Hindu nationalism | Wikipedia audio article

Hindu nationalism | Wikipedia audio article


Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred
to as the expression of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and
cultural traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Some scholars have argued that the use of
the term “Hindu nationalism” to refer to Hindū rāṣṭravāda is a simplistic translation
and is better described by the term “Hindu polity”.The native thought streams became
highly relevant in Indian history when they helped form a distinctive identity in relation
to the Indian polity and provided a basis for questioning colonialism. They inspired
the independence movements against the British Raj based on armed struggle, coercive politics,
and non-violent protests. They also influenced social reform movements and economic thinking
in India.Hindutva (meaning “Hinduness”), a term popularised by Hindu nationalist Vinayak
Damodar Savarkar in 1923, is the predominant form of Hindu nationalism in India. Hindutva
is championed by right-wing Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (RSS), widely regarded as the BJP’s parent organisation, along with its affiliate
organisations, notably the Vishva Hindu Parishad.==Modern age and the Hindu Renaissance in
the 19th Century==Many Hindu reform movements originated in
the nineteenth century. These movements led to the fresh interpretations of the ancient
scriptures of Upanishads and Vedanta and also emphasised on social reform. The marked feature
of these movements was that they countered the notion of western superiority and white
supremacy propounded by the colonizers as a justification for British colonialism in
India. This led to the upsurge of patriotic ideas that formed the cultural and an ideological
basis for the independence movement in India.===Brahmo Samaj===
The Brahmo Samaj was started by a Bengali scholar, Ram Mohan Roy in 1828. Ram Mohan
Roy endeavoured to create from the ancient Upanishadic texts, a vision of rationalist
‘modern’ India. Socially, he criticized the ongoing superstitions, and believed in a monotheistic
Vedic religion. His major emphasis was social reform. He fought against Caste discrimination
and advocated equal rights for women. Although the Brahmos found favourable response from
the British Government and the Westernized Indians, they were largely isolated from the
larger Hindu society due to their intellectual Vedantic and Unitarian views. But their efforts
to systematise Hindu spirituality based on rational and logical interpretation of the
ancient Indian texts would be carried forward by other movements in Bengal and across India.===Arya Samaj===Arya Samaj is considered one of the overarching
Hindu renaissance movements of the late nineteenth century. Swami Dayananda, the founder of Arya
Samaj, rejected idolatry, caste restriction and untouchability, child marriage and advocated
equal status and opportunities for women. He opposed “Brahmanism” (which he believed
had led to the corruption of the knowledge of Vedas) as much as he opposed Christianity
and Islam. Although Arya Samaj was often considered as a social movement, many revolutionaries
and political leaders of the Indian Independence movement like Ramprasad Bismil, Bhagat Singh,
Shyamji Krishnavarma, Bhai Paramanand and Lala Lajpat Rai were to be inspired by it.===Swami Vivekananda===Another 19th-century Hindu reformer was Swami
Vivekananda. Vivekananda as a student was educated in contemporary Western thought.
He joined Brahmo Samaj briefly before meeting Ramakrishna, who was a priest in the temple
of the goddess Kali in Calcutta and who was to become his guru. Under the influence of
Orientalism, Perennialism and Universalism, Vivekananda re-interpreted Advaita Vedanta,
presenting it as the essence of Hindu spirituality, and the development of human’s religiosity.
This project started with Ram Mohan Roy of Brahmo Samaj, who collaborated with the Unitarian
Church, and propagated a strict monotheism. This reinterpretation produced neo-Vedanta,
in which Advaita Vedanta was combined with disciplines such as yoga and the concept of
social service to attain perfection from the ascetic traditions in what Vivekananda called
the “practical Vedanta”. The practical side essentially included participation in social
reform.He made Hindu spirituality, intellectually available to the Westernized audience. His
famous speech at the Parliament of the World’s Religions at Chicago on 11 September 1893,
followed huge reception of his thought in the West and made him a well-known figure
in the West and subsequently in India too. His influence can still be recognised in popular
western spirituality, such as nondualism, New Age and the veneration of Ramana Maharshi.
A major element of Vivekananda’s message was nationalist. He saw his effort very much in
terms of a revitalisation of the Hindu nation, which carried Hindu spirituality and which
could counter Western materialism. The notions of White supremacy and Western superiority,
strongly believed by the colonizers, were to be questioned based on Hindu spirituality.
