The Case for and against Hindutva

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Flint, Nov 27, 2009.

  1. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hi Everyone

    As we all know and acknowledge, this idea, called Hindutva by its followers, is a popular and growing movement within India. It has supporters and detractors who are equally vocal and passionate, but I feel that both sides have failed to understand each other.

    This thread is meant to understand the causes behind this movement, its benefits, as well as its dangers.
     
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  3. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Hindutva is not a unique movement in this world. Infact, such movements are common all around the world, and many if not most countries are founded on the basis of such movements. The appropriate term is called Cultural Nationalism.

    I have blatantly copied the following from Wikipedia:

    Cultural nationalism is a form of nationalism in which the nation is defined by a shared (inherited) culture, as opposed to, for instance, its ethnicity or its institutions. Cultural nationalism has been described as a variety of nationalism that is neither purely civic nor purely ethnic.

    They believe that the natives of India share a common culture, history and ancestry. M. S. Golwalkar, one of the main proponents of Hindutva believed that India's diversity in terms of customs, traditions and ways of worship was its uniqueness and that this diversity was not without the strong underlying cultural basis which was essentially native. He believed that the Hindu natives with all their diversity, shared among other things "the same philosophy of life", "the same values" and "the same aspirations" which formed a strong cultural and a civilizational basis for a nation.

    Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, one of the main votaries of Hindutva has stated that it believes in a cultural connotation of the term Hindu. "The term Hindu in the conviction as well as in the constitution of the RSS is a cultural and civilizational concept and not a political or religious dogma. The term as a cultural concept will include and did always include all including Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Muslims, Christians and Parsis. The cultural nationality of India, in the conviction of the RSS, is Hindu and it was inclusive of all who are born and who have adopted Bharat as their Motherland, including Muslims, Christians and Parsis. The answering association submit that it is not just a matter of RSS conviction, but a fact borne out by history that the Muslims, Christians and Parsis too are Hindus by culture although as religions they are not so."
     
  4. prahladh

    prahladh Respected Member

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    The ideology is good, but how it is not going to interfere with individual religious beliefs. It wants uniform civil code, but whats guarantee that it's not going to create controversy like shah bano case.
     
  5. devgupt

    devgupt Regular Member

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    And what was Shah Bano controversy ?
     
  6. ..Azad

    ..Azad Regular Member

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    The babri monkey is on the table once again - political reasons? peradventurely, but who really cares. Stockholders in high stake poker of minority vote-bank can have there four flushers, but now its saffron brotherhood who's having there mc's and saying 'I'm lovin it'. Ram janam bhumi andolan may be a paradigm of hindutva, for the chattering class but the truth is hindutva is not hostage to any thing, neither babri nor electoral ensues.

    Hindutva is an sanskrit word derived out of two more word - 'Hindu' and 'Tattva", mean "Hindu Principles". Principles which are living idea's guided by human wisdom, culminated through teachings of dharma. Its the hindu dharma which say's 'Vasudaiva Kutumbakam' means world is one family. Its the hindu dharma which teaches us about religious tolerance with 'Ekam Sat Viprah Bahuda Vadanti', means the nniversal Reality is the same, but different people can call it by different names. Even the scripture says "Heenam Naashaayati iti Hindutva", means upholding righteousness and fight ignobleness is hindutva.

    Hindutva which manifests itself in harmony with all beingnesses and with mother nature, acceptance of different views, discernments, diversity in unity, etc.

    Hindutva is neither Hindu religion, nor a political ideology, shame on those who baits hindutva for arrogating secularism, that secularism which can only
    be attested by vilifying hindutva.

    Supreme court of india on hindutva :- Supreme court judgment: a blow to secular democracy

    For me hindutva espouses fraternity motto - "Sarve bhavantu sukhinah sarve santu niraamayaah, Sarve bhadraani pashyantu maakaschit duhkha bhaag bhavet". And ofcourse appeasement to non.

