Bronze-level article

Hindutva

From RationalWiki
(Redirected from Hindu nationalism)
Jump to: navigation, search
A guide to
Indian Politics
link=:category:
Jai Hind?
Persons of interest

Hindutva (literally translated: "Hinduness")[note 1] is a majoritarian[1][2] political ideology and far-right ethnonationalistWikipedia movement. Basically, a meddling of Hindu Fundamentalism[3] and Hindu Fascism[4] and forms the basis of the Hindu nationalist movement in India as a political form[note 2] of militant nationalism that aims to eliminate the secular foundation of India's constitutional democracy[6] and turn India into a Hindu State (“Hindu Rashtra”) also referred to as “Rama’s Realm” (“Ram Rajya”).[7][8]

In India, an umbrella organization called the Sangh Parivar champions the ideology of Hindutva. The Sangh comprises organizations such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) and others.

From its very inception in 1923, its promoters have often resorted to cherry-picking[9] events, evidence, and the meanings drawn from the interpretations of the facts to spread its message through historical revisionism;[10][11] extra-constitutional violence whether to mobilise mass agitations[12] or to silence dissent through mob lynching;[13][14] or encouraging doublethink to justify contradictory statements.[7][15][16]

The Hindu nationalist movement, though primarily concentrated in India, has global presence and a section of the Indian diaspora living in the Europe and North America fund Hindutva groups in those countries, as well as in India.

What it is[edit]

In popular writings on the subject, Hindutva has been variously described as “Hinduism on steroids,” as “Hinduism which resists,” or as “an illegitimate child of Hinduism.”[17]

Narendra Modi in RSS's Nazi-inspired uniform.

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the founder of the Hindutva notion, an admirer of Mussolini's Italian fascism and Hitler's Nazism, on Nazism and fascism, states:

Surely Hitler knows better than Pandit Nehru [refers to Jawaharlal NehruWikipedia, the first prime minister of India] does what suits Germany best. The very fact that Germany or Italy has so wonderfully recovered and grown so powerful as never before at the touch of Nazi or Fascist magical wand is enough to prove that those political ‘isms’ were the most congenial tonics their health demanded.[18]
—Savarkar

Savarkar also said that Hitler was not a human monster because he was a Nazi. "Nazism proved undeniably the saviour of Germany."[19] Furthermore, Savarkar criticised the Jews for "failing to absorb into the German national fabric" (i.e., convert their religion) and compared them to Muslims in India (who should do the same)[20] saying “A Nation is formed by a majority living therein. What did the Jews do in Germany? They being in minority were driven out from Germany.” “If we Hindus grow stronger, Muslim friends... will have to play the part of German Jews.” Even though he held such views, he still supported the establishment of the Jewish state of Israel as it was not only in accordance to his theory of nationalism, but also as a "bulwark against the Islamic Arabic world."[21]

Hindu nationalist groups in India like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) were inspired not by Hindu teachings, but by Nazi Germany and Mussolini’s fascists in Italy.

This explains how Hindutva's slogan of “One Nation! One Culture! One Religion! One Language!"[22][23][24] sounds uncannily similar to the Nazi slogan of “Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Fuehrer!”...[25] Italian Fascism, German Nazism, and Hindutvan Fundamentalism all came around the same time in the 1920s... Crowds marching under fascist and swastika banners, black, brown shirts and khaki shorts, saffron flags, black hats and tridents, with clenched fist salutes... and even acknowledging the Aryan, Nordic and Roman gods of racial solidarity, all seem eerily similar.

The three essentials of Hindutva ideology are common nation (rashtra in Hindi), common race (jati in Hindi) and common culture/civilisation (sanskriti in Hindi). [26] So Hindutva is similar to ideologies like pan-Islamism and is antithetical to multiculturalism and secularism including instances of atheism. Several academics have described Hindutva as a far right ideology.[27][14][5][8]

The word “Hindutva” wasn’t even used in Ancient Hindu scriptures such as the four Vedas, the Upanishads, and the Puranas, nor in the Buddhist scriptures or anywhere else. The various traditions used their philosophical and spiritual practices — such as Vaishnavs, Shakta, Mahayana, Vajrayana, Advaita etc. — to identify themselves. But no one called themselves Hindus. Even Adi ShankaraWikipedia, credited to have revived "Hinduism,"[28] didn't have the word "Hindu" in his vernacular.

This was, until 1923 when it was first mentioned in V.D. Savarkar’s book, Hindutva, which “articulates criteria for Indian identity based on citizenship, common ancestry, common culture and regard for India as fatherland (pitrbhu) and sacred land (puṇyabhu).” For Savarkar, Christians and Muslims could never be true Indians, despite the presence of both religions in India for centuries.[note 3] Savarkar in his book Essentials of Hindutva had also quoted "A Hindu marrying a Hindu may lose his caste but not his Hindutva." Athough the subject regarding intercaste marriages has different viewership across the broad spectrum of Hindutva following sect.

There are contradictory statements and views among people associated with the Hindu nationalist movement regarding the question of irreligion and atheism. Y. Sudershan Rao, who was appointed the head of the Indian Council of Historical ResearchWikipedia (ICHR) after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) formed government in 2014, tries to explain the meaning of "Hindu" arguing, "Hindu in ancient times was a name given to people who were living to the east of the Indus riverWikipedia up to KanyakumariWikipedia. Hindus were religious, nonreligious and irreligious. As a historian, I look at it that way."[29] This argument includes irreligious people as Hindu, if Hindu is defined as an ethnic identity. On the other hand, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the largest Hindu nationalist organization in India, constructs the idea of an "ideal Hindu family." According to a leader of the organization, "We also want people to see to it that their households look like proper Hindu homes: a tulsi plant, images of Hindu gods, the gayatri mantraWikipedia, etc. should ideally be physically there."[30] This idea of an "ideal Hindu family" obviously excludes atheists and other religions, contradicting the view that irreligion comes within the Hindutva fold.

