Magh Shukla 6 Vik Samvat 2069. Yugabda 5114: February 16, 2013

1. FESTIVALS: Mahashivaratri literally means the great night of Shiva or the night of Shiva. It is celebrated every year on the 13th night/14th day of the Maagha dark fortnight corresponding to March 10 this year. According to the Shiva Purana, the Mahashivaratri worship must incorporate six items: Bathing the Shiv Linga with water, milk and honey, and Wood apple or bel leaves added to it, representing purification of the soul; the vermilion paste applied on the Shiv Linga after bathing it, representing virtue; offering of fruits, which is conducive to longevity and gratification of desires;  burning incense, yielding wealth; the lighting of the lamp which is conducive to the attainment of knowledge; and betel leaves marking satisfaction with worldly pleasures.
2.  MAHA KUMBH: THREE CRORE TAKE A BATH ON MaUNI AMAVASYA DAY: The Maha Kumbh at Prayag recorded an astounding tally of over three crore devotees on the occasion of “mauni amawasya” on February 10. This is perhaps the largest religious congregation anywhere in the world. According to Mahant Avadheshanand Giri, head of the biggest ‘akhara’, the ‘Juna akhara’, the main reason for such a huge gathering was the rare stellar combination on this day which would only be seen after 147 years now. It is believed that the devotees who take a dip at the ‘sangam’ on this day can wash away all their sins and attain ‘moksha’.
3. MANGALORE VIBHAG SANGHIK CREATES HISTORY: More than 1.1 lakh RSS swayamsevaks in ‘purnaganavesh’ attended the Mangalore Vibhag Mahasanghik on the occasion of Swamy Vivekanand’s 150th anniversary on Pushya Bahula Saptami, the 5th February, (Swamiji’s birth anniversary day according to Hindu calendar). Mangalore Vibhag Karyavaaha PS Prakash said that swayamsevaks from 1150 villages were part of that mega Sanghik. It involved the mammoth effort of 10 months during which nearly 15,000 Swayamsevaks visited each house in the Vibhag to personally invite all of them to this event. RSS Sarakaryavah Suresh Joshi (Bhayyaji Joshi), M Venkataraam, Pranth Sangachaalak and Dr P Vaman Shenoy, Vibhag Sangachalak were present on the dais.
Sarasanghachalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat said in his address,” Swami Vivekananda dreamt of starting an organization that will impart selfless and service-oriented education to the youth and thus create youngsters who will serve the society without any differences. Though Swamiji did not live long to realize this dream, but it seems that he was talking about the work of RSS. When a Swayamsevak goes to a shakha he goes to serve his motherland. Work of RSS is in the form of Swami Vivekananda’s wishes and words. In our daily Prarthana, we ask for those qualities in ourselves to serve this Hindu nation which Swamiji wanted to be inculcated in the youth.
4. VHP PASSES IMPORTANT RESOLUTION FOR CONSTRUCTION OF RAM TEMPLE: Kendriya Margadarshak Mandal (KMM), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in a resolution passed at its meet at Kumbha on February 7, has reminded the Government of Bharat of its statement on oath in Supreme Court of Bharat that if “it is proved that there was a Hindu place of worship or a Hindu building at the disputed site prior to 1528 A.D., the government will act as per Hindu sentiments.” The 30th September 2010 decision of the Lucknow bench of Allahabad High Court has established that the place where Ramlala sits today is the birth place of Shri Ram and that there was a Hindu temple at that place prior to 1528 A.D. The KMM has called upon the Government of Bharat and the Muslim community to adhere to their statements. The KMM has also asked the Parliament to pass a bill in its autumn session to construct a Ram Temple and to hand over the place to Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. It also asked for the handover of 70 acre surrounding land to the Nyas and not to allow any construction of Islamic Cultural Centre etc. within the cultural periphery of Ayodhya.
DHARMA SAMSAD: RSS Sarasanghachalak Dr. Mohan Bhagwat, VHP International President Dr Pravin Togadia and many prominent Sadhus attended the historic ‘Dharma Samsad’ at Prayag Kumbh Mela on February 7, 2013. Shri Bhagwat, addressing the Dharma Samsad, said “Ram Mandir is a matter of our & Bharat’s self-respect & we will make it at Ayodhya, Bhagwan Ram’s birth place. To make a law to make Ram Temple we will influence the Parliament; All in Bharat should come together to build grand temple of Bhagwan Ram.  
