Why Hindu Rashtra ?

By Shri K. S. Sudarshan, Shri K. Surya Narayan Rao , Shri H. V. Seshadri Prof. Balraj Madhok

1.Why Hindu Rashtra ?

K. S. Sudarshan Former RSS Sarasanghachalak

When the Shahi Imam of Jama of Delhi went to Mecca on a pilgrimage, a local resident asked him, “Are you a Hindu?” The Imam was startled by this question and replied, “No, I am a Muslim.” When Imam Saheb asked him the reason for calling him a Hindu, he replied that all Hindustanis were called Hindu there. (Saptahik Hindustan, May 1,1977)

What does “Hindu” Connote ?

Replying to the felicitation at the Indian Association Lahore, on February 3, 1884, Sir Syed Ahmed the founder of Aligarh University said, “We normally associate the word Nation with Hindus and Mussalmans. In my opinion, the concept of nation is not to be linked with one’s religious beliefs because all of us, whether Hindus or Mussalmans, have grown in this soil, enjoy common points of sustenance and prosperity and share common rights. This verily, is the basis for both these our sections in Hindustan to come together under the common name Hindu Nation… The term Hindu should not be identified with the Hindu community. All sections–whether they be Mussalman or Christian — are Hindu.” (Hamari Ekta Delhi April 15,1979)

A Frenchman asked an Indian, “What is your religion?” The reply was, “Hindu.” The Frenchman countered: “That is your nationality; but what is your religion?”

In fact, neither Arabs, nor Frenchmen nor the people of any other country have any doubt that “Hindu” connotes the nationality of this land. Arnold Toynbee in his monumental work A Study of History uses invariably the word Hindu to denote the race, the society and the civilisation born and grown here over the past millennia and extending right up to the present day.

Hindu : National of Bharat

Anyone who is the national of this country, irrespective of being a Shaiva, Shakta, Vaishnava, Sikh, Jain, Muslim, Christian, Parsi, Buddist or Jew by way of his creed or mode of worship, is a Hindu. As Justice M.C. Chagla has forcefully put it, “The French, with their sense of logic and precision, call Indians irrespective of their caste or community L Hindus. I think that is a correct description of all those who live in this country and consider it their home. In true sense, we are all Hindus although we may practise different religions. I am a Hindu because I trace my ancestry to my Aryan forefathers and I cherish the philosophy and the culture which they handed down to successive generations.

“If only we accept this proposition and call ourselves Hindus by race, it would be the greatest triumph for secularism.”

The Archbishop of Ernakulam, Dr. Joseph Cardinal parecattil, has stated that the “Church had to draw its cultural nourishment from the local soil – the rich resources of Hinduism.” Himself an ardent advocate of Indianisation of Church, the Archbishop affirms that all Indians including Christian and Muslims should imbibe this national culture of the soil.

Misunderstanding Persists

However, there is no lack of political leaders who consider the idea of Hindu Rashtra as rank communalism and a biggest threat to secularism. It is obvious that such assertions are motivated by some political consideration or other.

On the one hand, lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan says, “I believe that including Bangladesh and Pakistan we are one nation. Our states may be different, but all of us belong to the same Bharatiya nationality.” On the other hand, the Deputy Speaker of the West Bengal Assembly, Sri Kalimuddin Shams has stated: “Muslims form a separate nation in this country.”

It is not surprising, therefore, that all these various pronouncements should lead to serious misunderstandings and confusion regarding concepts like nation, state, Hindu, secular, etc., in the people’s mind. And the socaded big leaders are only busy making the confusion worse confounded with a view to catching votes and safeguarding their seats of power. They are also causing, thereby, serious damage to our national unity, mutual goodwill and the national will to work together. But politicians neck-deep in the game of power-politics seem to have little concern for such things.

However, people devoted to the nation and its all-sided progress cannot help delving deep into the question. For if there is no clarity of ideas, or the goal is confused and the hearts do not beat in unison, the nation’s onward march will falter, will get slowed down and may even go astray.

What is a Nation?

The foremost basic question is:What is Rashtra or Nation? Scholars on the subject are agreed that a mass of humanity assuming the nomenclature of Nation should be inspired by the feeling of “we-ness” or a common identity and identification. This means that such people experience a feeling of oneness with one another and consider themselves distinct from others. When Edward de Cruz asked a Japanese University student whether the Japanese people considered themselves nearer to the East or the West in their life-style, habits and beliefs, his reply was: “We are like neither the East nor the West. We are simply Japanese. In this fast changing world any dividing line between the East and West has become irrelevant. We take in whatever we feel is beneficial to us without bothering as to wherefrom it has come. But we do care that we remain Japanese all the same. We stick to certain beliefs and traditions and they keep us Japanese. WE have lived through many ups and downs, days of glory as well as adversity, but remained Japanese allright. And we are not in the least apprehensive that our Japanese character will suffer if we adopt one or the other thing necessary to maintain our existence in this world of competition.”

The young man’s assertion that even while mixing with the world in a hundred ways they remained basically Japanese, is in fact an indication of their true nationhood. It also becomes necessary for every one of them to work with its intense awareness in order that Japan may play its effective role in the world. Like the Japanese-ness of the Japanese, the Egyptians have their Egyptian-ness the Germans their German-ness and the English their English-ness. The question arises how is this Japanese-ness, German-ness, Egyptian-ness or English-ness, which imparts to these particular masses of humanity a sense if we-ness and a separate identity created? Or, putting the same thing differently, how is the feeling of nationhood evolved”?

