“Hindutva” first coined by a bengali bhadralok writer Chandranath Basu in 1892. Ever Since “Hindutva” or “Hinduness” got epitomised in a book, over the time it has been hijacked by communal political aspirants, has crossed the first century with ‘not out’ with not much success until Babri Mosque demolition in 1992. Is the term “Hindutva” or “Hinduness” self explanatory as it sounds? Does it really stand by the interests of ‘All Hindus’ which comprises almost 80% of India’s population? Is it really a “ram raj”?
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who spent his adulthood in revolutionary independence struggle upto 1910/11 and then regretted the rest of his life on this had politicised the concept and written a book called “Hindutva”, almost three decades before India’s independence from british and contemporary to the hatching of Nazis in germany. Since then the idea of Hindutva claims to have been shaping Hindus in India into a common nation (rashtra), a common race (jati) and a common culture or civilisation (sanskriti) similar to what then contemporary Nazis claimed “ein volk” (one people), “ein reich” (one nation), “ein Fuhrer” (one leader).
During its communal tour, right from the beginning till today it has mutated into “Nationalism” and to some extent “patriotism” .Now, mostly right/far right wing politicians use these terms Hindutva and Nationalism interchangeably and become a new norm in india. Similarly, proving the all had correctly envisaged who advocated for two-nation theory.
According to Savarkar, Hindus are the people who believe India as “pitribhumi” (ancestral land) and as well as “punyabhumi” (the land of his religion). In thoery, this newly created defintion helped axe all non vedic religions like Christanity and Islam from the mainstream nationhood. The next step was to create Rashtriya Sawamsevak Sangh(RSS). By the early twentieth century, a small section of the lower caste and outcast hindus which comprise almost half of the population,were able to access education which slowly seemed to be crawling towards mainstream politics and social life which left casteist upper caste Hindus concerned. To maintain the puritarian form of Hindus, RSS was created with the Peshwa model in the heart of the ideology and Mussolini’s fascist model in the militarization of youth.
It’s almost enigmatic in finding the difference between theory, rhetoric and timely development. Savarkar already postulated that people belonging to non-vedic religion can not be hindus. RSS went one step ahead in narrowing down and reducing nationalism to Hinduism. Over time, RSS made common people believe “Hindutva” is “Nationalism” and extensively focused on religious and cultural nationalism. Now, after “Nationalism” getting reduced to “Hindutva” a new era comes in. The new era was nothing but going backward to times where “Manusmriti” had been the law which enslaved countries half of the population in the name of “Casteism” for thousands years. Social mobility was not possible since it believes each social group was “assigned” to do the same job as it’s ancestors did. Lack of presence of Manusmriti from the Indian constitution which defines the modern India that has depressed the RSS and it’s family. Even Though, they did not have a noticeable impact on the common people, they still refused to celebrate Indian tricolor for over the second half of the twentieth century. Now, after the reincarnation of Manusmriti followers (called “Manuvadis”) in 2014 making a heroic entry in the upper house of parliament along with this Hindutva and and its narrowed Nationalism got a new platform.
RSS has always been dominated and shaped by only upper castes (which comprise almost 20% of the population) having none of their Sarsanghchalak (head of RSS) from lower castes and outcastes (from the vedic caste ladder) are promising to create a Hindu rashtra which serves all hindus as rastras excluding all who are seen as “outsiders”. The irony is, the Brahmins who believe to be at the top of the caste ladder with conservative mindset running the RSS deciding in the history who are the invaders and who are the migrants, themselves can be traced as an offshoot of Aryans. The very same Aryans who have been claimed by many historians as the first invaders of “Bharat Varsha”.
RSS has been the power house of state and central governments mainly post 2014 since it’s disciples dominate the policy making and its execution. Some of the incidents can enlighten us about the RSS and its “Conservative Brahminical” upper hand and help us establish the early taste of domination. The entire country has witnessed recently regime’s dealings on rape cases like Unao rape case, Hathrash gangrape case, 2018 Koregaon conflict, dalit youth like Bhanwar Meghwanshi giving up RSS who once used to be a blind RSSite. Also, governments are conniving on frequent mob lynchings against Dalits and many uncountable atrocities which are not in the public domain. In all incidents, one common ground was there. Unsuccessful attempts made by lower caste Hindus who dared to be equally treated or celebrated their pride.
So, the idea of orthodox brahminical or upper caste re-colonisation seems to be making its way. In the new “Hindu Rashtra” which was dreamt by staunch maratha Brahmanical ideologues like Hedgewar, Savarkar, Golwalker have no place for people adherent to non vedic religion since they are ‘non-nation-able`. And the rest have to be ruled under the law of “Manusmriti” which abandones the lower castes, women and outcastes with basic social rights. Golwalker, who has the most contribution shaping the RSS(1940-1973) can be understood through his address delivered on race purification at Gujarat University on December 17, 1960 which may not be acceptable in most of the civil societies in the world. It leaves us the impression about what lower castes and women meant to him.
“Divide and rule” has always been an agile tool of britishers which will be extensively used by the Manuvadiss in the name of “Hindutva” or “Hinduness” to pave the way of a new era of official ‘Upper caste’ colonisation. It’s up to the readers and the people of the country to decide to take the path of liberation or colonisation.
The author Taffazzel Hossain, is an Indian origin British resident, working and living in London, technocrat (Big Data Engineer) by profession. Taffazzel holds political portfolios adherent to Indian National Congress. Though, this article he has written in his personal capacity.
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