A R C H I V E S
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|the TRUTH behind 'Two nation Theory'|
|07/13/02 at 03:13:36|
|The origin of Hindutva|
Ask any Indian or Pakistani “who first propounded the two-nation theory that Hindus and Muslims are two different nations?” The immediate response will be “Mohammed Ali Jinnah”.
Not correct. The first man to talk of Hindus and Muslims as separate nations was Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, who coined the word ‘Hindutva’ in a book with the same title in 1923.
Other Hindu leaders who accepted the two-nation theory were Dr Moonje of the Hindu Mahasabha, Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya, founder of the Benaras Hindu University, Lala Lajpat Rai, Bhai Permanand and Swami Shraddhanand. The eminejt Bengali writer Bankim Chandra Chattopadhyaya also supported the notion.
In Hindutva, Savarkar described Hindus as a nation because they acknowledged India as their fatherland and land of worship. Among Hindus, he included Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs because their religions were of Indian origin, but excluded Muslims and Christians because their religions came from outside India.
So he concluded Hindus are a nation while Muslims, Christians and Parsis are “communities or numerical minorities”.
The stream of Hindu separatism began to flow like the Paataal Ganga (underground Ganga) soon after the British overthrew the Mughal dynasty and established their rule all over India.
It gathered strength from reviving and exaggerating memories of all the wrongs Muslim invaders had done to India: humiliating them on battlefields, destroying temples, imposing jazia tax and treating non-Muslims as lower than second-class citizens.
Hindu warriors like Prithvi Raj Chauhan, Guru Gobind Singh and Shivaji, who resisted them, were portrayed as national heroes. A general atmosphere was created that wrongs done by Muslim conquerors in the past had to be righted.
The Indian Freedom Movement was as biased against the British as it was against Muslims who kept aloof from it.
By the time the British decided to quit India, a significant proportion of Hindus felt that they should inherit the legacy of their forefathers while a vast majority of Indian Muslims felt that they would have no future in the Hindu-dominated India. Hence the partition of the country into India and Pakistan.
India could have declared itself a Hindu state since over 80 per cent of its population was Hindu and all its neighbouring States had declared themselves religious states: Islamic (Pakistan), Buddhist (Sri Lanka and Burma) and Hindu (Nepal).
But under the influence of men like Gandhi, Nehru, Azad and others, it chose to pursue a greater ideal, a modern secular State where all religious communities would enjoy equal rights. It was too good to last.
Religious bigotry raised its ugly head in our neighbouring countries and in response, Hindu bigotry rapidly gained strength in India. What were in Nehru’s time parties of marginal importance, drawing inspiration from Savarkar’s concept of Hindutva — the RSS, Hindu Mahasabha, Jan Sangh, Shiv Sena, Bajrang Dal — gathered strength and became the main opposition to secular forces.
After indulging in mosque-breaking, burning churches, attacking nuns and missionaries, they went on to perpetrating pogroms on hapless Muslims.
They have become the rulers of the country today. However, their days are numbered because an increasing number of Indians have come to realise that if India means to survive as a nation and march forward, it must remain one country, re-assert its secular credentials and throw out communally-based parties from the political arena.
This is the theme of Virendra Prakash’s Hindutva Demystified (Virgo). He writes: “Hindutva, as articulated by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and adopted by Hedgewar as the bedrock of the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), has little to do with the real, noble faith of the Hindus. It is a totally artificial construct, based on a motivated and unsustainable definition of ‘Hindu’. Coining a new definition of ‘Hindu’ to suit his objectives, Savarkar developed a powerful instrument to exploit the emotions and passions of the Hindu against the rest.”
Virendra Prakash is a product of Harvard University, a civil servant who held many important positions in the government of India. He retired as Chief Secretary and after retirement, headed Delhi’s First Finance Commission. He knows the Sangh Parivar like the back of his hand.
by khushwant singh
Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board