On Hindutva

In the recent months, I have been bewildered by the news channels and politicians giving a negative connotation to Hindutva. Their angst seems to be pointed towards Modi as they feel that he is a threat to their rule, but in the churn they are also sullying the image of Hinduism - in the birthplace of this grand old religion.

I came across the Article When Germany is Christian, is India Hindu? and it really puts the reasoning in a much more coherent way than I would have been able to. I strongly suggest you read the article. Here are a few points that strongly resonate with me.

I find hard to understand – for example why many so called educated Indians on TV discussion forums become agitated whenever ‘Hindutva’ is mentioned. The majority of Indians are Hindus. India is special because of its ancient Hindu tradition. Westerners are drawn to India because of it. Why then is there this resistance by many Indians to acknowledge the Hindu roots of their country? Why do some people even give the impression as if an India that values those Hindu roots was dangerous?

That is exactly my thought when I see these debates of anti-Modi. I just cant understand how the association of being a Hindu is something that is now being branded as being evil ?

Hinduism comprises a huge body of ancient literature, not only regarding Dharma and philosophy, but also regarding music, architecture, dance, science, astronomy, economics, politics, etc. If Germany or any other western country had this kind of literary treasure, it would be so proud and highlight its greatness on every occasion.

This is something that I am also ashamed of. Before the start of this year, I had not even gone through the Gita - one of the most popular pieces of literature of Hinduism. Somewhere around the later part of last year I realized that most people do not even know what the Bhagwad Gita is all about - though they espouse one or two famous shlokas out of it. A little knowledge is dangerous and thats when I started reading it - 2 pages at a time - everyday. I am in my 2nd reading of the book, and I think I do not still understand the underlying message perfectly.

There is a “Copernicus Marg’ in New Delhi and Indian children do not get to hear in school that the rishis of the Rg Veda knew already that the earth is round and goes around the sun – thousands of years before westerners ‘discovered’ it. (Rg 10’22’14)

Here, even I did not know that. And I do lament the teachings we have had which do not talk about these things. I have recently got a condensed book about the vedas which I hope to read this year. Unfortunately, these books are not easy to get. 

All in all, I believe we have been paying just lip service to one of the grandest religions either by ignoring it or being fanatical about the customs. It would be better if everyone with an iota of thinking capacity should do what the rishis of old did - think and esquire into the truth. For one, I am going to be reading all these immense literature ( apart from the Ramayana and Mahabharata ). The Challenge is getting copies of these which are not influenced by the translators dogmas. 

If you know of good books or links, please do leave them in the comments below, and I will add them to the main article here. 

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