Swatantrya Veer Savarkar was a fearless freedom fighter, social reformer, historian and more so the author of the book Hindutva, first edition of which was published in 1923. The word ?Hindutva? was his discovery in order to express the cultural, historical, national and religious aspects of the Hindu race. The principles enunciated in the book will guide Hindus and non-Hindus of this country for centuries to come. London Times rightly styled Savarkar as father of Hinduness. The outcome of his profound knowledge of the Vedas, the Puranas, the epics, the history of the world, and his approach through the understanding of the Hindu race, religion and polity ever since the Vedic period resulted into the below-mentioned definition regarding who can be called Hindu:
?Aa Sindhu Sindhu paryanta, yasya Bharat bhumika;
Pitrubhuh punyabhushchaiva sa vai Hinduriti smritah.?
Hindu is he who looks upon the land that extends from the Indus to the seas as the land of his forefathers, who has a common blood and who pays homage to his/her great culture and civilisation. Hindu code defines the term in a negative form however the denotation of the term it gives is exactly the same as Savarkar”sanalysis.
The Hindutva means Hindu nationality, belongings to the Hindu race and the Hindu sanskriti (culture) accomplished by Hindu race. It is not to be mistaken with Hinduism, which is generally associated with the particular religious dogma but Hindutva will cover all the theocratic dogmas and embraces all the departments of thought and activity of the whole Hindu race.
In spite of differences among the sects in Hindu community composed of the Sanatanis, the Arya Samajis, the Sikhs, the Brahmos, the Jains, and several other Vedic or non-Vedic constituents, there was a golden thread of bonds of a common fatherland, ties of blood, a common culture, civilisation, common heroes, common history, and above all, the will to keep them united that is Hindutva. Sapta Sindhu had been mentioned as Hapta Hindu in the Avesta by the ancient Persian people; the Greeks named them Indos, Europe or America said Hindus or Indians, Huen-tsang who lived so long with us, called Shintus or Hintus.
Before the ancient Egyptians and Babylonians, people residing along the holy waters of Indus, had built their magnificent civilisation. They, while spreading out to the farthest of the Sapta Sindhus (seven rivers), developed a sense of nationality and took to themselves the name of Sapta Sindhus, an epithet that was applied to the whole of the Vedic India in the oldest records of the world. Later the Prince of Ayodhya made a triumphant entry in Sri Lanka and brought the whole land under one sovereign from the Himalayas to the seas, knitting all together as mentioned in Vishnu Purana.
In the political developments of communications with the outsiders, the great and divine missions made India the very soul of almost all the then known world. Thousands of pilgrims from distance poured into this country while thousands of scholars, preachers, sages and saints went from this country to all the then known world. Unfortunately, many shortcomings were proved fatal to then Buddhist power in India. Many people in Bhiku”sdress changing India”ssword for rosary and the governance to the vows of ahimsa (non-violence) enabled some foreign Buddhist powers including China to advantage through invasion over India with an express national and religious aim in view. This has probably resulted into downfall of Indian Buddhist Kingdoms.
After such devastation, Hindus had to reopen the mines of Vedic fields. Vikramaditya and Lalitaditya drove away the foreigners and brought back glory of Vedas. With the boundaries of Indus, sea, Himalayas and Brahmaputra River, commingling of races grew and a new nation described as Sindhusthan or Hindusthan superseding other names was born. Sanatanis, Satnamis, Sikhs, Aryas, Anaryas, Marathas, Madrasis, Brahmins and Panchamas all suffered as Hindus and triumphed as Hindus. The irresistible foreigners were conquered and were driven away beyond Indus. Unfortunately in a later period India had to face invaders: Arabs, Baluchis, Tartars, Turks and Mughals. We all know the history how Mughals came to throne and Rajputs, Marathas and Sikhs fought for the survival of the nation.
At this period, after the rise and fall of Buddhism, the regional languages were developed and Sanskrit declined. The eldest daughter of Sanskrit, Hindi or Hindustani became the pedestal of our national tongue. From Sri Lanka to Kashmir, the whole life of the nation was brought into a harmony. The story of Ramayana and Mahabharata alone brought us together and welded us into a race even if we were scattered anywhere globally. The names of Ashok, Bhaskaracharya, Panini, Kapil, etc leave us all electrified with a sense of personal elevation. The works of art, architecture, science and technology are also a common inheritance of our race whether Vedic or non-Vedic. We have laws, festivals, and rituals in common.
The majority of the Indian Mohammedans and Christians love the land as their fatherland; since many of them were converted, they naturally inherit Hindu blood; but they may be called Hindus if they adopt India as their holy land and own civilisation instead of following the new cult belonging to a cultural unit altogether different from the Hindu one.
Patriotic Bohra or Khoja community love our land as their fatherland; they possess Hindu blood; love our history, worship our ten avatars only adding Mohammad as the eleventh; their community is subject to Hindu laws. They follow three essentials of Hinduness with minor variation and hence they can be recognised as Hindus.
Sister Nivedita or Annie Besant adopted our land as their fatherland, the second essential of Hinduness, the common blood of Hindu parentage may be absent with them but the third important qualification of Hinduness did entitle them to be recognised as Hindu because they had adopted our culture and come to adore our land as their holy land.
Hindutva for future development
Hindutva, the soul of India, is an abstract value system kept developed during last over forty centuries through the thinking, living, fighting and martyring of prophets and poets, lawyers and law-givers, heroes and historians. Hindutva or Indianness is a samskara (an impression), secular mindset and a way of life practised and preserved in larger or lesser degrees by all Hindus or non-Hindus living in India or migrated elsewhere. Under the changed circumstances, Hindutva will bind all Indians in a common thought for the upbringing of the country.
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