This kind of spiritual Hinduism was later carried forward by Mahatma Gandhi and Sarvepalli
Radhakrishnan. It also became a main inspiration for the current brand of Hindu nationalism
today. One of the most revered leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Babasaheb
Apte’s lifelong pet sentence was “Vivekananda is like Gita for the RSS.” Some historians
have observed that this helped the nascent Independence movement with a distinct national
identity and kept it from being the simple derivative function of European nationalisms.==Shaping of Hindu Polity & Nationalism in
the 20th century=====Sri Aurobindo===Sri Aurobindo was a nationalist and one of
the first to embrace the idea of complete political independence for India. He was inspired
by the writings of Swami Vivekananda and the novels of Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyay. He
“based his claim for freedom for India on the inherent right to freedom, not on any
charge of misgovernment or oppression”. He believed that the primary requisite for
national progress, national reform, is the free habit of free and healthy national thought
and action and that it was impossible in a state of servitude. He was part of the revolutionary
group Anushilan Samiti and was involved in armed struggle against the British In his
brief political career spanning only four years, he led a delegation from Bengal to
the Indian National Congress session of 1907 and contributed to the revolutionary newspaper
Bande Mataram. In his famous Uttarpara Speech, he outlined
the essence and the goal of India’s nationalist movement thus: “I say no longer that nationalism is a creed,
a religion, a faith; I say that it is the Sanatan Dharma which for us is nationalism.
This Hindu nation was born with the Sanatan Dharma, with it, it moves and with it, it
grows. When the Sanatan Dharma declines, then the nation declines, and if the Sanatan Dharma
were capable of perishing, with the Sanatan Dharma it would perish.”In the same speech,
he also gave a comprehensive perspective of Hinduism, which is at variance with the geocentric
view developed by the later day Hindu nationalist ideologues such as Veer Savarkar and Deendayal
Upadhyay: “But what is the Hindu religion ? What is
this religion which we call Sanatan, eternal ? It is the Hindu religion only because the
Hindu nation has kept it, because in this Peninsula it grew up in the seclusion of the
sea and the Himalayas, because in this sacred and ancient land it was given as a charge
to the Aryan race to preserve through the ages.But it is not circumscribed by the confines
of a single country, it does not belong peculiarly and for ever to a bounded part of the world.
That which we call the Hindu religion is really the eternal religion, because it is the universal
religion which embraces all others. If a religion is not universal, it cannot be eternal. A
narrow religion, a sectarian religion, an exclusive religion can live only for a limited
time and a limited purpose. This is the one religion that can triumph over materialism
by including and anticipating the discoveries of science and the speculations of philosophy.”
In 1910, he withdrew from political life and spent his remaining life doing spiritual exercises
and writing. But his works kept inspiring revolutionaries and struggles for independence,
including the famous Chittagong Uprising. Both Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo are
credited with having founded the basis for a vision of freedom and glory for India in
the spirituality and heritage of Hinduism.==Independence movement==
The influence of the Hindu renaissance movements was such that by the turn of the 20th century,
there was a confluence of ideas of the Hindu cultural nationalism with the ideas of Indian
nationalism. Both could be spoken synonymous even by tendencies that were seemingly opposed
to sectarian communalism and Hindu majoritism. The Hindu renaissance movements held considerable
influence over the revolutionary movements against the British rule and formed the philosophical
basis for the struggles and political movements that originated in the first decade of the
twentieth century.===Revolutionary movements=======Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar====
Anushilan Samiti was one of the prominent revolutionary movements in India in the early
part of twentieth century. It was started as a cultural society in 1902, by Aurobindo
and the followers of Bankim Chandra to propagate the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita. But soon
the Samiti had its goal to overthrow the British rule in India. Various branches of the Samiti
sprung across India in the guise of suburban fitness clubs but secretly imparted arms training
to its members with the implicit aim of using them against the British administration.On
30 April 1908 at Muzaffarpur, two revolutionaries, Khudiram Bose and Prafulla Chaki, threw bombs
at a British convoy aimed at British officer Kingsford. Both were arrested trying to flee.
