Support Hindu Community to have the freedom to follow cultural practices of Hindu Dharma


Support Hindu Community to have the freedom to follow cultural practices of Hindu Dharma

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Why this petition matters


BACKGROUND: The Massey University published a “White Paper” authored by Prof. Mohan J Dutta titled “Cultural Hindutva and Islamophobia” in May 2021. In his white paper, Prof Dutta makes unsubstantiated claims intended to defame Hindutva and related organizations. The paper is not only biased but rests on misconceived premises and conclusions. His defamatory political campaign against Hindutva masked as scholarship naturally drew the ire of Hindus. To understand Hindutva, one has to use the Indigenous Hindu lens and not the colonial or Marxist lens. Yet, Prof Dutta chose the Marxist lens with the intention to deliberately falsify and misrepresent Hindutva.


Supreme Court of India, The Apex Court of India, in one of their 1995 Judgement and in February 2020, a Bench of the judges headed by Chief Justice of India, dismissed the idea of equating the abstract terms "Hindutva or Hinduism" with the "narrow fundamentalist Hindu religious bigotry". The Supreme Court observed that Hindutva/Hinduism is a way of life of the people in the sub-continent. The Bench further added, “no precise meaning can be ascribed to the terms `Hindu’, `Hindutva’ and `Hinduism’; and no meaning in the abstract can confine it to the narrow limits of religion alone, excluding the content of Indian culture and heritage”.

Hinduism means the system of religious beliefs found common amongst the Hindu people.’’ Hindutva refers to and represented by a common history, common literature, art and architecture, law and jurisprudence, rites and rituals, ceremonies and sacraments, fairs and festivals. Accordingly, from a Hindu lens (an appropriate framework to use to be fair to the Hindus), cultural Hindutva would encompass languages and literature, poetry and drama, Ayurveda, Yoga, meditation, Vedic mathematics, astronomy, ecology, science and technology, temple architecture, sculpture, music, dance, paintings, Angkor wat, Bamiyan Buddha to mention a few cultural forms, artefacts, and advances of Hindutva besides the community work as well as every day religious practices.

His claim that Hindutva engages in ‘’othering’’, is again laughable. Hinduism has encouraged the free flow of thought and thus nipped in the bud the process of ‘’othering’’. The most ancient Hindu scripture Rigveda asserts ‘’let noble thoughts come to us from all sides’’.

Hindu supremacy is a narrative that is being pushed by the Marxists to defame Hindutva. Neither the Hindu scriptures nor the writings of Sri Savarkar or Sri Golwalkar that Baber (2000) cites mention it. Prof Dutta and his ilk are deliberately superimposing such a narrative to brand Hindutva as fascism. Prof Dutta castigates the Chinmaya Mission for using cultural strategies to disseminate the supremacy of Hindutva. He makes an outlandish claim that Hindu supremacist doctrine is reflected in the teaching of the Vedas. It is a clear case of misrepresentation to mislead readers. Chinmaya Mission website details community programs like tree planting, blood donation,and aged care. Yoga and meditation activities are also routinely carried out in Chinmaya Mission and other Hindu temples and cultural places. Yoga offers an effective method of managing and reducing stress, anxiety and depression and numerous studies demonstrate the efficacy of yoga on mood-related disorders’’. The United Nations General Assembly resolution on 11 December 2014 also acknowledged that ‘’yoga provides a holistic approach to health and well-being’’. If it was so, then all community service-related activities such as Christian Yoga, or Christian or Muslim charities would qualify as Christian or Islamic Supremacy, wouldn’t they? Prof Dutta’s assertion that Chinmaya Mission cultivates Hindu pride and thereby promotes Islamophobia is laughable. Prof Dutta ends his loaded white paper with a suggestion that Hindutva organizations should be put under a scanner given the global and domestic Islamophobia. Hindutva is an open house and Hindu organizations welcome such scrutiny. Truthfulness, non-violence, non-greed, non-stealing, moderation are the foundations of Hindutva. While Hindutva would welcome any scrutiny, would Prof Dutta be prepared for similar scrutiny of CARE and Marxism and how it is spreading its tentacles in Aotearoa?


Such heinous and divisive rhetoric propounded by Prof. Mohan Dutta and his ilk will only serve to sow the seeds of discord in a peaceful society like ours. If allowed to proliferate under the guise of Academic freedom the country may well bear witness to many other “Lone wolf” attacks of a select community very similar to the recent incidents of Ethnic cleansing in the Kashmir Valley and in Bangladesh the world has witnessed.


We the common Hindus of Aotearoa request the Government to take cognizance of our fears and concerns and hear our collective voice and to ask Massey University and its employee Prof. Mohan J Dutta to cease and desist from such activities so that we may be able to walk the streets and go about our daily lives with our heads held high and without fear of being subjected to such bigoted attacks.


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