Thursday, October 26, 2017

Hinduism / Ram Manohar Lohia

The greatest war of Indian history, the war between the 
liberal and the fanatical in Hinduism, has raged for 5000 years 
and more and its end is not yet in sight. No attempt has been 
made, as it should have been, to make of this war the loom on 
which India’s history could be woven. Even incidental mention 
of it is rare and sketchy in books of history . And yet it is the 
continuing motive of much that moves in the country. 

All religions have in the course of their career suffered 
from a conflict between the liberal and the fanatical. But with 
the exception of Hinduism, they split up and have often drawn 
blood and, after a long or short period of slaughter, succeeded 
in overcoming the conflict. With Hinduism, a perpetual see- 
saw between the liberal and fanatical goes on and, while open 
slaughter has never taken place, the conflict remains unsolved to 
this day and a haze covers up the issues involved. 

Christianity, Islam and Buddhism have all had their schisms. 
The fanatical elements that the Catholic faith had at one time- 
accumulated led to what was then the liberal challenge of  
Protestant Christianity. But every body knows the Reformation led 
to the Counter-reformation. Catholicism and Protestantism still 
differ in many of their doctrines but it would be hard to call one 
liberal and the other fanatical. If Christianity stays split on 
doctrinal and organisational issues, the Shia-Sunni schism in Islam 
relates to a detail of chronology. Buddhism likewise split into 
the two sects of Heenayana and Mahayana and, although they 
never drew blood from each other, their differences relate to 
doctrine and have nothing to do with the ordering of society. 

Hinduism has known no such split. It has indeed conti- 
nually disintegrated into sects. The innovating sect has as often 
come back to it as an additional unit. Doctrinal issues have 
therefore never been sharply defined and social conflicts have 
stayed unresolved. While Hinduism is as prolific as Protestantism 
in giving birth to sects, it casts over tliem all and undefinable 
mantle of unity such as is secured by the Catholic organisation 
through the prohibition of sects. Hinduism has thus become a 
system of expanding exploration as much as it is the hunting 
ground of the irrational and the fanatical. 

Before an attempt could be made to discover why Hinduism 
has so far been unable to work this conflict between the fanatical 
and the liberal out of its system, it is necessary to recall the broad 
differences of view that have always prevailed. On four major 
and concrete issues, those of caste, woman, property and tolerance, 
Hinduism has suffered from a perpetual swing between the liberal 
and fanatical attitudes. 

Over four thousand years ago and more, molten lead was 
poured into the ears of some Hindus and their tongues pulled 
out by other Hindus, for the caste system ordained that no 
untouchable shall hear or read the Vedas. Over three hundred years 
ago Shivaji had to agree that his dynasty shall ever choose its 
ministers from among the Brahmins in order to be crowned king 
according to the Hindu custom. Around two hundred years ago 
when the last battle of Panipat was fought, and the crown of India 
passed into British hands as a consequence, one Hindu general 
quarreled with another for he wanted to pitch his tent on higher 
land corresponding to his caste. Nearly fifteen years ago a 
zealous Hindu wished to save Hinduism by throwing a bomb at 
Mahatma Gandhi, for he had then set out to destroy untouch- 
ability. Until recently, and in certain areas to this day, the 
Hindu barber would not shave untouchable Hindus, while he 
would be only too willing to serve the non-Hindu. 

At the same time two formidable revolts seem to have taken 
place against the caste system in ancient times. A whole Upanishad 
is devoted to the complete and entire demolition of the caste 
system'. From the nature, tone and compass of attacks made on 
the caste system in ancient Indian literature, these appear to 
belong to two different periods — a period of criticism and another 
of condemnation. While this question may be left to future 
investigations, it is obvious that the two bright periods of the 
Mauryas and the Guptas follow a comprehensive attack on the 
caste system. But caste never quite dies out. It is at times 
severely rigid while it loosens during other periods. The fana- 
tical and the liberal continue intertwined in respect of the caste 
system and the difference between any two periods of Hindu 
history consists in the dominance of one or the other strand. At 
the moment, the liberal is dominant and the fanatical dare not 
become vocal. But the fanatical is seeking to preserve itself .by 
entering into liberal thought. If it is too late in the day to talk 
of caste by birth, people are talking of caste by vocation. ' Even 
if men will not argue for the caste system they rarely act against 
it, and a climate grows in which the reasoning mind and the 
habitual mind of the Hindu are in conflict. Caste may slacken 
as an institution in some of its forms, but as a habit of mind it 
has not yet been dislodged. The conflict between the liberal and 
fanatical in Hinduism in respect of the caste system threatens to 
continue unresolved. 

