Let me start the topic with two very simple looking questions. What is Hindutva or Hinduism? What is Tolerance? If I have been asked to describe the story of recent box office hit Hindi movie “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” in one single word, my answer will be tolerance. You might say that it was non violence of Gandhi ji which forced British rulers to make India free but dear if you look in the life of Mahatma Gandhi you surely will conclude that it was not the non violence but was the tolerance which was centre of life of this great leader from the India. Starting with the incident of cab driver in England to the partition of the country, life of Gandhi Ji was revolving round this word tolerance.
What do we mean by this word tolerance? Oxford dictionary say “willingness or ability to tolerate”. The general concept about the world is the “sustaining against the prolonged strain” but if we see the meaning more purposefully, we can be drawn “Ignoring person or situation and preventing self, willingly from taking any action, being capable of which” is the tolerance. We the Hindus are the most ancient user of tolerance a Sanskrit phrase “Sarva Dharama Sambhav” is an ideal expression not only for the co-existence but also for the tolerance, because co-existence is almost impossible with being the masters of practicing tolerance.
Now what is Hindutva? Where did this world Hidutva originate? We all know that World’s oldest knowledge books Vedas were written in Himalaya. In all probabilities word Hindu seems to be related with this oldest civilization of the creators of Vedas. Hindutva is union of two words Hindu and Tatva [Element]. Hindutva is the one who is with the element of Hindu, thus we can say that like the Islam and Christianity Hindutva is not a religion because like former two neither there are certain religious rules, Organisation nor is founded by a single person. Hindutva was and is the life style of those who are the parts of ancient human civilization, for whom Vedas are the base of knowledge and tolerance is the key of social life. History also supports that Hindus are practicing tolerance from very ancient time just recall killing of King Shishupal during the Rajyasu Yagya performed by King Yudhistra at Inderprasth. When Bhisham Pitamah was invited by Lord Krishna as the person, worshiped first at Yagya, Shishupal become angry and started series of ill and abuse words not only for Pitamah, Pandvas but also for Shrikrishan, all the gathering knowing the powers of Lord Krishna were looking towards him, who was silently making lines on floor with his foot thumb, As the Shishupal said abuse words about the queen Dropadi, Shrikrishna stood up and addressed the gathering “This was my tolerance, as I have promised to my aunt and mother of Shishupal, that I will tolerate hundred sins of Shishupal and the lost abuse word was the 101 hence I am warning Shishupal.” Shishupal can’t understand that and kept on with the abuse words which forced Lord Krishna to cut Shishupal’s head with Sudarshan Chakara.
Effects of Tolerance
Tolerance equipped us with the ability of adaptation. How the Hindus are masters of practicing tolerance this also can be illustrated by the huge variety of customs and traditions among the Hindus. In a time of month or so we will celebrate New Year Eve, does this celebration have Indian roots? Certainly not this is an adaptation of culture from European customs and traditions under the influence of British rule, the same can be said about the Valentine Day and growing club and pub culture.
It is fact that, it was our tolerance that allowed Mughal dynasty and British’s to rule this country for several hundreds of years; some people even say that it was uterus of tolerance of our political leaders from which Pakistan got birth. I am not sure about it but sure of the fact that it is tolerance of we Indians that even after so many wars still we are interested in peace talks with Pakistan.
We Hindus, though practicing tolerance from quite long time but surely we lost it momentary and that has resulted in the formation of various religious streams among the Hindus just as of Buddhism, Jainism and so on. Similarly as in Hindus God has taken many Avtars and followers of these avtars of God are becoming separate religious identity again due to momentary loss of tolerance.
Make Tolerance Your Strength
Tolerance, ability to adopt, Tolerance, the power of ignoring, Tolerance, the exhibition of self control, tolerance, the inheritance quality of Hindus, be sure to make it a strong point of character and life .Remember it is only tolerance that has kept us and will keep us tied with each other and in spite of real huge variation in religious faiths and sets of worship styles,is allowing us to be called as Indians. It is also most essential that we should ably project our tolerance in such a way no one in the world dare to think of taking disadvantage of our this unique quality tolerance.
Tolerance can be said as an attitude also and like other attitudes, we have to learn the art of developing it. Fortunately in our community ,to considerable levels still combine family system is in the existence and this is the perfect ground for leaning the art of developing an attitude of tolerance. Remember forgiveness is the hardest act to perform and tolerance is the success key for it.