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Hindu dharma is implicitly at odds with monotheistic intolerance. What is happening in India is a new historical awakening... Indian intellectuals, who want to be secure in their liberal beliefs, may not understand what is going on. But every other Indian knows precisely what is happening: deep down he knows that a larger response is emerging even if at times this response appears in his eyes to be threatening.

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Hindutva not just about Temple

by Dina Nath Mishra

The blunders committed by Muslim leaders, intellectuals and organisations regarding Babri structure by raising it to crescendo, has been repeated by some Hindu leaders, intellectuals and the media regarding Hindutva and Hindu agenda through reductionist and deductionist methodology, intentionally or unintentionally to the extent that Hindu agenda converged on one single point, building a grand Ram Janmabhoomi Temple at Ayodhya.

First, it was reduced to three points, repealing Article 370, bringing Common Civil Code and Ram Janmabhoomi Temple. Now the last one has become synonymous with the Hindu agenda. Let me not be misunderstood. Only a negationist can deny the craving of Hindu society for building Ram Temple, from little less than 400 years. It was there as Hindu agenda, pending in the court for more than half a century. It figured importantly in VHP agenda from mid 80s. It became one of the agenda of BJP in late 80s. But the situation was altered significantly on December 6, 1992 by the disappearance of the Babri structure and coming into being of a small Ram Lala Temple there.

Further, even anti-BJP Governments, after recent terror grenade attack on Ram Lala Temple, are planning explosion proof structure to safeguard it. It is true that a few persons holding highest position in the Pakistani establishment have been thinking of how to assist in solving the problem of building the Ram Temple.

Unfortunately, a couple of top VHP functionaries have not registered the changes sufficiently and are contributing to the perception of single-point Hindu agenda. I am not suggesting abandoning the dream of construction of Ram Temple. As far as the Ram Lala Temple is concerned, it is there for all to see. Hindutva includes lofty ideals of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam (the world's one family).

Shanti mantras praise not only Prithvi, Antariksha, Vanaspati but sarve shanti for all. This sounds unrealistic if we use the ultimate as destinational. But it must remain as directional. The RSS' Hindutva includes this vision. All the SarSangh Chalaks of RSS, including the present incumbent, have been repeatedly referring to the ideal of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam.

Two very important Sanskrit words, meaning invincible India and prosperous India, have been the defined target. Both constitute the principal stimulant in all the Swayam Sevaks in varying degree. That is why when Atal Bihari Vajpayee became Prime Minister, the Swayam Sevak in him instantly opted for Pokharan II.

The ideal of invincible India is so intense that RSS SarSanghChalak did not allow the view of political correctness to blur it, when recently he praised Late Smt Indira Gandhi, who could not be deterred by the presence of 7th fleet of USA in the Bay of Bengal during 1971 Bangla War.

The second is the vision of prosperous India. It was translated into action during six year rule of Vajpayee led Government in the history of independent India. In the last year of NDA rule the GDP growth rate achieved the highest mark, i.e 8.5 per cent.

It has slided down by 1.5 per cent in the UPA regime. The vision of prosperous India does preclude the poverty ridden masses that is why RSS and Parivar organisations are most active in the entire tribal areas from Gujarat to Arunachal Pradesh and southern parts of India, on the education, health and service fronts. Now, Presidential speeches of all the BJP leaders have been collected, compiled and published. The vision contained therein has been translated into action during NDA rule. Had NDA rule continued India would have been a powerful developed nation.

Hence, reduction of Hindutva to single point Ram Janma Bhoomi agenda, is most unfortunate.I would put a share of blame for this perception on Parivar organisations but most of it has been contributed media and shallow journalism coupled with trivialisation, sensationalisation and speculation galore.

If you point out about the Parivar assiduously working among poorer section of the society for decades and running educational and other institutions and record Hindutva in action, media would point out to assassination of Mahatma Gandhi. Exoneration of RSS on this charge by the courts and enquiry commission would fall on the deaf ears.

Media suffers from negativism and reductionism due to its inbuiltnature. It trades into abstracts like image perceptions through bites and headlines, wherein truth gets buried and distortions creeps in. Cause, howsoever noble, suffers.

This is what has happened to Hindutva.

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