Aurobindo was also arrested on 2 May 1908 and sent to Alipore Jail. The report sent
from Andrew Fraser, the then Lt Governor of Bengal to Lord Minto in England declared that
although Sri Aurobindo came to Calcutta in 1906 as a Professor at the National College,
“he has ever since been the principal advisor of the revolutionary party. It is of utmost
importance to arrest his potential for mischief, for he is the prime mover and can easily set
tools, one to replace another.” But charges against Aurobindo were never proved and he
was acquitted. Many members of the group faced charges and were transported and imprisoned
for life. Others went into hiding.In 1910, when, Aurobindo withdrew from political life
and decided to live a life of renounciate, the Anushilan Samiti declined. One of the
revolutionaries, Jatindra Das Mukherjee, who managed to escape the trial started a group
which would be called Jugantar. Jugantar continued with its armed struggle with the British,
but the arrests of its key members and subsequent trials weakened its influence. Many of its
members were imprisoned for life in the notorious Andaman Cellular jail.====India House====
A revolutionary movement was started by Shyamji Krishnavarma, a Sanskritist and an Arya Samajist,
in London, under the name of India House in 1905. The brain behind this movement was said
to be V D Savarkar. Krishnaverma also published a monthly “Indian Sociologist”, where the
idea of an armed struggle against the British was openly espoused. The movement had become
well known for its activities in the Indian expatriates in London. When Gandhi visited
London in 1909, he shared a platform with the revolutionaries where both the parties
politely agreed to disagree, on the question of violent struggle against British and whether
Ramayana justified such violence. Gandhi, while admiring the “patriotism” of the young
revolutionaries, had “dissented vociferously” from their “violent blueprints” for social
change. In turn the revolutionaries disliked his adherence to constitutionalism and his
close contacts with moderate leaders of Indian National Congress. Moreover, they considered
his method of “passive resistance” effeminate and humiliating.The India House had soon to
face a closure following the assassination of William Hutt Curzon Wyllie by the revolutionary
Madan Lal Dhingra, who was close to India House. Veer Savarkar also faced charges and
was transported. Shyamji Krishna Varma fled to Paris. India House gave formative support
to ideas that were later formulated by Savarkar in his book named ‘Hindutva’. Hindutva was
to gain relevance in the run up to the Indian Independence and form the core ideology of
the political party Hindu Mahasabha, of which Savarkar became President in 1937. It also
formed the key ideology, under the euphemistic relabelling Rashtriyatva (nationalism), for
the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh founded in 1925, and of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (the
present-day Bharatiya Janata Party) under another euphemistic relabelling Bharatiyata
(Indianness).===Indian National Congress=======”Lal-Bal-Pal”====
“Lal-Bal-Pal” is the phrase that is used to refer to the three nationalist leaders Lala
Lajpat Rai, Bal Gangadhar Tilak and Bipin Chandra Pal who held the sway over the Indian
Nationalist movement and the independence struggle in the early parts of twentieth century. Lala Lajpat Rai belonged to the northern province
of Punjab. He was influenced greatly by the Arya Samaj and was part of the Hindu reform
movement. He joined the Indian National Congress in 1888 and became a prominent figure in the
Indian Independence Movement. He started numerous educational institutions. The National College
at Lahore started by him became the centre for revolutionary ideas and was the college
where revolutionaries like Bhagat Singh studied. While leading a procession against the Simon
Commission, he was fatally injured in the lathi charge by the British police. His death
led the revolutionaries like Chandrashekar Azad and Bhagat Singh to kill the British
officer J. P. Saunders, who they believed was responsible for the death of Lala Lajpat
Rai.Bal Gangadhar Tilak was a nationalist leader from the Central Indian province of
Maharashtra. He has been widely acclaimed the “Father of Indian unrest” who used the
press and Hindu occasions like Ganesh Chaturthi and symbols like the Cow to create unrest
against the British administration in India. Tilak joined the Indian National Congress
in 1890. Under the influence of such leaders, the political discourse of the Congress moved
from polite accusation that imperial rule was “un-British” to the forthright claim of
Tilak that “Swaraj is my birthright and I will have it”.Bipin Chandra Pal of Bengal
was another prominent figure of the Indian nationalist movement, who is considered a
modern Hindu reformer, who stood for Hindu cultural nationalism and was opposed to sectarian
communalism and Hindu majoritism. He joined the Indian National Congress in 1886 and was
also one of the key members of revolutionary India House.====Gandhi and Ramarajya====Though Mahatma Gandhi never called himself
a “Hindu nationalist”; he believed in and propagated concepts like Dharma and “Rama
Rajya” (Rule of Lord Rama) as part of his social and political philosophy. Gandhi said
“By political independence I do not mean an imitation to the British House of commons,
or the soviet rule of Russia or the Fascist rule of Italy or the Nazi rule of Germany.
