Saturday, May 04, 2013

Critique on Savarkar's ideas - Hindutva in proper perspective

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Regarding Savarkar's definition of "Who is Hindu".

The original definition from his famous "Hindutva", for the consideration of reader, goes like this - 

आसिन्धु सिन्धु पर्यन्ता यस्य भारत भूमिकाः
पितृभूः पुण्यभुः च एव, स वै हिन्दुरीति स्मृतः 
One who considers this land from Indus to southern ocean (poetic way of saying entire Indian subcontinent, no need to take it literally) as "India" and regards this country as  his "pitRu bhumi" (land of forefathers) and Punya-bhumi (difficult to translate this one), he is "Hindu"

About Fatherland - It is translation of original sanskrit word - Pitrubhumi (Land of Pitaras - forefathers). India is land of my forefathers. Ever since human being entered Indian subcontinent from Africa 1 lakh years ago, all my ancestors were from this subcontinent. So India is my pitrubhumi (Purkhon ki zameen in common hindi). All the places, rivers, mountains which I consider valuable and am ideologically and emotionally attached to, are in Indian subcontinent. Hence, India is my Punyabhumi as well. All those who share opinion with me are Hindus. 

Julia Roberts may be a Vaishnavaite, but her pitrubhumi is somewhere else. She is dharmik, but not Hindu. Tarek Fatah and some Muslims like him (many are my friends) openly and proudly say that India is their Pitrubhumi and Punyabhumi, are Hindus. In their opinion, Mecca is just a place and over reverence to a place is non-islamic. On the other hand, culturally they  are of this land and identify with Ayodhya, Kurukshetra, Ramsetu etc. They do not worship those places, but then nor do many Nirishwarvadi (non-theistic) Hindus. Whatever Subramanian Swamy said in his DNA article, is what Savarkar said in 1920s. Hindutva is Dharmarthik (socio-politico-economic) concept. It should not be made OR treated as an Adhyatmik (vaguely "spiritual") concept. 

Hindu and Hindutva ARE geographical confined terms. Hindu comes from Sindhu and means Indian. With Muslim rule, it came to be associated with Indian faiths and with British rule, it was confined to Indian aastika faiths (segregating Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and tribals). GOI continued this. But people did not. Please do not think of Hindu and Hindutva as Adhyatmik terms. They are purely geographical and hence ethnocentric terms meant for describing Hindus of India. Those who have accepted some other land as their Punyabhumi and are interested only in adhyatmik traditions of Dharma, need not pay attention to what Savarkar says. It is not applicable. 

These terms "Hindu" and "Hindutva" are for denoting dharmarthik aspirations of native brown Indic people from Indian subcontinent who consider Indian subcontinent as their native land and revered land. Hindutva is a subset of Dharma. Dharma is for entire humanity. Hindus (or the ethnic group which today is known as Hindus) are the last custodians and as well as originators of meme-complex of Dharma. 

Remembered following quote from the film Good Shepherd (a fantastic film to watch, BTW)

Joseph Palmi: Let me ask you something... we Italians, we got our families, and we got the church; the Irish, they have the homeland, Jews their tradition; even the blacks, they got their music. What about you people, Mr. Wilson, what do you (WASPs) have?  
Edward Wilson: We have United States of America. The rest of you are just visiting.

Here "we" are "hindus". And "we" have and ought to have "India". Rest are welcome, but are just visitors. In future when this Nation-state based polity will crumble and the very concept of "Nation-state" will fade, "Hindu" tag will fade along with it and so will "Hindutva". So, in another words, Hindutva is also one of the few Indic responses to "nation-state" concept imposed upon India by Brits after 1857. 

Until nation-state exists, Hindus (brown indic people of Indian origin living in India and considering India as their native land and revered land) will have to ensure that their traditions and models (dharmik, aarthik, Kaamik and mokshik) are protected and implemented and their population well-versed with these traditions and models in geographical confines of "nation-state", that is today's "Republic of India".

I hate to speak in terms of skin color (too simplistic for my mind), but this will be the last time I will use this just to make myself and my understanding of Savarkar clear. 

Native Indic Indian people believing in integral India as their native land and revered land, are Hindus and the nation-state of India (with her establishments, institutions, constitution and outlook) should be built as per the traditions, values, customs and four-fold Purushartha models of Indic origin. This is "Swa-Tantra" (self system). And this is what Savarkar's Hindutva (or anybody else's Hindutva including RSS) demands.


B Nari said...

/* it was confined to Indian aastika faiths (segregating Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs and tribals). GOI continued this. But people did not. */

You are wrong. Not all Jains consider themselves Hindus. If they considered themselves Hindus, there wouldn't be a "Who is Hindu" by Sh. Elst.

vibhum said...

हिंदू हिद हिंद होदू यिंतु जैसे शब्दों का प्रयोग विश्व साहित्य में हुआ है तथा उनका पूरा विवरण देते हुए लेखक ने सामान्य धारणा कि हिंदू शब्द मुस्लिम की देन है का खंडन तर्कसंगत किया है। कृपया पढ़ें तथा उत्तर भी देवें। यह शब्द तक सीमित नहीं है यह बड़ा षड्यंत्र है जिसे आपने अपने ढंग से अनेक बार उद्धृत किया है।

vibhum said...

Antiquity and Origin of the term 'Hindu'