The ideology that is in power, Hindutva. Year 2000s have seen the rise of Hindutva a political ideology that many term controversial and many, the only ideology that can keep India integrated.
I believe that no ideology is perfect, whether it is communism or capitalism. Similarly, Even Hindutva is not perfect but that does not mean it does not accomplish its goals. So, let us take a deep dive into Hindutva.
Table of Contents
- Founder of Hindutva
- Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
- Rise of Hindutva
- Ram Janmabhoomi
- Modern Hindutva
Founder of Hindutva
Everyone agrees that the founder of Hindutva is Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. A Hindu Nationalist who even today causes a lot of controversy [I personally believe that every famous man who has existed was controversial in a manner or two].
For the first time, in 1937 He demanded a Hindu Rashtra. Well, what was a Hindu Rashtra?According to him only Hindus should be a part of India. But he had a definition for a Hindu. He believed that a Hindu was a person who considered India its Punya Bhoomi and Pitru Bhoomi [Holy land and father land].
Savarkar argued, that only a Hindu considers India its holy and father land. Hence, only a Hindu can be a true patriot. Only because muslims consider Mecca its holy site and Christians Jerusalem, they could not be as loyal as hindu to the country.
In short, this was Hindutva according to Savarkar.
Savarkar was the author of the book First war of independence. In it he argued that the revolt of 1857 was not just a sepoy mutiny but a full fledge war against the British empire. Savarkar’s brother was convicted in case, where the pistol used was supplied by Savarkar.
When he caught and was being transported, he jumped off the ship. At the mere age of 28 he was sentenced 50 years in prison. Many questioned his courage and patriotism because he wrote multiple mercy petitions. His followers argue that he did so that he could get out of the prison to participate in the freedom movement.
As I said he was full of controversies. Like many modern leaders who tend to be pious in their public life and not so religious in their private life, Savarkar is accused of the same. He is said to be an Atheist.
A very famous incident that occurred between Gandhi and Savarkar was that when vegetarian Gandhi refused to eat the prawns that Savarkar was frying, he asked Mahatma, “How will you fight the Britishers without animal protein?”.
Also Savarkar was the co accused in the Encounter of mahatma Gandhi. Later he was acquitted of all the charges.
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh was founded by Dr Keshav Baliram Hegdewar on September 27,1925. It was founded for the purpose of protection of Hindu culture. They run Shakhas, were Discipline and dedication is instilled among its volunteers.
RSS is the Largest volunteer’s group in the whole world. Moreover, there are almost 59000 Shakhas active around the world.
RSS never blatantly opposed the british rule [ Fearing a ban] but Dr Hegdewar himself took part in non-cooperation movement and also went to jail for the following. All Prant pracharak off the RSS are bachelors.
Hegdewar’s successor was M S Golwalkar. Above all, he is credited for leading the Sangh out of a lot of troubles. But he himself was a controversial figure. On 4th Jan, 1948 RSS was banned because of the alleged contribution of the father of the nation Mahatma Gandhi. Nathuram Godse was an ex member of the RSS. After this incident many started to view the sangh with a negative perspective because of the hatred.
But this image washed off because of their help during the 1962 War. The then prime minister of India PT Nehru invited RSS to participate in the 1963 Republic day Parade.
RSS refused to accept the constitution of India and the tri colour flag. But eventually this changed. Since 2002 RSS hoists both the tricolor and the Bhagwa flag. This was a tipping point in the history of Hindutva.
The current chief Mohan Bhagwat has brought a great change in the Sangh. Moreover, I feel there was a lot of help from the RSS to the BJP in the 2014 election.
For instance, he said that there could be no Hindutva without Muslims. Similarly, he said that LGBTQ community is an integral part our society.
There are many famous volunteers of the RSS. For Instance, Narendra Modi, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Manohar Parrikar, Tejaswi Surya to name few. Mohan Bhagwat believes that all 120-crore people in India are Hindus.
Rise of Hindutva
After the initial ban on RSS, Golwalkar though there should be some political body to protect their political interest. So, he met Syama Prasad Mukherjee to form the Bharatiya Jangh Sangh. After his death the Jangh Sangh leaders joined the janta party. But most of them were also members of the RSS.
The janta party decided that its member could not have dual membership, so they decided to leave. They united to form a new party that ran on the ideology of the RSS, named BJP [Bharatiya janta party]. Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Lk Advani became the founding members of the party.
Now BJP is the ruling party. Moreover it is the party with the largest membership in the whole world.
Their manifesto always had some common goals. It includes, construction of the Ram temple, Uniform civil code, one nation on constitution and ban on slaughter of the holy cow.
Another prominent party in power is the Shiv Sena which is in power in Maharashtra. They strongly support Hindutva but also support upliftment of the Marathas.
In 1853, Nirmohi Akhara Claimed that the Lord Ramchandra was born where the modern day Babri Masjid was situated. They pleaded for a place of worship over there. Slowly the mosque area was divided into two parts one for Hindus and the other one for the Muslims to pray.
On December 1949 the deity of Ram Lalla mysteriously appeared in the mosque.
December 6th,1992 is one of the darkest chapters in this book of Hindutva. On this day, provocative slogans instigated Hindu fanatics, hence they demolished the disputed structure.
L K Advani carried on Ram Rath Yatra in which he converted a Toyota into a shape of a rath to gain support from followers for the construction of the Ram temple at the site of the birth of lord Ram. He had planned a journey from Somnath to Ayodhya but his journey was cut short as he was arrested.
In 2000 ASI [archeological survey of India] conducted tests and concluded that there was a structure of non-Islamic style. In 2010, The Allahabad high court divided the disputed land into 3 parts and only 1/3 part went to Ram Lalla [Baby Ram]. Bothe the parties challenged this verdict.
Supreme court ruled in the favour of Hindus. It asked the government to build a trust for the construction of the temple and gave them the disputed 2.77 acres. It also asked the government to give Sunni Waqf board an alternative 5 acre land for the construction of the mosque in Ayodhya.
Over the years RSS has changed, the leaders have changed hence even their ideology has changed. So even the definition of Hindutva has changed. Most of the modern Hindutva leaders say that India should be a Hindu rashtra.
Hindu rashtra does not mean a nation only for Hindus but a nation where Hindu culture celebrates it self. Bhagwat argued that there could not be Hindutva without Muslims. They want the Muslims to acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus. Also they push for a common language around the country and particularly a Devanagari script based language.
Nevertheless, I personally believe that this ideology has helped bring unity in this nation. We have a common strong culture to celebrate and cherish.
You may be right leaning or left leaning but you cannot disagree that by expunging Hindutva a political party has more to lose than they gain. 80% of Indians are Hindus. Even socialist parties like AAP are embracing Hindutva.
Also Read: Dravidian Politics
Hinduism[Sanatan Dharma] is a religion and Hindutva is socio-political ideology which revolves around Hindu culture.
Personally i feel, it has been very successful. The NDA has been in power in the center for two consecutive terms with 300+ seats. They have gained power in many states too
Ashok Singahl was the international president of VHP [Vishwa Hindu Parishad]. He had a big role in the Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
I feel that the biography of Savarkar by Vikram Sampath is an unbiased resource.
Like Hindutva, Dravidian movement is very famous Ideology in India. It is particularly enjoyed in Tamil Nadu.
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