5.  ENSURE OUR STATES ARE NOT HIT BY YOUR BRAHMAPUTRA DAMS: Bharat  took an unusually sharp stand against China's unilateral moves to dam the Brahmaputra, saying it had "established user rights" to the river. Asserting itself for the first time, Bharat asked China "to ensure that the interests of downstream states are not harmed by any activities in upstream areas".
In its new blueprint for the energy sector for 2011-2015, China announced it would build three hydropower bases on the Yarlung Tsangpo river, at Dagu, Jiacha and Jiexu. A hydropower station at Zangmu is already under construction. The Chinese announcement earlier this week was not preceded by any consultation or sharing of information with New Delhi.
While this actually indicates China's consistent policy that it doesn’t believe it needs to engage Bharat on this, the Bharatiya response represents a distinct policy change. So far, Bharat's stated position was that it "agreed" with the Chinese statement that it would "not hurt Bharat's interests".
6. Modi Mesmerises DELHI UNIVERSITY students: The atmosphere was electric. The connect was instant. Gujarat chief minister, Narendra Modi at Shriram College of Commerce, Delhi not merely mesmerised 18,000 students but he received a standing ovation at the end of his 75-minute speech which proved that he indeed has touched hearts of the young Bharat. Today, the biggest challenge before Bharat is in how it uses opportunity. Our nation is rich in natural resources but we are not using it properly yet. Thus we are losing opportunities. Our economy is one third agriculture, one third industry and one third services. Each of them supports each other and we have developed all. There must be no one in the audience who has chai without milk from Gujarat in it. All the milk in Delhi is from Gujarat. Milk in Singapore is from Gujarat, Okra in Europe is from Gujarat. Tomatoes in Afghanistan are from Gujarat.
Modi said that Bharat must take its place in the global economy. Biggest thing holding Bharat back, is its slowness in adopting new technology. Skill development is the key. Whatever the colour of our skin we are no less than anyone in the world. Bharat’s youth has the desire but they have a lack of skills. Presently in Gujarat we are having skill development workshops.
7. Bharat-origin woman selected for Order of Australia Medal: 85-year old Krishna Arora, who has been running a community service  has been selected for this year's Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for her contribution to the Bharatiya community.
"When I came here, I found the only thing that needed attention was loneliness of new migrants. Someone said to me Australians pass their time by doing community work. I thought it was a great idea and then there was no looking back," said Arora, former principal of a Delhi-based catering college. Arora, also popularly known as 'Auntieji', runs a hotline tele service offering cooking tips.
8. Chouhan has made Madhya Pradesh a leader in farm ACTIVITIES: BJP MP Chandan Mitra said that it is due to the efforts of the Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan that the Madhya Pradesh has bagged the top award for agriculture, ‘Krishi Karman Award’, while addressing a Kisan Sammelan at Rajgarh on January 30. The farmers of Rajgarh district had gathered to express gratitude towards the Chief Minister for bringing this honour to them. The State stood at the forefront of the agricultural States in the country and this had been made possible largely by the efforts of the Chief Minister, Mitra said.
With Gwadar port deal, China flexes muscle
China's recent takeover of the management of the Gwadar port in Pakistan has understandably been a cause of concern in New Delhi. Once fully-operational, this warm water deep sea port located in the restive Balochistan Province could easily prove to be the most lustrous element in China's much talked about ‘string of pearls' — a reference to Beijing's many strategic investment projects in South and South East Asia. Apart from the Gwadar port in Pakistan for which China provided about 75 per cent of the initial $309 million in construction costs, these projects include the Hambantota port in Sri Lanka, the Marao port in The Maldives, the Chittagong port in Bangladesh and the Sittwe port in Burma. When plotted on a map, they look like a ‘string of pearls' encircling India. Of course, China has consistently denied that the investments are part of any overall design to ‘contain' India. Towards that end, it has repeatedly pointed out that the ports are purely commercial in nature and essentially aimed at securing its own sea lanes. For instance, the Gwadar port has the potential to open up a new trade route for China in the Indian Ocean and towards West Asia that does not cut through the Strait of Malacca. Dominated in the north by the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, the Malacca Strait is under the purview of US naval power, and China would like nothing better than to have access to a sea port that is not controlled by a superior military power.