While modern fiction has made us aware of the woman alone 
knowing who the father of the child is, Jabala, 3,000 years ago 
or more, was not herself sure who the father of her child was 
and her name is remembered with pride as a truthful woman in 
ancient literature. In parenthesis it may be remarked that the 
caste system swallowed her up by turning her son into a Brahmin. 
Literature of the liberal period has warned us against too close 
an enquiry into geneologies of families, for like the sources of 
rivers they too are muddy. Rape under coercion which could 
not be fought successfully brings the woman no harm nor dirt, 
for, as this literature says, she renews herself every month. The 
woman has also the right to divorce and property. While this 
liberal attitude towards woman prevails in the luminous periods 
of Hinduism, fanatical periods reduce her to a bit of property to 
be taken care of by the father, the husband or the son. 

At the moment the Hindu woman finds herself in a strange 
situation, both liberal and fanatical. She finds it easier than any- 
where else in the world to rise to positions of eminence. But 
her claim to a single standard with men in respect of marriage 
and property continues to be assailed. I have read fanciful leaf- 
lets denying the claim of Hindu woman to property on the plea 
that she might fall in love with a man of another faith and so 
change her own, as if this could not happen perhaps even -more 
frequently to a Hindu man. That land should not be further frag- 
mented is quite another question and applies both to male and 
female inheritors, and some way should be found to keep a 
holding, under the permissible maximum, intact. As long as law 
or custom and habits of thinking discriminate between man and 
woman with respect to property and marriage, the fanatical in 
Hinduism will not quite die out. The hankering of the Hindu 
to see in his woman a goddess who never descends from her 
pedestal opens the most liberal among them to dull and dubious 
wishes. The fanatical and the liberal shall remain intertwined 
as long as the Hindu refuses to accept his woman as a human 
being same as he. 

The sense of property in Hinduism is liberalised by its faith 
in non-accumulation and non-attachment. Fanatical Hinduism, 
however, so interprets the theory of Karma as to give the men of 
wealth and birth or power a superior status and to sanction as 
right whatever exists. The question of property in its present 
form of private versus social ownership is a recent one. But in 
its old form of non-attachment versus sanctioned order, it has 
continually been present in the Hindu mind. As with the other 
issues, the Hindu has never been able to carry his thinking on 
the question of property and power to its logical conclusion. 
Hinduism has varied both in time and with the individual only 
in so far as the one or the other concept of property holds primacy. 

Tolerance is commonly reputed to be an unfailing feature of 
Hinduism. That is not so except in the sense that open slaughter 
has hitherto been abhorrent to it. The fanatical in Hinduism 
has always tried to establish unity through uniformity, through the 
suppression of- sects and faiths other than the one that was seeking 
to dominate, but such attempts have never achieved success. These 
have in the past been treated more or less like the antics of little 
children, for Hinduism until recently was called upon to apply 
the principle of unity in diversity only to its own sects. The 
element of tolerance in Hinduism has therefore been almost always 
stronger than the element of coercion. But this tolerance must 
be distinguished from a similar attitude of mind which European 
rationalism has brought into the world. Voltaire knew his oppo- 
nent to be wrong and yet he was willing to fight the battle for 
tolerance, for his opponent’s right to say w-hat he wanted. 
Hinduism on the other hand bases its case for tolerance .on 
various possibilities of what is right. It concedes that doctrines 
and usages may varj' with climes and classes and is not prepared 
to aribitrate among them. It wishes for no uniform pattern in 
the conduct of men’s lives, not even a voluntarj'- uniformity and 
what it wishes for is that undefinable unity in diversity- which it 
has in the past so successfully threaded through all its sects. Its 
quality of tolerance, therefore, rises out of the creed of non-inter- 
ference, out of the belief that variations need not necessarily be 
wrong, but are perhaps different expressions of what is right. . 

Fanaticism has often tried to impose the unity of uniformity 
on Hinduism. Its motives have not always been suspect. Its 
driving power may well at times have been the desire for stability 
and strength, but the consequences of its acts have always been 
disastrous. I do not know of a single period of Indian history 
when fanatical Hinduism was able to give India unity or well-being. 
Whenever India has been united and prosperous, the liberal in 
Hinduism in respect of caste, woman, property and tolerance has 
always predominated. The upswing of fanatical fervour in 
Hinduism has always led to the social and political break up of 
the country, to the disintegration of the Indian people as a State 
and as a community. I do not know if all. those periods when 
India got broken up into numerous states and kingdoms were 
characterised by fanatical zeal, but it is indisputable that the unity 
of the country took place only when liberal Hinduism held sway 
over the Hindu mind. 

