Saturday, December 16, 2006


My idle browsing this time took me to S. Gurumurthy’s articles. I used to read his columns in the IE and had always found his venom quite shocking. But my just completed exercise of reading article after article at one sitting as is possible on the net, compels me to react. Even though, I am fully aware, that it could possibly be a knee jerk reaction. If I put it off for another day, this blog might not happen. My diffidence, which has temporarily taken a backseat in the after math of what I read just now, might assert itself. So big a name is Sri Gurumurthy’s. So, braving the risk of being ridiculed for my presumptuous effort to react to so established and versatile a person, I am going to use this space to deconstruct (as the term is loosely used) Sri S. Gurumurthy or Gurumurthyism (my coinage).

What do I mean by Gurumurthyism? From what I understand, it comprises

  • an intense resentment towards non Hindu communities in India for their locus standi as Indian citizens.
  • equating patriotism with hatred for non majority communities.
  • denouncing secularism as unpatriotic.
  • intolerance of any remark against India, Indian culture, Hinduism
  • a violent urge to justify anything Indian, be it good, bad or ugly

The long and short of it is: Gurumurthyism is an ideology of national exclusivism informed by a philosophy of hate.

But Gurumurthyism is a far cry from the celebrated, traditional Indian Weltanschauung. The Indian world view is an expansive, genial, generous, inclusive, tolerant, humanistic and spiritual one. Is it this worldview that Sri Gurumurthy is trying to resurrect and reinstate? No way! Gurumurthyism is the indigenous version of divide and rule. No. Exclude and rule.

I am a proud inheritor of what was the greatest of known civilizations – a civilization that produced a Buddha more than five hundred years before Christ, a Shankara who brought about a massive religious reform without shedding a drop of blood, for which more than half the credit goes to the practitioners of Hindu religion, and a Gandhi who , for a brief moment, could make Indians become intensely conscious of their identity as human beings by enabling them to go beyond their cultural identities. Ours is a civilization which made space for every persecuted race who turned to the subcontinent for refuge.

These are but some highlights of the great Indian civilization. I will not use past tense to refer to this civilization, for it still lives on in the hearts and minds of the ordinary Indian - in spite of Gurumurthyism, which I would describe as an aberration, a hiccup in the process of the evolution of a great people – an aberration the great people must confront, deal with and then overcome.

To the Gurumurthys of India, I would like to say this. While it is true there is no future without past, there is no future for a people trapped in the past too. One cannot put the clock back. If one must do it, who is to decide how far back it must be set? No one can appropriate proprietorship over history.


  1. I do agree with some of your points. Sometimes he writes really nasty.

    But at the same time I found some of his articles pretty insightful. Especially the article he wrote on Afzal judgment (on indian express).

  2. Your condemnation of Sri Gurumurthy is entirely untruthful, unwarranted, and unjust. Gurumurthy is very fair. He does not hate secularism, but the spineless, Muslim appeasement, vote bank bullshit of the Congress party. He doesn't hate non Hindus, only those who view anything Hindu as rank communalism and anything Muslim or Christian as the essence of secularism. His view of patriotism is ultimately inclusive, given his sharp condemnation of pseudo seculars and Hindu baiters who try and divide the country on communal lines. Given that you have not given any specific instances of his intolerance against anything anti-India, it is rather duplicitous of you to make such allegations without providing support. In case you haven't noticed, people have been hating Indian culture for years, whether it was the British who were virulently racist, or the Mughals who were rapacious and destructive. Even today India has terrorists, evangelicals, communists, and anglicized self haters who pour scorn on its ancient heritage and traditions. It is the duty of every Indian to defend his or her motherland from vile insults and false propaganda. Tolerance does not mean tolerating hatred and anti Hindu bigotry. Gurumurthy attacks this attitude, making his ideology national inclusiveness based on a philosophy of humanism and spirituality that serves as a shield and jihadi hatred and racist evangelical condescension.

    Gurumurthy is indeed trying to reinstate the Hindu tradition of pluralism and openness. That's why he's criticising the Congress, the fanatical mullahs, the terrorists, the missionaries, Communists, and everyone else who wants to divide Indians along some kind of faultline. It is precisely because of these hateful ideologies that this great civilization that you mention fell from grace. Notice that communal violence and Hindutva fanaticism only started as a result of Islamic supremacism and Christian proselytism. Gurumurthy isn't verbally attacking Parsis, Jains, Buddhists, tribals, or Jews. The reasons that Gurumurthy and other "communalists" attack Chrisitans and Muslims, especially the latter, is because of the fanatical Hindu hatred that their religions spread by criminalizing polytheism, idolatry. etc.

    The only one spreading hatred here is you. It is you who pays lip service to the greatness of Hindu civilization yet refuses to allow the Hindus to be proud of their heritage and their identity after centuries of humiliation. It is you who criticizes critics of Congress pusillanimity in tackling terror and its slavish devotion to a foreign Empress. It is you who insists that Hindus should bend over backward to tolerate those who bear them ill will and yet never ever say one word against them, because that would be "communal." Hardly the attitude of an inheritor of such a spiritual and humanistic civilization.


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