RSS Sah Sarkaryavah Dr Krishna Gopal released two books—“Samajik Samarasata aur Hindutva” and “Dattopant Thengadi Jeevan Darshan” at the recently held New Delhi World Book Fair. Panchjanya editor Hitesh Shankar had a lengthy discussion with him on the issues of social harmony and Hindutva during the release of both these books published by Suruchi Prakashan, New Delhi. Excerpts:
How do you describe the two words, ‘Samarasata’ and ‘Hindutva’ that have been in vogue?
The Hindu society has been in continuous conflict with the foreign aggressors for about 1,500 years. These
aggressors even mingled in the society here. The society here was defeated many a times, which generated many evils in the society. Following those evils a section of the Hindu society started even looking at its own brethren differently. Due to it, those estranged brethren started shrinking within their own cocoons and hence, the sense of untouchability got established in the Hindu society in the last 1400 years. No reference of this is found in any philosophy before that. It is seen nowhere during Bhagwan Buddha's time or in the Upanishadas. It emerged within last 1,500 years. Today, the country is Independent, but even before the Independence people had started standing up against untouchability. We continued the struggle to reject the sense of discrimination and untouchability in the society with much effort. The same struggle is the one to restore Samarasata (harmony). It is not that the RSS started it. Even Kabir, Ravidas, Guru Nanak Dev and many other great personalities said the same thing–stop the differences of castes, higher-lower and small or big. Swami Vivekananda, Maharshi Dayanand also did the same thing. RSS too is now doing the same thing. The objective is to remove the vices in the society that have creept during the last 1000-1500 years and restore harmonious life. An easy word that is used to describe that thing is Samaras Jeevan (harmonious life). That is why RSS has used this word. RSS looks at the entire society with affinity. We never accept any practice based on caste differences.
Now come to the word ‘Hindutva’. The words in the society which have been following eternal traditions for thousands of years have been changing. The people here were sometimes called Arya or sometimes Sanatandharmis. However, it has become a nature to call the entire society here as Hindu. It is also true that the people here do not use any specific name to describe them. After the invasion of Islam, a division between the aggressors and others took place. The Hindu community was forgotten in between. However, for us, all those who follow the Sanatan traditions are Hindus. We consider someone Hindu who follows the noble ideals and theories of the Sanatan tradition, those theories and those philosophies as Hindutva. We call all the philosophies and thoughts born on the land of this country, who treat everyone equal, respect them and pray for their welfare, as Hindutva.
We do not find the synonyms of both these words in English and ‘Hindutva’ is written as ‘Hinduism’. Are the Hindutva and Hinduism same?
The word ‘ism’ has come from the western world. ‘Ism’ means a person gives a theory or a thought and all enter into a groove from where they cannot come out. The thing that we call Hindutva has no such groove. It also does not have any outline boundary, because anyone can provide a new thought in it or make a new addition to it. Therefore, there is a stream of the Sanatan Parampara. This stream goes on without break, newer things get added, new discoveries are made, it encourages the newer discoveries, it accepts new thoughts and also respects them. We call this same uninterrupted stream as Hindutva, Hinduness or Hindutva, but not any ‘ism’. When you call it an ‘ism’, there comes a blueprint juxtapose to some other point of view. Then comes a framework, a border, a definition and one has to remain confined to those fundamental postulates. Marxism, Socialism or Capitalism are all ‘isms’. Likewise, when somebody says Christiansim or Islamism, there is some definite thought behind it. They cannot be changed. One cannot add anything to it, neither can one criticise it. But Hindutva allows all this. That is why Gandhiji says – Hindutva means the constant search for truth. This search must not end. Maharshi Dayananda explains it in a better way, while Swami Vivekananda explains it in a different way. Adi Shankaracharya, Upanishadas, Bhagwan Buddha or Bhavwan Mahavir too explain it and thousands of
people explain the same truth in their own way. This
continuity or the eternal flow of adding newer and better things is called Hindutva. It has not been started by any one person or is not based on any one book. It has no fixed
definition. The welfare of the humanity and the entire
universe is its sole basis. Any thought coming from this will shed the light of Hindutva. This is why we said Hindutva is the name of a continuous process. Hindutva is the name of a process that goes on uninterrupted.
The nation celebrated the birth centenaries of two great personalities– Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and third RSS Sarsanghachalak Balasaheb Deoras. If we look at the political and social circles we find the political divisions into factions and social divisions into castes are reality. How do you see the politics and caste differences?
See, it is true that the caste differences are a bit deeper in the entire country, because caste has become everything for a person. However, it is wrong to differentiate someone on the basis of one’s caste, birth or look at one as higher or lower. This is an evil. Yes, when this system came into being, it must have been the need of that time. We do not know what nature it had. But it is certain that it is impractical today. However, some individuals have their vested interests or political motives. They think if they appeal in the name of castes, the people of their castes would support them. Thus, they speak of the caste in an exaggerated tone and try to create their vote bank on the basis of caste. This is not good for a healthy democracy. A person should be selected or elected as per his/her eligibility and qualities. Just think, while choosing a Parliamentarian, it is the people's responsibility to choose someone who is worthy. It means nothing from which caste he/she comes. The important thing is how much educated he is, what is his eligibility, how sensitive he/she is to the society, how is his nature for thinking about welfare of the society, how steadfast he/she is in his work and how dedicated he is to the truth or how honest he/she is. However, unfortunately, the political atmosphere in the country today is filled with castes. This is not good. And this is why Deendayalji, who was in Jan Sangh but was a RSS swayamsevak, presented his own example. He was contesting Lok Sabha election from Jaunpur. The people there said, ‘Panditji, the people of your caste are in majority here. So, have a meeting with them, you will win the election’. Deendayalji said, “Rather than sitting with my caste people and saying them to vote for me because I belong to their caste, I would prefer losing the election”. He never went to any such meeting and lost the election. Seeking votes in the name of one's caste is never an
honourable thing for democracy in any way.
