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A Way of Life: Hinduism's Versus Hindutva's

One is a Hindu by birth. No rite is required to be performed to make him a full-fledged Hindu .He may believe in God or may not believe in God .He may refuse to visit a temple or perform POOJA .He may criticise or condemn Hindu gods and goddesses and yet remain a Hindu .It is very different in Islam and Christianity .You cannot remain a Muslim if you do not believe in the Quran and Allah or believe in any other god except Allah. In Christianity also you have to go through Baptism. you may even be ex-communicated for certain unChristian acts.

In Hinduism, religious and social values are transmitted from generation to generation in the family through mythology and the stories of icons from the past like that of Satya Harishchandra, Danveer Karn, Dharmraj Yudhishtir , Maryadapurush Ram and many others .A Hindu is taught to be kind, compassionate, to be generous, sacrificing, free from anger, vengeance and greed etc .* These values influenced the life of the people in ancient times .

Freedom of thought and expression allowed Charvak to propagate his atheist philosophy, allowed Buddha to revolt against Sanatan Dharm and convert Hindus to Buddhism - the religion he founded, and Adi Shankaracharya to established his philosophy throughout India by Sastrarth /debate only .

The freedom of thought and expression, tolerance and the other values defined Hinduism's way of life.

The RSS-BJP categorically and rightly assert that their Hindutva has nothing to do with Hinduism, which is a religion. They emphatically assert that their Hindutva is only 'A WAY OF LIFE ', which should be followed by Indians regardless of their religion .But there is no literature to tell us what the way of life called Hindutva is .So, the only source of knowledge and information regarding Hindutva as a way of life is the conduct of the practitioners of Hindutva: the RSS, BJP and the other members of the Sangh Pariwar like Bajarang Dal, Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad.Vishwa Hindu Parishad etc.

Hindutva as a 'way of life ' was in operation during the riots of 2002 in Gujarat under Modi. The then PM, Vajpayee, found it against 'Raj Dharm'. It was in operation when Akhlaq was lynched in UP and Pehlu Khan in Rajasthan. It has been in operation when JNU was attacked and when Kanhaiya Kumar and the others were attacked in the court in Delhi by the Hindutva lawyers and goons. The Hindutva brigade attacked Ramjas College and many other institutions. The Hindutva brigade breaks meetings, indulges in vandalisation of meetings expressing opinions they consider wrong. They beat up the people they disapprove of .They are prompt in asking any Indian to go to Pakistan if they do not like what he says.

They choose as C.M. a person who exhorts his followers to dig Muslim women from the grave and rape them and has been declaring that if they (the Muslims) kill one we would kill 100. Their Ministers and leaders have been making statements calculated to create communal tension and riots .

Let us agree for the sake of argument that Akhlaq was cooking beef, that Pehlu Khan was taking the cattle to slaughter, that anti-national speeches were made at JNU and Ramjas College, that such anti -national acts occurred at other places also, but did the occurrences give the Hindutva brigade the right to kill, vandalise, beat and perpetrate other such crimes in the country? Just because the Hindutva Brigade is in power, do its affiliates have become a law unto themselves and have become entitled to assume the power of life and death over the people of India ?

And finally are we ready to accept this Hindutva as a way of life for ourselves?


*Nothing said here should be understood to imply or state that Hinduism is an ideal religion and is free from injustice.

#Does the Hindutva concede other organisations the same right to kill and beat them if they also consider the Hindutva anti-national? Or the right to decide what is anti-national and award punishment or is it the monopoly of only the Hindutva Brigade?


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Related Bulletin : Jul 2017