Yoga as Anti-Hindu Invective

In the burning atmosphere of anti-Hindu hatred it is not surprising that strenuous attempts have been made to detach yoga from its obvious Hindu roots. At first this may seem incredible when one considers that it is more than just exercises. The mantras associated with the practice are evidently rooted in Hindu civilisation. Yet when the pervading discourse is obsessed with reducing Hinduism to the lowest common denominator of caste and widow burning then we should not be surprised that anything positive about it is arrogantly brushed off. Speak of Gandhi’s non-violence and this is cited as being due to the immense influence of Christianity, notably Sermon on the Mount. The ancient Indians invented decimal numbers and the concept of zero.
Nevertheless we still refer to them as Arabic numbers. Mention that for two millennia Jews flourished in India without any hostility and Hindus are sternly reminded to not get cocky but remember that credit for this is due to all India’s communities – which conveniently ignores the never ending cycle of anti-Semitism within western civilisation to this day. The same negative methodology is applied to when Hindus state that India was the only country where Zarathustrians, followers of the indigenous religion of Iran , found sanctuary from persecution. So successful is this anti-Hindu animus that these facts regarding India being a haven for persecuted communities is scarcely known.

Yoga, meditation, vegetarianism and other practices with deep spiritual significance are thus detached from their Hindu roots just as the great mathematical and scientific achievements of India ’s antiquity are crushed from common knowledge. This is by no means a coincidence because to deny a people, culture and civilisation its true credit it must first be denied even the minimal amount of legitimacy. Hence we do not simply have Hindus being denigrated as a civilisation but as a people. How many protests and how much lobbying occurs over Hindus ethnically cleansed and persecuted in Kashmir , Bangladesh , Pakistan and Sri Lanka ?

It is in this atmosphere that the American company YogaMatic decided to enter the fray. As with many yoga practitioners they were quite happy to plunder Hindu culture for their own selfish profit motive yet deny credit to its source. Hence they manufacture yoga mats with images of Ganesha ,Buddha and Aum. For Hindus having sacred imagery on the floor to be stepped underfoot or sat on is incredibly disrespectful and offensive. Now perhaps YogaMatic were genuinely unaware about this. But try and take up the issue with them and you find that it is here that a virulent strain of anti-Hindu animus kicks in. DogMatic ‘eco-friendly’ companies such as YogaMatic are happy to take notice of Hindu culture when they exploit it as a tool of unbridled selfish capitalism but at the same time make claims of understanding Yoga. Yet like with so many others with power they are happy to ignore the rape, slaughter and massacre which adherents of that culture suffer on a daily basis while the world averts its gaze.

About a year ago this company was contacted by one Anju Taglani Harkishindas who, as his her right as a consumer, enlightened them about the offence caused by the use of such sacred images. Their response was not to even acknowledge her complaint. Subsequent emails have also gone unanswered. After all who cares what passive Hindus think? Now, as is the case in many other situations, it is was another community being insulted there would no doubt have been a very different response. Products may not have been withdrawn but at the very least corporate responsibility would have dictated a reasonable response as opposed to a wall of silence. Yet in the world’s most powerful nation where political candidates wear their religious affiliations with pride and as a panacea against all sins they have committed, it is only the Hindu beliefs that appear marked out for inferior treatment.
HHR has already tried to contact YogaMatic but had no response but will continue to build this campaign against this exploitation of Hindu culture. In the meantime HHR calls upon Hindus to let YogaMatic know of their concerns about their offensive use of sacred Hindu imagery to have it removed.