    Rss On Net - Sarsanghachalak in Bangalore

    Rashtriya swayamsevak sangh (Rashtra sevika samiti) on Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    DSC00133
     
  7. ..Azad

    ..Azad Regular Member

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  8. ..Azad

    ..Azad Regular Member

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    Sangh's raison detre.
    http://is. gd/55W96

    Dont be a waysider, come and serve mother nation.
    "Janani Janmabhoomi cha Swargaadapi Gariyasi". You may not have heaven but you have your mother land, who know u be the chosen one...

    meet u after sometime
    Jai Shri Ram
    Jai Hind
     
  9. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Unfortunately, those who have made themselves self styled custodians of Hindus and Hinduism do not present that properly. In fact all their followers have been misguided into thinking its something else all together. If you had asked anyone of those common folk involved in the babri demolition or in fact anyone from say Bajrand Dal as to what Hindutva means, in all probability you will draw a blank.
    Hindutva just like Islam has been misunderstood and mis represented by the vested interests in the country and in the case of Islam all over the world.
    The true meaning is buried deep within the mis trust generated by those vested interests.
     
  10. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    The language is in many ways similar to the Islamist factions who want to create an "Islamic state" based on the "Islamic principles" of justce, equality etc. and promise that minorities will be treated well. Unfortunately, that is just the public face, while the movement tends to attract all sorts of extremists and purists.
     
  11. Singh

    Singh Phat Cat Administrator

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    Plurality is the Indian idea


    IN our remembrance of 26/11 last week there was for me one really moving moment. It went unnoticed amid the cacophony of tawdry talk shows full of tawdry celebrities and the channels that showed it missed its importance and switched too quickly back to someone banging on about ‘middle class rage’. That special moment for me was when there were Jewish prayers for the dead being said in Chabbad House at the same time as Muslim prayers were being said at the Gateway of India. It’s hard to think of another country where this kind of effortless plurality is so routine that it goes unnoticed. It is this plurality that defines India. It is this plurality that is the antithesis of what the Islamists stand for. It is what we must fight with all our strength to defend.

    The ideology of the jihad is totalitarian. It is an interpretation of Islam that allows no questioning. Anyone who has seen the CCTV footage of the 26/11 attack would have seen that when the controllers in Pakistan urged their foot soldiers to go forth and slaughter innocent people, they did so in the name of this totalitarian version of Islam. When the killers faltered out of weariness or humanity, as they did in Chabbad House before killing their terrified hostages, they were told by their jihadi controllers that they were going to be martyrs for their religion and ‘Allah is waiting for you. He is waiting for your sacrifice’. This Allah of the jihadi imagination is a God who approves of the murder of infidels. So the killers could talk proudly of how they had killed the owner of the boat they hijacked, as if they had performed a religious rite. They used the word ‘ziba’ to describe the slitting of his throat like they would have done for a goat being slaughtered for Eid.

    In India, nobody is an infidel. Everyone has a right to their gods and their beliefs. That is what plurality means.
    Whenever I write this, it annoys not just Islamists but moderate Muslims who point out angrily that in Islam everyone is equal before God while inequality and untouchability are at the core of Hinduism. While this may be true it is as true that caste discrimination is not ordained by some merciless God and written in some ‘revealed’ text. The caste system has been the cause of many evils in India and is rightly attacked for giving apartheid religious sanction. It has to go and will some day soon. Already, it has virtually disappeared in Indian cities because it has been unable to survive against modernity and the natural constrictions of urban life.

    Hindutva, which tried during its brief flowering to challenge India’s plurality, is another idea whose time has gone. Proof comes in the Liberhan Commission’s report. Seventeen years ago when the Commission was set up it was possible to think of Hindutva as a juggernaut. ‘The RSS, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal, BJP...etc are collectively an immense and awesome entity with a shrewd brain, a wide encompassing sweep and the crushing strength of a mob...’ Today this description is a joke. Hindutva is such a defeated idea that its combined forces were unable to defeat an incumbent, complacent, ineffectual government in Maharashtra despite the election taking place weeks before the first anniversary of 26/11.

    As for the party that built its whole reputation by using Hindutva as its ideology, it is in such bad shape that obituaries have been written for it, including in this space. The BJP is bereft not just of new ideas but also of leaders. So desperate is its condition that when Rajnath Singh packs his bags next month he will be replaced by yet another provincial leader of neither national standing nor proven abilities.

    The once mighty RSS is in still worse shape. Its ideas have no appeal for young Indians who have little time for religious fanaticism or the old fashioned gymnastics that once constituted the main activities of the morning ‘shakha’.