How Nation Evolves

Man cannot lead his life in isolation. He needs a co-operative group, a community, to fulfil his needs. In his early evolutionary stage, man needed the cooperation of only a very small group for his protection and livelihood. lien he could carry on with a small tribe which he considered as his enlarged or greater family. But later on he gave up the nomadic life and started leading a settled existence by taking to agriculture. It was then that he developed emotional tics with the life sustaining earth; and that was the dawning of the infancy of nationalism. With the evolution of civilization, man’s needs also grew and in order to fulfil them he felt the need for bigger human communities. For that purpose a number of tribes came together and their mutual cooperation led to bigger communities. With the growth of civilisation men catering to intellectual, mental and spiritual needs also became intergral parts of such we groups. It was thus that Shakespeare and Shaw in Britain, Goethe and Schopenhauer in Germany, Rousseau and Voltaire in France, Tolstoy and Gorky in Russia and Valmiki and Kalidasa in Bharat became as much necessary for their civilized lives as food, clothing and shelter.

The stretch of land which a community, imbued with a sense of we-ness, needs for its comprehensive development, forms the natural boundaries of that country. And that community is not merely emotionally attached to it, it also derives from the mother soil a special characteristic for its life, civilisation and culture. Thus the country imparts a distinct identity to that human mass. As Sydney Herbert says: “A historical consideration of diverse nationalities will disclose the fact that there is no nationality of which the basis was not formed by the homeland in which nationality lived a continuous communal life for some period or other. The sentiment of nationality is given greatest expression by the enduring passion of the members of a nationality for their national homeland. Nationality would seem to require a distinct and defined territory on which to establish itself and continue its existence. On such territory, i.e. the national homeland, grow up the traditions, historical associations and other elements language, literature, culture and religion – of which the nationality is compounded and which give it a distinct individuality.”

What Constitutes “Nationalism”

In this way, a society having mental and emotional bonds with a particular, well-defined territory and imbued with a sense of we-ness acquires the nomenclature of Nation in that particular piece of land. The great men who contribute to its protection, progress and prosperity evoke deep feelings of reverence and gratitude in that society. And the attachment to values of life and traditions born out of a long existance in that land also become a major link for binding the people of that nation to one another. Apart from that, there are many factors like language, history, festivals, feeling of having common enemies and friends, common economic and political interests, common aspirations, etc., which strengthen this feeling; but none of them is indispensable for the formation of every nation.

While this story of transition from tribal loyalties to nationalism is being written even today in African countries like Congo, Nigeria, Uganda, Ghana and Zimbabwe, Europe passed through that phase just three or four centuries ago. But it is hard to tell when the Asian countries like Bharat, China and Iran completed this journey. In fact, we find the various features of a vast and organised society present in them as far as recorded history goes, and a highly evolved feeling of we-ness pervading those vast communities. This feeling was based more on religious and and cultural, rather than political and economic, factors. While leading a common existence on a well-marked territory for long period, these societies shared common experiences of sacrifice and heroism, joy and suffering. They made many original contributions in material, intellectual, moral and religious spheres; and created durable societies and civilizations on the basis of their distinct cultural values. The inspiration that lay behind such achievements was the feeling like We Chinese, We Iranians, We Bharatiyas. Such sentiments had been evolved centuries before the modern concept of nationalism took birth. The only thing lacking in them was the political aspect which has acquired a special force in the modem view of nationalism.

Force of National Sentiment

How powerful this national sentiment is can be gauged from the fact that the Bailed international ideologies like Islam, Christianity and Communism which aimed at bringing the entire world under one flag by discarding national boundaries, have not been able to wipe out the appeal of nationalism. On the other hand, they themselves have got split and cast into various national moulds. Today the face of Islam is not the same in Turkey, Egypt, Iran or Indonesia. To sustain their separate identities, they have even taken to distinct Islamic creeds. Iran found out a new way of marking itself off from the Arabs by adopting Shia sect. It also gave a new face to Islam in the form of Sufi sect by a synthesis of the old Parsi beliefs with Islam. While Turkey gave a new shape to Islam by attuning it with Western civilization, Indonesian Islam assumed a new content through the influence of Bharatiya culture. The English people created the Protestant form of Christianity by defying the authority of the Pope who symbolised the will to establish the Holy Empire the world over. Similarly. German and Syrian nationalism paved the way for Lutheran and Syrian Churches. Me Dutch, French and Russian nationalisms also displayed their own versions of Christianity.

Those who dreamed of establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat on the strength of their slogan “workers of the world unite,” are now finding their proletariats rigidly confined to their respective national boundaries. Not merely that. The proletariats of Communist countries like Russia, China, Vietnam, Albania are now at daggers drawn with each other. Each considers its own national brand of Communism as authentic and derides all others as revisionist, reactionary, expansionist and so on. The Italian and French communists have even declared the dictatorship of the proletariat as unnecessary and created their own brand, Euro-Communism. Why, Russia itself has only last year changed its constitution giving up its basic postulate of a proletariat state and opting for a state belonging to all people. The communist tide today stands broken up into a hundred fragments by dashing against the rock of nationalism. It is clear that the spirit of nationalism has proved more powerful of its being a more natural expression of man’s evolutionary cycle, and as such more basic and deep rooted. The spirit of oneness generated by it is much more intense than that of religion, language, etc. Even Stalin, who had derided God and religion as opium of the masses, felt the impact of its spirit and declared :

“Apart from the foregoing (community of language, territory and economic life), one must take into consideration the specific spiritual complexion of the people constituting a nation. Nations differ not only in their conditions of life, but also in spiritual complexion, which manifests itself in peculiarities of national culture.”

