This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Saif Ahmad Khan. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Understanding Hindutva: Ideologues [PART 2]

More from Saif Ahmad Khan

By Saif Khan:

305837168258img2A dubious game is being played in the nation in the name of Hindutva and Nationalism. In reality, it is pseudo-Hinduism and jingoism. A lot of people equate Hindutva with Hinduism but this understanding of Hindutva is flawed since the ancient Vedic religion stands in complete contradiction to Hindutva as Hindutva assaults its fundamental tenets of equality, peace, co-existence and tolerance. Hinduism is the oldest living religion in the world. It can be possibly ruled as the religion with the widest and most tolerant set of beliefs and teachings. Hinduism, unlike other religions, isn’t confined to one holy scripture. Its teachings have been enunciated in an array of religious books. Hinduism breaks all ideological barriers and is the only religion of the world whose concept of God encompasses beliefs which include monotheism, polytheism, henotheism, kathenotheism, panentheism, pantheism, monism, agnosticism and even atheism. It was Hindu scholars who preached to the world the great doctrine of non duality which emphasizes on the fact that all religions are true and service to mankind is the greatest act of religiousness. Based on the teachings of this very religion, Mahatma Gandhi coined satyagraha and ahimsa.

Unfortunately, a religion which is so very liberal by its intrinsic nature is being represented by a rigid ideology of Hindutva in modern India which has traits of theocratic fascism, militant nationalism, genetic-racism, retributive colonialism and Islamophobia. The first and foremost feature of Hindutva is a theocratic state which was envisioned by Savarkar himself. He outlined his vision of a Hindu Rashtra as Akhand Bharat stretching across the entire Indian subcontinent. This theocratic state is the anti-thesis of the democratic secular polity which we cherish today and has a very hostile attitude towards religious minorities especially Muslims. MS Golwalkar, the Second Sarsanghchalak of the RSS, wrote the following in his book, We or Our Nationhood Defined, in relation to religions with foreign origins, “They have no place in national life, unless they abandon their differences, adopt the religion, culture and language of the nation and completely merge themselves in the national race. So long, however, as they maintain their racial, religious and cultural differences, they can only be foreigners. In Hindustan exists, and must exist, the ancient Hindu nation, and nothing else but the Hindu nation. All those not belonging to the national, i.e. Hindu race, religion, culture and language, naturally fall out of the pale of real national life.”

He further stated, “The foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence the Hindu religion, must entertain no idea except the glorification of the Hindu religion and culture, i.e. of the Hindu nation, and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or they may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment – not even citizen’s rights. There is, at least should be, no other course for them to adopt. We are an old nation, let us deal as old nations ought to deal with the foreign races who have chosen to live in our country.” On Muslims, Mr Golwalkar commented, “Ever since that evil day when the Muslims first landed in Hindustan, right upto the present moment, the Hindu Nation has been fighting gallantly to take on these despoilers.” Bal Thackeray, a contemporary regional Hindutva leader (Dubbed as Hindu Hriday Samraat) stated in an interview to India Today in 1984, “They [Muslims] are spreading like a cancer and should be operated on like a cancer. The country should be saved from the Muslims and the police should support them [Hindu Maha Sangh] in their struggle just like the police in Punjab were sympathetic to the Khalistanis.

It is this very hostile attitude towards minorities especially Muslims which has made right wing Hindu Nationalist parties a political pariah in mainstream Indian politics. Subramanian Swamy, President of the Janata Party and a Hindutvavadi recently elaborated on the concept of Hindutva in the most atrociously fascistic fashion which smelt of genetic racism. He opined that India should be declared a Hindu Rashtra where non Hindus could vote only if they would accept their Hindu ancestry. He wanted India to be renamed as Hindustan, a nation of Hindus and those whose ancestors were Hindus. Such concepts expose the congruity between theocracy and gene-based racism through Hindutva. Militant Nationalism is another key feature of Hindutva which fantasizes an uncompromising foreign policy based on non interaction, military threats and invasions. This uncompromising approach of the nationalists was born way back in 1950 when Syama Prasad Mukherjee resigned from the Interim Central Government when Jawaharlal Nehru invited Liaqat Ali Khan for the historic Delhi Pact which sought to safeguard minority rights in both the nations and establish minority commissions.

