All Opposition parties are trying to differentiate Hinduism from Hindutva in the hope of weaning Hindu voters away from Hindutva. But this narrative plays into the BJP's hands, demoralises Muslim voters and other suffering minorities, and limits space for new ideas that can counter Hindutva successfully.
Posts tagged as “Hindutva”
Indians have often tried to convince themselves that India remains a largely tolerant and secular country. But several surveys and polls have proved that much of India remains conservative, undemocratic and intolerant. Liberal parties must build grassroots presence to change this reality.
It is safe to say that a Second Republic is already here. While the First Republic was defined by the values of the Indian freedom struggle, the Second Republic is defined by the Hindu religious identity. Is India then beyond redemption? Ultimately, the people must decide which republic they want to live in.
For years, linguistic passions sometimes transcended religion or caste as a priority for many. But linguistic identities struggled to win majorities at the Union level and eventually gave way to caste and religious politics. The focus must now be on clearly articulating what constitutes the Indian identity.
History has a tendency to repeat itself, so most people either think that the past has no relevance today, or they view even the distant past as being one and the same as the present. That is why politicians are able to use the demolition of temples by Aurangzeb to perpetuate hate against innocent Muslims today.
Christians have come under unrelenting vilification and assault in India in recent years, and the trend has only worsened since the start of the pandemic. Father Stan Swamy's inexcusable death was part of that pattern. But Christians too have themselves to blame for failing to unite across denominations.
In the inaugural episode of Beyond the Headlines, Editor-in-Chief Mohamed Zeeshan spoke to Ramachandra Guha, eminent historian and author. Guha spoke about Indian democracy, compared India to other democracies, and dwelt on the roles and responsibilities of historians in public discourse.
Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore enjoyed lively debates about nationalism, cultural identity and much more. Their debates have lessons for India on policy and governance, but they also show that if leaders can disagree with mutual respect, they can broaden and enlighten public discourse.
India must go much further than just survive this pandemic. A political culture of communalism and vengeance led to opaque governance and misplaced policy priorities. Many Indians voted for false communal pride, but as the pandemic hit, they found that they needed oxygen instead.