Balasaheb Deoras was not a political personality. He led a social-cultural organisation. He also strove all his life that an individual should be honoured because of his or her
qualities, achievements and capabilities. Every kind of
discrimination, animosity, sense of high and low, touchability and untouchability, big or small should end in our society. He struggled throughout his life for it. Going to a person’s house from any caste, coming forward to resolve a problem from any community members. Appealing to RSS members all over the country to go to those colonies where other people do not go.. The society should be harmonious and united. Balasahebji tried to curb caste differences and animosity from the society, while Deendayalji did it in both the social and political fields. Hence, it is indeed in fitness of things that while celebrating the birth centenaries of both these great leaders we tried to curb this vice in the society.
Once, there was Varna system. Today, there is class one or class four services in the government system. Can there be a philosophy to ensure that no one is subjected to the exploitation based on one’s designation in the government and social system? Secondly, it is the age of globalisation. Can this philosophy be accepted by all, even outside Bharat?
In the ancient time and during the Vedic period also we had Varna system. However, it must also be noted as to what the condition was for one to become a Rishi. Even women are Rishis in the Rigveda. They have given Vedic mantras. There are Surya, Savitri, Ghosha, Apala, Vaivaswati and Indrani. Among the male Rishis, Mahidas and Kavash Elush were Shudras. They were great scholars. They have given many Vedic mantras. They had a stature among Rishi
tradition even after being born in the Shudra clan. During those times, there were Varnas but they were not by birth. Anybody could be Rishi if he or she had the qualities to be so. This system got degenerated with the passage of time. The stature of an individual was decided on the basis of one’s qualities, actions and capabilities. Today, different types of groups are being formed all over the world. Teacher is a group of those who instil values among the children. They should have the same conduct as they expect from the children. There is a group of workers. There are good engineers, doctors and administrative officers, they have their own groups. Now there are not four, but six groups. However, what is the fundamental thing? Parmatma, Ishwar, soul or Supreme being – whatever we call it – existing in all of us is common to all. It does not recognise the differences. Someone is the King, someone is Minister while another one is a shopper. Someone is a labourer. There should not be any difference between any of them. A family has four sons. If one of them studies well, one does good trade and one is less educated and does farming, how will the mother treat them? How does the father treat them? All of them are cared for equally. If someone is weak and sick, he/she is looked after with special care by all. Classes may be formed in the society according to the actions, responsibility, capabilities, etc but there should be no discrimination. All humans are equal. They may be in any corner of the world. Thinking like whether one is black, white, yellow, long, dwarf, learned, illitearte, rich or poor should be forgotten all should be treated as equal. One who did not get an opportunity could not study. I know that when I was studying, the children living in my neighbourhood also studied with me. Later on, when their family condition was not good, they could not continue their studies. They studied till fifth or sixth class and were engaged in any job. I got the opportunity, I studied till higher level, those children could not. So they became labourers. Discrimination on the ground of having or not having an opportunity is not all tolerable. The level of a society can be gauged from the fact how it treats its members. That is why we should treat all classes with respect. Everyone has been created by the same Supreme Power, God. The Bharatiya philosophy considers all humans in the universe as one through this profound principle. It is the philosophy that alone can end all
differences whether region, castes, countries, language, dialects, body composition, or any other.
Communism considers the society into two distinct classes – exploiters and exploited. It speaks only about the economic aspect. Can there be any other aspect of this classification?
It is true that Marxism gave a theory that the world has only two classes – the haves and the have-nots. We know that there is a discrimination, but can this discrimination create equality through strife? What does the philosophy and thought of Bharat say? Buddha was born in a Royal family. He left the Royal family when he had the understanding. He wore simple clothes and took a begging bowl. He roamed through the villages and countries. What message did he give through his life? He says that one who is poor is ours. Learn to give him something. The Kings open their treasures, the affluent open their chests. Give something to others on the basis of kindness, affinity and sensibility. Whatever I have is not mine, it is God’s, it is of the society and everyone.
Gandhiji was an educated person, a good Barrister. He left the practice, wore simple clothes, roamed all over the country and gave a message to help others as much as possible. There is difference between taking with a struggle or with love. The Bharatiya philosophy accepts love and not strife, kindness and not hatred. This philosophy has the capability to avoid any type of strife. Therefore, though many people followed the Marx's theory, but many countries have come out of it during last 50-60 years after finding it impractical. Countries like Yugoslavia, Hungary, Bulgaria and Romania have said no to Marxism.
Hence, the society will attain happiness not in struggle, but in love. This is the country of Buddha, Mahavir, Gandhi, Vinoba or the country of kindness, understanding, coordination, peace, faith and spirituality. The same fact will generate understanding not only in Bharat but also in the entire world. This is our universal responsibility.