What is HINDUTVA ?

Hinduism is the foundation of the country called India. Without Hindutva, India would be lost. India is the holy land where countless sages and incarnations have trod and made the land sacred. From north to south and east to west, we find divergent cultures, customs and languages. The one thing that holds the entire country together is Hinduism. Even today the Vedas are chanted in Kanya Kumari and Kashmir the same way they were chanted more than ten thousand years ago. The religion has crept into every form of art and science found in the country. Hinduism did not make a distinction between religion and science and thus you find that every great discovery made in India, every piece of art and music is coloured with the brush of Hinduism. To banish Hindutva would be to kill India and everything Indian. Every country has its own karma and its own part to play in world history. The role of India is to give the correct interpretation of spirituality and the correct concept of God. This is a gift given to India by the ancient sages of India called the rishis. This gift was not meant for India only. They expected Indians to give it to the world.

The last ten years were the dark ages of Hinduism and therefore of India. Brandishing the slogan of secularism, Hindus were put down and the minorities wooed at the cost of destroying an ancient tradition which has stood the test of time. What is secularism? There has never been a need to teach secularism to the Hindus. Hinduism has accepted and incorporated all religions and all creeds in the folds of its loving arms. The very fact that there are so many Christians, Jews and Muslims in India today is due to the secularism of Hinduism, which saw no reason to stop anyone from worshipping God according to their own wish. The Hindus welcomed all the people who came to their shores, but instead of being grateful for this, the conquerors decided to convert their hosts, pervert their culture and teach them to despise their own unique civilisation.

The last ten years were the dark ages of Hinduism and therefore of India since the government saw it fit to leave out everything that was considered Hindu and therefore anti Indian! Under the banner of secularism, huge amounts of land belonging to Hindu temples were given to Christians and Muslims to build their own places of worship. The RSS was the only organisation which continued to work staunchly to upkeep the fading health of Hinduism. When Madrasas came up in hundreds, no one was blamed for Islamic fundamentalism. When conversions were going on in every state there was no talk of Christian fundamentalism. The RSS however, which was the only genuine Hindu organisation, was condemned as being anti-secular, anti-nationalistic and fundamentalist. Even the Hindus joined the witch hunt and hounded them since they wanted to appear to be tolerant! Who or what is a Hindu fundamentalist? There is no such thing, since the Hindus have never objected to living alongside any other religion or creed.

What the Hindutva activists demanded, especially after India was partitioned and seven million Hindus and Sikhs were ethnically cleansed from Pakistan and Bangladesh, was that India be allowed to represent its Hindu past. The one thing they questioned is why when Pakistan became a Muslim state, filled with Muslim nationalist and Islamic parties and suppressed the minorities especially the Hindu minorities, did the one Hindu majority state in the world have to be multi-cultural and “so called secular” with suppression of the majority and wooing of the minorities? They also advocated for Hindi as the national language and greater reverence to the country’s Hindu past; they were active against the slaughter of cows, and other issues. And for this they have been branded as Hindu fundamentalists. To banish Hindutva would be to kill India and everything Indian.

Why does a secular state not have a common civil code? Why are Muslims allowed to marry four times whereas all Hindus have to live under a secular legal system? These are the questions raised by the RSS which have been conveniently ignored by the government.

Young people in India today, growing up in a rapidly globalizing cultural environment, are accustomed to diverse, multi-religious coexistence in India. Young Hindus see themselves as part of a great Hindu heritage, and value it not just for its ancient glory, but also because they see its spirituality as being the core of their belief in coexistence and respect for all religions. If Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains and all the different kinds of Hindus divided by language, custom, caste and history still share a land and history so deeply, they know it is not simply because of India’s secular constitution, but because of Hinduism’s ancient legacy of respecting all faiths. There is a new sense of wanting to be Indian, and a Hindu, in India’s young that is very different from the simplistic Hindu nationalist rhetoric we saw two decades ago.

Let us pray to God that the new government led by a proclaimed Hindu like Narendranth Modi will re-establish the Hindu way of looking at the world. This is not about Hindu nationalism or secularism, but the promise of a universal good which is the great gift the rishis gave to Hinduism – “Loka samasthath Sukhino bhavantu”- let the whole world be happy! Let all Hindus all over the world unite to pray for such a happy state of affairs, both in India and the world.

Hari Aum Tat Sat.

writer
Mata Devi Vanamali, Spiritual Master

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