See how identical is this view of so rank an atheist as Stalin and that of a great spiritual luminary as Swami Vivekananda who emphasised: “National union in India must be a gathering of its scattered spiritual forces, a union of those whose hearts beat to the same spiritual tune.”

2. The Concept Of Hindu Rashtra

K. Surya Narayan Rao, Bangalore, Senior RSS Pracharak

I am proud to be a worker Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, for whom Hindu Rashtra is the cardinal principle. It is a matter of conviction and faith for us. It is our life breath. This concept of Hindu Rashtra is not a creation of R.S.S. Great savants like Swami Vivekananda, Arvinda Ghosh, Lokamanya Tilak, Swatantrya Veer Savarkar, Mahakavi Subramanya Bharati and others have all proclaimed our nation as Hindu Rashtra. Dr. Annie Besant and Sister Nivedita, both accomplished intellectuals from the West, who were attracted by the culture and people of this country, and adopted this country as their motherland, have also acknowledged our nation as Hindu Rashtra.

But now political leaders and a section of the media are trying to create some confusion about this Hindu Rashtra belief. Each is interpreting according to his own understanding and background, neither there realising the truth nor keeping an open mind to know what the protagonists of Hindu Rashtra wish to convey through these two words. It seems such persons look at it with some prejudice, perhaps political and religious.

“HINDU” means….

What is Hindu Rashtra? The word Hindu does not mean only a religious faith just like Islam or Christianity. Hindu denotes the national way of life here. It is a national connotation. Before the advent of the British, this country was known as Hindusthan and all the nationals as Hindus. Only the British gave the new name INDIA to this country and the word Indian came to be used in placed HINDU. Even today the word Hindusthan and Hindu are often used with a national connotation only. For example, the first nationalist daily from Madras, started in the last century, was named “The Hindu”. Many public sector industrial units are named, Hindusthan Aeronautics, Hindusthan Photo films, Hindusthan Machine Tools, etc. The sea to the south of our country is called Hindu Maha Sagar.

Many travellers from our country who went abroad have the experience of being addressed as Hindus irrespective of the religion they belong to. Why, even Syed Abdullah Bukhari, the Imam of Delhi mosque was greeted as a Hindu at Mecca. Late Sri Mohammed Carrim Chagla, the former Chief Justice of Bombay High Court and Education Minister in the Central cabinet wrote that he is a Muslims only by religion but by culture and race he is a Hindu and all Muslims of this country are Hindus.

The recent All India Muslims Conference led by all fundamentalist Muslims was called Muslims Hindusthani Sammelan. Mohammed Iqbal, the famous Urdu poet has sung Sare Jahan Se Achha, Hindostan Hamara — Note Hamara Hindusthan, i.e., Our Hindusthan.

For R.S.S. men, the word Hindu thus connotes, not a particular sect, a religion or a faith but the culture, the tradition, the way of life of the people inhabiting this part of the world from times immemorial.

This is a ancient country which has been described in our great books as Bharat, lying to the north of the seas and to the south of Himalayas. A galaxy of savants and sages, great in various fields of human activity were born here and have contributed to the welfare of humanity and its development. A unique value system blossomed here. The entire people living between Himalayas and Kanyakumari progressed, basing themselves on these values and built up their own traditions, beliefs, faiths and culture. Every great person, born in any part of this land has endeavoured to strengthen this cultural unity and integrity of this country and its people.

Not a Political Concept

Thus we the children of Bharat are living on this common motherland for thousands of years. We have common forefathers, common sages, saints and heroes, common values of life, common traditions and culture, common history, common way of life, which is called Dharma and common aspiration etc. Those who identify with these common factors form the Rashtra or the Nation here and that is exactly Hindu Rashtra. We are all part of this Hindu Rashtra.

Whether some people accept and recognise it or not due to their ignorance, Hindu Rashtra exists, it has been existing for ages and it shall continue to exist for ever. Thus Hindu Rashtra is not a political concept but a cultural and emotional one, eternally asserting itself.

National Sentiments, Values

This is the case as regards every nation. All nationals of a particular country have an emotional attachment to its history, forefathers, heroes and traditions. This makes them work hard, suffer and sacrifice for the progress and protection of their country. The national sentiment is supreme and above all other sentiments, whether religious or sectional. Take for example, the youngest nation America formed four hundred years ago by all kinds of people of various countries. For the past four hundred years they have developed an American identity, their own traditions and they have their National heroes like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Every American holds this national tradition and the heroes with highest regard respect. No Jew or Muslim of America can say that because Washington and Lincoln were not Jews or Muslims he cannot revere them. The religious sentiments are subservient to national sentiments and values. Similarly, in this country Bharat, in Hindu Rashtra, every national should hold its national heroes like Shri Rama and Sri Krishna in high esteem. They are the age old symbols of all the great values which the country stands for. Religion should not come into the picture at all.

