Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expressions of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of historical India. Some scholars have argued that the use of the term “Hindu nationalism” refering to Hindū rāṣṭravāda is a simplistic translation and is better described by the term “Hindu politics”. They inspired the freedom movements against the British Raj based on armed struggle, coercive politics and non-violent protests. They also influenced social reform movements and economic thinking in India. Since BJP came to power, the stress on concept of Hindu Rashtra is much more hostile. With BJP or without BJP, India is a Hindu dominated country, and this is a fact! That’s why; India is different from countries like Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. It is also a fact that the term Hindu captures India’s multi-layered uniqueness and its richly vibrant expressions of human relationship with truth and reality.
In broader sense, India was, is and will always be a Hindu Rashtra. India is beholden to continue to preserve its uniqueness for ensuring a better world. When the issue of cultural roots come, no one stands at par with Indian culture. It is far older than history started to record. I remember, RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat saying, “Since ancient times, the idea of unity in diversity has been path of the Indian culture and Indian cultural identity is defined by Hindutva.” In India, the idea of looking for unity in diversity has been prevalent since ancient times. This has been the basis of unity in Indian culture. The world has already accepted India as a Hindu Rashtra. So, Hindutva is India’s identity. It’s the identity of everybody staying in this country. Except the Jews and the Parsis, ancestors of other religions in India were Hindus. We are influenced by the Hindu culture. There is no harm in being Hindu and following Hinduism. Politics alone cannot bring about transformation in the society. You need a leader, who has the confidence of the whole society.
Hindutva was to gain relevance in the run up to the Indian Independence and would also form the core a political party named Hindu Mahasabha started by Savarkar. A radical step was taken by Shyamji Krishna-varma, a Sanskritist and an Arya Samajist, in London, under the name of India House in 1905. The brain behind this movement was said to be Veer Savarkar. The movement had become well known for its activities in the Indian expatriates in London. When Gandhi visited London in 1909, he shared a platform with the revolutionaries where both the parties politely agreed to disagree, on the question of violent struggle against the British. Gandhiji, while admiring the “patriotism” of the young revolutionaries, had dissented vociferously from their violent blueprints for social change. In turn, the revolutionaries disliked his adherence to constitutionalism and his close contacts with moderate leaders of Indian National Congress. Moreover, they considered his method of “passive resistance” effeminate and humiliating. India House gave formative support to ideas that were later formulated by Savarkar in his book named ‘Hindutva’.
Though, politically such statements from a parliamentarian signals out very unhealthy ambiences to our social strength and should be put down by all right thinking Indians. Indian society have shown to the world how two distinctly different and sometimes hostile cultures could integrate reasonably well at the social plane where people of all religious connotations provide space to others and live with camaraderie, though not in its full sense. Hindus and Muslims living here must be proud of being Indians first and assimilate the greatness in each other’s faiths into their daily lives. Boko Haram, Hafiz Saeed too chant for Muslim states. Hitler too believed in the superiority of Christians. However, all of them want to dictate over the people of their own religion.
There are many Christian and Muslim countries which have Christianity or Islam as their official religion. There is no Hindu country in the world. India is a Hindu- majority country. The majority complied with secularism keeping its broadmindedness which was also its weakness during foreign invasions and colonial rule. May be the majority of Hindus (by religion and beliefs) wanted India to be declared as Hindu Rashtra. Naming India as a Hindu Rashtra will explode the conventional wisdom. It will provide a strong identity for Hindus. Hindus from Kashmir to Kerala have a role to play.
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