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Lamenting over religious conversion? Slogans like Jai Sri Ram have 'little impact'

By Sudhansu R Das 
Widespread apprehensions about the decline of Hinduism do not appear to be far from the truth. The disappearance of Sanskrit scholars, absence of reformers, lack of research on Hindus scriptures, poor maintenance and mismanagement of a large number of Hindu temples, theft of idols and priceless artefacts from temples, sale of temple lands, encroachment of temple premises for non-religious activities, lack of cleanliness and aggressive commercialization of pilgrim places etc are the reasons why Hinduism is at the receiving end.
In order to build a society based on the principle “the world is one family”, the Hindu community should have more scholars who can counter any misinformation campaign against the religion and protect the core Hindu philosophy. The Hindu religious leaders should develop intellectual prowess to protect Hinduism from the negative impact of the western civilization and encourage the Hindus to emulate the discipline, scientific temper, honesty and sincerity of the developed nations.
The survival of the ancient Hindu philosophy depends on the state’s ability to establish the principle of “appeasement to none and one justice system for all.” The state should adopt zero tolerance to religious nuisance, which is being done under the cover of religious freedom.
No new religious structure should be allowed anywhere in India as the country has more than sufficient number of religious places but significantly low healthy religious feelings among the people. Particularly any religious structure obstructing the roads should be relocated without any controversy. The state should send a stern message to all the religious communities that the practice of religion is a private matter only.
Second, if the Hindu leaders really love and respect cows as mothers, they should create awareness among people about the economic importance of cows based on scientific studies; they should build more goshalas and maintain those goshalas in an honest and transparent manner so that it would inspire others to set up Goshalas. If people from other communities learn the economic potential and the health benefits of hundreds of cow products they will start worshipping cows. Before that the Hindu leaders should resolve to make the cow products adulteration free across the country. Hardly a minuscule percentage of agro processors in the country sell pure cow ghee. Pure cow ghee has a huge domestic market and it has immense export potential which India should tap with honesty and integrity.
Third, the decline of Hinduism in India attributes to the extreme lethargy of the majority of the Hindus who do not even go to the nearby temple for a darshan once in a month. The dedication and commitment to build a spiritual atmosphere in and around the temple is missing in many places.
Slogans like Jai Sri Ram have little impact unless the followers of Hinduism do karseva in the temple to improve cleanliness and spiritual environment. The Hindus have many things to learn from the Sikhs. The clean and spiritual environment of Sikh gurdwaras and Buddhist monasteries should inspire the followers of Hinduism.
When Hindus do not maintain the temple premises well, it does not attract devotees. As a result the temple does not earn any income and the temple priests suffer a lot. The majority of the temple priests in Odisha earn less than Rs 2,000 per month.  Unlike Telangana State, no minimum salary is paid to the temple priests in Odisha. The temples in Telangana are clean and well maintained which attract devotees. The flow of devotees ultimately increases the temple’s income. Nobody in the temple insists the devotees for money in Telangana. The temple priests across the country should be trained how to maintain the temple premises for their own good.
No Hindu leader today can match Mahatma Gandhi in practising Hinduism sincerely in day to day life
Fourth, the Hindu leaders should promote Sanskrit scholars who can understand the Vedas and the Upanishads and explain it to people in common man’s language. Lack of proper understanding of Hindu scriptures is leading to blind beliefs and controversies.
Indians do not have a mother tongue in true sense; the majority of the people in the South do not want to communicate in Hindi. So the leaders can think of popularising a simpler version of Sanskrit, which will bring north and south India together for growth and prosperity. A common link language is very vital for economic growth and national integration. It will limit the influence of the middlemen in domestic trade.
Many Hindu leaders lament over the religious conversion through lure and fear, an international conspiracy to convert all Hindus in India, adverse impact of the western culture and the fanatic preachers who plant the seeds of hatred in tender minds etc.
Instead of lamenting over the situation, the Hindu leaders should practice Hinduism in their day to day life for brotherhood and economic prosperity. No Hindu leader today can match Mahatma Gandhi in practising Hinduism so sincerely in his day to day life. Reading the Bhagwat Geeta, doing yoga and meditation, maintaining cleanliness and doing social service were part of his daily routine. Talking Hinduism is easy but practising it in daily life is difficult.
Sound economic policies and inclusive opportunities in education and employment can save Hinduism. Price rise, inflation, unemployment, disappearance of water bodies, pollution, poor education, food adulteration and poor health facilities hit the Hindu community hard, because they constitute the majority of the population.
Lack of inclusive opportunities due to caste factors, income disparity and corruption has an adverse impact on the Hindu community. The Hindu leaders should wake up to restore crop diversity, job diversity in different sectors, water bodies and protect the fertile agricultural land etc. Poverty, caste divide and unemployment also lead to conversion of faith. This is high time for the Hindu leaders to wake up to the urgent needs of the Hindu community.

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