In fact, even South Block has sought to soothe frayed nerves by urging people not to “overreact” to the development and instead, accept the handover of Gwadar port from the Port of Singapore Authority to the Chinese Overseas Port Holdings Limited as a purely commercial transaction carried out in the “normal course of things”. Unfortunately, China's recent record of assertiveness and indeed even outright belligerence in its immediate neighbourhood, particularly in the South China Sea region, offers little comfort. After all, a commercial port today can always be converted into a naval base tomorrow. And even if that is not the case, the Gwadar port in its non-military avatar will still serve as a good listening post for the Chinese. This will be particularly valuable to Beijing as it allows it some presence in the Indian Ocean region where it has no territorial presence. Moreover, when fully developed, the Gwadar port will also be beneficial to the Pakistani military. Located 400 kms away from India, the port offers a perfect alternative to the one in Karachi that is within India's striking range and through which passes almost all of Pakistan's trade.
Having said that, however, it must also be made clear that it will probably be a while before either China or Pakistan can exploit Gwadar to its full potential. For one, the supplemental infrastructure work that was to be done by the Pakistani Government in terms of building a transport network leading to the port is still far from complete. Consequently, the port has seen minimal activity in recent months — in fact, no ship has docked at Gwadar since November 2012. Finally, there is also the Baloch unrest factor that has to be taken into consideration. The Balochis are strongly opposed to the Chinese in general and the project in particular, and they are certain to put up a strong resistance.
(Editorial, Daily Pioneer, February 5, 2013)
10.  There's nothing called saffron terror: Deoband: Darul Uloom Deoband has dismissed the use of term 'saffron terrorism'. Maulana Ashraf Usmani - the spokesperson of Darul Uloom Deoband - one of the most important centres for Islamic studies in Asia, said on Feb 9 that he disapproved the concept of saffron terror. He said attributing communal colors to terrorism will only make the situation worse. "Terrorism cannot be attached to a particular country, religion or community. How can anything dealing with carnage of innocent people be linked to something as pious and pure as religion," he questioned.
Maulana Ashraf made the statement while commenting on the hanging of Afzal Guru for his involvement in the Parliament. He said the law had taken its course, adding "all terrorists will have to face the same thing as their actions are illegal in the eyes of the law of the land. All those who indulge in such activities should meet a similar fate.”   
11. RSS IT Milan: Taking Vivekananda’s Message to the APARTMENTS: RSS IT Milans of Bengaluru, under the aegis of Vivekananda Kendra, set upon a huge task of taking Vivekananda’s words of wisdom to the doorsteps of the citizens and kids of nearly 165 apartments on January 27, 2013 to commemorate Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth year. Eminent personalities and senior executives from the IT and other fields were chosen to deliver lectures to the adults on ‘Swami Vivekananda’s vision on National Regeneration’. These were followed by a ‘Balabharathi’ session for kids organized in 122 apartments and reaching out to nearly 1900 kids aged between 5 to 11. Balabharati sessions comprised of traditional games, recitation of ‘shlokas’ and bhajans and telling of inspiring mythological stories.
12. SAMSKRIT TEACHING CAMPS IN AUSTRALIA: Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Australia organized Samskrit teaching camps in Australia – from 16th to 20th of January at Sydney and Parramatta for the learners. Shri Vasuvaj, a Samskrit scholar from Samskrit Bharati taught the learners how to construct sentences, make introduction and ask questions. He advised them not to think in English, but to think in our mother tongues—as all Bharatiya languages are similar. In the last hour of every lesson, Vasuvaj asked them to perform a play, enabling them to develop their ability to speak and understand the language as the plays had to be written and performed only in the Sanskrit language. A Voluntary Teachers Training Camp was also held on January 26th and 27th.
13. Agni-VI to carry multiple warheads: Bharat is developing Agni-VI, a successor to the ballistic missile that can carry multiple warheads. Scientific advisor to the defence minister and DRDO chief VK Saraswat on February 8 said Agni-VI will be able to carry multiple warheads, enabling one weapon system to take out several targets at a time.
