Every nation must have an identity to be regarded distinct. Even in United States of America, a relatively young nation created by an influx of immigration from diverse countries, scholars have felt the need to define the identity of an American.
The world knew us in these three millenniums not as nomads but as a highly civilized people of one nation of Hindus, who produced exotic goods the world had never seen before and who were hospitable to visitors from abroad. Many travelers such as Megasthenes, Fa Hsien, Yuan Chuang, Marco Polo, Vasco d’Gama, and Mark Twain wrote glowingly about the behaviourial quality of the Hindus, which can be summarised as the Hindu-ness [i.e., Hindutva] of the Indian people.
This Hindu-ness or Hindutva has been our identifying characteristic, by which we have been recognised world-wide. The territory in which Hindus lived was known as Hindustan, i.e., a specific area of a collective of persons who are bonded together by this Hindu-ness. The salience i.e., overriding national identity was given religious and spiritual significance by tirth yatras, kumbh mela, common festivals, and in the celebration of events in the Ithihasa, viz., Ramayana and Mahabharata.
Hindu Rashtra thus defined is a modern Republic today, whose roots are also in the long unbroken Hindu civilisational history. Throughout this history we were a Hindu Republic and not a monarchy [a possible but weak exception being Asoka’s reign]. In this ancient Republican concept, the king did not make policy or proclaim the law. The intellectually accomplished elite in the society, known as Brahmans, framed the laws and state policy, and the King implemented it.
Hindu panth [religion] is however a theology of faith. Even if an Indian has a different faith from a Hindu, he or she can still be possessed of Hindutva. Since India was 100 per cent Hindu a millennium ago, the only way any significant group could have a different faith in today’s India is if they were converted from Hindu faith, or are of those whose ancestors were Hindus. Conversion of faith does not have to imply conversion to another culture or nature. Therefore, Hindutva can remain to be interred in a non-Hindu in India.
Hence, we can say that Hindustan is a country of Hindus and those others whose ancestors were Hindus. Acceptance with pride this reality by non-Hindus is to accept Hindutva. Hindu Rashtra is therefore a republican nation of Hindus and of those of other faiths who have Hindutva in them. This formulation settles the question of identity of the Hindustani or Indian.
Swami Vivekananda defined Hindutva, upon returning from Chicago in 1896 in an address in Lahore as follows:
“Mark me, then and then alone you are a Hindu when the very name Hindu sends through you a galvanic shock of strength. Then and then alone you are a Hindu when every man and woman who bears the name Hindu, from any country, speaking our language or any other language, becomes at once the nearest and dearest to you. Then and then alone you are a Hindu when the distress of anyone bearing the name Hindu comes to your heart and makes you fell as if your own son or daughter were in distress” [Collected Works, vol 3, page 379].
Paraphrasing what Veer Savarkar had said, the following is what he said enlightened Hindus need to tell India’s minorities and others about Hindutva:
“If you come along with us, then with you. If you do not, then without you. If you oppose us, then inspite of you. Hindutva shall prevail”.
And Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya outlined how to modernise the concepts of Hindutva as follows:
“We have to discard the status quo mentality and usher in a new era. Indeed our efforts at reconstruction need not be clouded by prejudice or disregard for all that is inherited from our past. On the other hand, there is no need to cling to past institutions and traditions which have outlived their utility”. This is the essence of renaissance.
Thus, we should invite Muslims and Christians to join us Hindus on the basis of common ancestry or even seek their return to our fold as Hindus, in this grand endeavour as Hindustanis, on the substance of our shared and common ancestry.
The Hindu consciousness that is needed today therefore is that which encompasses the willingness and determination to collectively defend the faith from the erosion that is being induced by the disconnect with our glorious past.
That glorious past in aptly summarised in the writings of Dr.Ambedkar, and his oration in the Constituent Assembly for a strong united country. In his scholarly paper presented in a 1916 Columbia University seminar [and published in Indian Antiquary, vol. XLI, May 1917 p.81-95] Dr. Ambedkar then a mere graduate student studying for a Ph.D. in economics, had stated:
“It is the unity of culture that is the basis of homogeneity. Taking this for granted, I venture to say that there is no country that can rival the Indian Peninsula with respect to the unity of it’s culture. It has not only a geographic unity, but it has over and above all a deeper and much more fundamental unity—the indubitable cultural unity that covers the land from end to end”.
Ambedkar wrote in this vein several such brilliant books, but alas, Nehru and his cohorts so thoroughly frustrated him and electorally humiliated him that in the end bitterness drove him to his sad end. We must honour him now as a great Rajrishi and co-opt his writings as part of the Hindutva literature.
The Hindutva Agenda
First, the concept of Hindustan defines the identity of India. That is, Hindustan is a nation of Hindus and those others who proudly accept that their ancestors are Hindus. Muslims and Christians shall be part of the Hindustan if they accept this truth and revere it. That is the first dimension of Hindutva, that is of a Brihad Hindutva.
