Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Why it is not merely Wrong but also Suicidal for Hindus if they define "Hindutva" as "Inherently Secular Cultural Nationalism".

The icon of the Hindutva-brigade (we mean the Sangh Parivar version of Hindutva) V. D. Savarkar published a piece on Hindutva, which seemingly is a foundational document for the said brigade. We saw in an earlier article how Jinnah, Jawahar both were searching within the western framework and thus could think of nothing original and were stuck with Secularism and Socialism.

Secularism in its historical context was needed to clip the wings of the Church. It is said that over time the Church became so powerful that it started interfering in the affairs of the kings; and kings naturally took umbrage. In a manner that is similar to deciding "line of control" to ensure stable peace between two warring nations, the idea of Secularism was mooted.

Similarly, Socialism, has been founded on Marxian terms like class-exploitation, class-consciousness, proletariat revolution and so on. The end result is hoped to be an Egalitarian society.

However, owing to the diversity extant in nature, there is sufficient variety even amongst humans, therefore any sense of Equality necessitates use of an abstraction of the notion of equality. Also, we must recognize that so long as there are scarce resources and contention between different principals for these resources (The Problem of Social Order) a moral or ethical framework is necessary so as to avoid and/or reduce conflict. Thus loosely speaking, any solution to the problem of Social Order requires a set of principles which are (or result in) a moral framework.

The moral framework in Secular and Socialist solutions to the problem of Social Order, is materialistic. Such a framework not only does not work, it is hardly logically sound not to mention that it is utterly incomplete.

Sometimes there are attempts to define the moral framework not in terms of principles but in terms of peoples supposedly practicing them, and in turn the peoples are defined in terms of race, geography or a combination thereof. Thus, often the concept of nation when defined uses terms like "peoples", "race", "geography" and so on.

Hinduism, usually defies such attempts at defining it. Even granting the possibility that defining "Hinduism" might be a tough task (though it can surely be fairly efficiently done, see here), the Savarkarian notion of "Hindutva" is cultural-geography or vice versa; that is, a culture expressed in terms of peoples belonging to a geographical region in history. In our opinion, this is not only a crude definition, if at all, that besides it is fraught with dangers.

As we have mentioned that Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) is not only history assimilating but also history transcending (ditto geography, language, etc.), Savarakarian idea of Hindutva changes the broad nature of Hindutva into a parochial (regional) notion. This is not to state that Savarkarian Hindutva is absolutely wrong, rather it is to show that Savarkarian Hindutva is unnecessarily restrictive and fraught with potential dangers.

Sanatana Dharma, in a somewhat broad sense, is easier defined the way we understand modern Science, and thus is better understood in terms of idea-line rather than in terms of blood-line. While peoples in many civilizations define themselves as parent-children lineage (this pertains to the body) Sanatana Dharma can be better understood as a Teacher-Disciple lineage (in dualistic terms, it pertains more to the spirit than to the body).

It is in this sense that a Koenraad Elst can be a Hindu while a Jawahar can be a staunch anti-Hindu! This is where Harvard-conceit touting Subramanian Swamy gets Hinduism wrong when he tries to use genetic statistics to call peoples of the subcontinent "same peoples". A Jinnah or a Jawahar become no more useful to the Hindu cause by merely acknowledging that they have Hindu ancestry while a Koenraad Elst or a David Frawley are no less Hindu despite insisting that their biological ancestors were not Hindus.

We are not suggesting that India or Sanatana Bharata is a proposition nation; rather we want to clarify that it is far more accurate to term it a Education-nation rather than a genetic-nation! We are not opposed to using approximate terms for purposes of mass-communication involved in political theatre. However, it would be immensely useful to be as clear as possible of the foundational principles, and be as close as possible in its political expressions.

It is evident that Indian Culture (Hindu Culture) therefore is much easier understood in terms of Hinduism (Sanatana Dharma) rather than in terms of the peoples belonging to the subcontinent. The peoples historically living in the subcontinent have been largely responsible to carry on the Hindu-tradition and we do need to acknowledge this geo-cultural fact. However we should not ignore that it is also the case that peoples belonging to the same geography who have also caused immense damage to the Sanatana Dharmic traditions. And thus conflating the issues makes us vulnerable to multifarious perils.

One such peril, one of the biggest in our opinion, is the Hindutva notion of western Secularism based on a false understanding of the aphorisms "Ekam Sat Viprah Bahudha Vadanti" and "Aa No Bhadrah Kratavo Yantu Vishvatah". While the former is more accurately translated as "the Immutable is One which is referred by Sages using Variegated Names", its Jawaharian translation has been "All Religions Teach the Same Thing". Similarly while the latter means (in more accurate terms) "Let Noble Thoughts Come to Us From all Directions", it is falsely propagandised as "Whatever Comes From any side is Noble!". Such ideological inexactitudes are potentially fatal blunders and it is no wonder that Hindus have been made to suffer for so long.

The potential political advantage in terms of numerical strength, especially in a democratic set-up, is at once reduced to a nought by reliance on false notions. While the dictum of "Satyameva Jayate" [Truth Alone Triumphs] must remind us to persevere on Truth, The dictum of "Pramado Vai Mrityuh" [Wilful ignorance (callous indulgence in actions against one's own wisdom) is verily Death Itself!] must send a serious enough warning. This Pramada is exemplified in the statement by Duryodhana in the Mahabharata "Janami Dharmam Na Cha Me Pravrittih, Janamyadharmama Na Cha me Nivrittih", which can loosely be translated as "I know what is right but I have no motivation to do what is right and I know what is wrong but I have no motivation to refrain from committing wrongs".

Let us, that is, we Hindus, who are the spiritual descendents of the Rishis, strive to learn about ourselves, our heritage and our heritage transcending wisdom.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are not moderated. Please read the About Us page. If you have outright disagreement, then you may not have much use commenting. You are free to record your disagreements in a civil manner. Repeated abuse, and irrelevant postings will be removed. Please avoid advertisements.

This blog does not honor political correctness. If your comment is posted, this does not mean that this blog endorses your views.

While I allow anonymous comments, please quote your twitter account if you want to have a referenced discussion.

There is a Suggestions Page, please post your suggestions regarding this blog as comments on that page.