Am I a Hindu In India!

By Promod Puri

I am a proud Canadian citizen. In this land of multi-cultural and multi-religious freedoms I am also a proud Hindu.

But when I visit India I am not a Hindu. Because, I confess, many, many, many times I have eaten beef steaks. And that I am not “hiding” the fact that our refrigerator often has minced beef.

I am not a Hindu in India because I don’t adore Trump, and I did not share the pictures showing special Hindu prayers for his success in the US presidential race. Unlike Trump, I am not an anti-refugee, and I’m not an anti-Muslim either.

More seriously, I am not a Hindu in India because I don’t understand the “moral vigilant” squads apprehending and thrashing young couples, married or unmarried, indulging in the “obscene” act of holding each other’s hands in public.

I am not a Hindu in India because I denounce the violent and at times fatal acts of “gau-rakshak dals” projecting their bizarre vision of Hinduism under the pretext of saving the holy cow. The same cows don’t get their compassion when often seen gnawing plastic garbage bags.

I am not a Hindu in India because I reject Manu and his caste classification of the Hindu race. Rather I salute Ambedkar who fought to uproot the caste system in the country.

My non-Hindu status in India qualifies me in the expanding outcaste of “go-to-Pakistan”. I love to visit Pakistan, especially to my ancestral town of Sialkot. This is the place where poet-philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal was born. He wrote: Sare jahan se achcha Hindustan hamara….

Back in Canada, in the land of true freedom, I am a Hindu again.

(Promod Puri is the author of “Hinduism Beyond Rituals, Customs, and Traditions”. Websites: progressivehindudialogue.com, promodpuri.com and promodpuri.blogspot.ca)  

 

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