– By Vinayak Ambekar
It is well accepted fact that the Hindutva movement is facing various challenges since last many years. These challenges are from both the sides from within and from out side forces. It is also important to note that though Hinduism is very ancient religion the Hindutva movement gathered force only in early 19th century and out of compelling situations. Before the invasion of Arabs and Muslims some Hindu kings had established Hindu kingdoms having pan India presence. After that the approx.700 years of Islamic rule and 200 years of colonial rule in India saw resistance from various Hindu Kings and warriors but they were hardly united and were fighting in the name of their individual dynasties.. At the fag end of the Muslim empire the great Maratha warrior king Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and the great Rajput warrior king Maharaja Rana Pratap had vision to establish pan India hindu kingdoms. They gave tough fight to the Mughal Emperors. But they were deceived by some Hindus on many times and due to this they could not drive out or defeat the Muslim invaders completely.
Then the British colonial rule was established in India which continued for nearly 200 years. Under the British rule their governors followed the policy of divide and rule. Hindu religion in those days was taken over by orthodoxy and the Chaturvarnya system. This cast system prevalent in Hindus divided them in upper and lower casts and many sub casts. The Chaturvarnya system divided Hindus in four groups and in practise the system was exploited by the upper cast Hindus to their advantage and the lower cast Hindus were forced to suffer inhuman treatment in the hands of upper cast Hindus. Hence through out these 900 years the Hindus in India were religiously persecuted in one way or other. But due to the internal cast divide Hindus could never get united. This divide was a major hindrance in the Hindu unity against the British empire or against religious persecution at the hands of Muslims. The British and other colonial rulers exploited this divide in the Hindu religion to their utmost advantage and ruled India for 200 years.
In the pre independence era and in the last 30 years of the British Rule Hindus suffered a big deal of religious persecution at the hands of Muslims. The most gruesome incidences were during the Malabar rebellion in the Malabar region of Kerala which was part of the Madras presidency of the British Government. Started as a peasants movement against the prevalent land laws soon it was transformed in to a war to establish Caliphet in the entire region and hence it is also known as Khilafat Movement. The issue was going on for many years and at the thick of the movement many Hindus mostly Namboothiris & Nairs were brutally massacred by the Mopala Muslims. Though the official figures are very less the estimate is around 10000 Hindus were killed in the entire period. Mahatma Gandhi under the influence of his weirdest dream of Hindu Muslim Unity had tried to glorify the Malabar movement as part of Non Cooperation movement against the British Rule and overlooked the Hindu Massacre. Many Hindu leaders like Swami Shraddhanand of Arya Samaj condemned this and wrote about this massacre. But as the Hindus were not organised those days no proper relief was provided to those Hindu families who suffered in those days. Swatantrayaveer Vinayak Damodar Sawarkar was deeply hurt by the massacre of innocent Hindus during Malabar movement. He also wrote a book titled as ” Moplyache Band” in Marathi language. He felt the need of a force to protect Hindus. He had conceptualised the term Hindutva and elaborated the term in his famous book “Hindutva “.
The major challenges before Hindutva are discussed hereunder –
– Misunderstanding Hindutva as Hinduism :– Savarkar ji described Hindutva as a socio-political force to protect Hindus from foreign influences. He for the first time explained that Hidutva is different from Hinduism. Savarkar ji made it clear that Hinduism was only a derivative of Hindutva. Hindutva had nothing to do with religion or rituals. The term in English which came closest to the term Hindutva was perhaps Hinduness. Hinduism is an open ancient religion which is full of various contradictory ideas evolved over this many years and presented and practised by its followers at various times. Hinduism shows ways for attaining salvation by every individual and does not propagate a union of or organising it’s followers. Due to the diverse beliefs and practices, various sects and sub sects evolved over the time and existing in this Sanatan Dharma a misunderstanding between Hindus have become a fact for many years.
Hindutva on the hand values only three essential things in a Hindu. The first- a common nation ( rashtra ), they belong to a common nation which they consider as their father land. The second-a common race ( jati ), they should belong to common ancestors. And The Third- a common Civilisation/Culture ( Sanskruti ).Hindutva does not consider religion of any one as an essential thing for being a Hindu. Hindutva is an inclusive idea, it includes all those who belong to our nation, whose ancestors belong to our nation, who inherit our culture as Hindus irrespective of their religion, faith, cast or creed.
