There is no place for any ‘ism’ as is in the West, where it has a hegemonic tendency to impose their world-view on others even by using force. In Bharat, ‘Hindutva’ refers to the people living and leading their personal, familial, social and professional life in the light of the spirituality based integral, holistic view of life, called ‘Hindu’
Bharat, since ages has a unique view of life that is integral and holistic because it is based on spirituality. Bharat believes that ‘Truth’ can have various forms, names and the paths to reach it. Though diverse, all these paths are equal. Bharat sees unity in diversity and has a capacity to establish unity amongst variety. It doesn’t see diversity as differences. This spirituality teaches us that every soul is potentially Divine and the same divinity pervades in all the things animate or inanimate, and hence we all are connected with each other. To realise this connectedness, to expand the ambit of connectedness and accordingly to work towards the betterment of the connected, forms the basis of Dharma. “Dharma”, which is different from religion, is not exclusivist—it includes, connects and benefits all.
This view of life is the ‘Hindu’ view and all those who live in Bharat, irrespective of their caste, region, religion or language subscribe to this view of life. Hence “Being Hindu” or “Hindutva” has become the identity of all Bharateeyas and it unifies them. The founder of RSS, Dr. KB Hedgewar made this Hindutva the tool to awaken and rekindle the sense of unity among all Bharateeyas—connecting them with each other irrespective of their caste, region, religion and language. He started organising the entire society by binding them together with this thread of Hindutva.
But those who, for their individual and political gains, wanted to keep society divided, started opposing Hindutva and Sangh, by calling them communal, regressive, divisive and anti-minority. Opposition and rejection of seminal works of great souls and proponents of Hindutva like Swami Vivekananda, Dayanand Saraswati was condemned by levelling similar allegations by these forces.
But the activities of Sangh, built on the foundation of Hindutva, kept growing and expanding despite the opposition and ill-will directed at it. Then the very same ill-intentioned critics started saying that Hindutva is alright but there is a demarcation between Soft-Hindutva and Hard-Hindutva. Proponents of Hindutva like Swami Vivekananda are soft, but RSS practices hard Hindutva, which is condemnable. Books such as “Why I am not a Hindu” and then “Why I Am a Hindu” have been written by such naysayers but irrespective of these attempts acceptance of Hindutva has grown exponentially. This is so because it’s the soul of Bharat, expression of its consciousness and cannot be countered by books that seek to compete with the epics.
These elements with vested interests started creating confusion by calling Hinduism a virtue but Hindutva evil. A media house recently asked me, “What is the difference between ‘Hinduism’ and ‘Hindutva’? I told them that it is one and the same. One is in Hindi whereas other is in English. Dr S Radhakrishnan wrote a book in English titled ‘Hindu View of Life’ and used the term ‘Hinduism’ but if he would have written it in Hindi, he would have used ‘Hindutva’. If Savarkar ji would have written his book ‘Hindutva’ in English then he might have used the term ‘Hinduism’. That said, it is my personal belief that an apt translation of ‘Hindutva’ should be ‘Hinduness’ instead of ‘Hinduism’.
RSS Sarsanghachalak, Dr Mohan Bhagwat ji has clearly enunciated the meanings of ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hindutva’ in his three day lecture series at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi. But propagandists won’t refer to it because it does not suit their malafide intentions. The real ideological battle is between two different ideas of Bharat. One is the Bharatiya concept with deep roots going back to the age old spiritual traditions of Bharat and the other is an alien or foreign conceptualisation.
It is imperative upon us to expose the conspiracy to divide and confuse and to establish the eternal philosophy & values of Hindutva by dedicated action and practiceA journalist turned politician recently stated that in this election the choice to be made is between ‘Hindu India’ and ‘Hindutva India’. The only reason people like him talk of Hindu India is because of the growing influence of ‘Hindutva’. It doesn’t reflect their conviction but convenience. Given that Bharat is coming together and uniting due to ‘Hindutva’, their casteist, communal and regional politics is weakening day by day and their support base in eroding. For their petty politics it is imperative for them to divide society—if not in the name of caste, language or religion, then on the basis of Hindu and Hindutva. But today, the common Bharatiya is not foolish enough to fall into their trap. Their sense of entitlement has thus been challenged.
Another term which is being used to spread confusion is ‘Hinduvaadi’ or Hinduist. There are capitalist, communist or socialist ideologies in the world but in Bharat there is no place for any ‘ism’ like in the West. The ‘ism’s in the West have a hegemonic tendency to impose their world-view on others even by using force. In Bharat, ‘Hindutva’ (Hinduness) refers to people living and leading their personal, familial, social and professional life in the light of this spirituality based integral, holistic view of life, called ‘Hindu’.
It is therefore imperative upon us to expose the conspiracy to divide and confuse and to establish the eternal philosophy and values of Hindutva by dedicated action and practice. This will result in the unfolding of Bharat’s identity, known to the world since centuries and Purusharth of Bharat will manifest in every sphere of social and national life. In his essay titled, ‘Swadeshi Samaaj’, Shri Rabindra Nath Tagore rightly says- “First of all, We will have to become what We actually are.”
(The writer is Sahsarkaryavah of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh)