Decoding Hinduness for the Contemporary World
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Hindutva for the Changing Times
by J. Nandakumar
Published by Indus Scrolls Press
Rs. 399, 256 Pages

In Hindutva for the Changing Times, along with the other scholarly written articles on an array of subjects, the author provides the Hindutva perspective on various contemporary issues and challenges and seeks lasting solutions to the problems

In Hindutva for the Changing Times, a collection of published articles, Shri J Nandakumar argues that ‘Hinduism’ is not the right term to represent the Sanatana Dharma, for ‘ism’ means a set of dogmas or blind belief. Hindutva (Hindu-ness) is the apt expression that captures the spiritual, intellectual, religious, philosophical and political dimensions of the millennia-old Dharmic civilisation. Hindutva does not believe in compartmentalisation of human life and experiences. It has been one of the most vicious Left-Liberal prejudices that Sanatana Dharma and Hindutva are different and somehow incompatible interests. According to them, while one is spiritual and inclusive, the latter is a political and exclusivist ideology that is intolerant and destructive. This is far removed from truth. This canard betrays the political motivations of the critics.
Compartmentalisation is an alien idea, which traces its origin in the Marxian ideology, rooted in the Western thought. This idea is behind all modern problems facing the humanity – climate change, economical inequalities and ill-effects of technology. He argues that the cause of all environmental problems is the Semitic view of Nature. On the issue of ‘moral and ethical’ challenges posed by Artificial Intelligence, he suggests ‘spiritualisation of technology’ as a wayout. He writes: “The fundamental problem lies in the compartmentalisation of knowledge and perceiving human being as a mere bio-chemical being, aside from a spiritual being. When the evolution of Artificial Intelligence poses an imminent threat to the human intellect, a possible solution, as per Hindu worldview, is exploring the gradations of the higher consciousness. In this regard, in Sri Aurobindo, we find the integration of ancient Hindu wisdom and modern science, which together can be called Evolutionary Spirituality that combines philosophical brilliance and a profoundly enlightened consciousness.”
‘Hindutva for the Changing Times’, brought out by the Indus Scrolls Press, contains 25 articles published over a period of three decades in various newspapers, magazines and news portals. The articles are compiled under seven titles that are: Core Hindutva, Invisible Colonisation, Combatting Left, Argumentative Hindu, Dr Ambedkar, Verdicts and Interviews.
The book discusses an array of diverse subjects and ideas, ranging from the evolution of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh vis-a-vis the Indian Communist movement and to Data security and sovereignty and Supreme Court verdicts on Ayodhya and Sabarimala. Among the other important topics discussed in the present volume are an essay on Hindutva for the changing times, a comparative analysis of Left liberalism and Hindu universalism, the importance of dialogue and debate in Hindu tradition, the CPM’s political violence, the past and present of West Bengal and the philosophical, economic as well as ecological standpoints of Hindutva in the modern parlance.
An article on the complex relationship between Mahatma Gandhi and Veer Savarkar busts the Communist propaganda against the latter, including the accusation of writing clemency letters to the British.
The author goes to the original sources and quotes Mahatma Gandhi who called Veer Savarkar “brave”, “clever” and “true son of Bharat”. Quoting a note by Gandhiji, the article divulges the positive views of Gandhi on VD Savarkarand his elder brother, GD Savarkar: “The Savarkar Brothers’ talent should be utilised for public welfare. As it is, India is in danger of losing her two faithful sons, unless she wakes up in time. One of the brothers I know well. I had the pleasure of meeting him in London. He is brave. He is clever. He is a patriot. He was frankly a revolutionary. The evil, in its hideous form, of the present system of government, he saw much earlier than I did. He is in the Andamans for his having loved India too well. Under a just government, he would be occupying a high office. I, therefore, feel for him and his brother.”
Most of the articles in the present volume were originally published in various publications like Organiser Weekly, The Sunday Guardian,, Kesari etc. Some of them are transcriptions of his speeches made in Malayalam, Hindi and English.
Famous author and Hindutva philosopher Shri Vamadeva Shastri (David Frawley), in the foreword of the book, says, “His (the author’s) aim is to frame and articulate a Bharatiya view of culture that can counter the outside trends that seek to undermine India’s vast heritage, and to revitalise that for another century.”
According to the author, his articles on various topics are mostly the result of organisational exigencies. “Most of my prose and verse happened after persistent compulsion from my fellow-karyakartas or publishers,” says Shri J Nandakumar in the author’s note. However, the book will satiate the appetite of both casual readers and scholars. The author provides the Hindutva perspective of various contemporary issues and challenges and seeks lasting solutions to the problems. The book engages the reader from the first page to the last, as the collection of articles deals with a wide variety of subjects from religion and philosophy to history and technology.
Elaborating on the content of the book, ShriVamadevaShastri says that the book shows the variety and depth of nationalist thought in India and how it is serving both to create a new India and to preserve India’s older dharmiccivilisational heritage. Such a wide range of topics covers all the crucial issues facing India today. “Nandakumarji has brought together numerous important Bharatiya thinkers in educational and cultural platforms under PrajnaPravah, meeting in different parts of the country on a regular basis. I have participated in several of these events and experienced first-hand the depth and detail through which he and this organisation functions.
Clearly, such dynamic thinkers are essential for India to flourish not only as a nation but as a civilisation and to maintain its cultural and spiritual heritage for all humanity. His voice needs to be heard, along with that of the groups and individuals that he is associated with,” writes Shri Vamadeva Shastri.