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Monday, February 18, 2013

India's unfinished social contract

Indeed, the story is same with most nations. Injustice will not go away, no matter how much we fake it, it builds up and is likely to erupt engulfing everyone into its flames, in the end everyone loses. The long term security of a nation hinges on justice and fairness (Dharma) to every Citizen. 

As Indian Americans, we gripe about our limits in the society, we do shout discrimination, we do scream when so many Indians were denied visas. We hate when a Guru, a student or a politician is denied a visa to the United States.  We have also carried huge discussions on Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley, believing that because they converted to Christianity they made it… there is resentment.

These issues are not going to go away, they sit with us, not with all of us though, but if someone attacks those attitudes, whoever can speak out for us, we become fans of such person. When I attacked SenatorWilliams and Pastor Jeffress for their ignorant comments about Hindus, I got huge support. Similarly if a Hindu speaks out for Justice to others, he or she will be liked as well.

In the United States, resentment was building up in the 50’s with Rosa Park, Selma, Montgomery and other incidents, the black panthers came in to being, the situation would have exploded had it not been for the civil rights and equal opportunity acts led by Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.  Americans together quickly cured the explosive situation.

Injustice will not go away, no matter how much we fake it, it is likely to erupt, and engulf everyone into its flames, at the end, everyone loses. The long term security of a nation hinges on justice and fairness (dharma) to every Citizen. Indeed Satyameva Jayate.

As Indians, we have to consciously bring closure to many of the unfinished issues, our language has to be inclusive, whatever affects one Indian, should be felt by all, if not we are deficit in our humanity.

I am glad; we are a pluralistic democracy rather than an autocratic, monarchic or dictatorial system where critical issues take time to resolve through consensus, rather than imposition.  Because of the nature of our governance, we have piled up unresolved conflicts that will take time to heal. Among them are; Sikh Genocide, Babri Masjid-Ram JanamBhoomi, Kashmiri Pundits, Gujarat Genocide, misogyny,  and discrimination against the minorities as well as the majorities in schools and jobs. There are other issues, but my focus is social issues.

The old wounds like the Somnath destruction, indiscriminate killing of Hindus have remained on the psyche of Hindu Indians. It was expressed during Gujarat, to show Muslims their place and to show Sikhs their place during the Sikh Genocide of 1984. We have allowed resentment to flourish towards each other, and the politicians have used us suckers very well. Yes, you and I both. We need to face things squarely and find sustainable solutions.

There is a need for a serious national dialogue where Muslim Indians disown those freaky kings who wreaked havoc on fellow Indian Hindus. Muslims need to continuously disown Aurangzeb and Ghazni.  I seriously doubt if there is any Indian today who is a descendent of them, or has inherited their loot. Today’s Muslims are not responsible for what  the kings did, indeed, most kings, whether Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Budh or otherwise have made their business to annex the next land, rob the rich, steal from the temples and fill their coffers. Hindus on the other hand need freedom from that pain, and they need to realize that Muslims have nothing to do with what those kings did.We need a national declaration from Hindus and Muslims releasing each other from the past and together forge a new future, and constantly guard ourselves from falling into the old pit.


Our constitution has flaws and we need to seriously make some amendments. The Jains, Sikhs, and Buddhists are categorized as Hindus. Even here on my Radio show in Dallas in 2002, a friend said Jainism was an offshoot of Hinduism and it was immediately objected to, it's happened a few times. We need to learn to recognize the sovereignty of each faith and tradition and honor them for their distinct belief.  If you don’t think, it is a problem, wait until this happens to you.

This is a real story, an American Christian said Salaam Alaikum to a Hindu, or Namaste to a Muslim –most of us smile, as we don’t see that as a problem. However my Hindu friend and the Muslim friend,  were quick to point out the biggest mistake of that’s man's life and spent time teaching them, fortunately neither were denigrating the other. Once I said Salaam to an Egyptian looking guy, he was ferocious and said, I am not a Muslim, no Salaam to me.

