Sindhutva

Now that we have come to an end of our journey, it is time to take a re-look at what we want to achieve by this great odyssey.

First thing first. I hope, by now it is abundantly clear that since the purpose of our journey has been to discover the path to a better future; bitterness has no place in our scheme of things. I have been extremely critical of Gandhiji’s policies but the fact remains that he was a Mahatma. We can be critical of his policies but we have no right to show any disrespect to his memory. Like all men, he had his share of follies – for after all he too was a mortal man like any of us; not a God. I have focussed on his follies; not so much on his achievements. Not out of any sense of disrespect to him but to fight those who have turned him into a God for their own selfish vested interests. His achievements are all too well known to merit a recount. Now that we know his follies; we can come to terms with Gandhi, the Human being – one of the Greatest who ever lived. I would like to lay my claim on him as any other citizen of the nation, as my own grandfather – one with whom I have many disagreements but for whom I also have deep and abiding respect.

The machinations of Patel and Nehru in the summer of 1947, fill me with great sorrow, no longer with bitterness. Such Great men but in the end turned to have feet of clay. Nehru’s actions, in particular are difficult to comprehend even now. For he was the one, who was endowed with intelligence and the vision to know better. He was the one, who could spend lifetime in the service of the nation, unburdened by the need of providing for his day to day needs, which were taken care of by his father. He was the Prince charming riding on the white horse leading the nation to a better future. In the end, he turned out to be little better than a man of straw. Let me just stop here by saying that the Nehru clan has taken far more from the nation than they have given back to it.

Now that we have come to terms with the past, we need to move ahead and not get locked in history. Let us focus on the path to future. The path is surely the one that would lead to Sindhutva. Since, I have used this term for the first time and that too towards the very end of the book, let me briefly dwell upon this. I would not go into details since this would call for an independent book by itself on the subject.

The term Hindutva is well known in India today though not really understood by even many of those who claim to speak in its name. The term was originally coined by none other than Savarkar in a thesis written by him, in 1923 while undergoing rigorous imprisonment at Ratnagiri. In this thesis, he was forthright about his views. These views need to be understood in the context of the place where this thesis was written. By 1923, Savarkar had been denied a normal life for over a decade – made to work like an animal; compelled to live amongst hard core criminals, many of whom were no better than animals. Quite a few of them rabidly communal Muslims. Indeed, some of them had even tried to kill Savarkar in an engineered prison riot in Ratnagiri. It is amazing that by this time, Savarkar was alive and astounding that he retained his razor sharp Intellect.

In his thesis, Hindutva, Savarkar defined Hindus as those who loved the land of SaptSindhu – as their own Fatherland. Those, who claimed the history and culture of this land as their own. The SaptSindhu being the seven rivers, Sindhu (Indus), Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Narmada, Kaveri and Godavari. Brahmaputra is not separately mentioned as it is considered as the eastward flow of Sindhu itself. The final test of being a Hindu in the opinion of Savarkar was that the person should also recognise this land as his Holy land. Based on this final qualification, he was categorical that Muslims, Christians, Parsees, Jews and all others, whose religion required them to worship lands other than the land of SaptSindhu – were therefore not eligible to be called Hindus. By itself, this is not an assertion that would be contested by anyone. One doubts if any Christian or a Muslim would be particularly keen to be called a Hindu. Each one of us has every right to be proud of our religion. Different religions may share some common values but some of the values are unique and dear.

Any assertion that Indian Muslims and Christians are somehow Hindus can not but be therefore deeply offending to them. Savarkar was therefore quite correct in defining who is a Hindu and who is not.

In the context of the place, he wrote this thesis – a place infested with hard core criminals; the time – 1923, when India was racked by communal disturbances in the aftermath of the infamous Khilafat movement; it is easy to understand his other views. He held forth that Hindus alone could provide the real foundation for the Indian nation.

In the context of the time, we live in – at the very dawn of a new millennium, we should define the term Sindhu. They are those who love the land of SaptSindhu as their own, those who claim the rich and diverse history and culture as their own. These are the people – who should be called Sindhus. They may or may not necessarily consider this land as their Holy land – that being the criterion for being called Hindus - not Sindhus. It is the Sindhus, who alone can provide the real foundation for building a nation worthy of the potential of the land of SaptSindhus. The honour thus belongs equally to Muslims, Christians, Jews, Parsees, Hindus and others. It can-not be the monopoly of the Hindus. This to me is what Sindhutva all about. Sindhutva is then an expression that takes into account the ancient history of this land that lies between Sindhu in the West and Brahmaputra in the East ignoring the artificial political division brought about in 1947. It is a value system that is based on the famous dictum of Savarkar:

“If you come – with you; if you do not –
without you; if you oppose –despite you”

Thus participation of all is welcomed and even sought in the grand task of national reconstruction. At the same time; no one is given a veto – the bane of Indian polity since the advent of Gandhian politics. So long as Jinnah sought to work with Congress, he had been ignored. Once he sought and obtained the support of his co-religionists; he was handed the power of Veto – leading to the division of the Country.

