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Why should we reject Hindutva?

          From various discussions I have participated, I have identified few common, genuine points and questions from the opposition. They definitely kindle some thought process and they definitely need to be answered. They are,

1. Purpose of partition: If there can be a separate country for Muslims, then why not a separate country for Hindus?

2. But is India a Muslim country?

3. Hinduism is a religion of secularism. India has 81% Hindus and that’s the precise reason why we are secular.

4. In the name of secularism, the so-called secularists are defaming Hinduism.

5. Hinduism is getting hit in Russia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even in the countries where the Muslims are minorities. We need a strong Hindu government to stand for our NRI brothers and sisters.

6. If the Muslims feel that they want to live under Sharia law, why are they in India?

7. If you look at some Muslim country which has only 50% Muslim followers, you can see that it believes Islam as the religion of the country.

8. The concept of Hindutva does not denigrate the interest of Minority but gives importance to Hinduism which is the majority and to protect the interest of Hindus across the world.

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1. If there can be a separate country for Muslims, then why not a separate country for Hindus?

History: 
          By kindling various protests & mass murders and by his stubborn attitude, Mr.Jinnah finally managed to create a country for Muslims out of United India. Then followed the mass migration of Hindus from Pakistan to India and Muslims from India to Pakistan. Due to the communal seed that Mr.Jinnah sowed into the hearts of Muslims, countless lives of Hindus were lost. In the name of retaliation, mass murders of Muslims were encouraged and executed in India by Hindu-Fundamentalist groups like RSS.

          Pakistan was later proclaimed as an Islam country. Hindu extremist groups opposed partition but after they understood that it’s inevitable, they started to demand a Hindu Rashtra. Of course their argument was very fair. “We have a problem. Okay, let’s separate. Let this part of India be for Hindus. You take that part and do whatever you want”, fair enough. This is where Mr.M.K.Gandhi comes into picture. He announced that India will be a secular country, and people of any religion can live here peacefully with their religious interests unaffected. The Hindu extremist groups were shocked to hear such betraying words. RSS actively functioned all over India for gaining support of the question which it asked Mr.M.K.Gandhi, “When a separate country is created for Muslims, why not one for Hindus?” RSS believed that Muslims and Islam are alien to India. Mr.Gandhi believed that even a British have his right to live in India, and India cannot be a country for one religion owing to it’s diversity. This ideological conflict prevented the approval of Hindu Rashtra by Mr.Gandhi. Finally Mr.Godse answered Mr.Gandhi through his Beretta M1934. RSS calculated that killing Mr.Gandhi will be the first step in moving towards Hindu Rashtra. But unfortunately, Mr.Gandhi’s death touched the conscience of millions of Indians. Mr.Gandhi was able to achieve many things which few countries failed to achieve even through arms. But still, there was one thing which Mr.Gandhi couldn't completely eliminate. That was the Hindu-Muslim communal riots that became extremely violent after partition. What he couldn’t achieve was achieved by his death. It was finally his death that brought peace. The Hindu Extremist groups would have never expected this side effect. When Mr.Sardar Vallabhbhai too understood the threat that such groups possess, Hindu Rashtra became a distant dream.

Reason:
          How can we define India? First of all, How can we frame a country? How can we regard a country that “Yes, this is a country”? Conventionally a country can be framed by the following ways.
A.Common race(Hitler’s united Germany)
B.Common religion(Israel)
C.Common language(Portugal, Spain)
D.Common enemy, etc.

          But how can we frame India? India has more than five religions, more than 1,600 languages, and mixed races. India only opposed the British Government in India and not the British people. So, the fourth option is also ruled out. Then how can we define it? The more easy it was for other countries to frame themselves, the more difficult it was for India. There were two conventional ideologies on how the ‘Independent India’ should be. One was Mr.Savarkar’s ‘Hindutva’ that arose in 1923, other was Mr.Jinnah’s ‘Islamic Nationalism’ that arose during 1937-38. Both of them were conventional ideologies, influenced by the west. This is where Mr.Gandhi comes into picture. He introduced a third ideology called ‘Secular India’, which is also a western concept but it also consolidated the Indian roots. Gandhi’s secularism was something new, something the world has never seen before. Gandhi’s India was simple. ‘Fortunately or unfortunately you are inside a land mass called India. You have a birth certificate issued by the government of India. Hence, you are an Indian. Whatever religion you follow, whatever language you speak, whatever customs and traditions you follow, you will be called as an Indian’, this was Mr.Gandhi’s revolutionary concept, and is the most practical ideology among the three ideologies that tried to shape Independent India.