English Education Twists Hindu

In this country from ancient days the Hindu, i.e., the nationals, held religious beliefs. Nobody objected to other man’s way of worship here. Everyone was free to practise and propagate his own faith. There was full freedom. People say, Hindus are very tolerant. This word tolerance does not correctly represent our way of life. The word is very inadequate. You can hate a man but still tolerate him. But here there is no hatred. You recognise the right of every person to have his own belief. He is recognised and respected — Religion is no barrier for mutual love and understanding. This is the Hindu attitude.

The grand principle of Unity in Diversity was developed and practised this land. That is why in addition to so many religions born in this country, when a few more religions came from outside the borders of our country, those religions and their adherents did not face opposition but received warm welcome here. Religion is considered as a personal matter, the relation of the individual with his Maker, People belonging to various religions in this country are all Hindus by culture and Nationals of this Hindu Rashtra. As there are Shaivas, Vaishnavas, Jains, Bauddhas and Sikhs amongst Hindus, there can be Christians and Muslims also. This is to be clearly understood. Of course, it may be difficult to understand this in the vitiated political atmosphere and also with the background of English education. That is why Gurudev Ravindranath Tagore exhorted :”If you want to understand Bharat study Vivekananda”.

We have to know ourselves through the eyes of our own Rishis, Sanyasis and Scholars and their books and not through the Western scholars and their writings.

Not A Theocratic State

As Hindu Rashtra is not a religious concept, it is also not a political concept. It is generally misrepresented as a theocratic state or a religious Hindu State. Nation (Rashtra) and State (Rajya) are entirely different and should never be mixed up. State is purely a political concept. It is political authority with sanction concerned with the governance of the people, laying down and directing the policies of the government. The State changes as the political authority shifts from person to person or party to party. But the people and the Nation remain the same.

Since ancient days various dynasties ruled in different parts of this country at different times. But the basic and fundamental cultural unity if the people of this country was not disturbed. For the past one thousand years various invading foreign hordes following Islam also ruled over different parts of the country at different times and later the British ruled over almost the entire country. The people did not change. After Independence, the Congress party ruled the entire country for some time and then various political parties captured political power in different states. But still, the common emotional factors of the people of this country have remained the same and the people too uphold those values and sentiments in one voice rising above regional, linguistic and religious difference as was witnessed on several occasions. This is the uniform experience.

That clearly explains the difference between a Rashtra and a Rajya i.e., Nation and State. Rashtra is eternal and State is transitory. It is like the body and the Soul (Atma). According to Hindu conviction the Atma is eternal and only the bodies and their forms are changed.

Our Ethos In a Natural Way

What are the factors that have kept this nation as one in spite of foreign domination for over thousand years. It is its faith in its age old culture, Dharma, tradition and its forefathers like Rishis, Acharya, Sir Rama and Sri Krishna. All this can be condensed into one word and that is the HINDUNESS, HINDUTVA. The Hindu ethos is asserting in a most natural way in a social, political life and activities of the people. For example, the English legacy of cutting a tape at the time of opening ceremonies is being replaced by lighting a lamp. Launching a ship or a plane is done with coconut breaking. When the India Festival at Paris was to be inaugurated, Sixteen Sumangalis dressed in the traditional Hindu style carried Kalasams and Kumbhas filled with Ganga Jal. A number of monograms of Government department are lines taken either from Vedas or from the Bhagavad Gita “Sham no varunah” for the Indian Navy, “Yogaskshemam vahamyaham” for the Life Insurance Corporation etc. Examples can be multiplied.

Hindu Rashtra is very much alive and it asserts too in various forms. The R.S.S. wants to make everyone understand, realise and feel proud of the same. This is the strongest and the only integrating factor for binding people from North to South and East to West rising above all other considerations of region, language, religion, caste or class. It betrays one’s ignorance to say that Hindu Rashtra’s idea will disintegrate the country into various Rashtras. In spite of the havoc done by the political parties and leaders for the last forty three years of independence the country remains one only because of its essential Hindu character. The Hinduness only can integrate the entire country. Several fissiparous tendencies have cropped up only because this Hinduness is being suppressed by politically vested interests. R.S.S. is convinced that only when every person in this country realises that he is after all part and parcel of this Hindu Rashtra, this nation can progress, standing up as one man. We are working hard against odds to see this goal realised.

Modern Concept

Another criticism about Hindu Rashtra is that the modern concept of secularism and democracy will have no place in Hindu Rashtra. This is again because those who make this charge have never studied and understood the basic Hindu principles and traditions. Since the dawn of civilization, the first ever intellectual composition of the human being on earth was produced here in this land of Bharat — and that is called the Rig veda.

In this we find passages “Ekam sadviprah bahuha vadanti”; “Ano bhadrah kratvo yantu vishwatah”, etc.,etc. (Truth is one and the intelligent speak about it in many ways.” “Let noble thoughts come to us from all directions of the world.) That is the catholicity of the Hindu thought. Everything is based on such universal approach. It is by far very different from the concept of Christianity or Islam, with which alone our English educated people are familiar.

Because certain things happened in European countries, their calculation is that the same things will happen in this country also. But one should remember that this country and its Hindu ethos are entirely different. That is why even in the annals of Hindu polity you cannot find a heocratic State comparable to Islamic or Christian States.

Islamic States Today

In the Islamic states of Saudi Arabia, U.A.E. and most of the Gulf countries, no person not following Islam can practise the religion of his conviction and no place of worship can be constructed. It is compulsory there for everyone to fast during Ramzan month. A few years ago an Arya Samaji from Bharat was jailed for reading Satyarthaprakasha sitting in his house.

