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India as a Hindu Rashtra: Impossible!

After Kanhaiya Kumar controversy and continuous attack on JNU, many literates and think tanks came forward, refuting the charges and allegations raised against University and its students. Even, some have gone to the extent of calling Hindu Rashtra perception of RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat as an anti-national agenda. Meanwhile, many wanted to know about the term ‘Hindu Rashtra’ means, as ’till today, only the RSS speaks about ‘Hindu Rashtra’ but never feels to explains what it means. They cannot explain it, because it would be unacceptable to majority of Hindus, forget the Indian Muslims and Christians. The population of conservative Hindus are very much scanty than the population of Secular Hindu. Any theocratic state can be built only on the principle of exclusion. In Islamic States, the application of Shariah law for crimes is one part of the State’s theocratic face. Corporal punishment was the norm across the world in a time when there were no jails. And so beatings, amputations, stoning and beheadings may seem barbaric to us today, but it was a common in the world in 7th century AD.

In Pakistan, no Christian can become prime minister and no Sikh can become president according to the constitution. In this instance, the religious State expresses itself through its identification and treatment of minorities as being different from the general population, who are the ideal citizens. The exclusions came in with General Ayub Khan and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, but there is no Islamic state from Iran to Saudi Arabia, where this principle of exclusion of non-Muslims, has not become a founding principle. A few days ago, Nepal’s lawmakers voted against an amendment proposal in a draft of the country’s new constitution to declare the Himalayan nation a Hindu State. In Kathmandu, protestors demanding restoration of the monarchy and the status of ‘Hindu Rashtra’ clashed with police. Many Nepal’s citizens believe that their kings were reincarnations of Shri Vishnu and they support the restoration of the monarchy. Nepal is a secular nation today by constitution, but it was a Hindu State for centuries until the abolition of the monarchy.

The introduction of the Hindu Rashtra has two aspects. The external aspect is what we believe in India and that is the RSS worldview. Its idea of Hindu Rashtra is developed to exclude Muslims and Christians from here. In Nepal, it was internal, meaning it was focussed on a Kshatriya king. That is what made it a Hindu State. Manusmriti also prescribes the position of other castes, not just the monarch. When Kshatriyas rule, Brahmins teach and Vaishyas trade. Shudras do the labour and the Untouchables are on the periphery. The castes cannot encroach on one another’s areas, and this is the ideal Hindu Rashtra according to our texts. The exclusion in this instance comes from denying groups of Hindus access to money, education and power. The Islamic State excludes the non-Muslim. The Hindu Rashtra first excludes the non-Hindu and then excludes even within. This is the only reason why the idea of Hindu Rashtra has not got popular in India.

The Constitution has assured to give place to every religion’s faith, and that’s why ‘Hindu Rashtra’ theory failed. If BJP and RSS turn it into a ‘Hindu Rashtra’ by anyways, then not only Muslims and Christians but Dalits and Adivasis interests will not also be safe in this country.

Veer Savarkar was one of the first in the twentieth century to attempt a definitive description of the term “Hindu” in terms of what he called Hindutva meaning Hinduness. The coinage of the term “Hindutva” was an attempt by Savarkar who was an atheist and a rationalist, to de-link it from any religious connotations that had become attached to it. He defined the word Hindu as: “He who considers India as both his Fatherland and Holyland”. He thus defined Hindutva (“Hindu-ness”) or Hindu as different from Hinduism. This definition kept the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam) outside its ambit and considered only native religious denominations as Hindu.

This distinction was emphasised on the basis of territorial loyalty rather than on the religious practices. Savarkar wrote “Their [Muslims’ and Christians’] holy land is far off in Arabia or Palestine. Their mythology and Godmen, ideas and heroes are not the children of this soil. Consequently their names and their outlook smack on foreign origin. Their love is divided”. Savarkar, also defined the concept of Hindu Rashtra (translated as “Hindu polity”). The concept of Hindu Polity called for the protection of Hindu people and their culture and emphasised that political and economic systems should be based on native thought rather than on the concepts borrowed from the West. Like Savarkar many other Hindu leaders too advocated Hindu Rashtra. India to be declared as country of Hindu religion and whosoever is the citizen of this country should be called Hindu, irrespective of its own religious beliefs. Whatever is the debate, but this is impossible because India is not only divided on religious grounds but also in caste system. After this there will be next debate which caste will rule India, which will be bigger curse.

Dr Vaidehi Taman
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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