Second, Sanskrit and the Devanagari script, in addition to the mother tongue and its script, will one day in the future, be Hindustan’s link language. All the main Indian languages have already a large percentage of their vocabulary common with Sanskrit. Even Tamil which is considered as ancient, has 40 per cent words in common with Sanskrit. The scripts of all Indian languages are derived or evolved from Brahmi script. Hence, the second item of the Hindutva Agenda has to be a commitment to re-throne Sanskrit with Devanagari script as Hindustan’s link language, which is to be achieved through a compulsory 3-language formula of mother tongue, Hindi, and English in all schools, and by a steady Sanskritisation of Hindi’s vocabulary till Sanskritised Hindi becomes indistinguishable from Sanskrit.
Third, Hindus, and those others who are proud of their Hindu past and origins, must learn the correct history of India. That history which records that Hindus have always been, and are one; that caste was not birth-based nor immutable but a code of discipline by choice and adherence. It is irrelevant today and hence sunk by Hindutva. India is a continuum, sanatana. That is, ancient Hindus and their descendents have always lived in this area from the Himalayas to the Indian Ocean, an area called Akhand Hindustan, and did not come from outside; and that there is no truth in the Aryan-Dravidian race theory.
Fourth, the virat Hindutva mindset is to retaliate when attacked. The retaliation must be massive enough to deter future attacks. If terrorists come from training camps in Pakistan, Bangla Desh or Sri Lanka, Hindus must seek to carpet bomb those training camps, no matter the consequences. If 5 lakh Kashmiri Hindus are driven out of the Valley by Islamic terrorists, we must arm and financially equip 10 lakhs of the able-bodied ex-servicemen to go with their families and settle in the former residences of the driven-out Hindus. If Bangladesh permits its population to infiltrate into Hindustan, then our armed forces should annex the northern parts of Bangla Desh [above the line from Khulna to Sylhet] as compensation within the meaning of the Indian Independence Act of June 1947 as passed by the British Parliament to legitimise Partition.
This is virat Hindutva
At this juncture I would like to add a basic axiom that we must always remember. While we may adhere to the principle of Hindu secularism, i.e., sarva pantha sama bhava, we must never forget one fundamental tenet of Islamic behavior: Islam teaches that Muslims must behave differently when in majority from when in strong minority [i.e., if the majority waffles or appeases], and in weak minority [i.e., if the majority is united and clear sighted]. Saudi Arabia is in the first category, termed as Darul Islam. India, UK and Germany is in the second category called Darul Harab. Australia, China, and US is in the third category held to be Darul Ahad or Al Takkiyya. This categorisation applies even within countries. Kashmir is held to be Darul Islam, and hence Hindus have to be driven out or killed as kafirs, or brutalised as dhimmis, their temples razed, and their women publicly raped. Even in Tamil Nadu where Muslims state-wise are less than five per cent of the population, and culturally very close to Hindus, there are 40 Town Panchayats where Muslims are in majority, and there the Muslim psychology undergoes a complete transformation. Thus, what happens in Kashmir happens also in these elected Town Panchayats but in more subdued forms for the hapless minority Hindus of these Towns
There is thus no scope for Muslims and non-Muslims uniting as equals in the political, cultural, or social system in a Darul Islam where Muslims rule. Secular order in India thus is possible only when Muslims are not in power. Thondi, Rasathipuram, and other places prove that the Muslim mind suffers from a dangerous duality—of seeking secularism when out of power and imposing a brutal demeaning theocracy for non-Muslims when in power.
It is this duality that patriotic Hindus must re-shape by modern education and other means, as also retain its demographic overwhelming majority in India. We do not have much time, in fact about 45 years, as the X-graph of statistical regressions estimated by J.S. Bajaj and colleagues shows. ‘X’ represents the two trends—Hindu percentage declining and Muslim percentage rising, and intersecting in the year 2061.
Islam is not only and merely what is stated in the Koran. Islam is a trilogy of Koran, Sira and Hadith. This trilogy defines a “true” Muslim or believer. Therefore those who sing praises of the Koran to prove that Islam is intrinsically humane, have not read the Sira and Hadith. A true hard-core Muslim is Dr.Jekyll when in minority, and Mr.Hyde when in majority.
Fifth, our Hindutva ideology has to be based on Ekatma Manavad or Integral Humanism. Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya recognised as far back as 1965 that the world cannot be a happier place merely by material progress. There has to be a harmonisation of material progress with spiritual development of any human being. This reality has dawned after centuries on Christians and even Communists. No wonder, the Newsweek [August 31, 2009]article states that Americans feel increasingly that they logically “are all Hindus today”.
Thus, the far-sighted Pandit Deendayalji advocated the concept of the ‘Integral Human’, which concept is squarely within the Hindu ethos and based on Hindutva. Ekatma Manavad or Integral Humanism, as he termed it, contrasts this harmonization as it differs from capitalism and communism.
These five items together constitute the Brihad Virat Ekatma Hindutva Agenda, which if followed and sincerely implemented will lead to a bonding that Hindus need today to confront the challenge that Hindu civilization is facing from Islamic terrorists, fraud Christian missionaries from abroad, and a gang of Marxists and Macaulayist intellectuals in the academia and media, who are also aided and abetted by confused Hindus within the country.
(The writer is the President of Janata Party and former Cabinet Minister for Commerce, Law & Justice, Government of India and can be contacted at [email protected])