If the ruling Muslims group is Shia, it will not tolerate the Sunni Muslims and vice versa. This is the type of Islamic theocratic State. Why, in our own country the Muslims throw stones at religious processions of others passing through a locality where Muslims are in good number. The Muslim is not prepared to give any right to people other than his own Muslim sect.

Christians & Pseudo Secularists

The Christian theocracy is equally intolerant. It is very difficult to celebrate any Hindu function in Nagaland. In Kanyakumari district of Tamil Nadu, in the coast line, were in the Christian fishermen dominate, the Hindu women pilgrims of Bhagavati Temple at Mandaikadu were insulted, molested and every year it is a problem. It is very difficult to conduct a religious, social or cultural function of the Hindus in such villages where there is good percentage of Christians.

Even the pseudo secularists are more fanatic and intolerant about any other idea became of the sematic background of their idea of so called secularism.

History Proves

Whereas in the long history of Bharat no Hindu king has ever tried to impose his brand of religion on the subjects in his territory; no Vaishnava king has insisted and forced that everyone should fast on Ekadasi; similarly no Shaiva has forced Shivaratri on all the people. The only instance is of Ashoka the great who after embracing Buddhism worked as a Buddhist missionary and used his state authority and resources for the spread of Buddhism. But still he was not intolerant of other religions. It is a paradox that Ashoka seems to have impressed Pandit Nehru and Ashoka and his insignia been adopted as the symbols of our secular state; for example the Chakra in our flag and the three lions atop the Ashoka pillar.

No Hindu objects to a muslim or Christian procession in a Hindu locality. In general every Hindu respects and recognises every other religions and does not prevent anybody following his own religion. This attitude of the Hindu is reflected in the social, cultural and political activities of the Hindus.

A Hindu State has always functioned as a secular and democratic State. There was never an autocratic or a fascist Hindu king. History bears witness to this. When Jews and Parses were persecuted by the Christian and Muslims respectively in their own countries, many of them ran for shelter to this country and since centuries they have been living here peacefully. Neither they had any problem from the Hindus nor the Hindus had any problem from them. The parses particularly have totally identified with the culture and national life of this country, still maintaining their religious identity. There are no conflicts or complaints on either side. Most of the Jews have returned to Israel after they got back their motherland. And what the Israeli government has got to say about their centuries of stay in this country? I would like to quote from the booklet Indian Jews in Israel published by the Israel Consulate general in India.

“While most of the Jews came to Israel (from countries other than India) driven by persecution, discrimination, murder and attempts at total genocide, the Jews of India came (to Israel) because of their desire to participate in the building of their Jewish Common wealth, because of their unshakable belief in the redemption of Israel. Throughout their long sojourn in India, nowhere and at no time were they (Jews) subjected to intolerance, discrimination or persecution.”

The Parsees as a group refused to accept any special treatment or a separate electorate at the time of the British rule itself and said that they are happy with the Hindu society. Now the followers of this religion live happily only in this country while there is no trace of Parsees at their place of origin i.e. Iran. One leading Parsee gentleman exclaimed, Hindus are tolerant to a fault. then came the Christians and Muslims. They built their churches and mosques. All are safe now. This is the history of Hindu people, their kings and Hindu government long before even the secular and democratic concepts were born.

Traditionally the Hindu respects and recognises the feelings of other. His ideas are all broad based and universal, always all inclusive and never exclusive. There will be equal justice for all in a Hindu State irrespective of one’s faith or belief or religion or sect.

Only a state with such universal Hindu ideas can uphold all the modern secular and democratic values. Mahatma Gandhi had realised the greatness of the Hindu ethos and he had proclaimed that our independent country would be a Rama Rajya – which was a Dharma Rajya, an ideal Hindu State. He had not hesitated to speak about this openly. Rather he advocated it with conviction, very vigorously.

British Mischief

Many times some dub this Hindu Rashtra as communal and fundamentalist. Hindu can never be a communalist nor a fundamentalist. The British started this mischief of calling everything Hindu as communal. In Hindusthan, Hindu is national and not communal. But even after Independence, our political leaders, themselves Hindus, also have fallen a prey to this mischief and they speak about Hindu organisations as communal. To call the Hindu communal will be an insult of all our forefathers, all the Rishis and Sanyasis and their noble ideals, our culture, our tradition etc. It is a total self condemnation. Hindus have never been communal and they can never be.

It is only the Hindu majority of legislators of our country who easily agreed to call our State as secular as against what happened in Pakistan and Bangladesh, because the very nature of Hindu is secular.

Fundamentalists, Communalist ?

Fundamentalist is one who believes in one prophet and book and holds them as infallible. This idea itself is totally repugnant to the Hindu tradition. Hindus have several books and several prophets and nothing is considered infallible. For example in Bhagavad Gita, a great book explaining the highest Hindu values, Sri Krishna tells Arjuna, practically at the end of his teaching that Arjuna need not accept everything as told by him, but only after pondering and discriminating. He leaves, Arjuna to do as he pleases. (Vimrishyait adasheshena yathechhasi tatha kuru). What an amount of freedom ! Similarly all Upanishads and many religious texts are in the form of questions and answers. Free questioning is encouraged in our tradition. Because of this, most of our texts are highly rational. To charge such persons who sincerely wish to uphold this tradition, as communal and fundamentalist is nothing short of blasphemy, and an indication of excessive ignorance on the part of critics.

