We have been lectured for long about the virtues of ‘Hindutva’ with the reference of 1995 Supreme Court Judgment. And the latest development bear witness that the term ‘Hindutva’ had successfully brought exponential dividends to the political fortunes of RSS / BJP juggernaut since 2014 – with the exception of Bihar and Delhi. They are now ruling the country and opposition is almost decimated.
Apart from the windbags of RSS, our Prime Minister Modi has often talked about Hindutva and we’re enlightened by the latest advocacy of Hindutva by new CM of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanth. It suggests how the wind blows.
And even before the statement of UP’s new Chief could have been fully covered by media we are hearing the devastating consequences of the wrong message that is gone and consumed by some of the Gaurakha fanatics.
“One PEHLU Khan from Jaisinghpur village, in Nuh tehsil of Mewat had gone to Jaipur last Friday. He was planning to buy a milch buffalo. A dairy farmer, he was hoping to increase milk production during Ramzan. Being unmindful of what was there in store for him, he decided to buy a milch cow and that decision cost him his life. According to his son: “My father was in a pickup truck with a Rajasthan numberplate, along with Azmat, who is also from our village. There were two cows and two calves in the truck. Irshad, I and another villager were in the other pickup truck which had three cows and three calves,” said Aarif. He recounted how the gau rakshaks stopped their vehicles, dragged them out and assaulted them with sticks and belts. Stating that the police came about 20-30 minutes later, he said they were almost unconscious by then. The gau rakshaks reportedly accused them of illegally smuggling cows for slaughter.
The five men were also robbed of their wallets and cellphones. Irshad reportedly had about Rs 75,000 while another person lost about Rs 35,000.”
In view of the 1995 judgment the honorable Supreme Court that had come to the conclusion that the words “Hinduism” or “Hindutva” are not necessarily to be understood and construed narrowly, confined only to the strict Hindu religious practices unrelated to the culture and ethos of the People of India depicting the way of life of the Indian people. we Indians were expecting a pleasant, tolerant and broader outlook. The judgment had emphasized that unless the context of a speech indicates a contrary meaning or use, in the abstract, these terms are indicative more of a way of life of the Indian people and are not confined merely to describe persons practicing the Hindu religion as a faith”. This clearly means that, by itself, the word “Hinduism” or “Hindutva” indicates the culture of the people of India as a whole, irrespective of whether they are Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Jews etc.
What the right-radicals fail to read between the lines is that Supreme Court judgment never suggested the total neglect of the way of life and interests of Indian minorities whose religious rites, doctrines, practices and outlook of life is in deep variance with those of the dominant faith. During the electoral campaign the purpose of RSS was to achieve the narrow parochial consolidation of those whose faith and culture is based on the tacit tenets of Hindu Religion.
Did the average Indian electorate understand what it’s meant by ‘Hindutva Culture’ and what connoted the Hindu faith that often theologically runs at a tangent to the monotheistic belief?
What is his / her spontaneous reaction after hearing these words? Are these words inclusive to the culture and practices of other Indian religions that have their roots outside the geographical boundaries of ‘Bharatvarsh?”
Culture is a complex amalgam of religion, language, arts and crafts, the ways of earning, the professional skills and the historical backdrop.
What we have seen is the clarion call of denunciation of those who came as invaders – the Muslims, who in a little while, had melted into the beautiful Indian cocktail. What we observe today is an appeal to vote for Hindutva focused only to vote for the Hindu religion. It is clearly antagonistic to spirit of the Supreme Court Judgment and also against the practice as defined by section 123(3) of the Representation of the People Act 1951. Hinduism is a way of life and not the plan of religious bigotry. It is not to facilitate the ascendancy of “narrow and supremacist interpretations of history” of one religion, one culture, and one kind of politics.
Justice Verma, in his judgment had concluded in 1995 that “no precise meaning can be ascribed to the terms `Hindu’, `Hindutva’ and `Hinduism’; and no meaning in the abstract can confine it to the narrow limits of religion alone, excluding the content of Indian culture and heritage”.
There is difference between a genuine Hindustani and the one who want to grab the total power using Hindutva as the deceptive stair case. The Hindusanti or Hindutva culture and Hindu Religious Rites are two different concepts that are poles apart for non-Hindu Indians.
By Naim Naqvi