They have systems suited to their genius. We must have ours suited to ours. What that
can be is more than I can tell. I have described it as Ramarajya i.e., sovereignty of the people
based on pure moral authority.” He emphasised that “Rama Rajya” to him meant peace and justice.
“Whether Rama of my imagination ever lived or not on this earth, the ancient ideal of
Ramarajya is undoubtedly one of true democracy in which the meanest citizen could be sure
of swift justice without an elaborate and costly procedure.” He also emphasised that
it meant respect for all religions: “My Hinduism teaches me to respect all religions.
In this lies the secret of Ramarajya.”Madan Mohan Malviya, an educationist and a politician
with the Indian National Congress was also a vociferous proponent of the philosophy of
Bhagavad Gita. He was the president of the Indian National Congress in the year 1909
and 1918. He was seen as a ‘moderate’ in the Congress and was also considered very close
to Gandhi. He popularized the Sanskrit phrase “Satyameva Jayate” (Truth alone triumphs),
which today is the national motto of the Republic of India. He founded the Benaras Hindu University
in 1919 and became its first Vice-Chancellor.====Subhas Chandra Bose====Apart from Gandhi, revolutionary leader Netaji
Subhas Chandra Bose referred to Vedanta and the Bhagavad Gita as sources of inspiration
for the struggle against the British. Swami Vivekananda’s teachings on universalism,
his nationalist thoughts and his emphasis on social service and reform had all inspired
Subhas Chandra Bose from his very young days. The fresh interpretation of India’s ancient
scriptures appealed immensely to Subhas. Hindu spirituality formed the essential part of
his political and social thought through his adult life, although there was no sense of
bigotry or orthodoxy in it. Subhas who called himself a socialist, believed that socialism
in India owed its origins to Swami Vivekananda. As historian Leonard Gordan explains “Inner
religious explorations continued to be a part of his adult life. This set him apart from
the slowly growing number of atheistic socialists and communists who dotted the Indian landscape.”
“Hinduism was an essential part of his Indianess”. His strategy against the British also included
the use of Hindu symbols and festivals. In 1925, while in Mandalay jail, he went on a
hunger strike when Durga puja was not supported by prison authorities.===Keshav Baliram Hedgewar===Another leader of prime importance in the
ascent of Hindu nationalism was Dr Keshav Baliram Hedgewar of Nagpur. Hedgewar as a
medical student in Calcutta had been part of the revolutionary activities of the Hindu
Mahasabha, Anushilan Samiti and Jugantar. He was charged with sedition in 1921 by the
British Administration and served a year in prison. He was briefly a member of Indian
National Congress. In 1925, he left the Congress to form the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS)
with the help of Hindu Mahasabha Leader B. S. Moonje, Bapuji Soni, Gatate Ji etc., which
would become the focal point of Hindu movements in Independent India. After the formation
of the RSS too, Hedgewar was to take part in the Indian National Congress led movements
against the British rule. He joined the Jungle Satyagraha agitation in 1931 and served a
second term in prison. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh started by him became one of the most
prominent Hindu organisation with its influence ranging in the social and political spheres
of India. The RSS portrayed itself as a social movement rather than a political party, and
did not play central role many of the Indian independence movement. However, the RSS emphatically
rejected the Congress policy of cooperation with the Muslims. Subsequently, in 1934, the
Congress banned its members from joining RSS, Hindu Mahasabha or Muslim League. He died
in 1940. After M. S. Golwalkar became head of RSS in
1940. RSS didn’t take part in many anti-British activities, as Golwalkar did not want to give
the British any excuse to ban the RSS. After the Muslim League passed the Lahore Resolution
demanding a separate Pakistan, the RSS campaigned for a Hindu nation, but stayed away from the
independence struggle. When the British Government banned military drills and use of uniforms
in non-official organizations, Golwalkar terminated the RSS military department. A number of RSS
