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RSS Chief's reiteration of Hindutva definition somehow appears ambiguous this time
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat has once again reiterated his new found definition of 'Hindutva' while saying that 'Hindustan is a Hindu nation, Hindutva is its identity and Hinduism can incorporate other religions too!'.

Bhagwat said all this while addressing the inaugural function of the Golden Jubilee celebration of 'Vishwa Hindu Parishad' which was founded on August 29-30, 1964. Earlier in Cuttack he had expressed that Hindutva is a cultural identity of all Indians irrespective of the religion s/he professes.

Further he said that, "For the next five years we have to work with the aim of bringing equality among all Hindus in the country. All Hindus should be drinking water at one place, should be praying at one place and their bodies should be burnt at the same place.' Clearly this is a goal set for VHP for coming five years.

While it's good that Bhagwat is consistent on his definition of Hindutva for the second time, but there were quite sharp contradictions featured in this second reiteration.

First he was addressing one of its sister organisation VHP. Does VHP endorse to his Hindutva definition? None has said anything against RSS chief's version, but a clear understanding of VHP's founding philosophy no way endorse Bhagwat's definition.

VHP was established as a right wing organisation to protect the interest of Hindu 'Dharma'! I repeat this Dharma word again only highlights that VHP considers Hinduism as a religion, not culture. Although they accommodated Buddhists, Sikhs, Jain as well as native tribals as part of greater Hindu fraternity, they are from very beginning against Islam and Christian.

They are against religious conversion and cow slaughter. They are under oath to protect the Hindu temples, rebuild Rama Mandir and all such temples that were destroyed during Muslim rulers in India. Thus VHP primarily is a religious organisation which believes that only Sanatana Dharma followers and other religion that has orientated in India are only qualified Hindus.

Thus the organisation VHP doesn't fit in to Bhagwat's definition of Hindu. Further if we analyse his five year goal for VHP, it doesn't speak incorporation of other religions in to Hindu fold where Hinduism would be only Indian culture and not a religion at all!

His goal is simply to eradicate the untouchable word in the present caste system. That's why he asked for drinking water at same place, praying at same and place and also dead-bodies to be burnt at the same place.

However liberal our existing majority religion is, the stark reality even now practices in rural area. There is twin tumbler system in villages for drinking water, one for dalits and another upper-caste. There are separate cremating places for last rituals of dead people for upper caste and lower caste. For dalits, temple entry is banned.

Thus when he talks about bringing equality among Hindus he doesn't refer all Indians! Muslims and Christains doesn't have twin tumbler system. These are few things which are included in VHP's basic ideology. VHP from the beginning is against caste system. At the same time it believes that Muslims and Christians are neither Hindus nor even Indians.

Thus Mohan Bhagwat needs urgent corrections to maintain his Hindutva definition. Either VHP be renamed as 'Vishwa Sanatana Dhrama Parishada' or the basic ideology of VHP needs to be corrected.

According to my opinion I full heartedly support Bhagwat's assertion of the fact that all Indians are Hindu's and Hindutva is the cultural identification of all Indians irrespective of any one's religion. But this needs to be established unambiguously. It can't be convincing that RSS's Hindutva is different from VHP's Hindutva.

Other religions are in fact part of Hindu culture. But if you say other religions can be accommodated in Hinduism, this too gives bit ambiguous message. Can be accommodated means, they are not yet accommodated and may be you extend some mercy in accommodating them! On the other hand while saying Hindusim, you didn't say what Hinduism you mean. You say Hindutva is culture but what is Hinduism according to you? Is it a religion? If yes then the definition of Hindutva as culture sounds hollow!

If you're true to yourself Mr. Bhagwat, then both Hinduism and Hindutva should be synonymous and represent the great Indian culture. This culture instead of 'can accommodate' should have told as all Indians are equal part of it!

No doubt Bhagwat's intentions are noble which can unite India in better ways, but home work needs to be done. He needs to speak to all those right wing people. If he succeeds, then he would be a legend in this country.

I can suggest one small yet very significant step forward for him which would require much courage to implement. If he can do this, he definitely ends up proving Hindutva as the national cultural identity. The step is to motivate people not to write their religion as 'Hindu' in various forms (government as well as non-government). One can write his religion as 'Sanatana Dharma instead of Hindu!

Point is simple, as long as religious tag is not removed from the term 'Hindu' you can't make it a culture and acceptable by all!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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