The tragedy is that it is only these bitter critics of Hindu Rashtra, who boast themselves as secularists and are encouraging communalism and fundamentalism to grow in our country.

When the fundamentalist Muslims objected to the Supreme court decision on the Shah Bano case, the so called secular government yielded and brought a new enactment upholding the Muslim personal law, thus nullifying and rejecting the Supreme Court verdict. Recently this was reminded to Syed Abdullah Bukhari by a Central Minister while requesting Bukhari to see that Muslims vote to the Congress. During the elections to the legislative assembly of Mizoram, the Congress election manifesto promised that if they are elected to power the State will be governed according to Christian beliefs laid down in the Bible. It is during Communist regime in Kerala that a separate Muslim majority Mallapuram district was carved out just to appease the Muslims. These are only a few samples of communalism practised by the so called secular parties.

By always harping upon the interest of minorities and appeasing them, these political leaders have encourage minorityism and have never allowed the Muslims and the Christian to identify themselves with the national main stream. The truly nationalistic & integrating factors such as common forefathers and common cultural traditions, etc. are not being home to the people, and as a result every day new separatist groups mushroom and create problems. The basic values of democracy and secularism, such as the rule or law and equality before law irrespective of caste or creed have been thrown to the winds.

For All Round Development

The Hindu tradition of freedom of thought and recognition of an alternate path or dissent are highly democratic in character. The all inclusive Hindutva (Hinduness) alone can provide the strongest sense of nationalism, integrating this vast country rich in variety. This faith and convliction in the all inclusive Hindutva has become an inevitable factor to save the country from the present turmoil.

Every son and daughter of this country should be made to feel proud of his or her forefathers, traditions and culture and realise his or her Hinduness. Then and then alone he or she can rise above corruption and all the parochial feelings of caste, religion or region. The realisation of Hindu Rashtra alone can maintain not only the secular and democratic values, but also the unity and integrity of this great country and inspire the entire people to suffer and sacrifice to bring about the all round development of our dear Motherland. Let us all work hard to make everyone realise this truth about Hindu Rashtra. I hope I have tried to make everything clear to the best of my ability.

We are Hindus. I do not use the word Hindu in any bad sense at all, nor do I agree with those that think there is any bad meaning in it. In old times, it simply meant people who lived on the other side of the Indus. Today a good many among those who hate us many have put a bad interpretation upon it, but names are nothing. Upon us depends whether the name Hindu will stand for everything that is glorious, everything that is spiritual, or whether it will remain a name of opprobrium, one designating the downtrodden, the worthless, the heathen. If at present the word Hindu means anything bad, never that any language can invent.

— Swami Vivekananda

Each nation has a destiny to fulfill, each nation has a massage to deliver, each nation has mission to accomplish. Therefore, from the very start, we must have to understand the mission of our own race, the destiny it has to fulfill, the place it has to occupy in the march of nations, the note which it has to contribute to the harmony of races.

— Swami Vivekananda.

For All Round Development

The Hindu tradition of freedom of thought and recognition of an alternate path or dissent are highly democratic in character. The all inclusive Hindutva (Hinduness) alone can provide the strongest sense of nationalism, integrating this vast country rich in variety. This faith and convliction in the all inclusive Hindutva has become an inevitable factor to save the country from the present turmoil.

Every son and daughter of this country should be made to feel proud of his or her forefathers, traditions and culture and realise his or her Hinduness. Then and then alone he or she can rise above corruption and all the parochial feelings of caste, religion or region. The realisation of Hindu Rashtra alone can maintain not only the secular and democratic values, but also the unity and integrity of this great country and inspire the entire people to suffer and sacrifice to bring about the all round development of our dear Motherland. Let us all work hard to make everyone realise this truth about Hindu Rashtra. I hope I have tried to make everything clear to the best of my ability.

We are Hindus. I do not use the word Hindu in any bad sense at all, nor do I agree with those that think there is any bad meaning in it. In old times, it simply meant people who lived on the other side of the Indus. Today a good many among those who hate us many have put a bad interpretation upon it, but names are nothing. Upon us depends whether the name Hindu will stand for everything that is glorious, everything that is spiritual, or whether it will remain a name of opprobrium, one designating the downtrodden, the worthless, the heathen. If at present the word Hindu means anything bad, never that any language can invent.

— Swami Vivekananda

Each nation has a destiny to fulfill, each nation has a massage to deliver, each nation has mission to accomplish. Therefore, from the very start, we must have to understand the mission of our own race, the destiny it has to fulfill, the place it has to occupy in the march of nations, the note which it has to contribute to the harmony of races.

— Swami Vivekananda.

3. Welcome Debate On Hindutva Rashtra

H. V. Seshadri, Former RSS General Secretary

For the first time in the history of our General Elections to the Lok Sabha, a new ideological dimension was added to the election battle. And that is, the attack launched by the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on “Hindu Rashtra” and by others who had picked up that line. S. G. Sardesai of the Communist Party, for example, had even called upon Rajiv Gandhi and V. P. Singh not to waste their energies in minor charges and counter charges against each other but to jointly face the looming threat of Hindu Rashtra.

From the point of view of the protagonists of Hindu Rashtra, the debate on Hindu Rashtra becomes an ideological discussion which it welcomes heartily. For, making it an issue of public debate implies the acceptance of the fact that the appeal of Hindu Rashtra among the common people is so widespread that it can no longer be ignored. It also amounts to recognising the fact that Hindu Rashtra as an ideology has begun to powerfully impinge upon politics also.