2. But is India a Muslim country?

History: 
          Even if we neglect the fact that the ancestors of Hindus also came from outside, we cannot say that post-independent India is a Hindu country. In fact, if we decide our stand based on that point, then logically speaking, all the countries should follow the very first superstitious set of beliefs that the Neanderthals practiced. But one notable point that the Hindu-Rashtra supporters bring out is the time line. “We were here for so long, no one has any physical evidence of our invasion. But we have solid proof that Muslim rulers invaded India through Khyber pass. Also, more than religion, Hinduism is a way of living”

Reason: 
          Okay, let Hinduism is a way of living and let India should be proclaimed as a Hindu-Rashtra. But the question is, how far that idea is feasible and practical. Pakistan was proclaimed as an Islam country. Fortunately or unfortunately India was proclaimed as a secular nation. Millions of Muslims stayed in India just because of the assurance given by one man that they will be given equal rights, and be safe. The secular status of India is a political decision, and we have been like that for 65 years. India has become acclimatised to it’s secularism. Whether the decision of being secular is right or wrong, we have to accept that it happened. Trying to change the past or rewrite the history can end up disastrous. We already have umpteen problems. Replacing secularism will only complicate them. Arguing that Hindu-Rashtra is the only solution may or may not be correct, but it is certainly not practical. We must be clear that the permanent solution to all the problems must emerge from within the bounds of the very fabric of Indian secularism only, and not through the replacement of secularism with another ideology. As of now, India is a secular country, and not a Hindu country, and as a rational and practical human being, we should respect it, whether or not we accept it.

3. Hinduism is a religion of secularism. India has 81% Hindus and that’s the precise reason why we are secular.

Reason: 
          That’s humorous, not because I find a problem with Hinduism, but generally with all the religions in the world. All the religions are theoretically secular, all religions talk about peace. But practically, Christianity miserably failed many times, Buddhism failed during the Sri Lankan ethnic cleansing, and Islam failed at the hands of Jihadis. And there is nothing we can guarantee to backup that Hinduism won’t fail, because it had already failed many times.

History: 
          From the late 19th century till the end of Mr.Tilak era, Bhagavat Gita had been one of the moral boosts for the violent activities of Hindu freedom fighters against the British. Because of the interpretation that Gita spoke violence, the situation went to such an extent that British mercilessly tried to bring the Rowlatt act in 1919. This is the time when Mr.Gandhi comes into picture. He wrote an explanatory book to Bhagavat Gita, and contrasting to all the previous books, he said that Bhagavat Gita spoke about peace. It’s not that Mr.Gandhi spoke the truth and the others didn’t and vice versa, but the way he interpreted Gita is more important and revolutionary. Till date I couldn’t find another person who exploited this reading liberty to such a revolutionary extent. Mr.Gandhi is one of the many Hindu philosophers who brought back the faith on a peaceful version of Hinduism, which prevailed in India till Mr.Gandhi was assassinated. The side effect of the assassination, which RSS didn’t expect, is that the Hindu Rashtra became a distant dream, and the government too didn’t change it’s stand.  All was well and the violent version of Hinduism was dormant until Mr.Rajiv Gandhi provoked it in 1986. Hinduism has a long history, both dark and bright, and calling it secular isn’t helping practically.

4. In the name of secularism, the so-called secularists are defaming Hinduism.

Reason: 
          Yes, pseudo secularism and vote bank politics has become a big problem in India. It’s because of these two that the government didn’t take any severe action against Mr.Owaisi. I am against the religious fundamentalism, be it any religion (and I’m not a communist either).  But yes, there is one point where India needs a body like RSS, which is, tackling Islamic fundamentalism. Also, at the same time, India needs another body to tackle RSS and Hindu fundamentalism, as many RSS members are intellectuals and India has an 80.5% Hindu population. Therefore, I feel that Hindu fundamentalism is a greater threat to the idea of India than Islamic fundamentalism, though both is a threat. At the same time, we must also admit that the vote bank politics alone is not the reason for the increasing pseudo-secularism. See the reason part of point 6 to get some more clarity in this issue.

As I had already mentioned above, millions of Muslims stayed in India just because of the assurance given by one man that they will be given equal rights, and be safe. Though Mr.Gandhi wanted everyone to treat all the regions equally, due to the horrors of partition, he wanted the minorities, i.e., Muslims, to be given priority over Hindus in secular India for some time, for them to feel safe and to make them feel that their decision to move to India or to stay in India was not wrong. Providing this soft corner to Muslims in the name of secularism is like the reservation system, but the difference is that the latter is done constitutionally and former is done ethically. I am aware that anything unconstitutional that plays a significant role in parliamentary Government must be opposed and that’s the precise reason for the opposition of this by many people. How a collateral damage is done to the people belong to OC category because of the reservation system, Hindus and Hinduism are affected to certain extent because of this. But even more sadly, this soft corner has been used as a tool to sustain the vote banks. That’s the problem now. This has to be stopped, like how reservation should be stopped after a point of time. But in a country like India which follows inclusive nationalism, ironically, it’s in the hands of Hindus to make Muslims acclimatised to secular India. One cannot simply argue what the Muslims have been doing for the past 65 years other than getting acclimatised. In independent India, there are Ayodhyas and Godhras happening in the name of retaliation.