"While the Agni-V is major strategic defence weapon, the Agni-VI will be a force multiplier as it will have multiple independently targetable re-entry vehicle (MIRV) capability," said Saraswat. The MIRV capability will enable one missile to carry multiple payloads in a single launch. The design of the Agni-VI has been completed and the DRDO is pursuing the hardware-realisation phase. While Agni-V has a strike range of about 5,000 km, the Agni-VI will have a strike range of more than 5,000 km.                                                                      
14.  KUMBH PILGRIMS DECLARE GANGA AS 'GREEN VALENTINE : Over 500 "green Kumbh" participants, from more than 45 countries, carried out a rally at the Maha Kumbh mela to declare river Ganga as country's 'green valentine' on the occasion of Valentine's Day on Feb 14. The event filled with dance and music was organised by Ganga Action Parivar (GAP) and was attended by its founder and president of Rishikesh's Parmarth Niketan Ashram, Swami Chidanand Saraswati. "Ganga is the past, present, and future of Mother Bharat. She quenches our thirst, cleanses our bodies, irrigates our fields and brings divine liberation and purity to every moment of every day," Muni Chidanand Saraswati said.
Several spiritual leaders like Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev of Isha Foundation and B A Swami Paramadvaiti, a Vaishnavite spiritual leader and environmentalist from Germany, also participated in the event. Participants wore colours of the Bharatiya flag to give out its environmentally-conscious message.
15.  GUJARAT’S GOOD SHOW IN URBAN PROJECTS PUTS UPA IN A SPOT: Gujarat's high rating in urban infrastructure development projects under the Centre's flagship JNNURM scheme seems to have become a new headache for the government at a time when UPA-2 would like to highlight its achievements before the next national polls. So far, a majority of models suggested by the Union urban development (UD) ministry are from Gujarat, whether it's self-financing of a road project or intelligent traffic While another 'best model' in public transport system has become a reality in BJP-ruled Karnataka, only one Congress-ruled state has followed suit ,Rajasthan with 'Alwar Vahini'. The latest one was the Centre pushing the Surat model of developing an outer ring road without any government investment. Under this model, the project would generate about Rs 11,960 crore over five years against an investment of Rs 5,796 crore.
However, for the Congress-led UPA, this is a sour pill to swallow and allow Narendra Modi's government to take the credit of successfully demonstrating best models of urban development.
16.  Ghosh Tarang: A three days Ghosh Shivir of Andhra Pradesh was held on 8,9,10 February, 2013 in Hyderabad. A grand Ghosh demonstration by 900 swayamsevaks was the special attraction of the Sarvajannik Utsav attended by thousands of people on conclusion of the Shivir. Suresh Joshi alias Bhayyaji Joshi, RSS Sarkaryavaha addressed the audience.  Jagadish Prasad, Akhil Bharatiya Sah Sharirik Pramukh, Mangesh Bhende Kshetra Pracharak AP and Karnataka and others including many famous personalities from Telugu film industry were also present.
17. England students create artwork on Mahashivaratri:  Sixty Art and Design students of West Suffolk College in United Kingdom have been reportedly producing innovative artwork based on Hindu festival of Mahashivaratri. It includes portraits, complex shadow puppet animation with digital technology, a film and life-size three-dimensional sculptures of Lord Shiva. This project also explored the link between Hindu philosophy and modern science, resulting in some "particularly powerful images". West Suffolk College in Bury St. Edmunds (Suffolk, England), whose history goes back to 1951, with about 19,000 students and turnover of GBP27 million, delivers 856 courses and uses over a hundred different venues around the county to deliver its programs.
18.  National Conference on ‘Swami Vivekanand Ke Sapno Ka Bharat’:  On the occasion of 150th Birth Anniversary Year (Sardhsati) of Swami Vivekanand ji, Deendayal Research Institute organized a two-day national conference on the theme of “Swami Vivekanand Ji ke Sapno Ka Bharat” at Udyamita Vidyapeeth, Chitrakoot on 11-12 February 2013. The conference was chaired by Madhubhai Kulkarni, RSS National Executive Member, Renowned thinker K.N. Govindacharya delivered the keynote address in the inaugural session. In the closing ceremony participants and delegates from more than 32 institution and Universities from 9 states of the country and 2 other countries had the pleasure to listening to Er. Rajendra Shukla, minister of Energy and mining resources of MP Govt., Others who spoke included   Madhubhai Kulkarni, Surrendran Ji organizing secretary of BMS, Juilion Bory Chairman of Global Denture Association France.