What it is not[edit]

Protestors, doing what they do best, against Hindutva
Hinduism is a religion, guiding one to live a meaningful life, whereas Hindutva is a political movement claiming Hindu belief to be superior to others. Hinduism guides people towards moksha or salvation from the conflicts of life and frees you, whereas Hindutva guides people to acquire political power and subjugate all others.
—Dr. Mike Ghouse, author and speaker[31]

Advocacy of Hindutva often repeat the same sentences such as “Hindutva unites Hindus,” “Hindutva unites Indians.”

“Hindutva unites Hindus”[edit]

Hindu Fundamentalism is synonymous with casteism and untouchability, with many Hindutva leaders such as Golwalkar[note 4] justifying it and demanding the misogynist and casteist ManusmritiWikipedia (the Ancient Hindu code of law) to replace the democratic Indian constitution.[32]

Even though Savarkar, the creator of Hindutva, was against caste, for the purpose of unifying the Hindu community against the Muslims, ever since the installation Hindutva parties such as BJP in the Indian states, declining rates of violence against Dalits, including rapes of Dalit women, have been at an all time high.[33]

“Hindutva unites Indians”[edit]

Hindu Fascist groups have instigated mob violence throughout their history among minorities such as Christians and Muslims etc. who have stayed in India for several centuries along with Hinduism. Hindutva aims to eliminate the secular and democratic foundations of the country. The ideology is opposed to both the flag of India (and refuse to use it)[34] and its constitution.[35]

If Hindutva was really about uniting Indians and teaching them their own culture, then why does it have to relate it to religion? Why does the term Hindu have to be enforced on anyone living in the Indian subcontinent? What is the need to rebrand patriotism with the face of religion slapped to it?[36]

Hindutva in practice[edit]

RssTerorrist.jpg

Hindutva advocates are accused of suppressing freedom of speech and freedom of expression by banning books, films and other cultural media which they don't like,[37][38] rejecting the idea of freedom of choice and instigating mob violence.[12][39] In order to gather such a mob, they claim that Hindu culture is under attack by muslims and christians to label their hateful ideology as “Hinduism’s Survival Guide To Abrahamic Imperialism.”[40]

Genocide[edit]

MS Golwalkar (1903-1973), the second leader of the RSS, praised Nazi Germany’s racial policies and insisted that:[41]

All those not belonging to the national, i.e. Hindu race, Religion, Culture and Language, naturally fall out of the pale of real 'National' life. We repeat: in Hindusthan, the land of the Hindus, lives and should live the Hindu Nation — satisfying all the five essential requirements of the scientific nation concept of the modern world.[note 5] Consequently only those movements are truly 'National' as aim at re-building, revitalizing and emancipating from its present stupor, the Hindu Nation... All others are either traitors and enemies to the National cause, or, to take a charitable view, idiots.
—MS Golwalkar

The “idiots” can be cured, however...

...The foreign races in India must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must loose[sic] their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country, wholly subordinated to the Hindu Nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment — not even citizen's rights. There is, at least, should be, no other course for them to adopt. We are an old nation; let us deal, as old nations ought to and do deal, with the foreign races, who have chosen to live in our country.
—MS Golwalkar

The techniques of achieving the cure, being...

...to keep up the purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of Semitic races – the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.
—MS Golwalkar


In 2015, the vice-president of the Hindutva organization All India Hindu Assembly (Akhil Bharatiya Hindu MahasabhaWikipedia (ABHM) in Hindi) Sadhvi Deva Thakur said that the population growth of Muslims and Christians in India need to be controlled by forcibly sterilizing them.[42][43]

The population of Muslims and Christians is growing day by day. To rein in this, CentreWikipedia will have to impose emergencyWikipedia and Muslims and Christians will have to be forced to undergo sterilisation so that they can't increase their numbers
—Sadhvi Deva Thakur[42]

BJP and RSS leader Rajeshwar Singh, openly boasting of his government's intent to “ethnically cleanse 200 million Muslims and 28 million Christians,” in 2014, said:[44][45]

Wait and watch... Muslims and Christians will be wiped out of India by December 31, 2021... This is our pledge

Eugenics[edit]

In 2015, Sadhvi Deva Thakur also urged Hindus to have more children to increase their population.[42] BJP MP (member of parliament) Sakshi Maharaj said that every Hindu woman must have four children.[46][47]

The time has come when a Hindu woman must produce at least four children in order to protect Hindu religion.
—Sakshi Maharaj, BJP MP

After this remark, another BJP politician suggested that Hindu women should have five children.[48]

I want to tell my Hindu mothers and sisters that if they don’t have five children, there will be no equilibrium in India in future. Don’t misunderstand me. To protect Hinduism and Sanatan Dharma, it is necessary for all Hindus to give birth to five children

Racism[edit]

Ayurveda has all the details about how we can get the desired physical and mental qualities of babies. IQ is developed during the sixth month of pregnancy. If the mother undergoes specific procedures, like what to eat, listen and read, the desired IQ can be achieved. Thus, we can get a desired, customised baby.
—Karishma Mohandas Narwani, national convener of the project.[49]
To keep up the purity of the nation and its culture, Germany shocked the world by her purging the country of Semitic races – the Jews. National pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.
—Madhav Golwalkar, the second chief of the RSS[50]

