Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hindustan or Hindusthan?

India is proud to call itself a subcontinent. It is a land of diverse religions , languages and cultures. The Constitution of India hoped to preserve this uniqueness. India was declared a Socialist Secular Democratic Republic. Everyone is free to profess and promote the religion of their choice. However, in recent decades Politics have become a-constitutional. It has become religious. Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) , a Hindu Nationalist Party has emerged to be the strongest opposition against Congress. Its formative policy , Hindutva , is a-secular in nature. The base of communalism , however , was set up in pre-independence era.
The British policy of ‘divide and rule’ is well-known. The formation of Muslim League and the separate electorates were products of this policy. History as a discipline emerged in the British era. The Aryan theory was of prime importance for both Indians and Europeans. Sanskrit was classified in the Indo-European linguistic family. For a period of time it was believed that Aryans spread from India. However , it was soon refuted. The superiority of Aryans had suited Indian sensibilities. It was in this background that V.D. Savarkar propagated his theory of Hindutva . It rested on two pillars , one of ‘land of birth’ and the other of ‘land of worship’ or birthplace of religion. He defined hindu as anyone who considered this Bharatbhoomi as his fatherland. He gave the concept of Hindusthan or Hindu Rashtra. He remarked, “In Hindusthan , hindus are a nation. The rest are communities , numerically minorities”. Herein the roots of the famous two-nation theory can be found. Dr. Hedgewar founded the Rashriya Swamasewak Sangh(RSS) with the goal of promoting Hindutva or hinduness. Archaeological , literary and genetic evidence now claim Aryans to be immigrants from Iran but as this theory is not compatible with Hindutva , Hindutva propagators refute this with baseless theories. Muslim Fascism did not lag behind. The Muslim League’s two-nation theory comprising Hindusthan and Pakistan is famous. Both Hindu and Muslim fascism led to the partition of independent India. The riots that followed severed hearts deeply. The pain became hereditary in nature. Only a spark was required to ignite the communities. In 1990s BJP Leader L.K. Advani came up with a flame torch. He drew attention to a mosque which was originally a temple. He demanded the liberation of ‘Ram Janmbhoomi’ by demolishing the Babri Masjid. RSS and other affiliated parties supported him. The Ayodhya Dispute became the platform for BJP. In 1992 , when BJP was the State Government , thousands of communalists (they called themselves..karsewaks) attacked the mosque. There was unprecedented rioting across the country. In 2002 , there was another communal earthquake known as the Godhra riots or the Gujarat Carnage. Terrorism was the answer to these attacks. The Islamic terrorists claims to take ‘revenge’.
But BJP and its affiliated groups still raise the ‘Ram Mandir’ issue incessantly. BJP and other fascist groups use the religious sentiments of the people for its political motives. BJP is seen as the preserver of ‘Indian’ culture. It is seen as a saviour in the light of increasing cultural globalisation. But there is a need to redefine Indian Culture. Hindus believe it is their religious duty to vote for BJP. The evil of revenge is back. The policy of hindutva is a political construct. BJP, however, is not the only party to be accused of communalism. Congress is criticized for ‘appeasement of minorities’. While BJP counts ‘Hindu’ votes , Congress is considered for ‘Muslim’ votes. But Congress has only taken advantage of the communal platform created by BJP. There is a competition among BJP and Congress supporters. While Congress supporters accuse BJP of anti-muslim riots , BJP supporters criticize congress for 1984 anti-sikh riots. Though the motive of sikh riots was not hindutva , it was a national shame.In the midst of struggle , both parties’ supporters end up justifying the riots. Politics which was already a dirty game is now smeared with blood. Mixing communalism with Politics is a-constitutional. India is a secular democracy. The Constitution provides no space for religion in political activities. Things have changed but not for good. The demand of Hindutva is one language , one religion and one culture. This policy is not compatible with India’s ‘unity in diversity’. Hindustan will become Hindusthan. This process will also require huge human cost. India will lose its shine.
Things have gone bad but it can be controlled. It’s a democracy. People should think beyond religion. Country has to come first . This is what true patriotism is. People should influence Politics instead of getting influenced and manipulated by politicians. Religion is personal . Lets not make it political.


  1. Wonderfully drafted!! I hope everyone, not only the politicians, understand that Religion is personal.....and politics need not be mixed with it!!!

  2. Dear Devika,
    Today, I came across your blog and fell in love with its posts. I wish to read all your posts since begining. I also wish to translate some of them in Marathi with your permission.For your info. I am a retired 60+ engineer, born and brought up in Mumbai. I have seen samyukta Maharashtra movement, being in millland, the heart of Mumbai(then Bombay).But I don't belong to any political party. I am just a common man as seen in RK Laxman's cartoons. I am fond of writing regularly irrespective it is published or not. So, blog is the way.
    With warm regards.
    Mangesh Nabar

  3. @ Mr. Nabar
    i feel honored that u like my posts :). yes ofcourse u can translate them..the only idea ..motive of the blog is to spread the word :)
    i just checked ur blog...will u write only in marathi? plz plan to share ur thoughts in english as well :)
    Thank You

  4. Dear Devika
    apart from thinking and analyzing Indian politics very carefully ,you have given amazing insights on Indian political history.

    Very nice post.
    Take care.