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We, the Hindus,from the length and breadth of Bharat (Annexure I)have been deliberating, for some months, upon various constitutional, legal, and public policy issues that have been adversely affecting Hinduism, Hindu society, and Hindus. This culminated into a meeting in New Delhi on the 22nd of September 2018 and led to the creation of the Hindu Charter of Demands.

India is a rare secular democracy that categorizes minority and majority groups based on religious identity – a historical travesty, if we may be so blunt to point out, for, Hindus, the numerical majority in post-partition India, have not held political power for the better part of the last millennium, have been actively oppressed by both imperial and colonial invaders and yet have been branded a majority, resulting in a post-partition India that essentially neglects the victims and very unfortunately subtly brandishes them as oppressors. Moreover, religious identity in India is an impermanent one, for, the Constitution guarantees the citizens the right to change their religion, at any time, of their own volition. Thus, a citizen from the majority community today, can magically transform into an “oppressed” minority tomorrow, simply by converting to a non-Hindu faith. And in doing so, gets to immediately avail additional guarantees and rights such as running educational institutions, availing minority benefits such as scholarshipsand more. As such, it stands to reason that the Indian State which defines majority and minority identities by religion, actively incentivizes people to convert away from Hinduism. This is an egregious violation of the guarantees of Right to Freedom of Religion listed as a fundamental right in the Indian Constitution.

The empirical experience based dis-incentivization of Hindus, and people following local Indianreligious and spiritual traditions, is reaching alarming proportions. Articles of the Constitution(including 25 to 30) are being interpreted and enforced selectively by the Governments and the Judiciary. Severallaws, including amendments to the Constitution,have been enacted to the detriment of Hinduism and Hindus.The resulting anti-majoritarian slant introduced into the Constitution, the laws and public policy have reached such anunsavory pass that:

  • only Hindus don't have the right to administer their educational institutions without interference from the State,
  • only Hindus don't have the right to manage their own places of worship,
  • only Hindus are being denied scholarships and other benefits being made available exclusively to non-Hindus,
  • only Hindu religious and cultural practices and festivals get targeted and adversely interfered with, both by the Indian State and the Courts.

This selective, targeted adversarial approach ofthe Indian State and its agencies,towards Hinduism and Hindus, goes against thevery principle of equality before law and equal protection of laws irrespective of religious affiliation, which is the foundation of democracy and modern secular State, as envisaged by the Constituent Assembly and enshrinedin our Constitution.

In addition to encouraging divisive electoral and communal politics to the detriment of national unity and integrity, this has led to a growing clamor by various sections of Hindu society to be categorized as Non-Hindus or Minoritiestoescape the resulting constitutional, legal and policy driven disabilities that being classified as Hindu entails in our own country. The earlier Ramakrishna Mission case and the very recent Lingayats issue are few examples.No wonder, Hindus are unnervedat the Indian State’s apparent zeal to fragment, destabilize and destroy Hinduism and Hindu society which even centuries of foreign rule could not fully succeed.

With genuine grievances of Hindus being neglected and un-redressed by successive State and Central Governments of independent India, Hinduism,in spite being the so-called majority religion of the country, continues to suffer the same or even more debilities than it did under centuries of oppressiveforeign rule. These externally imposed disabilities prevent Hinduismaka Sanatana Dharma from reviving and revitalizing itself to meet the current day spiritual and temporal needs of Hindus.

The Hindu culture is what has nourished and nurtured Bharat for thousands of years. For India, a subset of Bharat, to strengthen and flourish, we must nourish the Hindu culture. Bharat, and subsequently India, is not a mere idea. It is a living breathing, palpable manifestation of a way of life so profound that the world is now only beginning to comprehend. Should Hindu culture and Hindu society perish in India, what will remain is not Bharat or Hindustan but just a mass of land.

As the rightful inheritor, trustee, and custodian of our great civilization, essentially rooted in Sanatana Dharma, the IndianState has a civilizational responsibility to protect, preserve, nurture, and pass it on to the succeeding generations. Therefore, at this critical juncture in history where continuance of anti-majoritarian nay anti-civilizational laws and public policies wreaks irreversible destruction of our civilizational, religious and cultural identity and heritage.

It is not an exaggeration to say that at this rate of attrition the Sanatana Dharma – which is the fountain head of the longest surviving civilization and culture of which we all should be rightfully proud of, and the only religion and culture that not only precepts but also practices in every sense the lofty principles of ‘ekam sat vipra bahuda vadanti’ and ‘vasudhaiva kutumbakam’ – will become just a memory, if the Indian State does not initiate urgent and sustained corrective measures with utmost dispatch.We therefore seek wise laws and public policies that not only show great wisdom in understanding the history and culture of our civilization but also providesustenance for our cultural renaissance to regain our civilizational glory.

Considering the above, we, the undersigned,after due deliberations, haveunanimously resolved to request you to take immediate actionon a few of the most pressing genuine demandsas briefly articulated hereunder so thatHindus are reassured of a fair and equitable constitutional, legal, andpublic policy treatmentand to generate an enthusiasm in them that their issues matter leading up to the elections in 2019. This charter has the support of Hindus beyond the select group that has taken it upon itself to prepare and present it.


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