In May 2017, RSS’s health wing[51]Arogya Bharati announced their grand plan titled "Garbh Vigyan Sanskar" (lit. Science & Culture of the Womb) to make India great again, using Nazi eugenics and their concept of race. The plan includes giving prescription to those babies of the "intended parents" (ie. Hinduism fundamentalist parents, rich, backing the project) and brainwashing "purifying" (shuddhikaran) for 3 months. These "ubermenschen" über-babies (uttam santati) are purported to be smarter, taller and fairer. If you are having WW2 and Nazism flashbacks already, don't worry, because RSS says that the origin of this science lay in the MahabharataWikipedia (a hindu scripture), which is where the Germans stole it from. Varshney says the project was inspired by the advice a senior RSS officer received many years ago in Nazi Germany.

He was told that it was due to a woman called ‘Mother of Germany’. When he met her and asked about this resurrection, she told him, ‘you have come from India, have you not heard of Abhimanyu (the son of Arjuna in the epic Mahabharata)?’ She told him that the new generation in Germany was born through Garbh Sanskar and that is why the country is so developed
—Ashok Kumar Varshney, RSS pracharak for over 30 years and national organising secretary of Arogya Bharati[52]

The project is conducted in two parts; before and after pregnancy. Jani, a veteran RSS swayamsevak states: “The first part involves nadi shuddhi (purification of energy channels) and deh shuddhi (purification of body) for 90 days. During this period, we purify the male’s sperm and the female’s egg. The new egg and sperm thus developed will not have genetic defects,” After the baby is delivered, a proper diet of milk and ghee is administered. Furthermore, “If the mother chants shlokas and mantras, it helps in the mental growth of the baby… if she leads such a life, there will be no labour pain and the baby will gain up to 300g more weight.”[52]

Manipulating public education[edit]

Hindu nationalists have heavily invested in rewriting Indian history to advance their political agenda.[53][10][54][55] These efforts had first begun in 1999 when BJP governed India between 1999 and 2004. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi government, this usually takes the form of deleting chapters,[56] and adding their own pseudohistory mixing Hinduism myths and facts.[57][11]

The main rhetoric followed by the ruling body of Hindutva advocacy, RSS, is to help people rediscover the greatness of ancient India and re-imagine a golden age before it was "contaminated" by "foreign" invasions (ie. all other religions except of course Hinduism). It is common for RSS slaves workers and supporters to describe ancient India as a "golden bird" where they invented every fucking thing and the "foreigners" stole it from them. That is why they need to recreate this prehistoric perfect age where the Hindus did everything right – where there were no Muslims or Christians or Sikhs or Parsis at the time who coexisted peacefully – and everything we ever invented was from the ancient "science" of Ayurveda.

Hindutva writer Dinanath Batra,Wikipedia former general secretary of Vidya Bharati (see below), founded an organization euphemistically named Shiksha Bachao AndolanWikipedia[58] (Save Education Movement),[note 6] believes religious education should be an integral part of school curriculum.[59]

What we need in India is value-based education, education that will build character. We can’t do that without religion,[note 7] so religious studies[note 8] must become a part of school curriculum.
—Dinanath Batra[59]

Batra has written some school textbooks which are taught in the Indian state of GujaratWikipedia and Uttarakhand, where the Hindu nationalist BJP forms government.[11] If one explores these in depth, what is written in his books are bound to give laughs as well as shock to any educated sane person. An example of blatant racism and horrible misinformation is given below:[60][61]

Once Dr RadhakrishnanWikipedia [first vice-president of India] went for a dinner. There was a Briton at the event who said, "We are very dear to God." Radhakrishnan laughed and told the gathering, "Friends, one day God felt like making rotisWikipedia [Flat bread made from wholemeal flour and consumed in the Indian subcontinent] When he was cooking the rotis, the first one was cooked less and the English were born. The second one stayed longer on the fire and the NegroesWikipedia were born. Alert after His first two mistakes, when God went on to cook the third roti, it came out just right and as a result IndiansWikipedia were born."
—schoolbook written by Dinanath Batra[60][61]

The above passage endorses classification of people based on skin color. It claims that Indian people are "just right" while people with lighter or darker skin color are the result of something going wrong.

Another blatant example of racism from his book is where people with darker skin color are depicted as violent criminals:

The aircraft was flying thousands of feet high in the sky. A very strongly built negro reached the rear door and tried to open it. The air-hostesses tried to stop him but the strongly built negro pushed the soft-bodied hostesses to the floor and shouted, 'Nobody dare move a step ahead'. An Indian grabbed the negro and he could not escape. The pilot and the Indian together thrashed the negro and tied him up with a rope. Like a tied buffalo, he frantically tried to escape but could not. The plane landed safely in Chicago. The negro was a serious criminal in the Chicago records and this brave Indian was an employee of Air India.Wikipedia
—schoolbook written by Dinanath Batra[60]

The following is from a Harvard academic article titled “The Hindutva View of History: Rewriting Textbooks in India and the United States” written by Kamala Visweswaran et. al.:-[62]

When Hindu nationalist... organizations in India came to power at the national level in 1998, one of the first things they did was to establish a National Curriculum Framework (NCF) to change textbook content. [...] In a significant departure from earlier curriculum frameworks of 1972 and 1986, which stressed democratic values, social justice, and national integration through appreciation of the commonalities of different subcultures, the principal focus of the NCF was “value education.”[63]The chief end of history, as of education as a whole, was presented as the development of a “national spirit” and “national consciousness” through generating pride in the younger generation regarding India’s past and its unique “religio-philosophical ethos, which was presented as primarily Hindu.”[64] These actions were vociferously challenged by academics... who decried the Sangh Parivar’s ideological efforts to recast history.

