This book is about one of the controversial leaders in Indian history, Vinayak Damodhar Savarkar who is popularly known as ‘Veer Savarkar’ and the ‘Hidhutva’ ideology which was coined by him. This book also talks about Gandhiji’s assassination and Savarkar’s involvement with that. This book is written by A.G.Noorani who is a famous columnist in ‘Frontline’ magazine. Since the book contains very serious stuff the terminologies also pretty complex to understand.
In the year 1928 Savarkar coined the term ‘Hindutva’ which according to him the perfect political ideology for governing India. This ‘Hindutva’ is totally different from ‘Hinduism’. The Hinduism is all about the religious aspects which explains the principles, philosophies which is been existing for thousands of years. This has to do with what has mentioned in Vedas, Upanishads and various Hindu holy books. But ‘Hindutva’ is all about political ideology and Savarkar is the person who conceptualized this terminology. The Rastriya Swam Sevak Sangh (RSS) or popularly known as ‘Sangh parivar’ is created based on this ideology and Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) is the political face of the Sangh.
According to Savarkar the political ideology of any country should be based on the ‘Religious’ basis and the Hindu religion is the only way to unite the whole India as a single country. He puts forth ‘Hindustan’ is for Hindus and all other religions should be given next priority as 80% of Indians are Hindus. To put in another way Hidutva is all about ‘Religious Nationalism’. This is totally different and opposite to what Congress party’s ideology which is mainly based on ‘Geographic Nationalism’. According to Geographical Nationalism India is a country with certain geographical boundaries and whoever lives in the country should be treated in the same way irrespective of the religion they follow. In fact the whole Indian constitution is based on this ‘Secularism’ concept.
For each and every ideology in the world there is an opposite one (Example: Capitalism Vs Communism) and it is up to individuals to follow the ideology which suites to them. By reading this book I was able to understand more about the ‘Hindutva’ ideology and formed my own perceptions on Hidutva as well as Secularism.