Jawaharlal Nehru - “It is not true that we covet Goa. That small bit of territory does not make any difference to this great country India. We do not desire to impose ourselves on the people of Goa against their wishes. It is definitely their responsibility to choose for themselves. We have assured Goans that it is for them to establish their own future and I further assure them on matters such as Religion, Languages and Customs”. - 21st August 1955.
Thursday, August 21, 2014
OPEN LETTER TO THE CHIEF MINISTER OF GOA By Dr Mukul Pai Raiturkar
Respected Chief Minister,
Recently, in the Goa Legislative Assembly, you made a statement. You said, “Hindus is a word used by non Indians referring to Indians, many times, irrespective of religion…… if you go to Gulf countries even a Muslim from India is called Hindu by them”.
Sir, I congratulate you for your interest in history and sociology of the word “Hindu”. You are indeed correct that in the distant past Indians were called Hindus by the Arabs. Of course now and in the recent past this does not happen. And there is a reason why this does not happen now.
Let us see what is the exact meaning of the word “Hindu” to the Arabs. The word originated in the Persian Gulf. If you refer the Farsi dictionary “Farang e Ameeda” the word Hindu means kafir, slave, or a characterless person. The Arabic dictionary “Firaj ul Lugad” would tell you that “Hindu” means a dark patch on the face of a beautiful maiden that destroys her beauty. Other meanings here are a slave or the vanquished. The Urdu dictionary says that Hindu means a black mole on the cheek of a beautiful maiden.
I request you to verify these facts independently.
Now let us see what the origin of the word “Hindu” is – historically speaking.
Hindu was the name of one of the sons of the eleventh wife of Prophet Mohammed Paigamber. Hindu was a child with abnormal behavior who grew up to be an adult with weak character and sociopathic tendencies. The local population hated him. A characterless person was often called Hindu. Aadya Shankaracharya has correctly pointed out this fact. He said Hindu was a word used in a derogatory sense by the invading Muslims of the sixth and seventh century to refer to the local population they conquered.
“Hindu” does not refer to a way of life nor does it refer to any particular religion – historically speaking. The word “Hindu” does not have anything to do with the word “Sindhu” meaning Indus River, nor does it have anything to do with the Greeks or the Tartars. The word “Hindu” does not exist in any literature of India prior to the invasion of India by Arabic Muslims. The word “Hindu” does not even exist in the “Sant Vangmay” or the literature created by the saints and reformers like Dnyaneshwar or Gautam Buddha.
However I have the pleasure to say that the word BHARAT was there during the times of the saints and reformers. It has been extensively used as a word that depicts a vibrant India in a far more complete and a far more comprehensive manner.
Lastly, sir, I would like to recall the words of Mark Twain –“Its no wonder that truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to make sense.”