5. Hinduism is getting hit in Russia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and even in the countries where the Muslims are minorities. We need a strong Hindu government to stand for our NRI brothers and sisters.

History: 
          After the partition, Mr.Gandhi said, "If I were a dictator, religion and state would be separate. I swear by my religion. I will die for it. But it is my personal affair. The state has nothing to do with it. The state would look after your secular welfare, health, communications, foreign relations, currency and so on, but not your or my religion. That is everybody's personal concern!". This is what I want to be the difference between India and other countries that ignore the religions of the minorities.

Reason: 
          Though the point seems rational, India cannot be the representative nation of the Hindus, as fortunately or unfortunately India has been proclaimed as a secular country, and there is no turning back. I have observed the mindset of few Hindu people in India who feel sorry for an NRI Hindu if something happens to him, but subconsciously don’t feel the same when the same happens to a Muslim in India. Not only Hindus, it’s a common phenomenon all over the globe. Naturally birds of the same feather flock together. But owing to the diversity and vulnerability of modern India, I find the need to stress it. The flock may be ‘India’, but it should not be confined to a religion in secular India. At the same time, one day if the pride of ‘Indianness’ also reach a point of radicalism, I will oppose it. All that is glorified is dangerous.

6. If the Muslims feel that they want to live under Sharia law, why are they in India?

History: 
          A common civil law was not enacted as soon as India became politically independent, as it would’ve made the Indian Muslims inconvenient. The common civil law should have been gradually implemented from time to time, as the Indian Muslims get slowly acclimatized to the post Independent India, but unfortunately it wasn’t enacted. Hence, now the complaints on ‘pseudo-secularism’ has increased. After the riots in Ayodhya and Gujarat, it has now become practically impossible to enact a common civil law. One of the intense 'Post-Gujarat riots' speeches was the speech of VHP president Mr.Praveen Togadia, who asked the public to “abandon Gandhi”(Proof is in the link below). This is where Mr.Gandhi is needed again.
2002 Gujarat Riots Full Documentary - YouTube

Reason: 
          Yes, India should never impose Sharia law in India. India can be a secular country only when we have a common civil law. But we should also look upon whether legally the partiality between people of different religions is at so extreme that the common civil law is being wanted so badly. We already have a nearly common civil law. Predominantly, only during marital issues such controversies arise. Yes, it should be minimized and ultimately it should be eradicated from India, but it takes time. When we argue that some Islam fundamentalists want Sharia law to be imposed in India, we should also understand how insecure they feel amidst the Hindu majority. We can’t just ignore their insecure emotional feeling and superficially oppose them. First step in solving a problem is to accept there is one.

7. If you look at some Muslim country which has only 50% Muslim followers, you can see that it believes Islam as the religion of the country.

Reason: 
          I take this as a complaint against Islam. I wonder how someone believes that a country will become an Islamic country if the Islamic population is on par with the population of another religion. It’s not about the population count, it’s about the proclamation. Pakistan was proclaimed an Islam country, and I’m against the religious proclamation of any country. Had India been proclaimed a Hindu Rashtra, this place would have now become a Hindu Pakistan, and no one would have spoken that Hinduism is a secular religion.

History:
          Like in all religions, there are fundamentalists in Islam too throughout history. In this case, it would be an eye opener if we look upon some of the secular countries with majority Muslim population rather than digging the history. If peace is promoted rather hatred, religions get matured, so are religionists.

8. The concept of Hindutva does not denigrate the interest of Minority but gives importance to Hinduism which is the majority and to protect the interest of Hindus across the world.

Reason: 
          It’s the same as some of the Islamic countries follow. The only thing is that theoretically, “It does not denigrate the interest of Minority but to gives importance to Islam which is the majority and to protect interest of Muslims”. I want to make myself clear again. Religious proclamation of a nation is a threat to peace, be it any religion.

History:
          I am not an ardent follower of Mr.M.K.Gandhi, but I always believe that if there is one person who is most needed in India today, he is Mr.M.K.Gandhi. He was the man who changed the context of 'Secularism' from a philosophical perception to a political discourse. Rejecting the two conventional ideologies, Mr.Savarkar’s Hindutva and Mr.Jinnah’s Islamic nationalism, he proposed a new ideology, about which I have already written above. Mr.Jawaharlal Nehru, who is the administrative face of Mr.Gandhi took forward his ideology and established a firm basement in independent India. The path has been laid, and the solutions to all the problems must emerge only from within this system and not from outside. Replacing a new ideology with Mr.Gandhi’s secular India can end up disastrous.

