BY DIRGHA RAJ PRASAI : Among all religions of the world Hindu religion is considered as the most liberal. According to renowned philosopher Voltaire, Hinduism is the best gift of the East to the West. Similarly, George Bernard Shaw, Irish litterateur also said ‘Hindu religion is the most important and the most liberal religion in the world. According to Encyclopedia of Religions and Ethics, signs of Hindu religion are even found in the present Islamic country like Iran. A stone scripture of 486 BC found in Iran contains the words Hindu and Hindus. Even an ancient Parsi scripture ‘Shatir’ has lifted a word of Ved Vyas ‘I am a true Hindu born in a Hindu country’. Another Hindu philosopher Manu has taken the area between Bindhya in south India and the Himalayas in the north as Aryabrata, the land of Aryans. Even outside travelers like Megasthaniz and Fai Han have written in their travel memoirs after their visit of the Kingdom of Chandra Gupta Maurya that Hindus have tall figure, long life, healthy, who avoid narcotics, simple, intelligent, truthful, who do not keep witness in transactions, do not lock their houses and there is no theft. So, in the evolutionary process of the world’s civilization, Hindu philosophy is taken as liberal, simple and tolerant.
The declaration of Nepal as a Hindu Kingdom does not signify just its religion rather it is taken as the source of Nepalese nationalism and an inseparable part of Nepal. So, the party leaders made a grave mistake by declaring Nepal as a secular state. If instead of declaring Nepal as solely a Hindu country, it would have made sense if it were declared both Hindu and Buddhist country. But it is a matter of serious concern for whose interest Nepal was declared a secular state. Nepal is a small country and on the south there is a big country with open border. There are about 800 million Hindus and Indian Hindus respect Nepal as a Hindu kingdom. This should be taken as a matter of pride for us. For security reasons also, Nepal has a big advantage by being a Hindu country. If the Maoists are for Nepal’s national sovereignty and territorial integrity, all Nepalese request them to change their idea about secularism. Even if one is a Christian or a Muslim, they should support to keep Nepal a Hindu country. But the seven political parties have made a great mistake by announcing Nepal as a secular state.
Even if one talks about secularism, the census 2001 AD can be taken as referendum. That time those who call them intellectuals, leaders of ethnic communities and communists and those who call themselves Christians had made campaign not to write anything in the column for religion or not to write Hindu as their religion. But the Hindus never confronted them or made it an issue. Despite the campaign against Hinduism, the number of Hindus in Nepal was found to be 82 per cent. If one keeps the Buddhists out the number of Hindus before the 2001 census was 83 per cent. Half of the diminished numbers were increased in Buddhism and Kiratis and there was half percentage point increment in Christians. The rise in Buddhism and Kiratis do not make much of a difference because Buddhism and Hinduism are complementary to each other and Kiratis also worship the same gods such as Shiva and Bhagawati like the Hindus.
Therefore, if instead of declaring Nepal as solely a Hindu country, it would have made sense if it were declared both Hindu and Buddhist country. But it is a matter of serious concern for whose interest Nepal was declared a secular state. Nepal is a small country and on the south there is a big country with open border. There are about 800 million Hindus and Indian Hindus respect Nepal as a Hindu country.
No one has right to trample believe and conviction of more than two-thirds majority of the people. Even if there is a referendum, more than 85 percent Nepalese will vote for a Hindu country. More than that Hindus have the freedom to pursue their own way of observing the religion. Therefore, if Nepal is to be declared a secular country, all countries, which call themselves as Christian or Muslim countries should also be declared secular countries. If they want Nepal to become a secular country, they should also be willing to shun their ‘Cross’ of the Christians, ‘sign of David of the Jews and ‘Kawa’ of Muslims. However, it needs to be pondered that even if Nepal was a Hindu Kingdom, it nature was like a secular country as Hindus have never done anything that would harass or trouble other religions.
Despite knowing this fact it is intriguing on whose interest the so-called big parties including Maoist declared Nepal a secular state. Because they had directly hurt the feeling of the majority of the Hindus in the country and more than 1 billion Hindus all over the world.
Political leaders must rethink its decision. What they should have done is to remove the anomalies such as untouchables and other caste-based and social discriminations. This would have been the real tribute and service to the country and to the religion. Apart from some social anomalies there is nothing in Hindu religion that should be opposed. By declaring republic and Nepal a secular country; they are only serving the interest of a narrow group. Otherwise, if one thinks of the liberalism and tolerance, Hinduism comes first and foremost of all other religions. Therefore, the question is why and how could they throw away the oldest and the most liberal of all religion just to serve the interest of another religion. The most important thing is that no religion and at the moment Hinduism must not be made a political issue. But by declaring republic & Nepal a secular state, they have made mixed religion with politics, which could be very dangerous and detrimental to the whole Nepalese society.
The writer Mr.D.R. Prasai and the former President of India-1987
If we want to understand the reality about the secularism we can study the national history of India. An analyst Stephen Knapp says- India is slowly losing the Vedic culture (Hinduism) is through the process of secular or Christian education. In public schools all Vedic books have been removed from the curriculum. There are no possibilities to study the ancient Hindu literature or art in such institutions. The Hindu population is slowly forgetting the unique history and lofty culture of their home land. 5th Feb. 2008- Peoples Review) In fact the Christian saints order to destroy the huts where they keep the idols of Hindu’s God & Goddess and to break the statues of Hindus idols into tiny pieces. That was there goal to destroy Hindu & Buddha culture and make the country a Christian nation. Now it is a high time Nepal should be careful to save her indigenous culture. So, let all Nepalese unite and raise voice to revert the irresponsible party’s decision and again declare the constitutional monarchy as well as Nepal a Hindu & Buddha’s Kingdom.