Are Hindutva and Hinduism different ?

” Sanatan dharma and classical Hinduism known to saints was being pushed aside by a robust version similar to the jihadist Islam of group like ISIS and Boko haram of recent years ” – Salman Khurshid ( book – Sunrise over Ayodhya , chapter – Saffron sky , page no. 113 )

The news should have come in the media that ‘Khurshid Ji mistakenly mentioned ‘Jihadist’ Islam while comparing Hindutva and terrorism.’ Because the notion that ‘terrorism is secular’ has been maintained in today’s society. But that did not happen. The reason behind this will be known from the immediate statement of Rahul Gandhi, the Congress spokesperson.

So Rahulji says, ” We have to accept that there are two ideologies in India – the congress ideology and the RSS ideology. BJP and RSS had spread hatred in today’s India. Is HINDUISM about beating a Sikh or a Muslim ? HINDUTVA , of course , is. We say there is difference between Hindutva and Hinduism. It is a simple logic – if you are a Hindu then why do you need Hindutva ? Why do you need this new name ? “

Rahulji, Hindutva is just a new name. But its existence is ancient. Hindutva is Hinduness in hinduism. And the Sikhs themselves are Hindus. Rahulji’s statement seems to suit his personality. Which no one dares to call ‘ideological and philosophical’. Still, as usual, it was picked up by the mad fair.

Rahulji’s endeavor is to show how Congress party is as inclusive as Hinduism inspired by ancient saints. How BJP and RSS, which run on hateful thoughts of Hindutva, are sectarian and so on. It is clear that Rahulji has given such a meaningless interpretation of Hindutva but he makes a ridiculous statement that ‘ Does Hinduism teach to kill Sikhs and Muslims? Hindutva, however, teaches it! ‘ height of foolishness.

  • Misconceptions about Hindutva

If you ask an ordinary pro-Hindu, ‘ what is Hindutva and Hindu Dharma? ’ So he will say that both are one and the same or he will say that Hindutva is like Hinduism only it has a connection with politics. If you ask a Marxist historian or an atheist and a secularist, he will say that Hindutva is a fascist political supremacist, patriarchal, abusive and racist force of upper caste, to some extent middle class Hindus. Our Salmanji may belong to this class. In that too, linking Hindutva with terrorism shows the shortcomings in his thoughtful attitude. However, in order to avoid confusion among the common people created by so-called thinkers, let us know the relationship between Hindutva and Hindu Dharma.

  • Hindutva is history !

Savarkar writes ,

Hindutva is not a word but a history. Not only the spiritual or religious history of our people as at times it is mistaken to be by being confounded with the other cognate term Hinduism, but a history in full. Hinduism is only a derivative, a fraction, a part of Hindutva. Unless it is made clear what is meant by the latter the first remains unintelligible and vague. Failure to distinguish between these two terms has given rise to much misunderstanding and mutual suspicion between some of those sister communities that have inherited this inestimable and common treasure of our Hindu civilization.

In tracing this history, the question that needs to be considered is ‘ what is it that has kept Hindus united for decades? ‘ ‘What exactly is this in Hinduism and hindu culture that called the Hinduness? ‘ Savarkar was in search of an answer to such a question. He called that nationalistic historical unified hinduness- ‘Hindutva’ !

Naturally, Hinduism should be a distinct and natural religion of the people living in this land. Hinduism is a religion.

  • Savarkar says ,

    By an ‘ism’ it is generally meant a theory or a code more or less based on spiritual or religious dogma or creed. Had not linguistic usage stood in our way then ‘Hinduness’ would have certainly been a better word than Hinduism as a near parallel to Hindutva. Hindutva embrases all the departments of thought and activity of the whole Being of our Hindu race.

But how can a group of such contradictory sects like vaidik, jain , buddhist , sikh etc. be ‘One’ the unity ? Hence, it could be conclude that Hindus do not live in such unity and this is not a nation; On the contrary, it is concluded that it is divided by different religions.

