The alternatives – traditionalism versus westernism proposed in India could lead to brutal clashes between Indians who worship cows and those who slaughter a cow for beef. Remember that India was trampled over, fought over. It was destroyed by wars... you had invasions for centuries together and defending itself for centuries together. Now there is a feeling in India that Hinduism faces a threat from the mushroom growth of Islamic fundamentalism. It began with the revolution in Iran and Wahabism in Saudi Arabia. The Islamisation process of Pakistan under General Zia exacerbated that feeling. All these factors taken together persuaded Hindus to think that a divided Hindu society cannot counteract Islamic fundamentalism and that Hindus should organize themselves to face this threat. But Naipaul thinks that fundamentalism is a passing phase in Islam. It is a religion on the defensive.
What is happening in India is a new historical awakening. Hindus are becoming alive to their history. This has not happened before. Romila Thapar’s book on history is a Marxist attitude to history which in substance says: there is a higher truth behind the invasions, feudalism and all that, the correct truth is the way the invaders looked at their actions. They were conquering, they were subjugated, and they were in a country where people never understood this violent religious aggression by ruthless army cruel to the core.
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