New Delhi: Citing Mamata Banerjee government’s restrictions on immersion of Durga idols on Muharram day, RSS has hit back at cries of growing intolerance in the wake of beef-eating and cow slaughter rows and said the edifice of Hinduism rests not just on tolerance but acceptance of all faiths.
“Another round of secular inflammation is taking place in Bengal where Mamata Banerjee-led state government has extended the restriction on immersion of Durga idols on 23 and 24 October throughout the state on account of Muharram. Is it because of objection from any religious community?” an editorial in RSS mouthpiece “Organizer” said.
The editorial slammed the “proponents of tolerance for attacking the very spirit of Hinduness with the ideology of political intolerance”.
“….If the Bharateeya tradition of ‘acceptance’ is respected, then why can t there be simultaneous procession of Muharram and Durga immersion? Then, perhaps communal politics in the name of secularism would not prevail,” the editorial says attacking West Bengal government.
Taking a jibe at the writers who recently returned their awards to protest lack of tolerance in the country, the RSS organ invokes Swami Vivekananda to say that “Hindu-ness believed not just in tolerance but in acceptance”.
“There have been heated debates over growing intolerance in Bharat. Many intellectuals and writers are suddenly concerned about it and are questioning the appropriateness of ‘Hinduness’ juxtaposed to secularism. What has held Bharat together for years as a civilisation is ‘tolerance’, is the argument put forth by proponents of secularism. Is it mere tolerance or something beyond tolerance that formulates the edifice of our ancient civilization?,” the editorial asks.
Even when concepts of tolerance and secularism didn t exist, it says, “Bharat was home to all persecuted faiths like Zoroastrians and Jews and it was the greatness of Hindu culture that land was provided to Islamic and Christian missionaries and merchants on the Southern coast of Bharat”.
It recalls Swami Vivekananda s famous speech in Chicago where he said “we believe not only in universal tolerance but we accept all religions as true.”
“Obviously, Hinduness cannot be the basis for intolerance.
Then what is the reason for regular occurrences of religious strife since Independence?” the article said.
“Two incidences that will explain the reason. Two unfortunate killings took place in the name of cow slaughter, one in Uttar Pradesh and the other in Karnataka; one for alleged beef eating, the other for protecting cows from slaughtering. Both are equally criminal. Still, the responses of our secular politicians and intellectuals were completely different to these incidences,” the RSS publication said.