Hindutva to be our greatest cultural export: ABVP leader

Sep 23, 2019 01:00 AM IST


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Hindutva will be India’s greatest cultural export, the chief instruments of which will be the Sangh and its Swayamsevaks says a new book by Sunil Ambekar, the organising secretary of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s students’ wing, the ABVP.

While the critics of the Sangh, the ideological mentor of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have parsed it for fostering Hindutva, a hardline ideological standpoint that is used for creating schism between the majority and the minority communities in the country, Ambekar in his book, The RSS Roadmap for the 21st Century, has defined Hindutva as a “bold visions for truth and oneness.”

“RSS considers Hindutva to be the natural destination of the world. It will be India’s greatest cultural export to the world, just as the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics which travel to South East Asia in the age of antiquity and shaped the culture there, and just as Buddhism was geared to years later,” the book says.

To be released by RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on October 1; the book has dealt with several issues that the Sangh is often questioned about; for instance its stance on women; its opinion about caste based reservation; homosexuality and Indianisation of education.

In a chapter on the Rise of Santan Hindutva, the author says the principles of Hindutva predate the word and its applications and defines it as a way of life. It also lists the reconstruction of Ram temple, cow protection and the abrogation of article 370 of the Indian Constitution as important Hindutva concerns, linked to the identity and integrity of India.

In 2014, RSS chief had courted controversy when speaking at a function in Mumbai, he said “Hindustan is a Hindu nation...Hindutva is the identity of our nation and it (Hinduism) can incorporate others (religions) in itself”. Opposition parties such as the Congress and the Samajwadi Party had objected to this comment, but Ambekar also reiterates Bhagwat’s stance in the book.

Describing Hindutva as oneness he says, “When other forms of organising life like Christianity and Islam emerged, then for the sake of comparison, this oneness came to be notified as a Hindu way of life, interchangeably also known as Hindutva.”

Just as Bhagwat has earlier clarified that a Hindu Rashtra does not exclude Muslims and other minorities, the book says Muslims and Christians can also subscribe to Hindutva because it is a matter of national identity. “…Many are accepting it through a process of self-awakening. Not much convincing is required once the shibboleths of false knowledge crumble.”

The author also goes on to say that the Sangh’s “conception is that the ancestors of Muslims were Hindus. Therefore Hindus and Muslims share a common ancestry,” however, refers to a growing Muslim population as a challenge that cannot be overlooked.

“At the same time, no one can overlook certain evidences and trends. Undeniably, the growth rate of Muslims is out stripping the Hindu growth rate and some sections of the Muslim community are using this as a leverage. The history of partition of India and the eviction of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley in independent India, an old memories deeply ingrained into the Indian psyche,” it says.

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    Smriti covers an intersection of politics and governance. Having spent over a decade in journalism, she combines old fashioned leg work with modern story telling tools.

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