP? There's Kali, who accepts only human sacrifice as prayer, while some gods have eaten just sweets all through their lives and are about to die of diabetes.
So, is there anything common between all these various races and cultures that form the Hindu corpus? If there is anything common, it is Brahminism, and not Hinduism. A person who lives on this side of the Indus is a Hindu, no matter what faith he or she practices. Why do we confuse it to be a religion? If you are a Hindu, you don't have a religion yet. You can either adopt one from the various on offer, or stay like you are, an Indian living on this side of the Indus. The Brahmins were the educated class (not caste), who could offer prayers to a god, anywhere in India. If you aren't a Brahmin, why do you care if you are a Hindu or not? You might as well be an Indian from Kerala or Maharastra or Himachal or Bengal, practising your own set of prayer rituals and being tolerant of other Indian rituals practiced elsewhere.
Did the Hindu religion come up for a nationalistic cause? Some common chord to bind the people and raise the fervor of nationalism in their minds and make them stand up against the British?
We will talk about the perils of narrow-minded nationalism in a later article, but in that I will directly lift from Tagore's fierce criticism of nationalism as a curse of the world. It is the biggest singular reason for all the wars and political divisions of this world, which was perhaps better off as Gondwanaland.
However, keep the molotov cocktail ready for the next VHP activist you see on the road. They have to be purged off our land as soon as possible.