Hindutva literally means Indian-ness. The core of India and Indianness is found in Vedas which is allegiance towards land of Sapta-Sindhu and culture and civilization of Sapta-Sindhu. The definition which Veer Savarkar gives for the word Hindu is
आसिंधु सिन्धु पर्यन्ता यस्य भारत भूमिका l पितृभू पुण्यभू च एव स वै हिन्दुरिती स्मृतः ll
- One who refers to the Indian subcontinent as Bhaarat and considers Bhaarat as his fatherland (or motherland) and most revered land (Punyabhoomi) is a Hindu.
This concept of revered land has its origin in the term of "Sapta-Sindhu" which is widely cited in Vedic and post-Vedic literature.
This concept and high reverence of Sapta-Sindhu is central concept of Vedic literature. The most interesting part of Bhaaratiya civilization is the process in which the radius of this Sapta-Sindhu region increased and expanded with time.
The original Sapta-Sindhu region in early hymns of Rigveda comprises of 5 rivers of Punjab, Saraswati(in Rajasthan) and Kubha (Kabul) river in NWFP. This land is glorified as Sapta-Sindhu. The dwellers of this land are Arya people who are pure, rich, righteous and civilized men on earth who are Kavis (poets) composing beautiful literature and performing grand Yagnas to please their mighty Devas.
In later Rigveda, in nadi-stuti sukta of 10th mandala, the Sapta-Sindhu region includes Ganga and Yamuna as well. Thus, now, this idea of Sapta-Sindhu, its culture and civilzation comprised of entire north Indian plains, from Bengal to NWFP.
In Puranic times post Rigveda, new Sapta-Sindhu concept became popular with time. This is seen in famous verse
Now, Sapta-Sindhu includes the region of Ganga, Yamuna, Godavari, Saraswati, Narmada, Sindhu and Kaveri. Basically, entire Indian subcontinent. Interestingly, the rivers west of Sindhu were no longer considered as part of Sapta Sindhu region. This expansion has to be seen with its connection with shift from Indra to Trinity elaborated in Part-1 of this series.
Sapta-Sindhu is the term which gave birth to the word "Hindu". The Civilization of Sapta-Sindhu was referred to as Hapta-Hindu by Persians and other outsiders. The people of this region and culture, the Sapta-Saindhavas were referred to as hapta-Haindavas by Persians and other outsiders. All these terms are found in Zend Avesta of Zoroastrians.
In all its context, Sapta-Sindhu has been the homeland of Sapta-Saindhavas (Bhaaratiyas). This has been the Punya-Bhoomi (revered land) of them. This has been the Pitrubhoomi and Matrubhoomi for them.
Thus, the very concept and identity of India or Bhaarat originated from land of seven legendary rivers and expands with the same. The concept of Bhaarat was Punjab and adjacent areas during Vedic war of ten kings where Sudas is a king of Bhaarata and Sapta Sindhu. The concept of Bhaarat in Vishnupuran was same as pan-subcontinental identity of Sapta-Sindhu.
One more defining feature which was preserved all throughout the history of our civilization is the sense of supremacy of Arya over Anaarya people. The famous quotation of कृण्वन्तो विश्वं आर्यम (lets make the whole world "Arya" or civilized) denotes the same fact. Vedic memes did that, by extending the status of "civilized/Aarya" to all the residents of Indian subcontinent who accepted the Dharmic way of life. The land of "Arya/civilized" automatically became Sapta-Sindhu and hence Bhaarat. Howmuchever it is denied, this identity of civilized Arya people and barbaric Anaarya people still exists, with different names and in subtle forms in the subconscious psyches of Indian population.
Owing to this, sadly, Muslims and Christians are still considered as Anaarya and Mlenchha by certain section of orthodox Indic people. Same is true about certain section of Muslim population as well which propounded and propagated two-nation theory, which resulted in partition of India in 1947. This exclusivity perhaps worked in medieval times, for good or for evil, with Muslims and Christians of foreign origin. Indian Muslims and Indian Christians, especially in post independence era, are as much Indians as Indian Non-Abrahamics are. Hence, this strategy needs to be changed and updated.
The concept of Arya needs to be extended to IM and IC who understand, appreciate and follow the concept of Dharma and delineate and differentiate their personal faiths of attaining Moksha from pursuit of Dharma-Artha-Kaama in day-to-day life. This differentiation is of utmost importance in Indian context. Separation of Dharma and Moksha is the true definition of secularism in Indian context.
This origin and the true meaning of the terms "Dharma" and "Arya" and identities of "Sapta-Sindhu", "Bhaarat" should be explained thoroughly to every single resident of Indian subcontinent. This will generate an enormous selective pressure on Indianization and assimilation of Abrahamic memes into mainstream Indic society.
Just like followers of Abrahamic ideologies should Indianize themselves, the followers of Indic ideologies must increase their inclusiveness and expand their idea of Sapta-Sindhu once again. Christians and Muslims in India will be able to retain their Christianity and Islam as personal paths of achieving Moksha/Salvation without letting it interfere with their pursuits of Dharma-Artha-Kaama of daily life in society.
If this happens, who knows, perhaps Tigris, Euphrates and Jordan rivers will become part of Sapta-Sindhu 500 years from now.....