Sunday, July 14, 2024

Understanding Hindutva

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A perception has been built around Hindutva being a pejorative force, but nothing could have been further from the truth, understanding Hindutva is necessary

Understanding Hindutva is the need of the hour.

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In the current societal discourse a perception has developed.

This perception refers to the idea of Hindutva being a demonic force. A force which undermines the inclusive fabric of Bharat.

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However, all these are based on misinformation, half truths and half baked narratives peddled by anti-Hindu activists and intellectuals.

It has, therefore, become a matter of utmost necessity to set the record straight when it comes to the dimensions of Hindutva.

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Defining & Understanding Hindutva

Hindutva can be defined as a politico-religious doctrine at whose core lies cultural nationalism.

It is a socio-civilizational manifestation of Sanatan Dharma’s glorious past in its cultural and religious spheres.

The idea of Hindutva, contrary to popular perception has not been conceptualized by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar.

Despite popularizing it in his essay Hindutva- Who is a Hindu published in 1923.

It is the brainchild of a Bengali ideologue Chandranath Basu who articulated it back in the 1890s.

Hindutva, according to Savarkar identifies several elements of being a Hindu. The central point is a strong affinity with the geographical dimension or bhugolic element i.e., a Hindu is one who identifies himself/herself as a part of a civilization extending from the Himalayas in the North to Kanyakumari in the South.

The second aspect of Hindutva is accepting Bharat as one’s pitribhumi and punyabhumi i.e., a faith of one’s ancestors and a land where one performs their karma.

The third aspect pertains to the flexibility of the multidimensional nature of Sanatan Dharma, Hindutva considers all faiths born in the holy land of the subcontinent i.e., Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism and even the faiths of the adivasis people as a part of the Indic faiths.

Christianity, Islam, Judaism were exogenous faiths as they were from outside of Bharat.

However, over time, the adherents of these faiths barring Islam were successfully assimilated into the Bharatiya fold.

This occurred due to the internalization of the punyabhumi idea.

Spirit of Resistance

A key notion of Hindutva is the ignition of the spirit of resistance which, for centuries, has helped in the survival and spread of our faith.

This is evident from the sacrifices of emperors like Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Maharana Sangram Singh, Mahrana Pratap, Chattrapati Shivaji Raje Bhonsle, Maharaja Ranjit Singh, Rani Ahilyabai etc.

This resistance was mounted against alien faiths like Islam which was brought to Bharat by Arab invaders.

Sanatan Dharma’s core principle is the idea of karma and teaching tolerance.

But tolerance can be the guiding light only when individuals learn to accept it.

For iconoclasts like Mahmud of Ghazni, Babur etc., annihilation of Sanatan Dharma was the only objective.

This spirit of resistance from the medieval and early modern period metamorphosed into what is now known as ‘Hindutva’.

A spirit of resilience is the linchpin of Hindutva.

Not Purely Political

It will be an utter mistake to consider Hindutva to be an out and out political doctrine. It is a socio-cultural doctrine which is a dynamic ideology.

Hindutva can be considered to be just like Hinduism as it stands for the spirit of ‘Vasudhva Kutumbakam’.

It only seeks to spread the message

na jāyate mriyate vā kadāchin nāyaṁ bhūtvā bhavitā vā na bhūyaḥ ajo nityaḥ śhāśhvato ’yaṁ purāṇo na hanyate hanyamāne śharīre

This is a shloka from the Bhagavad Gita which translates into “The soul is neither born, nor does it ever die; nor is it that having come to exist, It will ever cease to be. The soul is birth less, eternal, immortal and ageless; It is not destroyed when the body is destroyed”.


Hence the misperceptions surrounding Hindutva needs to be dispelled and the record needs to be set straight i.e., understanding Hindutva. It is therefore, imperative that every Sanatani of any religious fold support the work of scholars like Vikram Sampath, Sandeep Balakrishna, J Sai Deepak, Meenakshi Jain, Dr David Frawley and Dr Koernraad Elst.



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