In the summer and fall months of 2005, U.S. “Hindu” organizations with Sangh ties protested the California Board of Education, claiming that California textbooks discriminated against Hindus and presented a demeaning image of Hinduism... [the aim of this] by the Hindu Education Foundation and the Vedic Foundation was to propagate false notions of Indian history, such as that “Aryans” were the original or indigenous inhabitants of India, and that the core essence of Hinduism can be found in the Vedic religion of the Aryans.

[...]

The ongoing violence against Muslims in Gujarat, where the Sangh Parivar’s political arm, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) first came into office in the mid-1990s, and elsewhere in India, suggests that such a curriculum creates a setting in which social intolerance and injustices against minorities can be justified. U.S. legislators, policy-makers, and educators must therefore be particularly vigilant about the transplantation of this ideology to the United States in a post-9/11 climate.

The education wing of the RSS, Vidya Bharti Akhil Bharatiya Shiksha Sansthan,Wikipedia is the largest private network of schools in India, running more than 24 thousand schools across India with more than 3.4 million students and 15 thousand teachers. Most of these are even affiliated to the Central Board of School Education,Wikipedia the central national board for schools in India.[65] Through the BJP party currently in power, this extremist right-wing organisation has taken the control over many of the country’s policies. Now, it has started using public education as a political tool for brainwashing.

Q: Which are the countries along our present-day border that were once part of our country? A: Brahmadesh (Myanmar) and Bangladesh to the east, Pakistan and Afghanistan to the west, Tibet, Nepal and Bhutan to the north, and Sri Lanka to the south.
—Bodhmala 4, page 5

This is a page from Bodhmala 4, a textbook on cultural knowledge for class 4 students.

The teachers’ guidebook of the same series also states:

Earlier, Hindu culture prevailed all over Jambudweep... what we call Asia today was the ancient Jambudweep. The whole of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Israel, Russia, Mongolia, China, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia, Java, Sumatra, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Afghanistan were part of it.

[…]

In the aftermath of the war between the Kauravas and the PandavasWikipedia, it shrunk into Āryāvarta,Wikipedia which included Afghanistan and Pakistan, but attacks, religious conversions and wars in between left us with only Hindustan... according to scientific enquiries, Himalaya and its surroundings, having Kailasa at its centre, is the oldest specimen of land on earth. Trivishtapa (Tibet) is the highest part of land on earth. Arguably, it is here that the human race emerged in the aftermath of the catastrophic flood.
—Bodhmala, Teacher’s Guidebook

These are some of the many “facts” expounded in the Bodhmala series – textbooks for Class 4-12 students and three guidebooks for teachers – published by the same Haryana-based Vidya Bharti Sanskriti Shiksha Sansthan.

Vidya Bharti publishes three books for teachers: Praveshika, Madhyama and Uttama.

Foreign historians like Müller, Weber, Ludwig, Housman, Schroeder have spread wrong conceptions about the Vedas, Rama and Krishna and tried to cut off India’s new generation from the pride of our nation’s antiquity and cultural spread. Unfortunately, several Indian historians too started following them and we ended up considering the real existence of our vast nation as imagination. But new history proves that today’s independent countries like Trivishtapa (Tibet), Upaganasthan (Afghanistan), Brahmadesh (Myanmar), Sinhala (Sri Lanka) and Kingpurush (Nepal) had once been part of undivided India.
Uttama page 33

Other interesting factz and tidbits include:[66]

  • Boomerang is modelled on Krishna’s Sudarshana Chakra.Wikipedia
  • China is a Sanskrit word, and it has “Aryan culture.”
  • Colonel James Tod, an East India Company officer, traced the origins of the Chinese back to the son of Pururava mentioned in the Indian Template:Puranas
  • India is the world’s oldest nation.[note 9] For instance, page 8 of Bodhmala 8 says, “Manushya-matra ki janani adibhumi Bharat.” All human beings originate from India.[note 10]
  • They refer to the Arabian Sea as the “Sindhu Sea”, and the Indian Ocean as “Hindu Ocean”.

Pseudoscholarship[edit]

Pseudoscience[edit]

The Sangh Parivar and Hindutva advocates in general also indulge in a lot of pseudoscientific claims. For example, it is not uncommon to find Hindutva proponents claiming that the discoveries of modern science are actually re-discoveries of what had been found ages ago by the ancient Hindu saints. Also, they tend to justify things like Ayurveda using pseudoscientific blabber.

