The short answer to the question is that we must make it happen (i.e., create a Hindu vote bank) to rescue the nation from the quicksand it is in. Hindus are under a siege today from terrorism, religious conversion, state sponsored demolition of Hindu icons, and rubbishing of our hoary history in school and college textbooks.
The Indian nation, as the world knows it, is a nation of a live and unbroken Hindu civilization. That is India'sdistinctiveness today. Otherwise we would be a nation much like Greece, Egypt, and Iraq. Their past glory is in the museums and art galleries, and not visible in the daily life of the people. Pakistan has this problem too because they would like to claim the ancient Indus Valley civilization, e.g., Mohendajaro, Harappa, Taxila as their own, but to do that Pakistanis will have to acknowledge that their ancestors were Hindus, which acknowledgement would undermine their fragile nationhood.
The siege under which the Hindus are today, cannot be lifted and smashed unless those in government are committed to the cause of Hindus. Merely having pious Hindus in power is not enough for this purpose. We have had in the past Hindu-minded leaders in power?e.g., Morarji Desai, Lal Bahadur Shastri, even Indira Gandhi. But they could do little for the Hindu community because they did not come to power on the Hindu vote bank. Those Hindus who voted for them to power did so on issues such as political stability or garibi hatao. But the Muslims and Christians who voted for them did so only because these leaders would not disturb their religious practices such as in civil code, inheritance laws, freedom to convert etc.. Muslims and Christians voted as a national vote-bank while vote of Hindus was fractured, Hindus perceived no threat to their religion nor felt any need for state-sponsoring of Hindu consolidation. Thus Hindus were content with wallowing in past practices of caste, regionalism, and linguistic chauvinism and remain divided. They voted on that basis.
Today Hindus can no more allow their vote to be fractured because Hindus as a whole are under siege. For example, 500,000 Hindus were driven out of Kashmir for no other reason except that they are Hindus, even if in a nation of 83 per cent Hindus; Kanchi Shankaracharya was jailed on a bogus case for no other reason except that the Chief Minister wanted to curry favour with the Vatican disregarding the individual sentiments of 91 per cent Hindus of Tamil Nadu; North-east has undergone an enforced demographic change in favour of Muslims and Christians to help consolidate the minority vote bank and obtain a sanctuary; Darul Islam has been introduced in pockets of the country, in whichever pocket where Muslims are in majority?thus Shariat has been adopted by the J&K Assembly, forcible conversions are being carried out in Thondi (Ramnathapuram District), Melvisharam (Vellore) and 39 other town panchyats in Tamil Nadu; Ramlila cannot be celebrated in Mau (UP) because the Muslim MP of the Muslim majority area finds it an affront to Islam. Muslims are subsidised for travel abroad for Haj, but Hindus going to Kailash in Tibet are not. Hindu temples are taken over by the government and it'shundi funds are given to Muslims and Christians to build mosques and churches. But mosques and churches cannot be similiarly treated. The proven 1,72,000 years old Treta Yuga Rama Setu can be bull-dozed but a defunct mosque in Ayodhya cannot be touched. The list of atrocities against Hindus, just because they are Hindus, is endless. Abroad too, temples are being demolished in Malaysia, Kazakhastan, and Russia. Hindus have been decimated in Bangla Desh, the nation we liberated with our jawans? blood. Hindus are regularly deported from Saudi Arabia because they choose to pray to Hindu gods within their own homes. Such is the impotence of 83 per cent of India against just 15 per cent of Muslims and Christians in the country, and of a nation claiming to be an emerging super power in the world.
How to put an end to this defacto dhimmi status of Hindus ? There are three things that have to be done?first, there must be a party or a front that seeks votes on the issue of restoring Hindus their due place in the destiny of the nation. That means advocating that India must be known as a nation of Hindus, and those who proudly acknowledge that their ancestors are Hindus. That is, India is a Hindu Rashtra and to be known as Hindustan. This inclusive concept of Hindu Rashtra would enable Muslims and Christians to join Hindus by snapping their connection with the nation'sbrief demeaning past of thousand years when Muslim and Christian aggressors from abroad heaped untold and unprintable atrocities on the Hindus. Thus, those who identify themselves with Ghazni, Ghori, or Clive have no place in Hindustan.
Accepting Hindu Rashtra will not mean that they must disown their religion, which in any case no genuine Hindu will ever insist on, but it will open the way for those Muslims and Christians who want to return to the Hindu fold, the religion of their ancestors. Being Hindustani will mean learning the true history of India?that of a nation of mostly indigenous people who rose to great and unprecedented heights in wealth, science and spirituality, but retrograded for a period due to lack of unity and decadence. But at the same time they never capitulated to foreign oppressors. From Udaipur to Hampi to Raigarh to Tirunelveli to Jhansi to Kohima, Hindu icons kept fighting preferring to die than capitulate.
Second, those Hindu authorities who have credibility with the Hindu masses, have to appeal to them to vote for a party that adopts and openly advocates a pre-approved Hindu Agenda. Two such authorities in today'scircumstances are obvious:  the RSS and it'saffiliates which have undisputed and demonstrated national organisations and proven capacity to mobilise the Hindus. Both the Prayag VHP conference [February 10 to 13] and the RSS organised Guruji Centenary Celebration [February 18] should affirm this fact.  The Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha launched by Swami Dayananda Sarasvati with the support of all Jagadguru Shankaracharyas, most mahaman-daleshwars, and peethadhipatis. Swamiji has already made the acharyas adopt a ?Tirupati Declaration? which in effect states that the Hindu dharmacharyas will come out their ashrams and mobilise the people to consolidate the Hindu vote ?since the Hindu vote is sacred?. According to this Declaration, this vote will not be cast for those who work against the Hindu religion.
Third, the Hindu vote bank need target only forty per cent of the 83 per cent Hindus to achieve an absolute majority in Parliament and Legislatures. Fifty per cent of the 83 per cent will enable a two-thirds majority. This fact is important because there are Hindus who lack the required mindset to bond with other Hindus in collective action. They suffer from the pre-Gita Arjuna disease, as Swami Chinmayananda termed it, of nagging doubts and searching for excuses to run away. There are other Hindus who would like to be elected on the Hindu vote but wish to guard their secular and international image. They equivocate and can betray the mandate of Hindus. This is what Guruji said of those who may have vyaktigat charitra but were of no use to the Hindu cause because they lacked rashtriya charitra. We do not need these people in the vote bank since they will dilute the mandate if included. We need those who have no reservation about being a virat Hindu.
Lest the consolidation of Hindu vote be thought of as a diabolical plot of the upper castes to keep their alleged hegemony on Hindu society, effort should be made to co-opt scheduled castes and backward Hindu communities in the vanguard of the leadership of the Hindu vote bank. If encouraged by the Acharyas, then they can be in the forefront of the Hindu movement. The Valmikis in Meerut and the Kurmis in East UP have already demonstrated their capacity to defend Hindus when others were afraid to do so.
Thus the nation needs a Hindu vote bank, as VHP called for in Prayag, and it is the duty of all patriotic Hindus to mobilise for it to come about.
We need, therefore, a Hindu-minded government to set things right. It will not suffice to form a government of Hindus. We have seen that in the past. Moreover, we must ensure that a government formed by a Hindu vote bank in the future does not fritter away the mandate because of personal reasons or advancement. The Hindu-minded leaders thus elected should be clean and unafraid to implement a Hindu agenda without being apologetic, and without procrastination. Such a wobbly Hindu leadership will be worse for the cause than pseudo-seculars in power.
(The writer is President, Janata Party and a former Union Law Minister.)