members had joined the Quit India Movement but not the naval revolt.==Partition of India==The Partition of India outraged many majority
Hindu nationalist politicians and social groups. Savarkar and members of the Hindu Mahasabha
were extremely critical of Mahatma Gandhi’s leadership. They accused him of appeasing
the Muslims. Some Hindu nationalists also blamed Gandhi for conceding Pakistan to the
Muslim League via appeasement. Also, they were further inflamed when Gandhi conducted
a fast-unto-death for the Indian government to give Rs. 550 million which were due to
the Pakistan government, but were being held back due to the Indo-Pakistani War of 1947.After
the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi by Nathuram Godse, the Sangh Parivar was plunged into
distress when the RSS was accused of involvement in his murder. Along with the conspirators
and the assassin, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was also arrested. The court acquitted Savarkar,
and the RSS was found be to completely unlinked with the conspirators. The Hindu Mahasabha,
of which Godse was a member, lost membership and popularity. The effects of public outrage
had a permanent effect on the Hindu Mahasabha, which is now a defunct Hindutva party.===Bengali Hindu Homeland Movement===The Bengali Hindu Homeland Movement refers
to the movement of the Bengali Hindu people for the Partition of Bengal in 1947 to create
a homeland for themselves within the Indian Union, in the wake of Muslim League’s proposal
and campaign to include the entire province of Bengal within Pakistan, which was to be
a homeland for the Muslims of British India. The movement began in late 1946, especially
after the Great Calcutta Killing and Noakhali genocide, gained significant momentum in April,
1947 and in the end met with success on 20 June 1947 when the legislators from the Hindu
majority areas returned their verdict in favour of Partition and Bengal province was divided
into West Bengal and East Pakistan.==Evolution of ideological terminology==
The word “Hindu”, throughout history, had been used as an inclusive description which
lacked a definition and was used to refer to the native traditions and people of India.
It was only in the late eighteenth century that the word “Hindu” came to be used extensively
with religious connotation, while still being used as a synecdoche describing the indigenous
traditions.===Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra=======Savarkar====Savarkar was one of the first in the twentieth
century to attempt a definitive description of the term “Hindu” in terms of what he called
Hindutva meaning Hinduness. The coinage of the term “Hindutva” was an attempt by Savarkar
who was an atheist and a rationalist, to de-link it from any religious connotations that had
become attached to it. He defined the word Hindu as: “He who considers India as both
his Fatherland and Holyland”. He thus defined Hindutva (“Hindu-ness”) or Hindu as different
from Hinduism. This definition kept the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam)
outside its ambit and considered only native religious denominations as Hindu.This distinction
was emphasised on the basis of territorial loyalty rather than on the religious practices.
In this book that was written in the backdrop of the Khilafat Movement and the subsequent
Malabar Rebellion, Savarkar wrote “Their [Muslims’ and Christians’] holy land is far off in Arabia
or Palestine. Their mythology and Godmen, ideas and heroes are not the children of this
soil. Consequently, their names and their outlook smack of foreign origin. Their love
is divided”.Savarkar, also defined the concept of Hindu Rashtra (translated as “Hindu polity”).
The concept of Hindu Polity called for the protection of Hindu people and their culture
and emphasised that political and economic systems should be based on native thought
rather than on the concepts borrowed from the West.====Mookerjee====Mookerjee was the founder of the Nationalist
Bharatiya Jana Sangh party, the precursor of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Mookerjee was
firmly against Nehru’s invitation to the Pakistani PM, and their joint pact to establish minority
commissions and guarantee minority rights in both countries. He wanted to hold Pakistan
directly responsible for the terrible influx of millions of Hindu refugees from East Pakistan,
who had left the state fearing religious suppression and violence aided by the state.
