• Santushti Raj Thapar

Right-Wing Politics & Hindutva

Updated: Feb 1, 2020

With globalisation, the study of religious conflicts and its political transformation is also increasing. This is an article on coexistence, confrontation and transformation of Indian Hinduism Philosophy.

The study of Hinduism philosophy is important historically, philosophically, and even politically. In S. Radhakrishnan’s (1957: XXX) words, “India’s concentrated study of the inner nature of man is, in the end, a study of man universal.” Undoubtedly, India has contributed to world civilisation in numerous ways. Vedas, Upanishads, the epics Mahabharata, Ramayana1, the story-literature, the Hindu Panchatantra and the Buddhist Jatakas, (which have been transferred to Aesop tales) represent India’s rich tradition and philosophies. Vivekananda's immortal "We believe not only in universal toleration but we accept all religions as true' is a prescription for peace and coexistence among competing dogmatism in a world full of too many dogmas. Hinduism does not see the world in terms of absolutes. According to Dr. Karan Singh, the former maharaja of Kashmir and Indian politician: the recognition of the unity of all mankind, epitomised in the Rig Vedic phrase vasudhaiva kutumbakam', the world is one family; the harmony of all religions, epitomized in that Rig Vedic statement that was Swami Vivekananda's favourite, 'ekam sat, vipra bahuda vadanti’; the divinity inherent in each individual, transcending the social stratification and hierarchies that have all too often distorted this principle in Hindu society.


From the mid 1980's onwards, Hindu patriotism, dependably at the under-flows of pseudo secularist politics, re-rose as an intelligible political power in India (Anand, 2007; Robinson, 2010). Anand (2007) portrays Hindu patriotism as the "sorted out articulation of Hindu communalism in India and the diaspora epitomised inside different political and social associations" (Anand, 36). It is "a self-characterised philosophy of Hindu supremacy and social patriotism" (Chatterjee, 2011, 86), while Varshney (1993) takes note of that Hindutva is concerned about building a united India and assimilating all other groups into the Hindu nation.

Moreover, to think about whether Present character of Hinduism showing by agitated right-wing isn't right or the diverse perspective of Vedic Hinduism exhibited by Dayananda, Vivekananda and Gandhi at the time. Hinduism, with its openness, its respect for variety, its acceptance of all other faiths, is one religion which has always been able to assert itself without threatening others. The Neo Hinduism (present social & political system) is in fact a malign distortion of Hinduism. The tragedy for many Hindus is that they Hindutva Vadis, often ironically referred to by their critics as bhakts (the 'devout'), are betraying daily the values of the very faith to which they claim to be committed. Subsequently, it is yet to revise for all of us that 21st century/ BJP ruling party is truly reclaiming a correct confidence on Hinduism in universal network or Hinduism is commandeered by the conservative's political belief system of 'Hindutva' and narrowing the quintessence of democracy?

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