Hindutva by it’s detractors is often described as a movement by the upper cast people and restricted to only those who are born as Hindus. They create a misunderstanding about the Hindutva movement as being a movement to re-establish a rule of Sanatan Dharma which they describe as dominated by and for the benefit of only Upper Cast Hindus mainly Bramhins. They selectively target the illiterate and downtrodden hindus and try to create a fear amongst them about the movement of Hindutva by misquoting historical events.
Solution:- This fear mongering done by adversaries of Hindutva is a great challenge indeed. At first we all shall properly understand the difference between Hindutva and Hinduism. There are some organisations and individuals who may be working for propagate Hinduism or their particular Religion, Sect or Sub Sect. We should not get involved in their particular work but instead convince them for the broader work of propagating Hindutva. We think that we all should counter this by any which ways it is possible. We can use social media platforms for disseminating the factual/real information and create a forceful counter narrative. Additionally all of us should do this through an individualised campaign also.
– Political and Media campaign against Hindutva – After the remarkable victory of Bhartiya Janaa Party in the 2014 & 2019 General Elections all opposition parties have become worried about their future on the political scene of India. They all believe that the B.J.P received the spectacular success in 2014 and in 2019 elections due to the Hindutva forces. I will not comment on the correctness of that belief but in reality due to this understanding of all the opposition parties they have become staunch opponents of Hindutva ideology. In their public statements they say that they are not against Hindus but they oppose the Hindutva movement of present days. But I don’t think they are pro Hindus either. Many of these parties including Indian National Congress, Trinmool Congress, Janata Dal, Rashtriya Janata Dal, Nationalist Congress Party, Bahujan Samaj Party, Communist Parties have done minority appeasement openly through this many years and some of them are still brazenly doing it. So they are openly anti Hindu and we all Hindutva forces shall remember that always.
The present dispensation of Mr. Modi has also stopped the power broking and exchange of favours and distribution of fringe benefits to the elite circle of journalists, media persons, actors, authors, academics, communist intellectuals, high ranking retired bureaucrats & judges, big industrialists in New Delhi. All the above listed people with all other page- 3 type Lyutians of New Delhi and all such others through out India are feeling dejected and for their own egos and petty self interests are opposing Mr. Modi tooth and nail. They have intellectual resources world over and can create any logic for or against any decision, event or happening in India. These people always try to project themselves as very rational & liberal intellectuals. For this self projection they always demean the Hindutva forces. If any stray incident of violence against cow trafficker happens they will start blaming the present dispensation along with all hindutva forces. They will always blame all hindutva forces for all local incidences. These people have an fixed agenda to defame hindutva and for this they always cross all limits.
The problem of both these groups Political parties, media persons and communist intellectuals is they want to acquire and retain political power by rubbishing Hinduism and thereby dividing the Hindu society into ‘good’ and ‘bad’ Hindu. The Hindu is ‘good’ if he is submissive even in the face of rampant abuse because his perennial virtue is ‘tolerance’. But when he rejoins or fights back for his values, he is branded as ‘Hindutva Fanatic’, ‘bad’, ‘exclusivist’ Hindu. They have become aware of awakening of Hindus so they say we are not against Hindus but Hindutva. Because they want submissive Hindus but feel threatened by Hindutva forces who fight for their just rights. This convoluted argument amounts to this-“Allow us to denigrate you and we accept you. However, if you rebut our attack on your basics (values, beliefs, symbols, heroes), we call you ‘fundamentalist’, ‘fascist’ and hence retrograde”. In post independence India during 1960 to 1980 this anti Hindu brigade was so powerful that people used to avoid mentioning that they were Hindus. So some Hindutva organisations had to run a campaign titled ” Garv se kaho hum hindu hai “. It received a huge response from Hindus and the rest is history. Still all these years this anti Hindu brigade is continuing their anti Hindu campaign for protecting their own vested interest and for vote bank politics.
Solution :- Normally we Hindus are tolerant, god fearing, non violent persons. Through our generations we are born and brought up like that. So when a person of social standing opines on a certain issue we tend to believe him or her. This is our normal tendency and we do not investigate the reason behind his/her intentions, connections, vested interests behind his/her thoughts. In reality as a Hindu we do not care for other Hindus also. We are a crazy race on this earth which is not aware of self interest of our religion. So the first thing is we all should become aware of interest of Hindus. Then we should make all Hindus from which ever faith, cast or creed he/she may be about protecting the interest of all Hindus that is all Indians who love India. This can be done through social media, one to one contacts, through various group awareness programs and all ways possible. ( Contd. in Part-2)