Some great failures of modern history' to integrate the country 
stand out. What started as the liberal faith of Gyaneshwar 
reached its climax in .Sivaji and Bajirao but fell just a little short 
of ultimate success by degenerating into the Peshwa fanaticism.   

Again, what started as the liberal faith of Guru Nanak reached 
its climax in Ranjit Singh but degenerated early into the fana- 
tical squabbles of the Sikh confederacy. These efforts that once 
failed have also sought bitterly to repeat themselves in contem- 
porary times, for some deep and dark stirrings of the soul connect 
them with the fanatical streams now flowing out from sources in 
Maharashtra and Punjab. To a student of Indian history, all 
this is rich material for study from various angles such as the 
close connexion between the teacher of the religious word and the 
political effort to build an Indian union or the problems of where 
the seeds of degeneracy lie, whether right at the beginning or as 
the result of a later mix-up and of the drive that impels groups 
to repeat their fanatical failures. A similar study of the 
Vizianagram effort and whether it had its roots in Shankar or 
Nimbarak and what rotten seed lay beneath the glory that Humpi 
once attained would be of great interest and benefit. Again, what 
lay at the source of the liberal efforts of Shershah and Akbar and 
why did they lose to the fanaticism of an Aurangzeb? 

The recentmost effort of the Indian people and Mahatma 
Gandhi to integrate the country has succeeded, but only partially. 
Undoubtedly, all the liberal streams of five thousand years and 
more have pushed forward this effort, but what lies at its imme- 
diate source, whether Tulsi or Kabir and Chaitanya and the great 
line of the Sants or the more modern religious politicians like 
Rammohan Roy and the rebel Maulvi of Faizabad, apart, of 
course, from the liberalising influences of Europe. Again, all the 
fanatical streams of the past five thousand years seem to be com- 
bining to deluge this effort and, should fanaticism meet its 
defeat, it will not rise again. 

The liberal alone can unite the country. India is too ancient 
and vast a countrj'. No force can unite it except the voluntary 
human will. Fanatical Hinduism cannot by its nature mould such 
a will, while liberal Hinduism can, as it has often done in the past. 
Hinduism of course is not a political religion, in the narrow 
sense, a religion of doctrines or organisation. But it has been 
the eminent medium and inspiration for the great impulsion of 
the Indian political history- towards the unity of the country. The 
great war between liberal and fanatical Hinduism may well be 
called a conflict between the two processes of unification and 
disintegration of the country. 

Liberal Hinduism has, however, been unable to solve the 
problem completely. Within the principle of unify in diversify 
lies concealed the seed of decay and disintegration. Not to talk 
of the fanatical elements which always sneak into the most liberal 
of Hindu concepts and which always hinder the achievement of 
intellectual clarity, the principle of unify in diversify gives rise 
to a mind which is both rich and lethargic. It is tiresome to 
watch Hinduism continually splitting into sects, each with its own 
jarring noises, and, however much liberal Hinduism may seek to 
cover them with the mantle of unify, they inevitably produce a 
weakness in corporate living of the state. An amazing non- 
chalance comes to prevail. No one worries about the continual 
splitting, as if every one is sure that the)’’ are parts of one another. 
This is what gives fanatical Hinduism its chance and driving 
power, the desire for strength, although the result of its endeavour 
produces further weakening. 

The great war between liberal and fanatical Hinduism has 
at present taken the outward form' of their differing attitudes to 
Muslims. Nevertheless let it not be forgotten even for a moment 
that this is only an outward form and all the old unresolved con- 
flicts continue and are potentially more deciding. The assassina- 
tion of Mahatma Gandhi was not so much an episode of the 
Hindu-Muslim fight as of the war between the liberal and the 
fanatical in Hinduism. Never had a Hindu delivered greater 
blows on fanaticism in respect of caste, woman, propeify' or 
tolerance. All the bitterness was accumulating. Once before an 
attempt had been made on Gandhi ji’s life. It was then obviously 
and openly for the purpose of saving Hinduism in the sense of 
saving caste. The last and successful attempt was outwardly 
made for the purpose of saving Hinduism in the sense of protecting 
it from Muslim engulfment, but no student of Hindu history 
can be in doubt that it was the greatest and the most heinous 
gamble that retreating fanaticism risked in its war on liberal 
Hinduism. Gandhiji’s murderer was the fanatical element that 
always lies embedded in the Hindu mind, sometimes quiescent and 
sometimes pronounced, in some Hindus dominant and in others 
passive. When pages of history shall try the murder of Mahatma 
Gandhi as an episode in the war between the fanatical and the 
liberal in Hinduism and arraign all those whom Gandhiji’s acts 
against caste and for woman, against property and for tolerance 
had enraged, the composure and non-chalance of Hinduism may 
well be shattered. 

