On November 5th, at the Vivekananda Kendra in Madras, Ram Swarup gave a speech called "Some Challenges Hinduism Faces." It was held under the auspices of the Sister Nivedita Academy. Ram Swarup is one of the principle author/lecturers of the fiesty Hindu watchdog publishing concern, Voice of India, which is regarded as a virtual think tank on contemporary Hindu religious, social and cultural affairs. The Voice of India group has produced what many feel are the best report/commentaries one can find on the erosion of Hinduism. V.O.I. fearlessly and squarely attributes this erosion to present day, Christian, Islamic and Communist campaigns.
Ram Swarup displayed the kind of candor and let's-face-reality rhetoric the Voice of India group is known for. He characterized Hinduism's vulnerability to the West's religious machinations by citing the work of "do gooders like Mother Teresa" who "represent Christian charity and help the West feel good in conscience." To this he contrasted the Hindu missionary work of Sister Nivedita (an American disciple of Swami Vivekananda), "a lady India is proud of."
Mr. Swarup clearly labeled Hinduism's challenges of Christianity, Islam and communism as "hostile and parasitic." In the speech's most direct statement of the current political inroads these forces are making in India, he observed, "They know that India is held together by Hinduism. They must subvert Hinduism before they can subvert India and realize their dreams."
Mr. Swarup stated that Hinduism's leading ideas and the leadership that supports those ideas is being undermined, and that apathetic nominal Hindu leadership is being supported. "Today the RSS is under great attack, for it supports the backbone of Hindu society; it is its most vigilant section. Therefore, it is a special target of attack by anti-Hindu forces."
Mr. Swarup presented his view that religion is concerned with fundamental questions of life and death, with the quality of life and with the expansion and deepening of man's consciousness. "But Islam and Christianity have no such truly introspective concerns. They are concerned with certain beliefs, beliefs, beliefs which consolidate the power of a particular church. These religions have grown with the power of the state. They are political in the highest degree."
Towards the talk's end, Mr. Swarup warned, "We must try to know them [Christian, Islamic and communist forces] as they are and not as we would like them to be...They teach us to look at things from their viewpoint. We even look at ourselves through their glasses, from their perspective...We must develop our own scholarship, our own point of view. Any great and deep culture like Hinduism should have its own scholarship. If this is not so, it means something significant is lacking, and the omission will prove suicidal...Hindus must also enlarge their perspective. They must learn to look at these ideologies in a larger time and space framework." As a final observation, he explained how the "cultural aggression" of the Christian and Islam missions, and the "consequent spiritual disintegration" occurring in India are problems that most developing nations face on a even larger scale.
Article copyright Himalayan Academy.