Vedic Science is a concept used by Hindutva advocates to denote to the scientific tradition of ancient India.[note 11] Astrologer Gayatri Devi Vasudev writing for The Organiser, a publication of the Hindutva organization the RSS, claimed that the distinction of science and pseudoscience (or protoscience) is Eurocentric and inapplicable to Vedic Science:

Western scientific thought draws on the traditions of Greek rationalist thinking according to which only what is within the purview of the five senses is taken cognisance of. Scientific methods follow some kind of closed scientific reasoning which insulates itself against facts that its methods cannot account for. How else can they [scientists] dare dismiss Jyotisha (astrology) which sees a level of existence beyond the purview of the five senses?
—Vasudev 2001[69]

Hindutva advocates even go as far to claim that religion and science is identical in India:

The idea of 'contradiction' is an imported one from the West in recent times by the Western-educated, since 'Modern Science' arbitrarily imagines that it only has the true knowledge and its methods are the only methods to gain knowledge, smacking of Semitic dogmatism in religion.
—Mukhyananda 1997:94[70]

Pseudohistory and pseudoarcheology[edit]

Even before the advent of the Bharatiya Janata Party, there was a pseudoscientific historian named PN Oak, who made numerous ridiculous claims. Among them, was the allegation that the Taj MahalWikipedia was a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva,[71][72][73] and that the Patriarch Abraham, was a Brahman (Abraham, Brahman). He also alleged that the Vatican originated as a Vedic priesthood (Vatican, Vatika), when it has been clearly documented that it was a successor to the Papal States, itself a successor to Western Imperium Romanum. (Just because a bunch of words are similar, that does NOT imply common origin. Hell, the fact that Japanese fisherman chant 'Yahweh', does NOT mean that they descended from the lost tribes of Israel).

In 2014, after the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power, it appointed Y. Sudershan Rao, a history professor associated with a RSS-affiliated organization, as the head of the Indian Council of Historical ResearchWikipedia (ICHR).[74] Rao believes that material evidence is not necessary to write the history of India. He said during an interview with the Outlook magazine,

Western schools of thought look at material evidence of history. We can’t produce material evidence for everything. India is a continuing civilisation. To look for evidence would mean digging right though the hearts of villages and displacing people. We only have to look at the people to figure out the similarities in their lives and the depiction in the RamayanaWikipedia and the MahabharataWikipedia. For instance, the Ramayana mentions that RamaWikipedia had travelled to Bhad­ra­chalamWikipedia (in Andhra PradeshWikipedia). A look at the people and the fact that his having lived there for a while is in the collective memory of the people cannot be discounted in the search for material evidence. In continuing civilisations such as ours, the writing of history cannot depend only on archaeological evidence. We have to depend on folklore too.
—Y. Sudershan Rao, head of the Indian Council of Historical Researh[75]

However, this statement is fallacious and in good old RationalWiki fashion, we have dissected and responded to it:

Rao's argumentReply
Western schools of thought look at material evidence of history.Historians actually use a method called oral historyWikipedia to record non-material evidence. It deals with collective memory and individual construction of history, so Rao is straw manning here. The difference between oral history and Rao's "method" (if you can call it that) is that the former has a critical approach, whereas Rao simply takes folklore at face value. Rao also sets up a false East/West dilemma, a technique used by fundamentalists in Asia to attack the supposed Euro- and Americentric scientism of "Western" academia and replace it with their preferred brand of pseudoscience.

We can’t produce material evidence for everything. India is a continuing civilisation.See my hands waving! As Christopher Hitchens so pithily put it: "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." Rao also forgets to explain what "a continuing civilisation" is and why it means we should ditch normal criteria for conducting historical enquiries. Rao seems to be taking a page from the book of paranormal woo peddlers who make all kinds of excuses for why their branch of woo doesn't work when subjected to controlled experiments. Try imagining a Dane, making this same argument and insisting that the tales of Thor and the JörmungandrWikipedia has to be taken as fact(oids), because Denmark is part of "a continuing Norse civilisation". Try again.

To look for evidence would mean digging right though the hearts of villages and displacing people.Argument from adverse consequences. It's also a red herring or possibly an escape hatch bordering on an emotional appeal ("Oh, the poor farmers!" - as if anyone suggests that it's necessary to move in with bulldozers and demolition crews and raze the houses of the poor villagers. Contrast with how we've acquired knowledge of other ancient, but still inhabited, sites, such as Rome, Jerusalem, Jericho or Istanbul).

We only have to look at the people to figure out the similarities in their lives and the depiction in the RamayanaWikipedia and the MahabharataWikipedia.If this seems familiar, it's because it's a Hindu version of the old biblical literalist nugget of "these events were real, hence the entire Bible must be correct!" Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, Rao. Rao is also begging the question, because he uses the fact that folklore occasionally matches written epics which were originally oral epics as evidence that the written version is correct. This is patently absurd because it amounts to using the correspondence between the depiction of Spider-Man in the movies and in the comics as "evidence" that Spider-Man must be real and that the movies are essentially documentaries. It's what we call circular evidence.

For instance, the Ramayana mentions that RamaWikipedia had travelled to Bhad­ra­chalamWikipedia (in Andhra PradeshWikipedia). A look at the people and the fact that his having lived there for a while is in the collective memory of the people cannot be discounted in the search for material evidence.Here Rao combines the appeal to tradition with an argumentum ad populum. Why would the fact that countless people have believed something for a long time mean it's real? Loads of people believed in the pantheon of the Greco-Roman or ancient Egyptian religions, but practically no one do so now. Why should we accept Rao's myths?

In continuing civilisations such as ours, the writing of history cannot depend only on archaeological evidence. We have to depend on folklore too.And so we return to the hand waving, ad hoc'ing and argument by assertion. Yeah, Rao, keep repeating it and it will magically become a good argument and every rationalist will believe you...

Hindutva advocates propagate the pseudolinguistic Indigenous Aryans theory which asserts that the speakers of Indo-European languages are "indigenous" to the Indian subcontinent.

