Recently, there was an article in www.thewire.in about a lady and her cab driver’s conversation about a Hanuman sticker and procession. According to the article, this sticker is ‘Hanuman 2.0’ and “Hanuman 2.0 is not benign. The smile on his face has been replaced with strong frown lines. He radiates mean energy against a black and saffron background.” The procession too brought out deep concern – “I also suddenly realised that these were some very aggressive-looking young men with weapons bared and save the lone policeman, not a police escort in sight.” The area was Noida, where apparently every second vehicle has stickers of this Hanuman. The lady was terrified that youngsters these days were spending time body building in the nearby akharas, and that Hinduism is now ‘in your face’.
Hmm. I definitely know that as per the Ramayana that is read anywhere in the world, only rakshasas and asuras had to fear Hanuman. The Hanuman Chalisa starts with the prayer, “Bal, Buddhi, Vidhya dehu mohi, Harahu Kalesh vikaar” meaning “Grant me strength, intelligence and knowledge, get rid of my imperfections – physical and mental”. In the Hanuman Chalisa, verse 3 says, “Kumati nivar, sumati ke sanghi” meaning “Remover of bad/evil thoughts, Friend of Good thoughts”. It is but obvious that the fake news factories and their writers are scared of the new age Hindus working towards such a society. Over the years, such ‘influence wielders’ have purposely through their writings made the Hindus feel ashamed of their culture and religion. They have called Hanuman, a ‘Monkey God’ with absolute derisiveness. We have been called the nation of snake charmers and worshipers of animals. If the Abrahamic religions called us heathens, these writers treated us no less shamefully for being ‘orthodox’ and ‘old-fashioned’. They owed more allegiance to Lord Macaulay and his education system than to our ancient knowledge systems.
The internet and the telecom revolution brought along with it another great revolution, a great churning, where the information now easily available, made it easy to separate the chaff from the wheat. Because of this, those born in the 60s, 70s and 80s – children of that Bharat who did not know much of the freedom struggle except that which was fed to them through History books – started exploring more information about the freedom struggle, the true freedom fighters and then, about Bharatiya history. Soon it became clear to them that the information fed to them, instead of making them learned, made them more dumb and was actually aimed at making them ‘Brown Sepoys’. Those who had gone abroad and those who stayed back, both started a new discovery process – something which was hastened post- 2010. This sudden surge towards nationalism was because of the realisation that corruption had become the main pillar of this nation instead of truthfulness as embedded in our motto Satyameva Jayate. By the time Narendra Modi took on the mantle of Prime Ministership, hatred towards the biased media had already become established among the literates.
The post ’80 generation, the youngsters, felt that it was upon them to cause an upsurge of Hinduism once again and to feel pride in their roots. Thus began the open flaunting of their culture and religion, celebration of festivals and rediscovery of Hinduism. One of the effects of this was the bitter Social Media wars where the anti-Hindu brigades were made to feel absolutely ashamed every time they shamed the Hindus and nationalists. Fake stories, biased news and distorted views were exposed promptly and big ‘stalwarts’ of journalism were exposed as those who came up only because of their connections. It is obvious that such people are now feeling ‘scared’ and ‘threatened’. What writers like the lady in question forget is that by its very nature Hinduism gives importance to only knowledge and the search within. Hinduism’s greatest feature is Karma and its effects, because of which no true Hindu just vacantly searches for jannat or fears the “fires of hell” (which recently the Pope said did not exist at all). By its very nature, Hinduism is ‘secular’ ie. it shows the same love and respect to all humans irrespective of their religion/class/sex/varna.
Coming to Hanuman, there is absolutely no reason why anyone should fear Hanuman, even if He seems fierce. Hanuman is the most obedient of students; he is the person for whom Sri Rama states – “All his chakras are perfectly aligned … this means that he is one – within and without – in thought and deed”; he has no lust in him; he is perfectly disciplined; he never cared for wealth or position –he publicly called himself Sri Rama’s servant; he uses his prowess and powers only for the use of Dharma and to destroy Adharma; he never misuses his strength or crosses his limit; he sees Sri Rama in all good souls and comes to their rescue whenever called. He is Chiranjeevi (immortal). If the deity has so much goodness in Him and represents the best of qualities, then what kind of teaching percolates to his Devotees? Obviously, the teaching that one should fight Adharma and remain steadfast to Dharma. Why should anyone fear this? This is the question that all the apologetic Hindus need to ask themselves.