19. ABVP ACTIVIST HONORED WITH PADMASHREE: The Government of Bharat has honored Milind Kamble, a prominent face in the Dalit movement with most coveted ‘Padmashree” award this year.
Milind Kamble, a construction engineer, was Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) full time activist for three years.
Milind launched the biggest ever web site on Dr.Babasaheb Ambedkar. His significant contribution was establishment of Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (DICCI) and thereby giving a new dimension to the Dalit movement in Bharat. “We will not beg for jobs henceforth but will give jobs to job seekers” was his new mantra that generated a new confidence amongst the Dalit community. Now DICCI has its chapters in almost all the states of Bharat and the Government of Bharat has granted recognition to DICCI as official chamber.
20.  Bharat Parikrama Yatra: RSS Pracharak Sitarama Kedilaya led Bharat Parikrama Yatra entered Karavle village in Kalyan Jilla of Konkan Pranth on 30th Jan’2013. Shri Kedilaya addressed a gathering of more than 100 people about gram vikas. Samskrut Bharati karyakartas from Dombivili visited him along with senior pracharak Shirish Bedasgaonkar. RSS Sarasanghachalak Mohan Bhagwat, Sarakaryavah Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi met Sitaram Kedilaya at Panwel, Mharashtra on January 28, 2013.
Gujrat CM Narendra Modi came down heavily against the proposed decision of the International Olympic Committee to abolish wrestling from the Olympics on 13th February while addressing the concluding ceremony of Khel Mahakumbh 2012-2013 and strongly urged the Prime Minister and the Government of Bharat to take the lead and oppose this decision. He congratulated all the 25 lakh participants of the sports extravaganza and added that 72 new records have been set.
Prizes worth Rs. 32 crore were given during the Khel Mahakumbh. Shri Modi shared that over 8 lakh women athletes and over 92,000 specially abled athletes participated in the meet.
He expressed joy that so many people above the age of 45 are participating in the meet with great zeal. Others who spoke were Cabinet Minister Shri Ramanlal Vora, Australia’s trade commissioner in Bharat Mr. Tom Calder.
22.   SC PULLS UP CBI IN BABRI MASJID DEMOLITION CASE: CBI's submission in the Babri Masjid demolition case that senior BJP leader L K Advani and others had committed a 'national crime' drew a sharp reaction from the Supreme Court on February 6 which asked the agency not to use such a language till the case is decided by the courts."Please don't say that it is a national crime or a matter of national importance. We are yet to decide it. Until we or trial court decide this way or other, you can't make such statements," a bench headed by Justice H L Dattu said.
The bench made the observations after senior advocate P P Rao, appearing for CBI, submitted that leaders of BJP and VHP were involved in a "national conspiracy" which was reflected in the Rath Yatra and its a case of "national crime".
During arguments, the bench also questioned CBI over the delay in hearings before the special court and the filing of the appeal challenging the verdicts of the two courts.
"You said that it is a case of national importance. Then can you say that the translation (of court records) takes days and filing of case takes three months," the bench said.
23.  Durga Vahini stopped Naked and Nude Exhibition in Delhi: Durga Vahini, the women wing of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, on February 4 shut down the exhibition called "The Naked and the Nude - The body in Indian modern art" held by Delhi Art Gallery in Hauz Khas Village, New Delhi. Mrs Sanjana Chaudhary, the state convener Duga Vahini said that she had personally seen all such paintings and called the police to stop it as the nude and obscene paintings which show women in very bad light and disrespectfully is highly objectionable. The gallery was later closed.
