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From Hindutva To Pseudo-Hindutva

by M. Nageswara Rao, Oct 12, 2021 06:31 PM +05:30 IST

A recent conference, obnoxiously titled ‘Dismantling Global Hindutva’, held from 10-12 September 2021, rightly generated a lot of heat against it. It was repugnant and loathsome as its purpose was to promote Abrahamic interests by demonising and delegitimising Hinduism. As an offshoot of that, there was an acrimonious discussion on Twitter on whether Hindutva and Hinduism are one and the same. This is due to a lot of misinformation and confusion arising primarily from the fact that both the terms have the common word ‘Hindu’ in them. Available literature has not helped clear the confusion to any substantial degree as people tend to take political positions. And the biggest sufferer in this political slugfest has been Hinduism, or Sanatana Dharma.

The credit for coining the term Hindutva goes to Chandranath Basu. I could not obtain an English translation of his 1892 magnum opus, Hindutva – Hindur Prakrita Itihas (Hindutva – the Authentic History of the Hindus). Therefore, my understanding of the text and context of his Hindutva is from secondary sources which has its own limitations. Chandranath Basu was one of the early scholars who evaluated social ideas and practices in the comparative scale of civilisations and his conclusions acclaimed the superiority of the Hindu way of life as against the European.

The author is former In-Charge Director, CBI. These views are personal.

M.Nageswara Rao IPS (Retired)

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