After consultation with Shri Golwalkar Guruji of RSS, Mookerjee founded Bharatiya Jana Sangh
on 21st Oct. 1951 at Delhi and he became the first President of it. The BJS was ideologically
close to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and widely considered the political arm of Hindu
Nationalism. It was opposed to appeasement of India’s Muslims. The BJS also favored a
uniform civil code governing personal law matters for both Hindus and Muslims, wanted
to ban cow slaughter and end the special status given to the Muslim-majority state of Jammu
and Kashmir. The BJS founded the Hindutva agenda which became the wider political expression
of India’s Hindu majority. Mookerjee opposed the Indian National Congress’s
decision to grant Kashmir a special status with its own flag and Prime Minister. According
to Congress’s decision, no one, including the President of India could enter into Kashmir
without the permission of Kashmir’s Prime Minister. In opposition to this decision,
he entered Kashmir on 11 May 1953. Thereafter, he was arrested and jailed in a dilapidated
house. Syama Prasad had suffered from dry pleurisy and coronary troubles, and was taken
to hospital one and a half months after his arrest due to complications arising from the
same. He was administered penicillin despite having informed the doctor-in-charge of his
allergy to penicillin, and he died on 23 June 1953. Mookherjee’s martyrdom later compelled
Nehru to remove Permit system, post of Sadar-e-Riayasat and of Prime Minister of Jammu & Kashmir.Along
with Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, Mukherjee is considered the godfather of Hindu nationalism
in India, especially the Hindutva movement. Though Mukherjee was not associated with RSS,
he is widely revered by members and supporters of the RSS and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.====Golwalkar====M. S. Golwalkar, the second head of the Rashtriya
Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), was to further this non-religious, territorial loyalty based definition
of “Hindu” in his book Bunch of Thoughts. Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra would form the
basis of Golwalkar’s ideology and that of the RSS. While emphasising on religious pluralism,
Golwalkar believed that Semitic monotheism and exclusivism were incompatible with and
against the native Hindu culture. He wrote: “Those creeds (Islam and Christianity) have
but one prophet, one scripture and one God, other than whom there is no path of salvation
for the human soul. It requires no great intelligence to see the absurdity of such a proposition.”
He added: “As far as the national tradition of this land is concerned, it never considers
that with a change in the method of worship, an individual ceases to be the son of the
soil and should be treated as an alien. Here, in this land, there can be no objection to
God being called by any name whatever. Ingrained in this soil is love and respect for all faiths
and religious beliefs. He cannot be a son of this soil at all who is intolerant of other
faiths.” He further would echo the views of Savarkar
on territorial loyalty, but with a degree of inclusiveness, when he wrote “So, all that
is expected of our Muslim and Christian co-citizens is the shedding of the notions of their being
‘religious minorities’ as also their foreign mental complexion and merging themselves in
the common national stream of this soil.”Golwalkar nominated for the post of General Secretary
in the General Election of Hindu Mahasabha in 1939, but Golwalkar faced defeat and he
left Hindu Mahasabha with quick decision, he decided to maintain distance from Hindu
Mahasabha. 1940-1946 Golwalkar maintained distance with
Hindu Mahasabha and boycotted every meeting and events in which Hindu Mahasabha was participating.
Golwalkar instructed Swayam Sewaks not to join Politics, but suddenly in 1946, Golwalkar
issued a statement to Swayam Sewaks and urged to participate in the National Elections from
Hindu Mahasabha. Later, Savarkar distributed most of the election ticket to RSS’s Swayam
Sewaks. Everything was going fine, but on the very next day of ending nomination date,
Golwalkar isseud new statement that “We had a successful talk with Gandhi Ji, Gandhi Ji
assured us that partition would not happen. So we will not oppose Gandhi Ji and Congress,
we will not participate in the Elections.” All the Swayam Sewaks were asked to surrender
their nominations, as all were nominated from Hindu Mahasabha. Due to this biggest back-step
by the chief of RSS, Hindu Mahasabha was unable to participate in the National Elections on
the major level. Later, in the Parliament of 1946, the Proposal
of Partition of India was passed with 157 votes of Congress, Muslim League and Communist
Party of India. Hindu Mahasabha won 13 seats and Ram Rajya Parishad won 4 seats, were not
sufficient to oppose the Bill of Partition of India.
