The ugly face of Facebook- part two
Another way that India is slowly losing its Vedic culture is through the process of secular or English and Christian education. Of course, in public schools all Vedic books have been removed from the curriculum. So there are no possibilities to study the ancient Indian literature or art. Thus Vedic values are no longer part of what the children are taught. Furthermore, the Christian schools, often staffedby Christian missionaries, can teach Christian values in their classes, and include a short study of the Bible everyday, or of a Koran if it’s an Islamic school.
The so-called secular govern-ment has even helped them with free land and facilities. Since these schools offer English in their education, along with good discipline, many of the middle classes of Indians are favouring sending the children to these schools. Today, in the Indian cities, many parents of today’s children are the graduates of Christian schools, who also send their own children to such schools. As this trend continues, there will be a decreasing number of Hindus in the educated sector. Thus, children in India, with the help of the secular government, are learning Christian values and perceiving their own history and culture as something less than honourable. They are taught that such important books as the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Bhagavat Purana and other Vedic texts are nothing more than mythology, and not a reuslt of one of the most profound civilisations of the world. They are also taught that their own God is but a demon and the only real way to God is through Jesus.
An example of this is that a few devotees from the New Delhi Iskcon (Hare Krishna) temple go out and give presentations at children’s classes in schools. Some of the questions that are asked by the children are, ?Who is your God?? and ?
What can your God do for me?? and so on. Obviously, these questions are nothing but a direct result of the Christian and English-oriented education that these children are receiving. Now I ask anyone, ?Isn’t this practically a covert form of conversion?’ This form of education indoctrinates the children to doubt their own culture, and disrespect their own history and traditions. As a result of this form of education, the Hindu population is slowly forgetting the unique history and lofty culture of their homeland.
As I travelled around, it was not unusual to see elementary schools around India with the name something like ?Saint Xavier’s School’. People should know that this Francis Xavier, who is now one of the greatest so-called ?saints’, feverishly declared, ?When I have finished baptising the people, I order them to destory the huts in which they keep their idols; and I have them break the statues of their idols into tiny pieces, since they are now Christians. I could never come to an end describing to you the great consolation which fills my soul when I see idols being destroyed by the hands of those who had been idolaters,? (from The Letters and Instructions of Francis Xavier, 1993, pp 117-8). This was his goal: to destroy Indian culture and make India a Christian nation. So it is ironic that now India embraces the schools that honour him in this way. How could they not know his true intention?
What is often not recognised is that, up until recently, for the last 50 years the politicians who have been directing the destiny of India are the ones who have an anti-Hindu attitude. They have set the eocnomic direction and the educational policies that the country has been forced to follow. They have also promised the protection of the religious minorities with the hope of acquiring votes. This has been one of the reasons why the secularists in the Congress Party have treated everything that is Hindu with disdain.
Another aspect of the loss of Vedic culture in India is that the younger Indian generation, especially in ages from 15 to 25, are readily giving up Vedic customs to follow the more decadent so-called freedom of the West. They see the western movies, they read what the celebrities say in the papers, and they admire them and want to adopt their form of dress and lifestyles. Thus, in big cities like Mumbai, you have Indian couples living together without marriage, which is something you never would have seen before, a few years back.
Now the Vedic principles are looked upon as something obsolete, something that restrict the style that those who look to the West want to adopt. Thus, they are leaving Indian traditions behind and losing respect for anything Vedic. In this way, they adopt foreign standards, or lose so much respect for Indian and Vedic values that they become embarrased to admit their Hindu background and heritage. Furthermore, Sanskrit scholars at the temples are also slowly dying out, and the modern Indians view the Ramayana and Mahabharata as merely myths or gaudy television shows.
Although India has been invaded by outsiders so many times and has always survived, what we are talking about is more than mere property or geography. What is actually being threatened is the basis of Indian culture itself. As younger generations give up their Vedic heritage, even if they return to it later when they are older and looking for more philosophical support, with whatever percentage of loss that occurs with each generation, time has shown that it is never fully recovered. A portion of it is lost forever.
Another way of looking at this is that India presently enjoys an 85 per cent Hindu majority in its population. This may sound quite significant, but in actuality this includes 15 per cent Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains. So it is really only a 70 per cent majority. How many more generations will go by before we see a big drop in this percentage due to the process of secular (meaning Christian or English, or even Islamic) education, or with the present rate of conversions by tactless Christians? This percentage could easily drop well below 50 per cent in only several more generations at the present rate of change.
How many more generations will it take before the Hindu majority is no longer a majority, but a minority in its own country? As Hinduism declines, you will see that the demands on the government and those voted into politics will also change, and the laws will also alter more in favour of the increasing minority religions at the expense of declining Hinduism. Then, as the years go by, there willappear only small clusters of Hindu or Vedic communities, most likely centred around prominent holy places, until the more aggressive religions act in ways to diminish these as well, in the same way that they are presently doing in other countries.
The point of all this information is that it is time for all Hindus and followers of the Vedic culture, Sanatana dharma, to realise what is actually happening and give up their timidness or nonchalance and speak out while such freedom still exists. We must become more pro-active for defending this culture. The point is that if you do not take it seriously, I can assure you that there are others who can take this inaction and tolerance extremely seriously to promote their own goals and religions in India. It is because of this that India may not always remain the homeland of an active and thriving Vedic culture as it is now. We need to protect whatever is left of it and maintain the present liberties that Hindus still have in India. Then we all can continue to engage in Vedic traditions without hindrance, and with full freedom. For this, we need to unite ourselves in a concerted effort to make this happen. And it most certainly is possible.
Recently, as told to me by Professor Subhash Kak, it was noted in a reputable publication that now one per cent of the Russian population claim that they are Hindu. The article stated that this was primarily due to the preaching efforts of Iskcon. This shows a major social impact. This shows what is possible if we can work together in a concerted effort. This is why I am convinced that if we all work in a pro-active way under the banner of a united family of Vedic followers, we can keep and even expand the present freedom that we now have to practise Vedic traditions, and keep India as the homeland of Vedic culture?the most ancient roots of humanity.
Contributed by : Jayesh Solanki
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