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A Religion can’t survive for long without a culture. Festivals are an integral part of it

A religion can’t survive for long without a culture. Similarly, a culture will also perish without the support of a religion. Culture is the language of religion. These two complement each other & thereby, give rise to a civilization & ensure its survival.

Festivals are an integral part of every culture. Apart from their immense religious & spiritual significance, they also forge a sense of common identity & unity among the people from which Hindu society is no exception. They serve greater purpose of keeping a culture alive. But one of the most tragic & alarming fact of present times is that after our traditions, now it’s our festivals which are under constant attack both directly & indirectly, be it Durga Puja, Chhath Puja, Diwali, Raksha Bandhan, Ramnavami, Rath Yatra, Janmashtami to name few.

When foreign invaders used to rule over India, they had imposed many restrictions upon Hindus with respect to the celebration of their festivals. Even today, such cases regularly occur & every time such targeted attacks on our culture occur under the name of Secularism. Considering the history of Hindu society which put up a heroic resistance against the foreign invaders, it’s nothing new but the important fact is that such direct attacks on our religion elicited the fiercest counter reactions from the society.

After Independence it’s the “Secular” state which has taken up this task of interfering & restricting various Hindu festivals. And no matter how angered & agitated the common Hindus may be, no match to the power exerted by State. Some don’t even hesitate to fire bullets on unarmed Hindu devotees.

Munger Killings is one such example. Then there are the internal enemies of Hindu society who have been attacking our culture in a very planned & organised manner by virtue signalling the Hindus before every festival. They’ve also been able to strip off religious & spiritual significance of several festivals & reduced them to mere occasions of enjoyment. Consequently, several festivities are no longer celebrated in their original form but have become limited to light, sweets & colours. If above tricks fail, they’ve an unmatched weapon.

And that unmatched weapon is ‘De-Hindufication’ of Hindu festivals, outrightly denying the Hindu character & associated practices. They peddle all types of absolute nonsense like Ramnavami is not a Hindu festival since Shri Ram is north Indian deity worshipped by Aryans only.

“Durga Puja is only a Bengali festival”, “Bursting of crackers has no significance in Diwali” etc, which are blatantly false & outrageous too. Unfortunately, Hindus haven’t yet been able to effectively counter these attacks on their very own festivals & cultural ethics. This is primarily due to ignorance about their own religion & cultural self – alienation. As a result, our traditions, festivals, culture are getting eroded at an unimaginably rapid pace which is indeed very worrisome, as it may not seem to be! (11/n)

Hindus need to devise a collective societal response at the earliest to resist such constant attacks mounted on their religion & culture in order to ensure the survival of their civilization.

Rajeev Mishra

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