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Hindutva: A Political Theory of Nationhood?: Aman Verma

Guest post by Aman Verma

It is disheartening to see amongst supporters of Hindutva these days a silent acquiescence and at times even active support for extra-constitutional techniques being adopted by organizations like the RSS and its offshoots towards attaining the goal of Ram Rajya. An assessment is necessary of what would ultimately entail on the social, political and economic fronts if such a policy that envisages a supposedly ‘Hindu’ cultural and linguistic hegemony over cultures and languages represented by minority communities becomes reality. However, being a student of law what disturbs me more is the absence of any socio-political entity or civil society movement rooted in values of democracy that can effectively counter the impact of Hindutva organizations on the Indian social fabric. While the BJP has its RSS, every other political party claiming to be the upholder of secularism lacks its equivalent, or at the very least an effective social protégé.

Further, my personal interactions with supporters of BJP reveals that there is some deep sense of hurt and helplessness, part valid for the sake of argument, but for the most part carefully manufactured by Hindutva propaganda, which manifests itself in questions a friend recently put to me, “What are the other ways in which the Hindus can also claim their rights and send out a message that they have been too tolerant for too long?” and another which sounded like “How else to keep our dignity and identity alive in our land?”. These questions, based upon presumptions like those of “Hindu tolerance” of acts perpetrated by other communities supposedly only against Hindus and, protection of a completely vague concept of “Hindu identity” are clearly an outcome of a campaign strategy that relies upon upping the antics on the romantic-nationalist front.

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