DEFINING A FUNDAMENTALIST
A fundamentalist is one who believes:
(1) That his religion is the only religion through which any human soul can achieve salvation.
(There is no such insistence in any section of the entire Hindu faith.)
(2) That his faith is governed by some set tenets written in a book on the basis of which that religion was founded and not one word of the text of this basic scripture can brook any change whatsoever. That no one except those authorised in his religion has any right to interpret the provisions of the scripture and once any interpretation has been given, it is final and not open to any questioning or any challenge.
(There is neither such a book nor any such possibility in the Hindu faith)
(3) That if any person of his own faith or any other faith dares to question, challenge or seeks to provide an alternate interpretation, the top authorities of his religion possess a divine right to punish such individual including awarding of death penalty.
(There is nothing of this kind in the Hindu faith)
(4) That the entire edifice of his faith can get threatened by anyone inflicting the slightest insult to his holy book or to its contents or to his place of worship and is entire community must rise as a body to avenge it.
(The Hindu faith draws its power from the immortality of its belief. Millions of petty insults are inflicted not only by non-Hindu but even by fashionable modern Hindus, but its inherent shine remains undiminished)
(5) That he has a religious obligation to despise and denigrate any and every other religious faith and hence a religious duty to articulate accordingly, specially while seeking to convert others to his faith.
(This is considered a cardinal sin by the followers of Hindu faith)
(6) That he has a Divine right granted to him by his religion to expand the number of followers of his faith by converting the followers of other faiths.
(There is absolutely no way to make a Hindu if he is not born a Hindu. The maximum that the Hindu faith has devised is a mechanism to deconvert a converted Hindu. The condition being that he or his ancestors were originally Hindus.)
(7) That by increasing the number of followers, he stands glorified in the eyes of his religion irrespective of whether such conversion is done by deceit, by offering material temptations, by exploiting their hapless plight or threats of force or by actually resorting to violence.
(When conversion to Hinduism is impossible this condition cannot apply.)
(8) That he has a divine right sanctified by his religion to desecrate and destroy the religious scriptures of other faiths.
(This is anathema for the followers of the Hindu faith.)
(9) That he has a Divine right to destroy the worship places of other religious faiths and by so doing he stands glorified in the eyes of his Lord God.
(This again is a cardinal sin as per the precepts of Hindu faith. What got destroyed on December6, 1992 was a Hindu Temple functioning since December 23, 1949. It was this very temple the locked gates of which got opened in 1986 with the blessings of the then prime Minister Late Shri. Rajiv Gandhi Ji. When and how it became a mosque was never revealed by Ex Prime Minister Late Shri. P.V.Narasimha Rao Ji who proclaimed on TV that Babri Masjid was been destroyed.” Even the 126 page Government White Paper it has never been referred to as Babari Masjid or Babari Mosque.)
(10) That the religious authorities of his religion have an undisputed right to lay down any code of personal conduct extending even to what should and should not be worn by the men and women belonging to that religion and further that they have divine right to award punishments to all deviants to the extent the authorities deem fit.
(There is no such regimen prescribed. In fact, absolutely nothing of this kind exists in the Hindu faith.)
BY THIS DEFINITION NO HINDU CAN EVER BECOME A FUNDAMENTALIST.
If anyone disagrees with the above definition of a FUNDAMENTALIST, convincing modifications shall be most welcome. Any other new definition of a fundamentalist shall be even more welcome.
B. P. Singhal, IPS (Retd.)
Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha)
C-502, Swarna Jayanti Sadan, Dr. B. D. Marg
New Delhi 110001 (INDIA)