Home English Articles What is Hindutva and why do Secularists paint it as Rightwing?

What is Hindutva and why do Secularists paint it as Rightwing?


When I was working as a journalist in New York, my son used to tease me and call me a liberal. I am a liberal but now it means different things to a different set of people in India. For instance, I am a Hindu, whatever that means. Sadhguru says, it means people born in a geographical area between the Himalayas and the Indian Ocean and there are numerous sects within us and a number of writings that include the Vedas, the Upanishads, The Geeta and so many more including the Buddhists and Jains.

We believe in many gods but the basics are a belief in nature and the universe and a oneness with these elements and thus are of a philosophy that was born in this land. If we talk about this or say we are proud of it, we become Hindutva. It seems it is a shame to be Hindu, at least this is what the so- called liberals have been saying for decades and now we are also called intolerant.

There are only a billion of us who belong to this rather prolific geographical race. Thanks to recent DNA testing it seems the Aryans never invaded us. We evolved as a civilization without the help of outside invaders. I got further proof of this not only by western scientific discovery but by visiting an ancient site just like Harappa in Hissar, Haryana very recently. We were taken to mounds next to a village where Harappan aged bricks, terracotta pieces had been found. They were dated back to before invasions into our hinterland. In fact, 5000 years ago, according to the symmetrical sizes of bricks found here we had developed mathematics. Later there was Aryabhata and others who actually invented numbers and even more important the Zero or Shunya.

Thus, the Muslim Arabs who invaded our lands had nothing to do with mathematics or science. It was us the Hindus who had developed the Zero or Shunya and numbers. When President Obama went to Egypt and spoke about how great the Muslim Civilization was and how they had given the world integral parts of mathematics, I cringed with despair as the Islamic world had simply taken it from India in the 12th Century after four hundred years of invasions. The Hindu or Indic civilization as written about extensively in The Clash of Civilizations by Samuel Huntington is clear about how science and math travelled borders and got translated into local languages and wise men from different lands adopted it as their own.

Therefore, even today it is believed by many superficial scholars that the Arabs invented mathematics. There are western academics who think there was a Golden Age of Islam but fail to see that what the Arabs claimed was borrowed from India, China, Greece and the Roman Empire where arts, architecture and science flourished. No one in their right mind can actually think that in 7th Century Arabia there existed a flourishing civilization. There is no proof of this.

In the 7th and 8th Century, Islamic hordes conquered Europe, China and India where these innovations were flourishing and then acquired it as their own. I do wish President Obama had known this when he told the Egyptians’ how much the Islamic civilization had contributed to science and arts.

Here in India the real clash of civilizations is taking place as I write this; not between castes and religions but between Hindus who deride Hindutva and they are called secular and tolerant and the vast majority who have finally reacted against it and are termed by the so-called secularists as intolerant. Fortunately, I fall in this proud Hindu category which I learnt today is being Hindutva—believing in my heritage. The Saffron bit and the other such aspects are merely adjectives that the secular and very biased media add on to us Hindus in a derogative way. Please note they are all Hindus. So, the clash is between us and not from other religions.

As the brilliant columnist, Jay Bhattacharjee writes in Swarajya on March 13th 2017, about the Governing party (BJP) winning five states in India and how it was portrayed: “The secularist storm troopers (SS), of course, are hardened psychological warriors and putting up a brave front when their ship is going down comes naturally to them. From their early youth, they are taught the skills of mental bluster, sang froid and intellectual calisthenics.

When they are out-maneuvered and outsmarted, they can always draw on the helplines extended by their handlers in various parts of the globe. Make no mistake, the resources at the command of the latter are humongous.”

This is true. After 60 years of calling the shots they do have their chamchas (sycophants) as we would say in Hindi in institutions and organizations such as the mainstream media here and abroad. Sixty years is akin to brainwashing and getting three generations aboard in almost every facet of life.

No wonder the media and political parties are so aghast by the BJP winning three states by a comfortable margin and two more by forming a government. The SS will try their best as they never give up in derailing India’s development agenda and trying to muddy the waters but finally the BJP have got the upper hand and it is up to us the citizens of India to ignore the naysayers and give PM Modi all the help he needs.

As he said clearly, it is not that they won’t make mistakes but never intentionally; and he will do whatever it takes to make the dreams of Indians come true; and work hard to get it done. On these three qualities no one can doubt him—-except for the so called Secularists who are jaded beyond belief and are clutching at straws.

By Ashali Varma

Freelance journalist Ashali Varma has authored the biography of her father late Lt. Gen. PS Bhagat — ‘The Victoria Cross: A Love Story’. She was executive producer with the International Commentary Service Inc, New York in 1990. She was the executive publisher of The Earth Times, New York (1992- 98). She has also worked as the editor of Choices Magazine, United Nations Development Programme.

Courtesy: Times of India