The term Hindutva was coined by Savarkar in a prison cell. I have the proud privilege to use the term Sindhutva, something he himself would have used; if his life was not disrupted by the years of hard rigerous prison term – sitting in the very room, which he used in the later part of his life; at Savarkar Sadan in Mumbai. I am sure Savarkar, had he been alive today would have blessed this term. For, it is interesting to note that even as he wrote his controversial views; he also affirmed his intention of working for a United India. Indeed, to quote him from his thesis Hindutva:

“We are trying our best, as we ought to do, to develop the consiousness of and a sense of attachment to the greater whole, whereby Hindus, Mohammedans, Christians and Jews would feel Indians first and everything afterwards.”

This was not all. In Hindutva, he also hoped that: “It may be that at some future time, the word Hindu may come to indicate a citizen of Hindustan and nothing else; that day can rise when all cultural and religious bigotry has disbanded its forces pledged to aggressive egoism; and religions cease to be ‘isms’ and become merely the common fund of eternal principles that lie at the root of all that are common foundation on which the Human State majestically and firmly rests.”

The future time that Savarkar hoped for in 1923 is something we can now seriously work towards and achieve some of it – if not all; within our lifetime. Sindhutva is today a dream that can be realised.

Let us now look at some of the things that can be done in order to bring in Sindhutva in this ancient land.

We need to legally declare that Bahadur Shah Zafar, the national sovereign of Hindustan was illegally deposed by the British in 1857. Thus the entire British rule in India thereafter was completely illegal The present day governments of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh are therefore heirs to their last common sovereign – Bahadur Shah Zafar, not to the illegal British rule. This will pave the path for all the three governments to get together and lodge a claim for damages incurred by the British occupation of this ancient land. For if, Kuwait can claim damages from Iraq for forceful occupation of its land, so can India, Pakistan and Bangladesh; from the United Kingdom. Potential damage that can be claimed exceeds the annual GNP of the richest three countries of the world taken together.

• The very act of the three governments to get together and prepare a damage claim on the British, it is hoped, will serve two objectives, namely

• Act as an antidote to the poisonous state of relations that exist today between India and Pakistan.

• Demolish the myth of white man’s generosity and superiority that bedevils the national elite, paving the path for a resurgent nation.

• In the new millennium, we should finally acknowledge that 15th August is not the Independence Day of the country. The claim of treating 15th August as the Independence Day is demonstrably false. There are only two days that can lay claim to being the Independence day. The first is 11th May 1857, when Bahadur Shah Zafar dismissed the British as the Diwan of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa. The other is 26th January 1950, when the nation regained its sovereignty, it had lost with forceful deposition of Bahadur Shah Zafar. We should start celebrating 15th August as Gandhiji himself did. By being engrossed in the service of the nation, without any pomp or show.

• It is also time that Gandhiji should be treated as a Mahatma that he was, not as a God that he himself never claimed to be. It is without doubt that his services to the nation were great. So were those of others. The most prominent amongst them being Lokmanya Tilak; who lit the revolutionary fire that devoured the British Imperial Power. The best way of acknowledging the contribution of both these stalwarts is to print the photographs of both of them on the currency notes.

• The elite of the nation have to get involved in the task of building the nation. For years, we have talked of providing compulsory primary education and basic health facilities to all our citizens and then bemoaned the lack of resources. This is so much hogwash. We have enough and more resources. When we have the best of human talent, what is the reason to worry about financial resources? The task can be left to those who seek to have or had university education in the country. They need not pay market-oriented fees for their education but be required to spend at least two year of their life spreading the cause of literacy and health care. The cause of female literacy must have top most priority.

• All managers in the industry, owe it to the nation to make sure that their companies create Economic Value Addition ( and not destroy it), so that the nation can move on the path of economic prosperity.

The list of things to do is long but we need to make a start. Getting rid of the inferiority complex, spreading the cause of literacy and health care, creating sporting infrastructure and working towards national economic prosperity would make an excellent start. It would help if Supreme Court of India, the one institution in the country that is capable of dispassionately scrutinising the arguments presented so far; takes suo motu notice of these conclusions and issue suitable directions to the Government of India.

On my part, I wish to play a small role in shaping the future of the nation. The profits from the distribution of this book will form the corpus of a registered charitable trust, ‘Abhinav Bharat’. The Trust will be run on the lines of a modern, professional efficient corporation. It will undertake such activities on a "Not For Profit' basis as are necessary for promoting the following objectives :

• To spread awareness about the need to reexamine history and refocus on future with renewed hope so as to promote national interest.

• To provide literacy in the field of Information & Technology.

• To help poor people who need financial help for medical treatment, or any other genuine and acceptable reason which deserves sympathetic action or to creating basic health facilities, where required.

• To Promote Team games like Hockey and Football.

 

My wife – Manjiri has agreed to be the Managing Trustee. Giving her valuable assistance is our close family friend – Meena Prabhu as the Advisory Trustee and Secretary of the Trust. Hopefully, you dear readers, would allow us to raise an adequate corpus to start our activities in a meaningful manner. If more and more of us make start here and now in however a small manner, we would all be working towards realization of the dreams of Rabindra Nath Tagore, so eloquently expressed in his poem:

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high

Where knowledge is free

Where the world has not broken up into fragments

By narrow domestic walls

Where the words come out from the depth of truth;

Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;

Where the clear stream of reasoning has not lost its way

Into dreary desert sand of dead habit;

Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action

Into that heaven of freedom my father

Let my country awake

A more eloquent description of Sindhutva is scarcely possible.