Why the liberal and fanatical have continued intertwined in 
the Hindu faith and have never hitherto challenged each other 
to a clean and decisive battle is a subject rich in exploration to 
students of Indian history. That the complete cleansing of the 
Hindu mind in respect of the fanatical never took place is beyond 
doubt. The disastrous consequences of this unresolved conflict 
are also beyond doubt. As long as caste is not completely erased 
from the Hindu mind or woman treated as an equal being with 
man, or property dissociated from the concept of order, the 
fanatical will from time to time play havoc with Indian history 
and also impart to it a continuing lethargy. Unlike other religions, 
Hinduism is not a faith of doctrines and the church bat a way of 
social organisation, and that is why the war between liberalism 
and fanaticism has never been fought out to its end and the 
Brahmin-Bania combination has ruled India for good or evil 
through centuries, a rule alternating between the liberal and the 

Mere liberalisation of the four issues will not do; they have 
to be once for all resolved of the conflict and eliminated completely 
from the Hindu mind. 

Back of all these unresolved conflicts is the metaphysical 
problem of the relationship between appearance and reality. There 
is indeed little difference in the attitudes of liberal and fanatical 
Hinduism with regard to this problem. Hinduism by and large 
seeks to go beyond appearance in search of the reality, does not 
indeed decry phenomenon as false, but only of a lower, order to 
be submerged in the mind’s ascent to the higher reality. All philo- 
sophy in all lands has indeed concerned itself with this problem. 
What distinguishes Hinduism from other faiths and theologies 
is that, while this problem has been largely confined to philosophy 
in other lands, it has in India seeped into the faith of the mass 
of the people. Philosophy has been set to tunes of music and 
turned into faith. But in other lands, the philosopher has gene- 
rally denied appearance in search of reality. His effect on the 
modem world has therefore been very limited. The scientific 
and secular spirit has hungrily collected all data of appearance, 
sifted them, tabulated them and discovered laws that hold them 
together. This has given the modern man, his type being pre- 
eminently the European, a habit of life and thinking. He accepts 
ardently facts as they appear. The ethical content of Christianity 
has furthermore lent to the good acts of man the status of the 
works of God. All this works towards a scientific and ethical 
exploitation of the facts of life. Hinduism, however, has never 
been able to get rid of its metaphysical basis. Even the common 
faith of the people goes beyond the visible and sensible for a 
glimpse of that reality which appears not. The middle ages in 
Europe had also shared such a perspective, but, let me repeat this 
was confined to the philosopher and denied appearance altogether 
or took it as a reduction of truth, while the mass of the people 
accepted Christianity as an ethical faith and to that extent accepted 
appearance. Hinduism has never denied facts of life altogether, 
but only concedes them the status of events of a lower order and 
has always, so to this day, tried to go in search of reality of the 
higher order. This is the common faith of the people. 

A vivid illustration comes to my mind. On the great but 
half destroyed temple of Konarak, one can see thousands upon 
thousands of sculptured images carved on the stones of the 
building. There is no miserliness nor coyness in the artist’s 
acceptance of appearance; he has indeed accepted them in all 
their rich variety. Even here there seems to be a certain order 
of arrangement. From the lowest to the highest block, the 
sculptured images run in the series of unsorted variety to that 
of the hunt, to the love play, to music, then to power. Everything 
is rich movement and activity. But, inside the temple is almost 
bare and such images as there are speak of stillness and peace. 
From a moving and active exterior to a still and static interior 
seems to have been the basic design of this temple. The search 
for the ultimate reality was never abandoned. 

The comparative development of architecture and sculpture 
as compared to painting might well have its own story to tell. In 
fact, such paintings as are still available to us from ancient times 
are more architectural than otherwise. Man has probably greater 
scope to project his notions of ultimate reality into architecture 
and sculpture than painting. 