After the assassination of Gandhi, Golwalkar and Hindu Mahasabha’s senior leaders such
as Shyama Prasad Mukharji founded a new political party as Jan-Sangh, many of Hindu Mahasabha
members joined Jan-Sangh.====Deendayal Upadhyaya====Deendayal Upadhyaya, another RSS ideologue,
presented the Integral Humanism as the political philosophy of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana
Sangh in the form of four lectures delivered in Bombay on 22–25 April 1965 as an attempt
to offer a third way, rejecting both communism and capitalism as the means for socio-economic
emancipation.====Contemporary descriptions====
Later thinkers of the RSS, like H. V. Sheshadri and K. S. Rao, were to emphasise on the non-theocratic
nature of the word “Hindu Rashtra”, which they believed was often inadequately translated,
ill interpreted and wrongly stereotyped as a theocratic state. In a book, H. V. Sheshadri,
the senior leader of the RSS writes “As Hindu Rashtra is not a religious concept, it is
also not a political concept. It is generally misinterpreted 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. The State changes as the political
authority shifts from person to person or party to party. But the people in the Nation
remain the same. They would maintain that the concept of Hindu Rashtra is in complete
agreement with the principles of secularism and democracy.The concept of “‘Hindutva” is
continued to be espoused by the organisations like the RSS and political parties like the
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But the definition does not have the same rigidity with respect
to the concept of “holy land” laid down by Savarkar, and stresses on inclusivism and
patriotism. BJP leader and the then leader of opposition, Atal Bihari Vajpayee, in 1998,
articulated the concept of “holy land” in Hindutva as follows: “Mecca can continue to
be holy for the Muslims but India should be holier than the holy for them. You can go
to a mosque and offer namaz, you can keep the roza. We have no problem. But if you have
to choose between Mecca or Islam and India you must choose India. All the Muslims should
have this feeling: we will live and die only for this country.”In a 1995 landmark judgment,
the Supreme Court of India observed that “Ordinarily, Hindutva is understood as a way of life or
a state of mind and is not to be equated with or understood as religious Hindu fundamentalism.
A Hindu may embrace a non-Hindu religion without ceasing to be a Hindu and since the Hindu
is disposed to think synthetically and to regard other forms of worship, strange gods
and divergent doctrines as inadequate rather than wrong or objectionable, he tends to believe
that the highest divine powers complement each other for the well-being of the world
and mankind.”==Post-independence movements=====Somnath temple movement===The Somnath temple is an ancient temple at
Prabhas Patan in the coastal Indian province of Gujarat, which had been destroyed several
times by the Muslim foreign invaders, starting with Mahmud Ghaznavi in 1025 AD. The last
of such destructions took place in 1706 AD when Prince Mohammad Azam carried out the
orders of Mughal ruler Aurangzeb to destroy the temple of Somnath beyond possible repair.
A small mosque was put in its place.Before Independence, Prabhas Patan where Somnath
is located was part of the Junagadh State, ruled by the Nawab of Junagadh. On the eve
of Independence the Nawab announced the accession of Junagadh, which had over 80% Hindu population,
to Pakistan. The people of Junagadh rose in revolt and set up a parallel government under
Gandhian leader and independence fighter, Samaldas Gandhi. The Nawab, unable to resist
the popular pressure, bowed out and escaped to Pakistan. The provincial government under
Samaldas Gandhi formally asked Government of India to take over. The Deputy Prime Minister
of India, Sardar Patel came to Junagadh on 12 November 1947 to direct the occupation
of the state by the Indian army and at the same time ordered the reconstruction of the
Somnath temple.When Sardar Patel, K. M. Munshi and other leaders of the Congress went to
Gandhiji with the proposal of reconstructing the Somnath temple, Gandhiji blessed the move,
but suggested that the funds for the construction should be collected from the public and the
temple should not be funded by the state. He expressed that he was proud to associate
himself to the project of renovation of the temple But soon both Gandhiji and Sardar Patel
died and the task of reconstruction of the temple was now continued under the leadership
of K. M. Munshi, who was the Minister for Food and Civil, supplies in the Nehru Government.The
ruins were pulled down in October 1950 and the mosque was moved to a different location.
In May 1951, Rajendra Prasad, the first President of the Republic of India, invited by K. M.
