Hinduism thrives on diversity, Hindutva on monotheism

16 Feb 2018 3:22 PM |
428 Report

Hindus are at odds with the world in terms of its underlying mythic structure. By contrast, Hindutva is very much aligned to the dominant global discourse

We realise this if we meditate on two myths: the myth of equality and the myth of the wound. Myth here does not mean fantasy, a 19th century misunderstanding that continues among those who prefer binary thought and cannot handle nuance. It means the subjective truth of a community shaped by inherited stories, symbols and rituals.

Hinduism is very different. It thrives on diversity. Every community is seen as unique, with its own gods, its own vocation and its own beliefs and practices. As between trees and animals in the forest, there is tension between communities as they compete for resources, resulting in fluid hierarchy. Some communities, hence some gods, become more important than others, but not forever. There is always someone centre stage, someone at the periphery, but it is dynamic. Diversity breeds hierarchy, but when it becomes stagnant, it institutionalises inequality. So it is that Hinduism is full of diverse communities, with thousands of jatis vying for power, that everyone tries to force-fit into a theoretical Vedic four-fold varna system. 

Edited By

Yuva Morcha

Reported By

Yuva Morcha

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