After a first few meetings between 25 Aug and 03 Sep 2018 when the Charter of Hindu Demands was drafted, i posted the document on the ‘Indic Book Club‘ and ‘Indic Law Network‘ mailing lists.
Along came several appreciation emails and as is expected a few naysayers as well. The email that particularly inspired me (and, since i am not the who conceived the Charter of Hindu Demands) and made me realise the importance of the journey we had undertaken was an email from Dr. Koenraad Elst.
I am pasting excerpts from the email he sent to the group, in response to my email (bold, mine).
Read it slowly, and let it register.
This initiative for a public statement in support of Satyapal Singh’s private bill for amendments annulling the anti-Hindu discriminations is correct and potentially historic. If the media pick it up, the government will not be able to ignore and stonewall it (which it otherwise probably would do). I had been advocating a policy in this sense since my book On Modi Time in 2015, but like so much free and unsolicited advice by pen-pushers, this had been to no effect at all. I had been wondering why, during this historic window of opportunity which may never come back, so few Indians take this issue up. Now I am relieved to note that news of Hindu society’s death was premature after all. Thanks and congrats to those who took the initiative.
Here is another piece of free and unsolicited advice: about how to formulate this demand towards the public. It is vital to publicize this as a demand for equality and secularism, rather than to focus on its importance for Hinduism. On Hindu forums like this one, you can of course discuss the beneficial implications for Hindu civilization, such as conferring the freedom to impart your own inheritance to the young generation and abolishing the main reason why Hindu communities seek to leave the sinking ship of the legal category “Hindu”. Towards non-Hindus, in contrast, it will be necessary to emphasize not the way the amendments will serve Hindu interests, but why they are a necessary application of secularism and legal equality.
The non-Hindus are not concerned with any Hindu benefits. As far as Christians and Muslims are concerned, the only good Hindu is a converted ex-Hindu. For all the predators feasting upon the dying body of Hindu society, there is nothing valuable in trying to revive it. But in the Indian context, they are more or less forced to pay lip-service to the principle of secularity. Now, it is not hard to remind them that “secular” implies “equal before the law regardless of religion”. Going by that principle, it becomes obvious that they should support (rather than oppose) the abolition of religious discriminations.
Since decades I hear Hindutvavadis pontificate how all Hindu problems will be solved by declaring India a Hindu Rashtra. Really? Instead, it is purely a waste of energy on an impotent symbol that had better been expended on substantial Hindu gains. The Hindu Rashtra demand can only make you enemies, or strengthen their enmity and confirm their anti-Hindu prejudices (“Hindu Taliban”). Chandragupta, Vikramaditya, Raja Bhoja and all the other Hindu kings didn’t waste anything at all on declaring a “Hindu Rashtra”. (Though admittedly, the Maratha “Hindu Pad Padshahi” comes close.) This is an example of how contemporary Hindus will to better to follow Chanakya rather than Golwalkar, and to go for Hindu Dharma rather than Hindutva.