Munshi, performed the installation ceremony for the temple. Rajendra Prasad said in his
address, “It is my view that the reconstruction of the Somnath Temple will be complete on
that day when not only a magnificent edifice will arise on this foundation, but the mansion
of India’s prosperity will be really that prosperity of which the ancient temple of
Somnath was a symbol.” He added “The Somnath temple signifies that the power of reconstruction
is always greater than the power of destruction.”This episode created a rift between the President
and the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, who was afraid that the reconstruction of
the temple might be an attempt at “Hindu revivalism”, a claim that was spread by a “whispering campaign”
at that time. Nehru was not in favour of the president Rajendra Prasad and Union Minister
K. M. Munshi attending the ceremony, as he felt that a secular state must not associate
itself with religious rituals.===The emergence of the Sangh Parivar===The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, which was
started in 1925, had grown as a huge organisation by the end of British rule in India. But the
assassination of Gandhi and a subsequent ban on the organisation plunged it into distress.
The ban was revoked when it was absolved of the charges and it led to the resumption of
its activities.The 1960s saw the volunteers of the RSS join the different social and political
movements. Movements that saw a large presence of volunteers included the Bhoodan, a land
reform movement led by prominent Gandhian Vinoba Bhave and the Sarvodaya led by another
Gandhian Jayaprakash Narayan. RSS supported trade union, the Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh and
political party Bharatiya Jana Sangh also grew into considerable prominence by the end
of the decade. Another prominent development was the formation
of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), an organisation of Hindu religious leaders, supported by the
RSS, with the aim of uniting the various Hindu religious denominations and to usher social
reform. The first VHP meeting at Mumbai was attended among others by all the Shankaracharyas,
Jain leaders, Sikh leader Master Tara Singh Malhotra, the Dalai Lama and contemporary
Hindu leaders like Swami Chinmayananda. From its initial years, the VHP led a concerted
attack on the social evils of untouchability and casteism while launching social welfare
programmes in the areas of education and health care, especially for the Scheduled Castes,
backward classes and the tribals.The organisations started and supported by the RSS volunteers
came to be known collectively as the Sangh Parivar. Next few decades saw a steady growth
of the influence of the Sangh Parivar in the social and political space of India.===Ayodhya dispute===The Ayodhya dispute (Hindi: अयोध्या
विवाद, Urdu: ایودھیا وِواد‬‎) is a political, historical and socio-religious
debate in India, centred on a plot of land in the city of Ayodhya, located in Faizabad
district, Uttar Pradesh. The main issues revolve around access to a site traditionally regarded
as the birthplace of the Hindu deity Rama, the history and location of the Babri Mosque
at the site, and whether a previous Hindu temple was demolished or modified to create
the mosque.===Bengali Hindu homeland===Bengali Hindu homeland, commonly referred
as Bangabhumi (Bengali: বঙ্গভূমি, meaning the land of Bengal) and Bir Bango
(Bengali: বীর বঙ্গ), is a separatist movement to create a Hindu country using southwestern
Bangladesh, envisioned by Banga Sena of Bangladesh.===Panun Kashmir===Panun Kashmir (Kashmiri: पनुन कश्मीर
(Devanagari), پنون کشمیر (Nastaleeq)) is an organisation of displaced Kashmiri Pandits
(Kashmiri Hindus) founded in December 1990 in Jammu, in order to demand that a separate
homeland for Kashmir’s Hindu population be carved out of the overwhelmingly Muslim Valley
of Kashmir. Almost the entire Pandit population was expelled from Kashmir in 1990 by separatist
militants for their religion===Ghar Wapsi===Ghar Wapsi (Hindi: घर वापसी,
meaning “Home Coming”) is a series of re-conversion exercises organised by Vishva Hindu Parishad
and Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to re-convert non-Hindus to Hinduism. The Indian Express
reported that Scheduled Caste Manjhi families demanded better facilities along with education
and healthcare before they reconverted.===Bahu Lao, Beti Bachao===Bahu Lao, Beti Bachao is a campaign by Bajrang
Dal to encourage young Hindu men to marry non-Hindu girls and to create awareness among
Hindu girls about Love Jihad. The movement has been successful in West Bengal.==See also==Saffron terror
Hindu nationalist parties Hindu revolution
Hinduism in India History of India
Religion in India Religious violence in India==References=====Citations=====Further reading====External links==
Voice of Dharma Hindu contemporary activism
Damodharan, Dipin (1 August 2011). “Hindu Nation: The Undisputed Legacy Of Every Indian”.
American Chronicle. Balbir K, Punj, “Hindu Rashtra” South Asian
Journal

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