Now, coming to the so called charges against the Hindu Rashtra: Rajiv Gandhi for example, said the cry of Hindu Rashtra will give rise to similar other cries like the Christian Rashtra in the northeast, Muslim Rashtra in Kashmir, Sikh Rashtra in Punjab. The CPI too way, it charge coming from the Congress and Communists only buttress the case for Hindu Rashtra and boomerang upon the decriers. The public memory is not so short as to forget that it was the Congress that had issued an entirely Christian election manifesto during the last Assembly Election to Mizoram. It had openly declared that if elected to the power, the Government’s policies would be based on the principle of Bible which, in fine, meant establishing a theocratic Christian state or in the words of Rajiv Gandhi, a Christian Rashtra.

And again, it is the Congress which had been instrumental in introducing and perpetuating Art 370 and thus enabling Kashmir to virtually convert itself into a Muslim Rashtra. As for the cry of Khalistan, the propping up of Bhindranwale, the Sikh holocaust in the wake of Indira Gandhi’s murder and unscrupulous political trickery provoking Sikh – non – Sikh divide in Punjab – all these are the handiwork of the Congress leaders, past and present, which have continuously fed the fires of Khalistani separatism.

As for the communists, less said the better. It is they who sought to furnish an ideological foundation for Pakistan, i.e., separate Muslim Rashtra, prior to Partition. Even to this day, they argue that Bharat is not one, but 18 Rashtras based on as many distinct linguo cultural identities.

When such avowed disruptors of national unity try to denounce Hindu Rashtra, it would only carry the opposite message, i.e., Hindu Rashtra stands for a single homogeneous national identity of the country and, therefore, they are dead opposed to it.

Apart from its patently political motivation, the charge also betrays stark ignorance about the Hindu Rashtra concept. Hindu is not the name of a religious faith like the Muslim or the Christian. It denotes the national way of life here. All those who feel firmly committed to the unity and sanctity of our country and our people, and look upon our great forebears as their national heroes and the sublime values of our cultural life as their points of veneration and emulation, are all Hindus. Here, the question of one’s personal faith does not come into play at all.

There are some other opposers who go even so far as say that it was because of the cry of Hindu Rashtra that Muslim League also raised the counter cry of Muslim Rashtra, which ultimately let to the Partition. The sheer perversity of this argument is so transparent that even a casual perusal of the developments of that period tells us that the very opposite is true. It was the protagonists of Hindu Rashtra like Savarkar and RSS who bitterly opposed the Partition till the very last. On the other hand, it was the Congress, the communists who continuously fed the fires of Muslim separatism which finally resulted in partition.

There is yet one another important fact. No protagonist of Hindu Rashtra ever said that Hindu would receive preferential treatment and Muslims would be reduced to second grade citizen in free Bharat. They all clearly affirmed that Bharat would be ruled under the democratic system of One man, one vote irrespective of one’s faith. So, there was no question of any discrimination involved in the concept of Hindu Rashtra against Muslims that warranted separate protection for them as against the Hindus.

At this juncture, a question may naturally crop up : If the modern secular concept of nation and Hindu Rashtra both accord equal rights to all its citizens, where does any difference lie at all between the two? Why insist on the word Hindu Rashtra? The difference is profound indeed as profound as between a living and a non living body. In short, Hindu Rashtra is essentially cultural and content, whereas the so called secular concept pertains to state and is limited to the territorial and political aspects of the Nation. State is just one of the instruments though a very vital one created by the nation to serve its material needs. The nation denotes the whole, while the state only a part. State represents functions of the body part, while the culture represents those of the mind and the intellect.

It is to denote this whole of our national entity that the word Hindu is used.

In fact, all those who pioneered, including those in Congress too, the national renaissance in general and the freedom movement in particular, had unreservedly used the word Hindu wherever they referred to our nation. They also never made any distinction between Hindu nation and Indian nation. Right from Swami Vivekananda and Aurobindo upto the famous Lal-Bal-Pal (Lala Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak, Bipin Chandra Pal) and Annie Besant, all of them had invoked the highest cultural and spiritual Hindu values as the points of inspiration for the freedom struggle.

It was only later on, when the Congress started parleys with the Muslim League on sharing of power that this national cum cultural content was given a go by and the territorial concept began ruling the roost. Thus was started by the Congress the wild goose chase of winning over the fanatical Muslim leadership to its finally ending in Partition.

Further, the mere political cum territorial concept divorced from its cultural essence can never be expected to impart any sanctity to the country’s unity. The emotional binding of the people can be furnished only by culture and once that is snapped then there remains no logical argument against the demand by any part to separate itself from the rest of the country.

And again, once we accept politics as the basis, then also there is no argument against the will of the people expressed democratically for their separation from the main body of the country. That is why when Jinnah argued that areas having a Muslim majority wanted to separate themselves, Congress had no reply on the basis of principle. In fact, Congress has even earlier adopted a resolution upholding the dictum of self determination for any part of the country. So, ideologically Congress was left with neither any emotional appeal nor any logic or argument to counter the demand for Pakistan.

During the 1945-46 General Elections also, even while assuring the Hindu voter of its resolve to maintain nation’s unity at all costs, Congress had declared in the same resolution its commitment to the principle of self determination. It was the same mentality that made Pt. Nehru accept the mischievous for plebiscite to decide the future of Kashmir.