The Hindu has therefore acquired a split personality. At 
his best, a Hindu accepts appearance without losing insight into 
the ultimate and is ever striving to enrich his insight, at his worst, 
his hyprocrisy is matchless. The Hindu is probably the world’s 
greatest hypocrite, for he not only deceives others as hypocrites 
all the world over do, but he also deceives himself to his own 
disadvantage. His split mind between appearance and reality 
often encourages him to do so. What an amazing spectacle has 
Hinduism presented in the past and does so today. Hinduism has 
given its votaries, the commonest among them, the faith of meta- 
physical equality or oneness between man and man and things, 
such as has never fallen to the lot of man elsewhere. Alongside 
of this faith in metaphysical equality goes the most heinous 
conduct of social inequality. I have often wondered if this meta- 
physical Hindu when he is well placed, does not treat the poor 
and low caste as animals and animals as stones and everyone as 
everything else. Vegetarianism and non-violence obviously 
degenerate into concealed cruelty. While it can be said of all 
human endeavour hitherto that truth at some stage turns into 
cruelty and beauty into profligacy, this is perhaps more so true of 
Hinduism which has attained scales of truth and beauty unsur- 
passed in their lands, but which has also descended into pits of 
darkness unplumbed by man elsewhere. Not until the Hindu 
learns to accept the facts of life in the scientific and secular spirit, 
facts relating to work and machine and output and family and 
growth of population and hunger and tyranny and the like, is 
there any hope for him to overcome his split personality or to 
deal a death-blow to fanaticism which has so often been his 
undoing in the past. 

This is not to say that Hinduism must give up its emotive 
basis and the search for oneness of all life and things. That is 
perhaps its greatest quality. The awareness and universalising 
of that sudden onrush of feeling, which makes a village boy pick 
up the kid of the goat and clasp it as if it were his life, when 
the automobile speeds along or which sees the tree with its 
gnarled roots and green branches as part of oneself, is perhaps 
a quality common to all faiths, but no where has it acquired a 
deep and abiding emotion as in Hinduism. The God of Reason 
is completely without the God of Mercy. I do not know whether 
God exists or does not, but this I know that the feeling that makes 
one kin of all life and things exists although as a rare emotion 
yet. To make of this feeling a background for all activity even 
of strife is perhaps an unrealisable adventure. But Europe is dying 
of strife born out of a too one-sided acceptance of appearance 
and India is dying of stagnation resulting from an equally 
one-sided acceptance of the reality behind things. I have no doubt 
that I would prefer to die of strife than of stagnation. But are 
these the only two courses of thinking and conduct open to man? 
Is it not possible to adjust the scientific spirit of enquiry with 
the emotive spirit of oneness without subordinating the one to the 
other and in full equality as two processes of like merit. The 
scientific spirit will work against caste and for woman, against 
property and for tolerance and of course yield the processes of 
producing wealth such as will dispel hunger and want. The 
creative spirit of oneness may secure that ballast without which 
men’s highest endeavour turns into greed and envy and hatred. 

It is difficult to say whether Hinduism' is capable of acquiring 
this new mind and to achieving adjustment of the scientific and 
the emotive spirit. But then what exactly is Hinduism? To this 
there is no one answer, but -a series of answers. This much is 
certain that Hinduism is no precise doctrine nor organiza- 
tion, nor can any one article of faith or conduct be consi- 
dered indispensable for Hinduism. There is a whole world 
of memories and mythology, of philosophy and customs and 
practices, part of which grossly evil and another which can be of 
service to man. The whole of it makes the Hindu mind, an 
essential quality of which some scholars have seen in the principle 
of tolerance or of unit)’' in diversity. We have seen the limita- 
tions of this principle and where it needs to be revised so as to 
dispel mental inertia. A common error however in the under- 
standing of this principle consists in the belief that liberal 
Hinduism has always been open to good ideas and influences no 
matter where they came from, while fanatical Hinduism is not. 
This is to my mind an illiterate belief. I have not come across 
in pages of Indian history any period when the free Hindu searched 
for ideas and objects in foreign lands or was willing to accept 
them. In all the long connection between India and China, I have 
only been able to list five fancy articles, including vermilion, 
imported into India, and of imports of ideas there is nothing 
at all. 