    So although last week was a time of sadness and horrible memories, it was also one of hope and renewal. Those who threatened India’s plurality, those who threatened the idea of India, appear to be in terminal decline. But, there is no room for complacency. While Hindutva has lost its appeal, Islamism continues to be so powerful a force that the military might of the United States of America has been unable to defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan and the might of the Pakistani army has been unable to defeat the Talban-e-Pakistan in Waziristan and Swat. It’s hard for us in India to understand what the appeal of so totalitarian an idea can be but we need to remember that it is the enemy of the idea of India.

    Plurality is the Indian idea
     
  12. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Since there exists various facets to the the concept 'Hindutva',lets restrict ourselves to its Socio-political implication.One of our members has already helped define the context of the Term 'Hindutva' as Hindu principles and further expanding on that definition one must say this could also be understood as organizing the Indian/Hindu society as per principles of Hinduism.

    Now the question is are the BJP/RSS and the assortment of Sangh parivar affiliated groups the first embark on this organizing principle.The answer is perhaps not,the sangh is only the most recent among those who have attempted to organize a political discourse on the basis of 'Hindu Principles'..........The list of others is long and illustrious,but lets restrict ourselves with perhaps the most significant of them all,Gandhi and Gandhi led national movement.

    Gandhi perhaps more than anybody understood the flaw that existed in the early freedom movement,the nature of the early nationalist movement was strictly political and legal,as someone eloquently stated 'a riveting dialogue between erudite brown and white lawyers.What set apart the freedom movement during the Gandhian era from its earlier period was the Gandhi's organizing principle which turned a Nationalist movement,essentially based on a western construct,into a 'Freedom movement' of tremendous socio-cultural depth.

    Gandhi described his political philosophy as 'Satayagraha' 'pursuit of truth and went to describe Hindu Dharma as the 'pursuit of truth' through non violent means with great emphasis on Dharma(the righteous way).To summarize Gandhi's 'Satyagraha' was his pursuit to rediscover the path of Sanathana Dharma.For Gandhi India's freedom was not a political pursuit,the Raj imperialism was only one facet of it,it was comprehensive restoration of Dharma.

    Gandhi too this message to the people of India and it resonated with them,for the first time an inconsequential nationalist struggle became a full fledged mass based freedom struggle.Gandhis's Satyagraha was an emphatic assertion of the 'principle of Hindu Dharma'(Hindutva).

    Infact the Indian national Congress was built and organized under the principles of the Hindutva.This was the party Pt Nehru inherited after Gandhi's assassination.

    So why the real question is why have BJP/Sangh emerged as votaries of the Hindutva movement and why not Congress.What happened in the subsequent years that made a large section of the population identify Hindutva as not being part of of the Congress makeup.What part of Hindutva did the BJP discover and that resonated with the population and which led to their political ascendancy and which part of Hindutva principle did congress fail to connect with that led to their demise in the 80's.

    Was the rise of BJP and the demise of Congress as national parties, at the same time a mere coincidence
     
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  13. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Wouldn't say that this was 100% the reason. And also it's not just the BJPs hindutva agenda that actually got them to power though some may dispute it. But the fact is thst all the marketing that the BJP got from all that it did in the preceding years presented an alternative national party to the nation who were at that time tired of the only national party in the congress and the khichdi at the other end. The rise of regional parties particularly in UP hurt it and it is yet to recover there.
     
  14. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    Let me emphasize the fact that rise of national parties(or their fall)do not happen in political vacuum,there must be some key underlying reasons that made certain parties register approval with the people(or earn disapproval).Please remember BJP(in its Jana Sangh avatar) was just another regional party in UP and also all the parties that had ousted the congress govt in 1977,still existed,but how did BJP break ranks and emerge so successful in the 80's.

    How did the population of UP which rejected Indira Gandhi's emergency and voted Janata party to power,which embraced wholeheartedly J P Narayan's Socialist utopia,turn towards the Hindu right in less than decade.

    Despite a plethora of alternative,BJP alone managed to tap into a barely hidden undercurrent of public opinion to energize its meteoric political rise,and based on observation one might be right in thinking that this undercurrent has expanded beyond its confines of Uttar Pradesh.
     
