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Akhilesh Singh | TNN | New Delhi | January 3, 2020:: Unfazed by criticism that it seeks creation of a “Hindu Rashtra”, RSS has asserted that “Hindutva” and not “Hinduism” is the right connotation for Hindus as “isms” indicated “rigid dogmas” and leave no space to evolve and accommodate contemporary changes in society.
J Nandkumar, national convenor of RSS think-tank “Prajna Pravah”, has authored a book “Hindutva in Changing Times”, where he justifies the “Hindutva” terminology. The book was released by senior RSS functionary Krishna Gopal here on Thursday. “It is Hindutva of India that keeps the whole country united,” Gopal said at the launch ceremony.
Nandakumar calls for reclaiming of West Bengal by a “nationalist government”+ and asserts the need to reinstate “democracy and constitutional supremacy”. The RSS functionary has alleged in the book that Mamata Bannerjee-led government in West Bengal has put restrictions on Hindu festivals in some areas with considerable Muslim presence to “appease Islamic radicals”.
In a chapter “Reclaiming Bengal”, Nandakumar goes on to allege that to ‘secularise’ the language, the Mamata government has removed all words from school textbooks which have a Hindu connection.
Sharing excerpts of the book, which has 25 chapters on subjects like “Hindutva and Democracy”, “Hindutva versus Nehruvian Secularism”, “Bharat’s True Destiny” and “The Dharma of Business”, Nandkumar told TOI, “I have made a humble attempt to analyse and see contemporary issues in the light of Hindutva paradigm.”
Kumar says certain “intellectuals” have problems with the term “Hindutva”, only because of an extraordinary hostility towards the faith. “Hindutva is nearest in meaning to Hinduness and it cannot be ‘Hinduism’. My contention is that ‘ism’ is a closed book of thought … a rigid dogma,” he added.
To explain “Hindutva”, the RSS functionary said, “Dr S Radhakrishnan defined Hinduism as not an end result but an open process. It is not a fixed revelation but an ever growing tradition, open to additions and adoptions, which is what I have analysed in the book.”
“The superficial similarity between Hindutva and Hinduism is responsible for this regrettable estrangement that, at times, alienates well-meaning people. The distinction between these two terms would be made clear…If there be really any word of alien growth, it is this word ‘Hindusim’,” Kumar starts the book quoting Hindutva icon Veer Savarkar’s “Essentials of Hindutva”.