24.  SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Visitors: Ma. Dr.Vinod Ambastha – USA, Ashwin Popat, Balkrishna Tejpal, Ramesh Jogia, Haridas Pankhania, Harish Raja and Smt Prafulla Raja - UK Pravaas: Shri Ravikumarji sahsamyojak Vishwa Vibhag will return from Singapore and Australia.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: That man (Swami Ramakrishna Paramahamsa) was the embodiment of renunciation. In our country it is necessary for a man who becomes a Sannyasin to give up all worldly wealth and position, and this my master carried out literally. … … … He was a triumphant example, a living realization of the complete conquest of lust and of desire for money.  He was beyond all ideas of either, and such men are necessary for this century. Such renunciation is necessary in these days when men have begun to think that they cannot live a month without what they call their “necessities,” and which they are increasing out of all proportion. It is necessary in a time like this that a man shall arise to demonstrate to the skeptics of the world that there yet breathes a man who does not care a straw for all the gold or all the fame that is in the universe. – Swami Vivekanand.


Typical politically correct statements are being made for last many months since the invention of word ‘Hindu terrorism’ or ‘saffron terrorism’. The hold-all statements of various shades can be summarized in two statements – “terrorism has no religion” and “all kinds of fundamentalism are bad”. While one may agree with the first statement, the latter statement is born out of ignorance, or anxiety to sound politically correct.
We need to differentiate and delineate the finer nuances of fundamentalism of different faiths/religions/ traditions.  A few of my learned friends felt that the terms like ‘secularism’ and ‘fundamentalism’ have been hijacked by West-oriented intellectuals and given certain shades and it is futile to put in efforts to change these perceptions. However, I think, that such debates are required to bring back the right sense to such words. So, let us try to look at the fundamentals of different religions and see how fundamentalism of one faith is much different from another faith.
Since, the fingers are currently pointed at Hindu fundamentalism, supposedly as dangerous as Islamic fundamentalism, let us put Hindu dharma on one side and Islam and Christianity on the other.  I am using Hindu dharma as a ‘way of  life’ that encompasses different religions and faiths born in India viz. traditionally called Hindu religion (Vedic/Sanatan), Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism and various other sects  that grew out of traditional Vedic traditions or deviated from  mainstream Hinduism.  Since, they are all born in Bharat and from same roots, there are many common ethos and practices which are common to all of them. Similarly, Islam and Christianity also have common roots, though they are adversaries today. Both are born out of Abrahamic faith of which Jew religion is the fountainhead. All of them are born in holy Palestinian region, so they too have many common traditions and way of practicing their religions.  Thus, I shall be addressing the two groups as Hindus and Abrahamic for easy comparison.  At this moment in history, there is a lot of difference between Christianity and Islam. However, when the comparison is at a broader level, we can take the common practices that are at the roots of these faith systems.
The fundamental difference between Hindu and Abrahamic religions is that Hindus believe in concept of knowledge and faith that can have space for different beliefs.  As I note in my book ‘Secrets of RSS’ it means, “My faith is true and so is yours”. For Abrahamic religions it is, “Mine is the only truth”.  An oft repeated Sanskrit shloka says, “Truth is one, different people say it differently”. This creates an environment of mutual respect.  For Abrahamic religions there is only one truth, all other beliefs are ‘false’.  Thus, while Hindu dharma is ‘inclusive’, Abrahamic religions are ‘exclusive’, where there is no place for different views about the ultimate truth. Therefore, Abrahamic religions have One Book, while Hindu dharma does not have one authorized scripture that must be obeyed by all the followers. For Hindus, one is free to choose one’s path to attain moksha, not bound by what The Supreme book says.
From this foundational framework flow more differences in approach.  Hindu thought allows different philosophies to crop up and prosper without any problem; Abrahamic thought does not brook such deviations. This has led to religious wars and bloodshed over question of faith, while Bharat has hardly seen such bloodshed in the name of faith. Thus, Hindu dharma system presides over a republic of religions, while Abrahamic faith systems may be termed as one party rule or dictatorship.
Due to this reason, West has seen exodus of various people at different periods of history, Bharat has never seen such exodus (except during partition, brought about by a demand for separate country based on religion). It has given shelter to such persecuted people from across the world - right from Syrian Christians, Jews to Parsis since hundreds of years.
Rajiv Malhotra, a public intellectual, notes that Hindu dharma followers may not necessarily need a medium to reach the Supreme being, while in case of Abrahamic religions,  if you do not believe in the prophet or the son of  God, there is no salvation for you. It is a pre-condition for liberation. A priest in Hindu tradition is not a medium; he is only a person who facilitates religious rituals. Closest in this sense of a medium is Guru, but even Guru is not a pre-condition, nor is allegiance to one Guru necessary. There are enough examples of people who attained self-realization without a Guru or through a number of Gurus.
