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The Hindus: The Indians or the extremists?

The Hindus: The Indians or the extremists?

The right wing leaders never misses out on any opportunity to ignite controversies especially if the matter is concerned with establishing their far- right ideology.

RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat was the latest in sparking a debate. Bhagwat had said that “if the inhabitants of England are English, Germany are Germans and USA are Americans then why all inhabitants of Hindustan are not known as Hindus”. According to him, thecultural identity of all Indians is Hindutva and the present inhabitants of the country are descendants of this great culture”. Bhagwat didn’t hesitate stressing that it was more a way of life and that Hindus could be of any religion worshipping any god. It is yet another step towards their vital goal of achieving a full fledged Hindustan. From the day one, the Modi government has been carrying out various strategies to attain their target of transforming India into a Hindu nation. The attacks are directed against the religious, cultural and ethnic minorities in the country and the agenda he and his party have been carving out is plainly visible.

Bhagwat also said that Hindutva has been the only basis to keep India united since ancient days despite having plenty of diversities. So what about the numerous other minority communities including the Muslims, Christians, Sikhs and Buddhists? Can they be called Hindus too? These questions are perplexing and remain unanswered. The people who hurl such suggestions tainted with communal colors targeting people other than the “Hindus” never bother to neither answer them nor clear the uncertainties. As far as the constitution of India is concerned, the word “Hindustan” is nowhere mentioned in it. While the Shiv Sena welcomed Bhagwat’s statement, Congress reacted sharply to his remarks. Congress leader Manish Tewari said that the "words used by the framers of Constitution were India or Bharat and not Hindustan”. He also said that when Ambedkar wrote the constitution, he used the name “Bharat” keeping in mind the various religions in the country.

The Supreme Court recently decided to revisit the Hindutva judgment made in 1995 by a three judge panel that "Hindutva/Hinduism is a way of life of the people in the sub-continent" and "is a state of mind." The judgement was delivered in the case of Manohar Joshi who stated that the "First Hindu State would be established in Maharashtra”; but the statement as found by Justice J.S.Verma, did not amount to appeal on the ground of religion. The Sangh Parivar has been clinging on to this 1995 judgement by the apex court. Amidst all these hullabaloo, the Supreme Court’s decision to assign a seven- judge panel to revisit the judgment is thoroughly welcome. All eyes will be on the SC judgement including the RSS and the BJP. With the assembly elections and the by-polls coming up, both could not afford to lock horns with each other because the BJP as well as the RSS could not advance without the support of the other.

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