Mukherjee saw this as an act of appeasement and resigned from the Cabinet since he held East Pakistan directly responsible for the large influx of Hindu refugees in Bengal. The sole notion of patriotism for Hindutvavadis is Pakistan bashing and jingoism. Most of the times, Hindutvavadis act like a xenophobic bunch of pseudo-patriots. In the year 2002, during his Gujarat Gaurav Yatra, Narendra Modi, another Hindutva poster boy, remarked, “The day Hindu terrorism comes into being, Pakistan would be wiped off the world map.” The annihilation of the neighboring state of Pakistan seems to be the penultimate aim of Hindu nationalists. Other Hindutva intellectuals like Swamy have even developed an Indianized version of the Nazi Lebensraum (Living Space) as they advocate in favour of India invading Bangladesh and annexing the region from Sylhet to Khyber in order to accommodate illegal immigrants coming from Bangladesh.

Others argue in favour of militarily taking over PoK. Undoing the colonization effect has always been a dream of right wing nationalists. It was this ambition which drove Golwalkar to emphasize on the need for reversing the cultural intrusions resulting due to the invasion of colonial invaders like the Muslims and Christians. Keeping this in mind, LK Advani embarked on the Rath Yatra in the 1990s which ultimately culminated with the demolition of the Babri Mosque in Ayodhya and spread riots all across the nation. This mentality further influenced people like Swamy to suggest removing the mosque at Kashi Vishwanath and 300 other mosques with temples.

Admiration of Adolf Hitler is another interesting feature of Hindutvavadis. Golwalkar wrote, “To keep up the purity of its race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by purging the country of the Semitic race – the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures having differences going to the roots, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.” The threat of yet another Holocaust against minorities in modern India never really died since we always had people like Bal Thackeray who once said in an interview, “I am a great admirer of Hitler, and I am not ashamed to say so! I do not say that I agree with all the methods he employed, but he was a wonderful organizer and orator, and I feel that he and I have several things in common. What India really needs is a dictator who will rule benevolently, but with an iron hand.” Even LK Advani, the man who spearheaded the Rath Yatra of the 1990s was not left far behind in praising Hitler. When Sonia Gandhi called Narendra Modi a ‘merchant of death’, Advani remarked that “Narendrabhai can’t be a merchant of death but he can certainly be Hitler.


Click here to read PART 1


How to wipe out Islamic Terror — Subramanian Swamy
The Guru of Hate — Ramachandra Guha
Conceptualizing Hindutva Fascism — Ram Puniyani
The Sangh is in my Soul — AB Vajpayee

We or Our Nationhood Defined — MS Golwalkar
Bunch of Thoughts — MS Golwalkar
Confessions of a Secular Fundamentalist — Mani Shankar Aiyar
Bible (King James Version)
Quran (Translation by Maulana Wahiuddin Khan)
Rig Veda (Translation by Ralph TH Griffith)

Bal Thackeray — India Today (1984)

Hindutva: Who is a Hindu? — VD Savarkar

1995 Supreme Court Judgement
Savarkar’s Message on 59th Birthday
Vajpayee on the eve of Babri Masjid Demolition
Review Petition on Hindutva
Shiv Mahimna Stotaram

Technical Session (India Today Conclave) — Narendra Modi, Dgvijay Singh & Farooq Abdullah
Gujarat Gaurav Yatra (2002 – Rallies)

You must be to comment.
  1. bansi dhameja

    There is a long history of the suffering inflicted on Hindus ever since India was invaded by Muslims. The British exploited both Hindus and Muslims for their aims till we achieved independence.
    After independence the Government of India has been following appeasement policy. You would agree that bringing in Hindu Code Bill and not a uniform civil code is a clearly demonstrates the intentions of the government.
    Many of the leaders have been trying to create hatred towards Hindus or Muslims for their narrow political or personal aims from time to time. This in my opinion has lead to development of Hindu radicalism because Hindus are reactionaries and they never act only react. Most Hindus lead a life where they tolerate others and believe in live and let live.Ordinary Muslims also want to live in peace, why Hindus and Muslims, all residents want to live in peace
    For the development of Hindu radicals, I feel pained to say that it is the government and government alone who are responsible. It will not be out of place to mention that it is the Congress which has been governing our country but for a few years.
    I would not like to get into a discussion about who said what and when because that is history. What appeared to be true then may not be true now. We have to live in the present. Let us think about the present and let us make the best of the opportunities available.