Revisionism of science and technology[edit]

Y. Sudershan Rao claimed that Indians used to fly aircraft, conduct stem cell research and use cosmic weapons 5000 years ago, and believes that the Indian epics the MahabharataWikipedia and the RamayanaWikipedia, which were written two millennia ago, are not fiction, but essentially history books.[note 12] He argues humans did not develop the art of fiction writing until a few centuries ago; hence, the events and things described in these epics must be real.[76]

In the school textbook Tejomay Bharat written by Hindutva writer Dinanath Batra, it is claimed that television was invented in the age of Mahabharata ca. two millennia ago:

We know that television was invented by a priest from Scotland called John Logie Baird in 1926. But we want to take you to an even older DoordarshanWikipedia… Indian rishisWikipedia using their yogWikipedia vidyaWikipedia would attain divya drishti</span>Wikipedia There is no doubt that the invention of television goes back to this.
—Dinanath Batra[77]

Batra's textbook also claimed that the automobile was first invented in ancient India:

What we know today as the motorcar existed during the Vedic period. It was called aanashva rath.[note 13] Usually a rath (chariot) is pulled by horses but an anashva rath means the one that runs without horses or yantra-rath,[note 14] what is today a motorcar. The Rig Veda refers to this.
—Dinanath Batra[77]

In the Indian epic Mahabharata,Wikipedia a character KarnaWikipedia is described as having born to an unmarried woman. In 2014, while delivering a lecture in front of a group of doctors and other professionals, Narendra Modi, BJP politician and the 14th Prime Minister of India, said that Karna's birth outside his mother's womb is the proof of the existence of genetic science in ancient India:[78]

We all read about KarnaWikipedia in the Mahabharata.Wikipedia If we think a little more, we realize that the Mahabharata says Karna was not born from his mother’s womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is why Karna could be born outside his mother’s womb.
—Narendra Modi[78]

GaneshaWikipedia is a well-known Hindu deity. His body is that of a human and his head is that of an elephant. In 2014, Modi suggested that this could be possible because an ancient Indian plastic surgeon transplanted elephant's head on the body of a human being.

We can feel proud of what our country achieved in medical science at one point of time... We worship Lord Ganesha.Wikipedia There must have been some plastic surgeon at that time who got an elephant’s head on the body of a human being and began the practice of plastic surgery."
—Narendra Modi[78]

If this kind of “we invented everything” narrative seems familiar, it’s probably because it’s literally the entire plot of George Orwell’s 1984...

Hindutva movement worldwide[edit]

The Hindutva movement is not an Indian-only phenomenon. It is present worldwide, in Europe, North America, Australia, New Zealand, and many other countries. A number of organizations, mostly in the form of non-profits, constitute the movement and a section of the Hindu Indian diaspora in different countries support these organizations. An average supporter of an Hindutva organization may not adhere to the extremist beliefs of these organizations, but they join or support these organizations out of a perceived sense of alienation in a country where Hindus constitute a religious minority.

In the United States, Hindu nationalists take the benefit of the liberal secular atmosphere of the pluralist American society[79] and draw on multiculturalist discourse for their presence, while at the same time they fund cultural and political organizations in India that spread hatred and commit acts of violence against India's religious minorities.[80][81] In Australia, Hindu nationalist organizations legitimise their activities through the rhetoric of liberal multiculturalism. At the same time, just like the American Hindutva organizations, they promote hatred against religious minorities in India.[81]

External links[edit]

Propaganda in education:

Pseudo-scholarship:

Worldwide:

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. Sanskrit -tva is a neuter abstract suffix, hence Hindu-ness in English.
  2. Hindutva was mainstreamed into Indian politics with Narendra Modi's election as Prime Minister in 2014.[5]
  3. Savarkar argued that they
    ...cannot be recognized as Hindus; as since their adoption of the new cult they had ceased to own Hindu civilisation [Sanskriti] as a whole. They belong, or feel that they belong to, a cultural unit altogether different from the Hindu one. Their heroes and their hero-worship, their fairs and their festivals, their ideals and their outlook on-life, have now ceased to be common with ours...
  4. The Virat Purusha, the Almighty manifesting himself… Brahmin is the head, Kshatriya the hands, Vaishya the thighs and Shudra the feet. This means that the people who have this fourfold arrangement, i.e., the Hindu People, is [sic] our God. This supreme vision of Godhead is the very core of our concept of ‘nation’ and has permeated our thinking and given rise to various unique concepts of our cultural heritage.[32]
  5. Geography, race, religion, culture, and language
  6. Shiksha (Hindi) means education, Bachao (Hindi) means save, Andolan (Hindi) means movement
  7. See the RationalWiki page on Humanism.
  8. By using the term "religious studies", he does not refer to the secular academic discipline religious studies which analyzes religion from a non-religious point of view. He refers to theology when he uses the term.
  9. India was never a nation, only consisting of fractured empires, until Indian liberals formed an independent India with all of its different cultures.[67]
  10. Modern Homo-sapiens first originated and evolved from Africa.[68]
  11. Quite similar to the Hare Krishnas use of the term "Vedic creationism" to give their brand of creationism some ancient Indian patina.
  12. Similar to how some people read the Bible...
  13. Aanashva is a name of a kind of rath, rath is a Hindi word which means chariot.
  14. Yantra (यन्त्र) is a Hindi word which means machine, hence yantra-rath (यन्त्र रथ) means a machine chariot.

