By Vasundhara Raje
Ideology understandably has to be dynamic. Yet, it cannot be amorphous and fluid but has to have a skeleton of core values that would be the guiding principles. It is this skeleton of our ideology that makes the Hindutva movement uniquely suited to take this nation to the future.
Ideology is a term that came into vogue at the end of the 18th century. Destutt de Tracy'sElemens d?ldeologie of 1801-15 and the writing by Karl Marx and Fredrich Engels of The German Ideology in 1845-6 (to its publication in 1922) and Das Kapital, introduced the modern political thinker to the term. The various forms of governments in the modern world have been powered by some form of ideology.
This doctrine of common ownership and democratic control of the means of production as a panacea has been proven wrong as the facts of social and political life do not necessarily agree with socialist (or for that communist) theory. The former Soviet Union is no longer in existence and China too is far removed from Communism with entrepreneurship and market economy driving it to prosperity.
At the dawn of Independence, the nation was styled to be a sovereign, socialist, secular democratic republic with development as its ideology. This Nehruvian vision remained unfulfilled and over the passage of time, has mutated far beyond what perhaps was envisaged by the founding fathers. Three events have irrevocably transformed India? the rise of the ?backward classes?, the alternative definition of secularism and economic liberalisation. India'sfeudal polity has seen changes which have led to disruptions in established pecking orders. Regional aspirations have seen the emergence of regional political parties who command attention even in the national canvas. The strikingly strange part of the landscape is that the same party, which while in the Centre takes a certain line on issues affecting the country, adopts a different line on the same issue, when in the State. Thus, it is clear that circumstances modulate ideology which in turn, affects polity.
Ideology understandably has to be dynamic. Yet, it cannot be amorphous and fluid but has to have a skeleton of core values that would be the guiding principles. It is this skeleton of our ideology that makes the Hindutva movement uniquely suited to take this nation to the future. When we look at our neighbouring countries, we have two Islamic republics, a Hindu Kingdom and Sri Lanka?who irrespective of events, have preserved the ?Sinhala? identity. Why is it that the ?liberal? world points fingers if the majority of this country unapologetically want to preserve the age old traditions of ?Bharat??
We, who believe in the ideal of Hindutva, are proud of cultural nationalism as the binding force. Cultural nationalism is tempered by a unique mix of Kabir and Meera, Khusrau and Ghalib, of Holi and Eid and Christmas. To perceive the grievances and aspirations of the majority of the country as ?anti- minority? is incorrect. We are not anti- minority. We are indeed anti ?minority appeasement?. The Constitution of this country, to which we all swear allegiance, never indicated that the Aligarh Muslim University should be a minority institution. The Allahabad High Court in all its sagacity struck this status down recently.
World over, never a question is raised about the authenticity of the claims regarding the Church of Nativity or the Wailing Wall. This is because, in matters of faith, verifiable, empirical or historical authenticity get to play a secondary role. Why then is the birthplace of Lord Rama questioned for its authenticity? The place Hindus have given to Mathura, Kashi and Ayodhya are matters of faith and should be respected by all.
Cutting across political affiliations, we all agree that Kashmir is as much India as is Kanyakumari. We all agree on the irrevocability of the Instrument of Accession. In the interest of good relations, we agree to negotiate with our neighbour on how to peacefully get back what is ours. What is so wrong in the laws that govern the rest of the country that they do not apply in entirety to Kashmir?
In today'sIndia, men and women generate a host of goods and services with equal productivity. When the women of this country look for gender justice and equality, and ask for a common civil code, the demon of religious exclusivity is invoked. Not having a common civil code expressly violates the letter and spirit of Article 44 of the Constitution of India. Article 44 is a part of Directive Principles of State Policy and was incorporated by the founding fathers, because they felt that the principle underlying was the same as that for the freedom struggle. John Rawls wrote in his celebrated work A Theory of Justice ?Laws and Institutions on matter, however, efficient and well arranged must be reformed, or, abolished if they are unjust.?
It is a matter of faith that the cow is important to a community. It is a matter of science, that the utility of the cow as a draught and as a milch animal is unsurpassed. It is a matter of prudence that animal husbandry should be promoted, especially in a country where most of agriculture is rainfed. It is a matter of respect to Article 48 of the Constitution that cow slaughter should be banned.
To govern a large and populous country where aspirations and requirements of various socio-economic strata have to be taken into account, the greatest good of the greatest number would have to take precedence over selective beneficiation. It is natural that various congregations – ethno-linguistic, educational, religious and political would have different ideologies. Understanding them and looking for ways to assimilate them in the broader fabric of society and polity is what governance is all about. However, it is important that ideology evolves with times, along with the dynamics of popular aspirations and a myriad of controlling factors that define the course of economy.
(The author is the Chief Minister of Rajasthan.)