A Doctrine of Hatred

Indian society and culture have been shaped by the communal violence that accompanied the partition in 1947 into India, East and West Pakistan.

Thankfully all these events occurred well before I was born and have not been repeated on the same scale as happened then. But it scarred the psyche of the country and much of Indian culture was an attempt to prevent further communal violence.

I was born in 1965 and I have seen many movies that were made in those times. These movies were first of all made for entertainment but they also uniformly preached patriotism and Hindu Muslim amity. Anyone who has seen some Manoj Kumar movies will know what I am talking about.

“So what is wrong with all this?” you may ask.

The issue I have with these messages were that they did not deal with the situation on the ground. The fact was that there was a great deal of tension within communities for whatever reason. There still is. The culture (including movies) at the time when I was growing up tried to brush this under the carpet. The examples of people who lived and died for the country like Mahatma Gandhi and Indira Gandhi were used to try to make people feel guilty about the feelings of hatred that dwelt within the average person.

But nature will out.

There is a fable I think in Greek mythology of a cat who for whatever reason changed herself into a young woman. So the woman was sitting in a chair very demure and well bred and ladylike until a mouse ran before her. In an instant the woman forgot her role and changed back into a cat and started chasing the mouse.

There is no point in trying to make people feel guilty and repress the feelings a within them. It is impossible to act against your true nature for any length of time.

Give the devil his due. Acknowledge the devil, the hatred that exists within each of us.

I have the Bhagavad Gita to back me up on that. In it there is a text that says:

It is better to do your own dharma (calling) even imperfectly, than someone else’s dharma perfectly. Even better to die in your dharma than in another’s, which brings great fear.

I am interpreting the word Dharma to mean your own nature.

Be true to yourself. Emerson in his essay on Self Reliance said:

The doctrine of hatred must be preached as the counteraction of the doctrine of love when that pules and whines.

There is no other stronger foundation to your life than your own nature. For more on this please read the essay on Self Reliance. Link is below:


The solution to the challenge of communal violence lies in having a functioning civil and criminal justice system rather than trying to make people feel guilty for being the persons that they are.

In addition to law enforcement it is necessary to teach people respect for the law. And that includes something more than not committing crimes. It includes respect for the rights of others (as well as your own). It also includes resorting to the legal process when there are disputes and not meting out vigilante justice. But all this may possibly have to wait until the country is prosperous and educated.

Another essential guideline to dealing with communal violence is given in the Introduction by James Clavell in his translation of Sun Tzu’s military classic The Art of War. Link is below. You don’t have to read the whole book; only the Introduction. And that you can do by clicking the link below. The relevant passage is contained in the Kindle sample.

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