Why I am not a Hindu

Ramendra Nath

Book Review by Saroj Majhi
Ramendra's book is one of the first of its kind in English, a critical and skeptical look at the major principles of Hinduism. The author was born a Hindu, but after an intellectual inquiry into his own faith realised its inherent contradictions. The book has been denounced by some Brahmins, since he exposes flaws in Vedic doctrines, and has virtually declared himself to be a `nastik'. However, instead of indulging in insults, he has concentrated on rigorous intellectual arguments, backed up by copious textual references from the Vedas, the Manusmrti, Indian researchers and Western scholars. Thoughtful Brahmanists and astik Hindus, one hopes, will welcome the challenge to reply to the demanding questions posed by the devastating skepticism of Ramendra Nath.

The thrust of Ramendra Nath's argument is boldly stated : the problem is not just Hindu fundamentalism, but Hinduism itself. Not only the Pseudo-Secular Indian media, but even Western intellectuals have been spineless when it comes to honest criticism of Hinduism and its tenets. The Babri Masjid demolition served as the eye-opener for many observers, exposing the real face of Vedic fanaticism. The apologists of Hinduism dishonestly tried to play down the casteism and racism of the group they themselves insist on calling `Hindu fundamentalists' by insisting that the latter had nothing to do with real Hinduism - "Hinduism is tolerant" they claimed, "Hinduism is all-encompassing, etc." How hollow these claims are come only from an analysis of Hindu scriptures.

R. Nath brilliantly refutes all these bogus claims. He convincingly exposes the casteism and racism that is inherent in Hinduism. The incredible oppression of the Sudroids, the Black Untouchable Dalits, the Dravidians, the Christians and the Muslims follow logically from the principles enshrined in the Vedas and the Manu-smrti, the supreme law-book for all Hindus. Thus, he makes the following brilliant statement -

"The varna-vyavastha is opposed to the value of liberty as it denies the freedom to choose one's occupation and marriage partner to one and all. Everyone must join the occupation of his varna and must marry within his varna. Similarly, it denies the freedom to study to the Shudras and woman in particular. Even the dwija must study the Vedas before he studies anything else. Otherwise, he becomes a Shudra."

Exposing the inherently intolerance of Hinduism, he writes,

" Similarly, some Hindus may be tolerant, just as some of them are intolerant, but Hinduism or Hindu religion is not tolerant at all, either socially or intellectually. Manusmriti, for example, clearly says that anybody who argues critically and logically about dharmashastras ought to be ostracized. [75] Non-believers, including freethinkers, rationalists and Buddhists, are not to be entertained respectfully as guests; though, mercifully, they may be given food. [76] The families of non-believers are destroyed sooner than later according to Manu. [77] A state with a large number of Shudras and nastikas soon meets its destruction. [78] Manusmriti is full of abusive epithets for freethinkers and non-believers. The unorthodox ( nastikas) are sometimes equated with the Shudras, sometimes with the Chandalas, sometimes with thieves and sometimes with lunatics! [79] Such is the generosity of Hindu dharma."

In other words what happened in Ayodhya was Hinduism. And the Ranvir Sena, RSS, VHP and other elements of the Sangh Parivar are Hinduism.

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