You may enjoy the following videos delivered to a gathering of 1200 Christians in Chicago bible Study class that I attended.  I sound like a preacher in it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eo3a8wX6SXQ . A benediction for Obama's inauguration is here and hope you like it as well - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mike-ghouse/president-obamas-ideal-inaugural-benediction_b_2481579.html#es_share_ended

Most of us Indians meet and greet for a few minutes in a year, and want to keep it that way. Very few of us have a genuine interest in putting off sparks. If you do take the time, you will find what is going on in each Indian, the resentment towards fellow Indian is quietly simmering inside, and It needs to be addressed, not suppressed or do the typical Indian thing, “there is really no problem”.

We need to dig deeper and remove such sparks for the long term good of the nation and the each one of us. Hate towards the other eats us alive, we need Mukti from it.
What happened to Sikhs was not an instant reaction, there was some unfinished business brewing among communities that erupted and resulted in the Genocide, same goes with the Muslim Genocide in Gujarat. We cannot brush aside these issues, the sparks were there, we need to dig up and find solutions, if not, this will happen again.

Indian Muslims should not be criticized for Pakistan either, they chose to stick with India, and any accusation should be shameful and condemned by every one of the 1.2 Billion Indians. We all need to jump on those Idiots who point their fingers at fellow Indians who are Muslims.

Just because the Prime Minister is a Sikh, the President may be a woman or a Dalit, the injustices toward Sikhs, Women and Dalits do not stop. People are getting along on the surface, one more event like Indira Gandhi happens, then you can see all that hatred burst up into flames. If we are patriotic Indians, we need to feel the hurt of all Indians and fix the problems.

We should not dump these issues onto the next generation, we are conquering the space, we can conquer our prejudices too, that is the greater Jihad (inner struggle) Lord Krishna and Prophet Muhammad had called for. The nation is moving forward cautiously, but unless we bring closure to the issues, we may not feel the goodness in our hearts. The issues will not go away by burying our heads in the sand.

We need to collectively apologize, forgive and restore justice to the victims of such genocides.
What makes sense is for Hindus to take the lead in bringing Justice to all, Muslims to stand up for Hindus, Jains to stand up for Dalits, and Sikhs to stand up for Christians…. Stand up for others, we can change India. You and I will die and be gone, but it is our duty to quit blaming others and find solutions. At least, let it begin with you and me.

Of course, had it not been for Hindus a whole lot more Sikhs, Muslims, Dalits and Christians would have been massacred out, had it not been for Muslims, a whole lot more Hindus would have been driven out of the valley. Thanks to the good ones among us for standing up for others. 

Right now, the GOI has denied Amnesty Int’l to investigate the atrocities of Sikh Genocides; we need Hindus, Muslims, Jains, Christians and Buddhist Indians to take this forward. We can take on one issue at a time. "Injustice to one is injustice to all" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

We need at least five committed individuals to initiate a committee at the Dallas Peace Center to take this forward comprising Hindu, Muslim, Jain, Christian, Dalit and Buddhist, and of course a Sikh Volunteer as well.  

URL http://mikeghouseforindia.blogspot.com/2013/02/indias-unfinished-social-contract.html

- http://911unitydayusa.blogspot.com/2012/09/viii-annual-unityday-update-pictures.html

COMMEMORATING SIKH GENOCIDE - http://holocaustandgenocides.blogspot.com/2013/01/6th-annual-holocaust-and-genocides-sikh_23.html

Mike Ghouse is a former Board Member of Dallas Peace Center with a life time commitment to the center and its work. Please visit DallasPeaceCenter.org for details. 

 ....... Mike Ghouse is a speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, peace, Islam, Israel, India, interfaith, and cohesion at work place. He is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day at www.TheGhousediary.com. He believes in Standing up for others and has done that throughout his life as an activist. Mike has a presence on national and local TV, Radio and Print Media. He is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News; fortnightly at Huffington post; and several other periodicals across the world. His personal site www.MikeGhouse.net indexes all his work through many links.

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