    1. sg02

      dear author,
      taliban, al-quaida, LeT, indian mujahiddin and the likes.. are what? massiahs of Islam.. here to liberate Muslims from all the pain being inflicted upon them by the rest of the wicked world? and modi is what? a terrorist.. terrorizing poor Muslims? 🙂
      MJ Akbar wrote: if religion were the basis of forming a peaceful nation, there wouldn’t be 22 Arab countries..
      people keep talking of Gujarat 2002 riots. you know what happened in Bangladesh in the early 50s?
      Hindus were celebrating Saraswati puja.. Muslims came with huge swords and started slaying.. men, women and kids alike. only some lucky few could escape. they started life from the scratch. the loss of life and property was immense. just because now Bangladesh is not a part of India we don’t question them? do Indian Muslims ever have to face “flee or convert” by Hindus here?? are there no prosperous Muslims in Gujarat? Gujarat 2002 was a repercussion of the Godhra train act and the ayodhya massacre. (im sure you heard of that!)
      try reading Javed Akhtar’s poem based on 26/11…we are very tolerant. but don’t provoke us and push us to our limits.
      know of dr. zakir naik? he runs a channel called peace tv.. (ironic name!) try listening to that and then talk about the very dangerous Hindu extremists.
      also, on youtube, on any Modi video see the comments made.. (irrespective of the content of the video)
      please list atleast 5 problems faced by a common Indian Muslim by Hindus in India? please.. can you?

  2. N. Kumar

    I really don;t know why this despo Saif Khan has been so shamelessly promoted by the highly uninformed editors of the Youth ki, no reliable research has been put into any of his “article” whether on Rajiv Gandhi or the eminent personalities and their views on Islam . this essay too is no aberration, it is cumbersome in it;s content and reeks of pseudo-intellectualism.It appears that founding ethic of journalism like the creditably of content, research and verification of the source & references before putting it on the website ,are qualities that are alien to YKA’s staff,which is so self obsessed in celebrating it’s “vision” and anniversaries. I really hope that before your next anniversary you will have your own editorial policy and a style guide for your authors. This madness needs to stop !

  3. Sachin

    Is there writer crazy? or has the editorial team gone insane by allowing him to post such crap?
    Saif Ahmad Khan after reading the entire work which was not even wroth spitting on i have come to this conclusion that you are concerned with the fact that Hindutva is actually a way to demean and inflict pain upon Muslims? Really? After living in this democratic country for so many years are Muslims still in pain? Well i guess they would have been in total pleasure while living in country which is going all over the world BOMBING places that seem fascinating to them. Whats so wrong with Hindus being in a larger majority than Muslims? Do Hindus complain about their non=existence in Pakistan? No because its not in your nature to whine like a PIMP while you go all over the world posting stuff like this.

    I will tell you what Hinduism is all about. Hindutva or Being a Hindu is about living in their own country while sharing it with different religions and still praying for harmony and well being of everyone;The joy of celebrating Eid in the same fashion that they celebrate Diwali. Hinduism does not ask muslims or any religion to convert..all it asks for its love peace and respect but i guess its unattainable as long as we have writers like you in our country.

    One more thing i observed..The guy is fukcing scared of BJP man.. well guess what Narendra Modi is coming to power really soon and he does not have problems with muslims but he is TRULY a HINDU to kick some PERVERTED ASS like yours.. so be PREPARED and if you can’t fly off to your pathetic country cause its really a shame on Hindus to tolerate a jerk like you and a disgust on our beloved country that you live here.

  4. Vivek

    I have read nothing more shallow than this post. You need a lot lot lot of research before saying something on topics like this. its not about cut copy paste man. Grow up!

  5. vishalbheeroo

    Insightful post on the Hindu terror outfit called RSS and such forces are preventing India to be a secular nation. One should be against any form of terrorism whether Hindu or Islamic terrorism. It shows the double standard of RSS which is a terrorist group.

  6. Aarthy Sundaram

    This guy: has been accused of arrogance, narcissism huh? well lets better say he has been accredited with these more-than -deserved titles. yes we Hindus are known for our tolerance. we are known for upholding our values WITHOUT trying to usurp other’s rights. why cant you be satisfied with what space we have given you? India is being more than broad-minded in being a secular country and accommodating fanatics like you with justice, DESPITE being a Hindu country in its past! all you people want to do is- spread hatred wherever and whichever country you go! apparently peace isn’t something taught to you people. “inquisitive intellectual” ? please read properly on your above mentioned resources before posting such crap.

More from Saif Ahmad Khan

Similar Posts

By Krishna Singh

By Aulina Pandey


Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below