Free India had essentially a oneway traffic with the outside 
world, no import of ideas and very little of objects, except silver 
and the like, unless when communities of foreigners settled in 
India and tried to become a Hindu sect or caste with the passage 
of time. On the other hand enslaved India and with it Hinduism 
have shown a remarkable alacrity to ape the conqueror, his 
language, his habits and ways of living. Self-sufficiency of mind 
in freedom is matched with its total supineness under slavery. 
This weakness of Hinduism has never been recognised and it is 
unfortunate that liberal Hindus in their illiteracy are spreading 
contrary ideas for propagandist purposes. In the state of freedom, 
the Hindu mind is indeed open, but only to events taking place 
within India’s frontiers, but remains closed to ideas and 
influences from outside. This is one of its major weaknesses and 
a reason for India to fall a prey to foreign rule. The Hindu mind 
must now become open not only to what happens in India, but 
also to the outside world and it must apply its principle of unity 
in diversity to all the achievements of human thinking and practice. 
Strenuous effort must be made to rid it of'its habit to alternate 
between outright indifference to and uncoordinated acceptance 
of foreign thought. 

The war between the liberal and the fanatical in Hinduism has 
today taken the surface expression of the Hindu-Muslim conflict, 
but no Hindu who is aware of the history- of his faith and country 
will fail to take equal notice of the other unresolved conflicts raging 
for 5000 years and more. No Hindu can be genuinely- tolerant to 
[Muslims unless he acts at the same time actively against caste 
and property and for woman. Likewise, a Hindu who is genuinely 
against caste and property and for woman will inevitably be 
tolerant to Muslims. The war between liberal and fanatical 
Hinduism has reached its most complex stage and it may well 
be that its end is in sight. Fanatical Hindus, no matter what 
their motives are, must break up the Indian State, should they ever 
succeed, not only from the Hindu-Muslim point of view, but also 
from that of caste and' provinces. Liberal Hindus alone can 
sustain this state. This war of five thousand years or more has 
therefore entered a stage in which the very existence of the 
Indian people as a political community and a State depends upon 
the History of the liberal over the fanatical in Hinduism. 

The religious and the human problem is today eminently 
a poh’tical problem. The Hindu is faced with the serious choice 
of accomplishing a complete mental revolution or else of going 
under. He must be a [Muslim and a Christian and feel like one. 
I am not talking of Hindu-Muslim unity, for that is a political, 
institutional or at best a cultural problem. I am talking of the 
emotional identification of the Hindu with the Muslim or the 
Christian, not in religious faith and practices, but in the feeling 
that I am he. Such an emotional identification may appear difficult 
to achieve, for, often it may have to be one-sided and bear the pain 
of murder and slaughter. I may here recall the American Civil
War in which brother killed brother for four years and six hundred 
thousand died, but Abraham Lincoln and the American people 
crowned their hour of victory with precisely such an emotion 
between the Northern and Southern brother. No matter v-hat 

the future has in store for India, the Hindu must turn himself 
inside out to achieve this emotional oneness with the Muslim. 
The Hindu faith of emotive oneness of all -life and things is also 
the political necessity of the Indian States that the Hindu shall feel 
one with the Muslim. On the path may yet lie setbacks and defeats, 
but the direction that the Hindu mind should take is clear. 

It may be suggested that the best way to put an end to this 
war between liberal and fanatical Hinduism is to combat religion. 
That may indeed be so, but the process is tardy and where is the 
guarantee that the clever old rogue might not swallow up the 
anti-religious as one of its numerous sects? Furthermore the 
fanatical elements in Hinduism obtain their systematic supporters, 
when they do, from the semi-educated and from the townsmen, 
while the illiterate village-folk, however much they might get 
excited for the moment, cannot be their steady base. The long 
wisdom of centuries makes the village-folk as much as the 
educated, tolerant. In their search for sustenance from anti- 
democratic doctrines like communism and fascism that base them- 
selves on somewhat similar concepts of caste and leadership, 
fanatical elements in Hinduism may as well assume the anti-religious garb. The time has come when the Hindu must bathe his 
mind and cleanse it of the dirt that centuries have accumulated. 
He must indeed establish an honest and fruitful relationship 
between the facts of life and his awareness of ultimate reality. 
Only on this base will he be able to crush for ever the fanatical 
elements in Hinduism in respect of caste, woman, property and 
tolerance, which have so long vitiated his faith and disintegrated 
his country’s history. In the days of retreat the fanatical has 
often sneaked into the liberal in Hinduism. Let that not happen 
again. The issues are clear and sharply defined. Compromise 
will once again repeat the errors of the past. This hideous war 
must now be brought to a close. A new endeavour of the Indian 
mind will then start which shall combine the rational with the 
emotive, which shall make of unity in diversity not an inert but 
a vital doctrine which shall accept the clean joy of the sensible 
world without losing insight into the oneness of all life and things. 

July, 1950. 

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