Ought true Hindus to pledge fidelity to Hindutva?
I do not purport to have been endowed with the wisdom to determine what others ‘should’ do, and I do not propose to dwell on who a ‘true’ Hindu is, but I have what I think a reasonable take.
Should Hindutva be regarded as synonymous, as I do, with a cultural groundswell intent on revivifying the presently insipid subject of history (especially in schools); improving Indian anthropology and archaeology; ceasing the perennial infantilization of ‘minorities’ on grounds of the incessantly warped term ‘secularism’; renunciation of government control over temples; greater proactivity in the preservation of Sanskrit, and suchlike, I do think we would well be served with being its steadfast partisans.
Should Hindutva be regarded as synonymous with a national surge in parochial violence against ‘non-Hindus’, an oft-repeated allegation which is bereft of evidence, we would well be served in discarding it. In this regard, however, the operative clause is, ‘an oft-repeated allegation which is bereft of evidence’.
Too often, local incidents of parochial violence are extrapolated to the national whole to insinuate a nationally organized, cyborg-mind-esque resolve to ‘oppress’ the ‘minorities’ — a much warped term generally meant to indicate ‘Muslims’, for the others who truly are numerically nigh negligible such as Buddhists, Parsis, Jains and Sikhs, are comparatively at ease in forming a national concinnity, so to say, with the Hindus.
No such insinuation, of course, could stand the test of evidence. Amongst the earliest initiatives of the NDA post its return to power in 2019 was the introduction of more scholarships to minorities. Were indeed the BJP-led alliance a wellspring of provincialism and hatred, its victory in 2019 could well have emboldened it to commence a national purge of minorities. That it did not do so proves that no such claim of hatred against minorities is of any substance.
Now, in a disingenuous attempt to use my words against me, one, emanating sententious from every bodily pore, may well say, “That the alliance did not commence any such purge is nothing to be proud of; this is what is expected of it. It merits no praise for not being parochial.” To which greenhorn attempt I would retort, “Indeed not! I am not prepared to heap eulogies on the government in that regard anyway. This observation merely debunks the allegations that it is in fact a parochial entity at the helm — allegations that your likes ever send flying with utmost earnest. It is merely a testimony to the fabulists of the highest order that your likes are.”
The Hindutva groundswell we behold today was perhaps fated to sweep Bhāratavarsha, and it shall hold sway for long. But it does not bode ill; not unless our preconceptions forbid us from seeing the good tidings its success may fetch. For we would do well to also bear that the appeal of Hindutva transcends the anachronistic yet rigid barriers of caste, and is therefore the best panacea against this illness that debilitates the Hindu civilization.