References[edit]

  1. https://scroll.in/article/916406/how-hindu-nationalists-built-on-the-roots-of-majoritarianism-in-india-and-normalised-public-violence
  2. https://anthropology.stanford.edu/publications/book/majoritarian-state-how-hindu-nationalism-changing-india
  3. Hindu Fundamentalism, Encyclopedia Britannica
  4. After the 1940s and 1950s, a number of scholars have labelled or compared Hindutva to fascism.” (from Wikipedia, check citations)
  5. 5.0 5.1 Leidig, Eviane (2020). "Hindutva as a variant of right-wing extremism". Patterns of Prejudice 54 (3). 
  6. Hinduism vs Hindutva debate ignores Hindu people, puts religion where it doesn’t exist by Yaajnaseni (11 January, 2020 1:29 pm IST) ThePrint
  7. 7.0 7.1 E. Frykenberg, Robert (2008). "Hindutva as a Political Religion: An Historical Perspective". The Sacred in Twentieth-Century Politics: pp 178-220.  (See full text)
  8. 8.0 8.1 Hindutva the ideology the impact and the implications, Academic paper by Imsu Jinger (Free full text)
  9. Cherry-picking only Hindu icons: BJP’s cultural nationalism threatens idea of pluralistic India, by G Pramod Kumar (May 18, 2015 18:45:06 IST) Firstpost
  10. 10.0 10.1 By rewriting history, Hindu nationalists aim to assert their dominance over India by Rupam Jain and Tom Lasseter (March 6, 2018, 11 a.m. GMT) Reuters
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 Iwanek, Krzysztof. (2015). The Textbook of Chanakya's Pupils. Vidya Bharati and Its Gauravsali Bharat Textbook in Uttarakhand. Archiv orientální. 83. 255-+.
  12. 12.0 12.1 https://journals.openedition.org/samaj/1372
  13. Baber, Zaheer (March 2000). "Religious Nationalism, Violence and the Hindutva Movement in India". Dialectical Anthropology 25 (1): pp 61-76.  (Request full access and see citations)
  14. 14.0 14.1 Singh, Ujjwal Kumar (2019). "Law, state and right-wing extremism in India". Journal of Policing, Intelligence and Counter Terrorism 14 (3). 
  15. Banerjee, Sumanta (Jan 19, 1991). "'Hindutva': Ideology and Social Psychology". Economic and Political Weekly 26 (3): 97-101. 
  16. The BJP's Response to Dalit Protests Only Emphasises Contradictions in Its Hindutva Ideology, (02/AUG/2016) The Wire India
  17. Sharma, Arvind (Spring 2020). "On the Difference Between Hinduism and Hindutva". Education About Asia 25 (1). 
  18. Hindu Nationalist’s Historical Links to Nazism and Fascism by Palash Ghosh (03/06/12 AT 3:27 PM) International Business Times
  19. "Rethinking Secularism in India in the Age of Triumphant Fascism" by Murzban Jal (2016) Critique 43(3–4):523–524.
  20. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar: He admired Hitler and other lesser-known facts about him: He widely read Indian and world history and wrote aggressively on the oppressive British rule in India, his admiration for fascism and his views on Muslims and Christians. by Adrija Roychowdhury (Updated: May 28, 2018 5:29:13 pm) The Indian Express.
  21. Basu S., Das S. (2005) Knowledge for Politics: Partisan Histories and Communal Mobilization in India and Pakistan. In: Partisan Histories. Palgrave Macmillan, New York. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-137-09150-5_7
  22. Savarkar wanted one god, one nation, one goal. Modi has fulfilled his dream with Kashmir move by Vikram Sampath (7 August, 2019 12:46 pm IST) The Print
  23. How The Idea Of ‘One Religion, One Language, And One Culture’ Is Damaging Indian Secularism by Ananya Barua in Politics (30th October, 2014) YKA (Youth Ki Awaaz ((in eng.) Voice of the youth))
  24. One nation, one language: Why is Amit Shah inviting trouble? by Editorial Board, Telegraph
  25. See the Wikipedia article on Führer § Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer.
  26. Sharma, Arvind (2002). "On Hindu, Hindustan, Hinduism and Hindutva". Numen 49 (1). 
  27. Les Back and John Solomos (2000), Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader, p.591, ISBN 9780415156714. "It is important to note the marriage between far-right-wing Hindutva ideology and western New Ageism in the works of writers like David Frawley (1994, 1995a, 1995b) who is both a key apologist for the Hindutva movement and the author of various New Age books on Vedic astrology, oracles and yoga."
  28. See the Wikipedia article on Adi Shankara.
  29. Ramayan, Mahabharat historical sources, West dubs them myth: Y Sudershan Rao Economic Times
  30. RSS focuses on Hindu family values to unify community Hindustan Times
  31. http://www.albiladdailyeng.com/hindutva-not-hinduism/
  32. 32.0 32.1 Golwalkar's views on tricolour, martyrs, minorities, caste as per RSS archives
  33. https://www.firstpost.com/india/atrocities-on-dalits-and-tribals-up-by-70-in-gujarat-between-2003-and-2018-conviction-rate-below-5-in-modis-first-3-yrs-as-pm-6551441.html
  34. See the Wikipedia article on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh § Opposition to the National Flag of India.
  35. See the Wikipedia article on Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh § Opposition to the Constitution of India.
  36. TalkPoint: Is Mohan Bhagwat right in saying that only united Hindus can save India? ThePrint (27 February, 2018 1:25 pm IST)