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  15. Energon

    Energon DFI stars Stars and Ambassadors

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    While Gandhi's ability to rally the independence movement by tapping into the socio cultural elements via Hindu spirituality was unparalleled (Buddha being the only other example in the history of India) there were two eventualities that essentially put an end to this movement:
    1. He was unable to stop the permanent political rift between the Hindus and the Muslims or the horrendous violence that ensued during partition, which essentially established the fact that Hindu spirituality could no longer be synonymous with the socio-cultural entity of India and any attempts to do so would result in a sense of religious oppression and reactionary violence.
    2. Despite the great success of the spiritual (Hindutva) underpinnings of the Gandhian anti-colonial freedom movement (unlike any other in human history), it wasn't transferable to the administration of the new state. Nehru was well aware of this fact, and realized that India's future lay in Secularism and industrialism (albeit his understanding and execution of the latter was deeply flawed). But it was this realization that resulted in the Congress party's change in tack.
    In regards to the RSS inspired Hindutva ideology which the Congress opposition movements have adopted (particularly the BJP): This is the result of institutionalization of populism and corruption in mainstream Indian politics. All this radicalized Hindu nonsense is merely a way to keep thugs active in key regions of influence while preying on the insecurities of the masses who are deprived of a good education and burdened with historical baggage
     
  16. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    Well, there are some serious questions to consider:

    1. The rise of Modi in Gujarat, and the effect it has had on Hindu-Muslim relations (negative), on the position of muslims in society (negative), and on the overall administration and development of the state (positive).

    We have a diversity of societies to study, even within our country. A state like Kerala has performed magnificently on most social indicators, and remained peaceful while doing so. On the other hand, a state like Gujarat has a history of hindu-muslim riots dating back to the time since records began (i.e. during colonial rule). Is this the result of Islamic rule in the past? This question is pertinenent because Kerala was never under Islamic rule, whereas Gujarat was. Is the rise of Modi a sign of resurgence of the local culture? (Temple-building in Gujarat has also risen. More stone temples are being built in that part of the country than anywhere else.)

    2. The danger that if this movement is discredited to the extent that it fails to attract intelligent, thinking people, its leadership might fall into the hands of the bottom tier of society, i.e. fundamentalists and criminals. Does Hindutva have a legitimate claim, or is it simply the result of cheap politics? Why does Hindutva have more supporters in North India and little support in the South, the support diminishing with proximity with the southern tip of the subcontinent?

    3. How much of Hindutva is borrowed from Semetic religions? Are the proponents of Hindutva religious fundamentalists, or are they simply cultural nationalists?

    4. Is there an alternative? Can we somehow reconcile the two faiths and build a new cohesion? Is Ayodhya the place where this reconciliation can happen?
     
  17. S.A.T.A

    S.A.T.A Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Energon
    While historians will contest the extent to which the Hindu-Muslim violence was a spontaneous outburst of communal passion or if it indeed where carefully orchestrated and commandeered,however the violence did indicate that Gandhi now walked alone in his pursuit of Dharma through non violence.(its pertinent to note that the violence though bloody wasn't widespread across all of India)

    That brings us the question you raised about Congress in the Nehruvian period and its interpretation of Hindutva in nation formation.Unlike Gandhi who was a philosopher,Nehru was a Historian and he understood the act of nation formation as purely a political process,its well known fact that Nehru had huge difference of opinion about Gandhi invoking Hindu Dharma as political instrument.The historian in Nehru was only concerned about cause & effects of events,the partition of India required a fresh look into the philosophy that underpinned congress as national party,Nehru abandoned Hindutva as the guiding principle of Congress.

    By pushing out Hindutva from the Congress agenda Nehru,as a consequence, made way for others to occupy the Hindutva vacuum in the later years.Not that this went uncontested.The Congress old guard led by Sardar Patel had its misgivings about moving congress from its Hindutva core,Nehru-Patel differences almost turned acrimonious over Sardar patel's decision to reconstruct Somnath,Sardar's untimely however death weakened the old guard allowed Nehru a free hand to shape the future of the new congress.

    It was Nehru's enormous stature alone that helped him keep the congress connected with the people of India,while Nehru was able to retain the popularity of the congress, his efforts to distance Congress from the Hindutva philosophy left the congress shorn of its political soul,which now began to replaced something that could be called as Neruvianism.