Hindu dharma being a way of life and not really the only ‘way of life’, even an ‘atheist’ scholar like Chaarvaak can be a Hindu called a ‘rishi’. This is simply not possible in Abrahamic belief systems and the ‘atheist’ or ‘heretic’ may be prosecuted or persecuted for blasphemy.
Abrahamic religions believe in ‘niraakaar’ (or formless) God Almighty, while Hindus can believe in ‘niraakaar’ or ‘saakaar’ (having a body which can be seen). Within this too, a believer can seek his God in any form that he believes in. There are no ‘false’ gods, there is a freedom of choice. They can be as comfortable with Jesus Christ  as they are with Krishna.
Abrahamic religions tell their followers that only theirs is the true path and would bring salvation to their followers, and all other ‘non-believers’ would land up in hell for not following the prophet and his religion. It is enjoined as their duty to convert others to save them from ‘hell’. With this as their duty, their followers have aggressively followed the directions coming from their prophets or holy books  to win over countries, to convert the ‘non-believers’ to ‘save’ them,  to earn goodwill of their ‘God’ and a place in ‘heaven’. Thus, attacks by these faithfuls generally leave behind a trail of destruction of defeated people, their monuments and religious places etc.
Compared to this, none of the different off-shoots of Hindu dharma have ever gone out aggressively or attacked any population to spread their religion. Their spread has been through propagation of their ideas and acceptance by the local populace.  China and whole of South East Asia is living proof of this pacifist approach of Hindu tradition based religions.  Utilizing debates (shaastraarth) rather than sword  by Adi Shankaracharya to win over Buddhist scholars is classic example that saw the revival of Vedic religion.
The idea of ‘republic of faiths’ is the reason why democracy in its primary form was prevalent in the times of Mauryas and why it took roots so easily post-independence. The inherently built mental frame work of ‘One party rule’ or dictatorship is the reason why no Islamic country, except Indonesia and Malaysia has true democracy. It was possible in these countries because they were cut-off from Wahhabi influence of Saudi Arabia for long and had a strong Hindu-Buddhist background to their ethnic  culture. Now, as Saudi Arabia funded Wahhabism  is slowly making inroads into these regions,  one can see similar intolerance for other faiths emerging in these countries too.
Similar to South East Asian experience, some critics talk of Sufism in Islam that is syncretic and comparatively secular, but forget that Sufism is born out of Bharatiya soil that had overwhelming Hindu influence, and Sufis were considered deviants by dominant Islamic scholars. They adopted the principle of giving space to other belief systems and made Islam more acceptable to ‘non-believers’.  In current milieu, ‘sufism’ has more resonance in Hindus than in Islamists. The ‘sufi’ music so popular these days, cannot be played in mosques as music is un-Islamic.
All Hindu dharma based faiths, in fact even other pre-Abrahamic religions globally, believe in principles of karma, re-incarnation and worship nature as a form of ‘Supreme Being’. Principle of ‘ahimsa’ is born out of this respect for all living beings and nature. From these thoughts flow the teachings of Hindu traditions to preserve nature, farmers first worshipping mother earth before putting his plough on her and an artisan worships the land ‘bhumi puja’ before he digs it to make a house.  For a Hindu,  he or she is part of an entirely integrated universe.  Thus, love for environment and its preservation is inherent in Hindu tradition. Abrahamic religions believe that their ‘God’ has given them right to enjoy ‘earth’ to fulfill their desires as it is a gift to them from ‘Almighty’ and thought of environmental protection is born out of compulsion in West as it faces dire consequences of the pillage of the planet for its unrestricted growth and self-aggrandizement.
Reader may note that I have not talked of any current social or historical examples to bolster my argument or criticize any faith as I wished to take it up at an academic level and let readers ponder over the fundamentals of different faith systems.  Whatever has been stated above is easily available on public platforms, on official websites and religious scriptures of different faith systems. One can form one’s own opinion about what can happen when different systems go back to their fundamentals or become fundamentalists. Once we absorb these thoughts, we would not easily make sweeping statement that ‘all kinds of fundamentalism are bad’.