A historical exploration of the phenomenon commonly known as Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb
November 5, 1556 marks one of those freak accidents that altered the history of Bharatavarsha for the worse, and the welcome respite that the Hindus had briefly enjoyed was once again rudely shattered, engulfing them in a 151-year-long fate of civilisational drudgery, all-encompassing oppression, and an incessant struggle to merely exist. That freak accident was the tragic wounding, subsequent capture and beheading of one of the greatest Hindu Samrats, Hemachandra Vikramaditya. One of the greatest and therefore effectively marginalized in the pile of propaganda masquerading as Indian history over the last seven decades. Apart from a trailblazing and undefeated military career spanning 30 years in which he won a record twenty-two battles, the real accomplishment of this brilliant Sun of valour is this: he restored the Sanatana spirit of Kshatra on the throne of Delhi after a record three hundred and fifty years, occupied by the successive Asuric forces beginning with Qutub-ud-din Aibak.
But for Hemachandra Vikramaditya’s tragic death, the cultural hoax called Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb wouldn’t have taken birth and blinded and misled some sections of naïve Hindus for so many centuries. Think about it: how do we remember Hemachandra Vikramaditya as, if at all we do? Or if we put it another way: the unnamed name Hemu is more likely to evoke a hazy recollection of a vague soldier or upstart who fought against the mighty Akbar. Right there you have the greatest illustration of Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb: Hemu can be anybody. Hemu can signify anything: a plant, tree, a special flavor of tea, mutton biryani, a sherwani, a chemical…it depends how secularly fertile your imagination is.
But to place this hoax in its proper place, it was more properly inaugurated by Akbar, the progenitor and pioneer of the Age of Mughal Darkness. In the interests of objectivity, one must marvel at the political evil genius of this oversexed fatso—to borrow a phrase from Salman Rushdie—for sustaining an Islamic despotism for so long in a country where Muslims were vastly outnumbered by the native infidels, the idolatrous Kaffirs who didn’t lack guts or courage or valour but had lost their Aryavarta Consciousness. Akbar’s celebrated “tolerance” of “allowing” his Hindu wives to maintain and worship the ugly idols of Shiva, Krishna, etc right within his sprawling palace in many ways, marks the origins of the cultural scam called Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb. These women were and remained Hindus but they were the Jahanpanah’s begums one of whom gave birth to the epic debauch, Jahangir who plotted his own father’s death. Tehzeeb. Right there. The same Tehzeeb was faithfully followed by Jahangir’s son, chronic alcoholic, arch-degenerate, global bigot and mass-murderer of Hindus and Sikhs, Shah Jahan, also born to a Hindu mother.
Perhaps the best way to understand the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb hoax is to recall its modern and post-modern version: syncretic culture. Syncretic culture is among the more celebrated of several love children borne by the toxic union of Gandhian cowardice, Nehruvian darkness and Communist treachery. Eventually, this term came to connote the soft-power version of its more militant face, the post-independence political fundamentalism popularly known as secularism.
Shorn of all political correctness and academic acrobatics at whitewashing, sanitizing, and other desperate pretences, Hindus need to pierce the proverbial veil of historical ignorance like Razia did in Aavarana and understand Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb for what it really is. If you actually believe in the Tehzeeb of a predator who has made temporary truce with the potential prey, if you believe that a pack of wolves and sheep can drink from the same lake in a spirit of harmonious camaraderie, then you’ve clearly understood the meaning of Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb.
Or, in a line, the whole essence of Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb is this: it is Tehzeeb as long as it is Islamic. The sheep has to pretend that like the wolf, it too, loves to howl, growl and bark, loves to hunt, loves meat, bone, and flesh, and delights in launching unprovoked violent attacks in packs on non-wolves which mind their own business…in the vain and desperate hope of being accepted by the wolves.
As both history and the present shows us, in practical life Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb includes but is not limited to the following:
Writing hoary epistles to the glory, grandeur, beauty and sublimity of something called the Indo-Saracenic architecture (code word for stuff like Taj Mahal, mosques, minarets, graveyards, etc), which in a feat of circular logic, is celebrated as an example of the selfsame syncretic culture.
Praising and learning something called Sufi “music.”
At least one annual pilgrimage to the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Bonus Tehzeeb for visiting it more than once.
Wearing all sorts of attires which sport marks of the Mughal and Nawabi courts.
Regularly attending Ghazals and Mushairas. In vastly changed times, unfortunately, JNU-sized Kothas are a thing of the past, a missed opportunity to earn bonus Tehzeeb.
Extolling the original, and innovative culinary virtues of say, the Lucknow or Hyderabadi Gosht (Mutton) Dum Biriyani. Bonus Tehzeeb if you can actually tell whether the meat is halal while eating it.
In a more contemporary setting, you must address Dilip Kumar as Yusuf “Saab,” Salman Khan as “bhai,” and Bollywood directors must include at least one scene showing a Hindu getting some kind of magical powers or attaining redemption in front of or inside a mosque or Dargah, and Bollywood lyricists must write at least one song liberally sprinkled with Allah, Maula, Khuda, Khwaja, Ali, etc. Bonus Tehzeeb if you can add to this list, in the comments section.
The aforementioned partial list of qualifications is what determines whether a Hindu is sufficiently endowed with Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb. But the mother of all Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeebs is Hindus wishing Id-Mubarak to one another in the absence of any secular company. This sort of absentee piety automatically grants Hindus the donor pass to Jannat.
This in brief are some of the key themes characterizing the Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb. It is a ready reckoner for those Hindus who wish to verify where they stand on this Tehzeeb-O-Meter. Those Hindus who don’t find any use for this Tehzeeb-O-Meter always have the stellar inspiration of folks such as Hemachandra Vikramaditya, Shivaji and Savarkar.
But what happens when the selfsame Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb, which is supposed to be so vital to preserve our social harmony, disappears? The answer to this question depends on which side of the fence one is.
From the secular side, the answer is just one word: Pakistan. The best example to illustrate this is Hindustani music. Roughly till the late 1960s, Pakistan could still boast of extraordinary Hindustani classical musicians. But that was a breed on its way to extinction, a remnant of those Muslims who opted to go to Pakistan after Partition but didn’t abandon their music. Ever since, The Land of the Pure has become a scorching desert where nothing soulful and no aspiration for the Atman has a chance to sprout. Equally, the Sindhu River flowing in Pakistan is just the “Indus waters,” while millions of non-Tehzeeb Indians still worship Sindhu most notably in the celebrated verse
From the non-Tehzeeb side, the answer is this: when Yamuna merges with Ganga in the Tirtha-Raja, Prayagaraja, she herself becomes Ganga. Yamuna who found her true love and merged with Bhagavan Sri Krishna. Ganga who emerged from the feet of Vishnu. Ganga who adorned Mahadeva's locks. Both merged at Prayagaraja in this mortal world.
Ganga-Yamuna endows both the ordinary mortal and the seeker with Samskara. At Prayagraj. Or by simply invoking it in a drop of water in your palm wherever you are in this world.