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          India is experimenting a socio-political system which is totally new to this world. It's the first and it's not going to be the last if we co-operate. 'The Idea of India' should not become a failed experiment. A person who is reading the history of modern India with an open mind can understand it better. We differ in many ways yet we are united by a country. We don't need visas to travel from TN to Maharashtra, where things are entirely different. India is a minor model of a united world. If we make this experiment successful, we can expect a united world in the distant future, where the concept of India will be it's pioneer. What the concept of India have in theory is the most revolutionary reform of modern history. Even if I'm not going to help it become successful, at least I'm not going to disturb it.

          Overlooking the ideology which RSS believes, once upon a time I was an whole-hearted supporter of it because I felt that(I still do) it's the only powerful organisation in India that can tackle Islamic fundamentalism. But when I understood that the base of it is nothing but hatred politics and kindling violence among innocent people by injecting emotional religious elements into them, I came out of the fantasy world and started to think against the definition that it gives for India. Mr.Ramachandra Guha places Hindu fundamentalism as the number one threat to the 'Idea of India' (Second is that of Islam and third is Naxalites) because of the sole reason that India has an 80.5% Hindu population. I agree to his point and therefore I too regard Hindu fundamentalism as a greater threat than Islamic Fundamentalism, though both are threats to the 'Idea of India'. One can observe that I'm repeating that phrase again and again. What's there in it?

          Mr.Jinnah was politically secular in the beginning, Mr.Gandhi started to become politically secular in the middle, and Mr.Nehru was the administrative face of Mr.Gandhi. These three men, along with other well-thinkers once dreamt on how India should be, after Independence. Mr.Rabindranath Tagore called it ‘The Idea of India’. My entire stand on India is based on it. It’s my very foundation, and hence if you want to convince me, I would advise you to try shattering my beliefs on the ‘Idea of India’. To know what the ‘Idea of India’ means, click the below link.
A Nation Consumed By The State - Ramachandra Guha

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Reference articles:
Mr.Modi's Republic Day blog post
Why is Mr.M.K.Gandhi needed today?
2002 Gujarat Riots Full Documentary - YouTube
Devil's Advocate : Indian Muslims have Hindu ancestry: Swamy
How to wipe out Islamic terror – Subramanian Swamy
Islam and secularism
மதச்சார்பின்மையும் காந்தியடிகளும் - அ.மார்க்ஸ்
A Nation Consumed By The State - Ramachandra Guha
What's Left Of Nehru? - Ramachandra Guha
The Modi Mirage
Facebook posts of Mr.Pu.Ko.Saravanan

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Update:
          One of my friends complained that I'm over infatuated with Hinduism. "Why do you mention 'Islam fundamentalists? Why not just 'fundamentalists'?", this was one genuine question raised by him. There are fundamentalists in all religions. I called the fundamentalists who follow Islam as 'Islam fundamentalists'. I used the word Hindutva analogous to Islam fundamentalism because I felt that the term 'Hindutva' itself tend to refer 'Hindu fundamentalism' and 'Hindu nationalism' (either soft or hard). I didn't have any intention to show any partiality by not mentioning 'Hindu fundamentalism'. I got a term for that, I used it, it's as simple as that.

          Yes, I got a lot of responses on why I didn't touch Christianity at all in this post. Few of my friends shared their views based on their atheistic point of view. I'm willing to justify my stand once and for all. I didn't include Christianity or some other religion other than Hinduism and Islam in this post simply because it wasn't necessary in this context. The whole secularism thing bulged up during the partition, and hence all the texts in this article revolve around it. Hence, I didn't find the need to mention them. I saw this article in an atheist point of view yesterday and interestingly I found many flaws in my points.

          The turning point in my stand is when I realised the difference between the definition of secularism from an atheist and the definition of Indian secularism from Mr.Gandhi (I'm not glorifying him, I'm bringing his name here because he was the key person in formulating the political course of India). "Western secularism is to deny religion completely, whereas Indian secularism is to treat all the religions equally." Initially I found it very hard to accept this statement because when I encountered it for the first time, I was an atheist myself. It took a lot of introspection and pages for me to finally accept it. Oh and by the way, I have not become a theist either.

          "India doesn't need Hindutva, Sharia, Gospel or any religion based ideology", I completely agree with it. Had I been an atheist, I would've raised the same questions and remarks what my atheist friends said. Their points are genuine, they reject all religions without any partiality, they question why I didn't write anything about Christianity, that's how an atheist should think. But since I'm not an atheist and since I believe in an India that adopts inclusive nationalism as far as religions are concerned, I consolidated the history of partition as the root for writing this article. This is an ideology conflict. As soon as I realised that the Indian secularism cannot be addressed well from an atheist point of view, I stopped viewing it as an atheist.

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