    Its was this philosophical bankruptcy that helped make the congress,one of the best examples of mass based democratic party,into a Nehru-Gandhi party.Without the Nehru underpinning the Indian national congress did not have a soul.

    By abandoning Hindutva altogether Congress lost the chance to shape the evolution of Hindutva as a national political philosophy,thus also allowing political dispensation with less credibility and divergent interpretation assuming that responsibility.

    Hindutva as a political principle is integral to Indian politics,its real and not a rhetoric.Its upto the political parties to mould it into a governing principle and in the process reshape themselves.The Hindutva as understood by Gandhi and that helped sustain our freedom movement is secular in principle,nationalist in scope and representative by nature.It gave the people of the Indian subcontinent their greatest gift.
     
  18. ..Azad

    ..Azad Regular Member

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    A couple of weeks ago Obama said he will love to be with mahatma Gandhi on a tea repast. Good for a aspiring laureate, but ask him - Is he willing to do a mahatma in running the affairs of his nation? Is is willing to do a mahatma in for Americas supreme national interest - in iraq or be it in Afghan. If there had
    would have been a mahatma Gandhi in place of Abraham Lincoln, in helm of American civil war - there would have been nothing UNITED in United States of America. If human wisdom alone can save the Rome, mahatma would have kiboshed the rending of our mother land.

    To end the malefic in the battle between dharma and adharma, Krishna asked Bhima to stoop to adharma and hit Duryodhna under the waist, which was not allowed. Balarama who preferred pilgrimage to be a mahatma by desisting from gore of battlefield, runs toward Bhima as a last protector of this demise. Krishna didn't allow this - The allmighty prophesies "Dau whenever a threat engross motherland, there remains only one pilgrimage, battlefield". Abraham Lincoln chose battlefied, mahatma took pilgrimage to Birla House.

    A admittedly mahatma failed to learned this last lessons of Hindutva. More than anything Hindutva is nationalism.


    1947 partition was done purely on religious basis. Nation was the victim in a fight between self styled purist and wannabe statesman. The purist voicing for
    muslims and the dandy bent for his own aspirations, no one was there for our motherland. Even on the pile of human bodies, India chooses to be a secular state, a state run by sheer morality. Foolhardy to say that it was not hindutva. But cant argue with Nehru devotees, dullards will drag you to there level and then beat you with there excellence reasoning. The outcome of Nehru's laid down socialism (well ppls are free to call it industrialism) is that after 60 yr of
    congress rule, we have far-flung poverty. Its celebrated secularism can be understood by a simple set of documents called 'Sachar committee report'.

    Hindutva or Ram Rajya was RSS's call from 1925, much before Indias first democratic election.

    Till appeasement became a political compulsion for the secularists, Ram Rajya was the exemplar of indiscriminating governance.




    And yes someone was talking of education. I can't even laugh on those who have nothing to offer for MY motherland, i pity them.

    Ekal Vidyalaya :: Ekal
    Vidya Bharati - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Indiannotion :: Ekal Vidyalaya is the master plan for country?s progress: Baba Ramdev
     
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  19. Flint

    Flint Senior Member Senior Member

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    ^One gets the feeling that the Indian state, with all its high-lofted principles, floats above her people, who fail to understand and appreciate those ideals while they struggle with their daily existence.

    Ideals are only useful when they inspire people to action.
     
  20. AJSINGH

    AJSINGH Senior Member Senior Member

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    hindutva only came up because there was enemy to fight ,you remove the enemy there is no hindutva same goes for islamist terriorst although there is great deal of difference between islamist terrorist and hindutva . BJP came up because congrees was doing nothing buy minority appeasment and minority has always an upper hand in india ,even if they are wrong ,majority of people will sympathize with them ,i dont get it why is it so ? if hindus are in majority that does not mean you can start taking the advantage on religious ground ( read minorities)
     
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  21. ..Azad

    ..Azad Regular Member

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    One who goes for those which doesn't belong to him, loose all that which belongs to him. Befooling ourself on the nitty-gritty of daily struggle, cant blind nationalists to the national scourge.

    [​IMG]
     
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