Thursday, February 13, 2014

Hindutva and Self-Pity

"By attacking Doniger's work for discussing sensuality in Hindu life, her opponents display a Victorian hangover with a Taliban temperament." -

"When you gaze long into an abyss the abyss also gazes into you" said Nietzsche a while back. He might as well be talking about these Hindutva extremists. The most articulate expression of the Hindutva's visceral hatred towards Islam and Christanity is, paradoxically, their imitation of the worst features of these very traditions -- to "display the Victorian hangover with a Taliban temperament."

At the very core of the Hindutva project is the profound sense of self-pity and a sense of shame at the perceived lack of coherence of Hinduism. Ashamed of the inherent ambiguities of Hinduism, they want to mimic the very religions and cultures that their politics makes it expedient to hate. Islam has "The book", we must also have one - look we have Gita! One central god figure? Here -- we have Ram. See, second to no one!

Of course, a self pitying person is doubly ashamed. He is ashamed the second time as the recipient of his own pity. Self pity is recursive. And one way to come out of this uncomfortable recursion that Hindutvawadis have found is to cloak the underlying shame in the language of pride and honor.
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