If the principle of one single common motherland and one common culture binding all the people of Bharat into one single unbreakable nationhood which is what Hindu Rashtra means – had been shared by Congress as a matter of conviction, then the Congress would never have accepted to partitioning the country.

Then remains the question of the so called fears of Muslims and Christians in the event of Hindu Rashtra coming into its own. Would not the minorities be suppressed by the majority Hindus? As such, should not the minorities be afforded special rights by way of protection against the majority domination? This argument should stand automatically demolished when we remember that it was precisely this argument that led to the partition of the country. It was the British who planted the vicious seed of majority and minority complex in the body politic of our country and also went ahead with affording special rights and privileges to the Muslims with the specious argument of protecting their interests from the domination of majority. The Congress fell into the trap and started competing with the British in according greater and still greater rights to the Muslims finally acceding to Partition as well.

It is this Congress legacy that has perverted our political system during the last four decades and more of our freedom. The present day aggravation of Muslim fed by Congress and similar other groups including the Communists is entirely due to their distortion of our genuine national concept.

As regards the so called fears of the minorities, it is just a phantom propped up by interested politicians and religious fanatics to maintain their separatist grip upon their faithfuls. History tells us that even when Hindu kingdoms like Vijayanagar, the Hindu pad pad shahi under the Marathas and the Sikh rule under Ranjit Singh came up fighting out the Muslim oppression, the Muslims were never discriminated against. They had even risen to high position of power and prestige in administration.

On the contrary, the history of recent and present times tells us that it is opponents of Hindu Rashtra who have been aggravating and appeasing the minority complex. That is how, the various north eastern states like Nagaland, Mizoram, Meghalaya were sliced off from Assam to from separate states. It was because the pernicious theory of distinct tribal identities as being separate from the main Hindu body, set afloat by the British imperialists and nurtured by foreign christian missionaries, was blindly gulped down by our post independence rulers that the separatist elements were puffed up and various north eastern states created.

In fact, the granting of special provision of Art 370 to Kashmir has paved the way fir similar other demands like the cry for Khalistan. What answer does Congress have to the query if Kashmir can have special status, why not Punjab? So, we find that these are all the creations of Congress itself and not of Hindu Rashtrawalas. In fact, none of these separatist elements have ever spoken of Hindu Rashtra as a threat to their identity and that they were demanding separate status because of that.

On the positive side also, it can be safely stated that the most potent factor still binding the people in all insurrection infested parts with the rest of the country is the Hindu ethos. The experience of Hindu workers engaged in various social and cultural activities in all such areas also bears out the fact that Hindu appeal alone can successfully dissolve the separatist pulls and strengthen the spirit of their oneness and harmony with the rest of the country. Even in Punjab, we find the RSS and other Hindu oriented organisations standing as an impregnable bulwark against separatist propaganda. It is they who have by their profession and practice, come to command implicit confidence in the eyes of both Sikhs and non Sikh Hindus alike as a firm guarantee of our national unity and integrity.

Besides this emotive principle of national unity and integrity Hindu Rashtra furnishes the most practical mode for the country’s development in all the various diverse fields as the economic, educational, social, labour, agriculture, etc. Indeed the raison d’etre for the acceptance of Hindu Rashtra lies precisely in this; no aspect of human life is excluded from its encompass. It is a total philosophy of life. Already, the RSS men working in various fields of national life have come up with unique applications of Hindu though in fields such as labour, agriculture, education, social reforms, etc. Any impartial critic would readily concede that these indeed offer a highly positive, constructive and holistic approach for these fields. The wholesome impact of this approach is already in ample evidence in all areas where such organisations are forging ahead. The people too have come to recognise their activities and achievements as islands of hope and confidence in the otherwise enveloping gloom of failures and frustrations.

Finally, a word regarding the emerging trends vis a vis the Hindu Rashtra. If we have to assess it correctly, we have to first realise that Hindu Rashtra is neither a mere political ideology or much less an ism. It is the supreme fact of this soil and what the advocates of Hindu Rashtra are trying to do is just to make our people realize this inmost reality of our national life and live in tune with it. After all a nation, just as an individual, can evolve itself only when it attunes itself to its inborn genius. It will also strive its utmost to throw off any obstacles imposed upon it that might thwart its natural evolution.

It will reject such imposed theory or plan or project than is foreign to its native genius and ethos. That is how we find that several theories and plans imported from either the democratic west or the Communist bloc have miserable failed to click here. Since independence, socialism, socialistic pattern of society, democratic socialism and all such slogans had a field day at one time or another. They shone like meteors for a moment and then vanished from the horizon of Indian politics. Communism, which at one time fascinated the youth as the panacea for all the human ills has already found its graveyard in its fatherland and holylands. Country after country, projected till yesterday as Communist heavens, are unceremoniously throwing their prophets and pioneers overboard decrying their heaven as hell.

Even the non political movements like Sarvodaya, Bhoodan, Gramadan and total Revolution have also almost faded out of the public memory. On the other hand, it is only the philosophy of Hindu Rashtra which is steadily gaining ground all the time and has been expanding its philosophical horizon and its organisational network among the people continuously and consistently. No wonder, in days to come, the Hindu Rashtra philosophy certainly promises to fill the ideological vacuum in the nation’s mind in a most effective and inspiring manner.

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