  37. Ananya, Vajpeyi (2014). "The Triumph of the Hindu Right: Freedom of Speech and Religious Repression in Modi's India.". Foreign Affairs 93 (5): pp.150–156. 
  38. In the ‘land of storytelling’, Netflix and Amazon Prime reshape India’s creative landscape The Guardian
  39. https://www.reddit.com/r/librandu/comments/kwrk5c/hypocrisy_lying_cheating_and_adharma_to_achieve/
  40. No, really. As this unironically demonstrates (SwarajaWikipedia is a far-right magazine with a history of spreading fake news).
  41. https://www.sabrang.com/gujarat/rssbible.htm
  42. 42.0 42.1 42.2 Muslims, Christians should be forcibly sterilised: Sadhvi Deva Thakur, India Today
  43. Hindu Mahasabha Leader Sadhvi Deva Thakur Says Muslims, Christians Should Be Forcibly Sterilised, Huffington Post India
  44. https://sabrangindia.in/article/muslims-and-christians-will-be-wiped-out-india-december-31-2021-bjp-leader-rajeshwar-singh
  45. https://www.boomlive.in/rss-leaders-controversial-remark-about-minorities-in-2014-revived/
  46. Every Hindu woman must produce at least 4 kids: Sakshi Maharaj Times of India
  47. India MP Sakshi Maharaj: Hindus must have more babies BBC
  48. After Sakshi Maharaj’s ‘4 kids’ remark, a BJP leader now asks Hindu women to bear five children Indian Express
  49. Hindu nationalists are trying to create designer babies that are fair, strong, and smart, by Maria Thomas (May 9, 2017) Quartz
  50. RSS’ grand plan to help Indians bear fair, bespoke babies exposes Hindutva’s obsession with race by Shoaib Daniyal (May 08, 2017 08:00 am) Scroll
  51. The link between Arogya Bharati, that promises genius babies, and the RSS that OpIndia couldn’t find by Pratik Sinha (9th May, 2017 10:11 PM) AltNews
  52. 52.0 52.1 RSS wing has prescription for fair, tall ‘customised’ babies by Ashutosh Bhardwaj (May 7, 2017) The Indian Express
  53. https://journals.openedition.org/samaj/6636
  54. They Peddle Myths and Call It History, New York Times
  55. https://www.reddit.com/r/librandu/comments/jmk9gb/the_absolute_state_of_indian_youth_and_education/
  56. NCERT is removing caste conflict chapters from class 9 History textbooks for HRD Ministry exercise
  57. Inspired by the RSS, dictated by BJP minister: The inside story of Rajasthan’s textbook revisions
  58. Shiksha Bachao Andolan Samiti, Desh Kosh entry
  59. 59.0 59.1 India’s new school textbooks favor Hindu nationalist themes, making minorities uneasy Washington Post
  60. 60.0 60.1 60.2 What the government of Gujarat is encouraging children to read is dismaying Quartz
  61. 61.0 61.1 Top Indian educationalist accused of racism over portrayal of criminal 'negroes' The Telegraph
  62. Visweswaran, Kamala, Michael Witzel, Nandini Manjrenkar, Dipta Bhog, and Uma Chakravarti. 2009. The Hindutva view of history: rewriting textbooks in India and the United States. Georgetown Journal of International Affairs 10(1):101-112.
  63. See “The national curriculum framework in Gujarat—children's education in a Hindu Rashtra” Nandini Manjrekar, University of Baroda, April 5, 2002 (Material submitted to the Editors’ Guild of India), People’s Union for Civil Liberties, Baroda and Shanti Abhiyan.
  64. See “The Need for Strengthening Education Change” J.B. Rajput, Pioneer, November 20, 2002.
  65. https://vidyabharti.net/index.php/informal-education-units-11-353
  66. From Hindu Ocean to Sindhu Sea: Here’s what RSS-backed schools are teaching children about history by Snigdhendu Bhattacharya (24 Aug, 2021) Newslaundry
  67. No one, not even Indians, can claim to be part of an ancient nation by Partha Chatterjee (Aug 23, 2021), Scroll.in
  68. Chan, E.K.F., Timmermann, A., Baldi, B.F. et al. Human origins in a southern African palaeo-wetland and first migrations. Nature 575, 185–189 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-019-1714-1
  69. Vasudev, Gayatri Devi. 2001. Vedic astrology and pseudo-scientific criticism, The Organiser (an English-language publication of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh), reprinted in The Astrological Magazine, cited after Sokal (2006:38)
  70. Mukhyananda, Swami. 1997. Vedanta in the Context of Modern Science: A (Comparative Study. Mumbai [Bombay]: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
  71. Reality Check: Whose Taj Mahal is it anyway?, by Vikas Pandey (2 Nov 2017) BBC
  72. See the Wikipedia article on P. N. Oak § Taj Mahal Theory.
  73. [1]
  74. Ancient India had aeroplanes, nuclear weapons, says chief of India's premier history body India Today
  75. ‘Ramayana, Mahabharata Are True Accounts Of The Period...Not Myths’ Outlook
  76. Fears grow in India about Hindu 'Modi-fication' of education, Reuters
  77. 77.0 77.1 Science lesson from Gujarat: Stem cells in Mahabharata, cars in Veda Indian Express
  78. 78.0 78.1 78.2 Indian prime minister claims genetic science existed in ancient times The Guardian
  79. Hindutva Bigotry in America
  80. Kamat, Sangeetha (et al.) (2003). "'Mapping political violence in a globalized world: The case of Hindu nationalism'". Social Justice 30 (3): pp.4–16. 
  81. 81.0 81.1 Osuri, Goldie (et al.) (2011). "'Transnational Bio/Necropolitics: Hindutva and its Avatars (Australia/India)'". Somatechnics 1 (1): pp.138–160.