Defender of the Faith – for Queen and Country

Save Hinduism and you save all faiths and thereby you save the world. How so?

I witnessed the Paralympic Opening Ceremony where I sang the national anthem, God Save the Queen. The Queen – a grandmother whose role is of course as Defender of the Faith.

And on that topic, at the Annual Hindu Convention, this was my speech:

Eighteen months ago, I went to Rishikesh with my family to scatter the ashes of my grandmother. Upon the urn was inscribed, metaphorically, ‘Defender of the Faith’. ‘Defender of the Faith’ is a title bestowed upon the British monarch in fact – as they are considered anointed by God Himself.

Here we gather to make speeches for each other, whilst out there Hindu girls live as slaves in brothels and slums. Hindus call out for help from persecution. And none comes. That is where our faith is being lost. I know of these Hindus who say their God is dead because of such tragedies. And others who kneel because no other avenue is left open to them.

Look to the person to your left and to your right. Do you see a sect or a division, or do you see the right hand of God? Do you see division or the Hindu nation? You have the power as a leader to decide. Power does not make a leader. A leader makes power. The power to decide if through their actions we are a nation of Swaminarayans and Vaishnavs and Shaivites, and Tamils and Gujaratis, or but one nation –the Hindu Nation.

You are the only hope of a seven thousand year faith. You are fortunate. You know your destiny. To earn upon your urn, the inscription, ‘defender of the faith’.

How many die, never knowing their purpose, never knowing their destiny? You know yours. And should you meet the Queen, you shall say, ‘I too am a defender of the Faith. I too therefore descend from a royal bloodline, because I too carry forth the work of God.’

So in all things, leaders in the Hindu faith, ask yourself, ‘is this action of mine as a sectarian leader, or the work of God, my best self, the act of royalty befitting a seven thousand year lineage? Does the blood of ancestors who were warrior defenders still flow through these arteries?’

But by defending the Hindu faith, we defend all faiths.

Mahatma Gandhi, another Defender of the Faith, actually of all faiths, whose words we call upon the world to heed once again, said on the treatment of Hindus: "Death for me would be a glorious deliverance rather than that I should be a helpless witness of the destruction of India, Hinduism, Sikhism and Islam. That destruction is certain if Pakistan ensures no equality of status and security of life and property for all professing the various faiths of the world, and if India copies her. Only then Islam dies in the two India’s, not in the world. But Hinduism and Sikhism have no world outside India."

‘Two Indias.’ In the destruction of Hinduism in Pakistan, Islam dies said Mahatma Gandhi. Where Hinduism cannot flourish, there die all faiths. Our greatest allies in the survival of Hinduism in Pakistan, should be Muslims.

Wherever there are Hindus, that is India and therefore the business of all Indians and Hindus. They were cut from our flesh – our offspring. Because I am of Indian origin, and so was Pakistan, it concerns me what goes on there. Not just because they are my neighbour and fellow mankind.

So it is this weekend there will be a series of protests outside the High Commissions of all these countries, including India, on the maltreatment of Hindus. ‘Death for me would be a glorious deliverance rather than that I should be a helpless witness of the destruction of India, Hinduism’ said Gandhi. You do not need to be a helpless witness – but your life and soul depends upon it.

Alpesh Patel


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