  • Savarkar further says,

    Hinduism means the ‘ism’ of the Hindus; and as the word Hindu has been derived from the word Sindhu, the Indus, meaning primarily all the people who reside in the land that extends from Sindhu to Sindhusagar, Hinduism must necessarily mean the religion or the religions that are peculiar and native to this land and these people. If we are unable to reduce the different tenets and beliefs to a single system of religion then the only way would be to cease to maintain that Hinduism is a system and to say that it is a set of systems consistent with, or if you like, contradictory or even conflicting with, each other. But in no case can you advance this your failure to determine the meaning of Hinduism as a ground to doubt the existence of the Hindu nation itself, or worse still to commit a sacrilege in hurting the feelings of our Avaidik brethren and Vaidik Hindu brethren alike, by relegating any of them to the Non-Hindu pale.

But in spite of religious differences, Jains, Vedic and Sanatani, Buddhists, sikhs are under unity in spite of their opposite religious views, they have Hinduness in them ! What exactly is the reason for this brotherhood, unity, Hinduness or ‘Hindutva’? The answers to the questions are in the same history. Savarkar discovered the reasons behind that hinduness (Hindutva). He was the first who defined it exactly.

आसिंधुसिंधुपर्यंता यस्य भारत भूमिका ।
पितृभूः पुण्यश्चैव सवै हिंदुरिती स्मृतः ||

This is the concept ‘Hinduness’ ! This is the soul of the word ‘ Hindu ‘ . This is the difference between non-Hindus and Hindus. This is Ek-rashtra. How this interpretation fits is a different matter. It is sponsored here to discuss Hindutva and Hinduism.

  • Why Hindu and Hindu Dharma are not same ?

How many Islamic nations are there in the world? Indonesia, Turkey, Arabia, Iraq, Iran, egypt, etc. So why all these different nations? The difference between Turkey and Islam is somewhat similar between Hindutva and Hinduism. ( Remember, difference is not based on Land ) Even though China and Japan are Buddhist , they are not Hindus, because they don’t have the ‘Hinduness’ – Hindutva. A person from a foreign country may be practicing any sect of Hinduism but he is not a Hindu.

Watch : Definition of Hindutva

  • Savarkar elaborates about this concept as follows –

    in the case of some of our Mohammedan or Christian countrymen who had originally been forcibly converted to a non-Hindu religion and who consequently have inherited along with Hindus, a common Fatherland and a greater part of the wealth of a common culture-language, law, customs, folklore and ĥistory-are not and cannot be recognized as Hindus. For though Hindusthan to them is Fatherland as to any other Hindu yet it is not to them a Holyland too. Their holyland 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 a foreign origin. Their love is divided. Nay, if some of them be really believing what they profess to do, then there can be no choice-they must, to a man, set their Holy-land above their Fatherland in their love and allegiance. That is but natural. We are not condemning nor are we lamenting. We are simply telling facts as they stand. We have tried to determine the essentials of Hindutva and in doing so we have discovered that the Bohras and such other Mohammedan or Christian communities possess all the essential qualifications of Hindutva but one and that is that they do not look upon India as their Holyland.

For example, Sister Nivedita! We respect her so much because she is our religious sister. But she have nothing to do with Hindutva because her ancestors are not Hindus, her ‘fatherland’ is not India. They all belong to Hindu Dharma. The same applies to Hindu Buddhists in China and Japan. And people who used to be Hindus, then converted later are not called Hindus because even though their ancestors were Hindus, even though India is their ‘fatherland’, their religion is not Hinduism! As soon as they accept Hinduism again, they will become Hindus. And non-Hindus like Bhagini Nivedita can also become Hindus by establishing blood relations with Hindus. From this it is clear how Hinduism is an integral part of Hindutva even though it is different from Hindutva. Also, if anyone thinks that this has anything to do with terrorism, then he must be a ‘ great ‘philosopher like ‘Salman Khurshid’.

  • Conclusion

Yes, Hindutva and Hinduism are different. But, Hinduism is the integral part of Hindutva. Hindutva is the Hinduness ; not any terrorist or political ideology. Hindutva is the soul of the word Hindu. Please don’t believe on any political statement . Just read the book ‘Hindutva: who is Hindu’ written by Veer Savarkar, then conclude.

Read : Why should untouchability be eradicated ?

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