Hindutva In The 21st Century

The rise of Hindutva is the most important phenomenon of the 21st century.


 The rise of Hindutva may prove to be the most important phenomenon of the 21st century. It is therefore of great importance to understand its meaning and implication.

India is unique as a civilization that embodies spiritual values reflecting its overriding concern for Dharma— or justice and righteous code of conduct. Of late, some politicians and intellectuals are holding up something they call ‘secularism’ as the foundation of the Indian nation. But secularism is a negative concept. All it originally meant is the negation of any role for organized religion, particularly intolerant and exclusivist religious beliefs, in the government. The same people deny also any role for India’s spiritual tradition (Sanatana Dharma) in national life. This is a deeply flawed vision, for secularism can never define a nation. United States, France and Germany are secular in the true sense of the word: their Governments are independent of religion. But that alone has not made them a single nation. What defines a nation is shared history and tradition. In the case of India, this role is played by the Hindu Civilization founded on Sanatana Dharma. Hindutva is its present-day ideological offshoot.

The term Hindutva was coined by Veer Savarkar— a man who suffered more for the country than almost any other leader. Many scholars, including Savarkar have tried to define Hindutva, but none so far is entirely satisfactory. This is because they begin with some assumptions about Hinduism and the land or the territory where it has historically flourished. This territory can of course change. A thousand years ago, Hinduism was flourishing in Afghanistan but not today. In contrast, it has now extended its reach into parts of America, which was not the case a hundred or even fifty years ago.

At the same time Hinduism is increasing in importance both nationally and internationally, with the ideology known as Hindutva gaining ground in India and abroad. There will soon be a time when Hindutva will define India as a nation, just as democracy defines the United States. It is therefore of great importance for everyone to have a clear idea of what Hindutva really stands for. For this, we must first understand what Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma stands for. This can be difficult because Hinduism embodies a state of mind and a way of looking at the world and not just beliefs and rules prescribed in a book as in the case of Western religions. The problem is compounded by the fact that for several centuries, Hinduism has been described by forces basically hostile to its spiritual aspirations and the civilization it has given rise to. The same is true of Hindutva. As I next describe, Hindutva is not tied to any sect or religious group— though it draws its inspiration from India’s ancient heritage.

What is Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma?

First we need to understand Hinduism, more properly called ‘Sanatana Dharma’. It is not a creed like Christianity or Islam, but a code of conduct and a value system that has spiritual freedom as its core.Any pathway or spiritual vision that accepts the spiritual freedom of others may be considered part of Sanatana Dharma. Let us try to understand the essentials of this value system and the associated vision that form the core of Sanatana Dharma or Hinduism.This is the foundation of Hindutva.

First and foremost, Sanatana Dharma is anadi (without beginning) and also a-paurusheya(without a human founder). It is defined by the quest for cosmic truth, just as the quest for physical truth defines science. Its earliest record is the Rigveda, which is the record of ancient sages who by whatever means tried to learn the truth about the universe, in relations to Man’s place in relation to the cosmos. They saw nature — including all living and non-living things — as part of the same cosmic equation, and as pervaded by a higher consciousness. This search has no historical beginning; nor does it have a historical founder. This is not to say that the Rigveda always existed as a literary work. It means that we cannot point to a particular time or person in history and say: ‘Before this man spoke, what is in the Rigveda did not exist.’ On the other hand, we can say this about Christianity and Islam, because they are historical religions.

Sanatana Dharma is also a-paurusheya, which means it did not originate in any man (purusha). That is to say it has no historical founder like Christianity has Jesus and Islam has Prophet Muhammad. We can say that Jesus is the purusha of Christianity while Muhammad is the purusha of Islam. These religions have no existence without their founders.

vedicChristianity and Islam are therefore paurusheya.Hinduism has no such purusha on whose authority it rests. Hinduism is a-paurusheya also in a deeper sense, which brings it close to science, bringing its spiritual quest close to the scientific method. In paurusheya religions, the word of the purusha (the founder) must be accepted without question, and that no one else can achieve what he did. This gives rise to an enforcing authority known as the clergy to ensure that no one strays from the ‘true path’ as shown by the founder, but in reality as enforced by the human representative who claims to be the true spokesman of the purusha. This naturally leads to men exercising power in the name of God. In this scheme, the medium invariably becomes more important than God and truth.

Hinduism on the other hand acknowledges no such authority. If any work is considered great, it is because of the message and not the messenger. Similarly, a teacher is considered great because of the greatness of the teaching. For example, Vishwamitra is considered a great sage because of the greatness of the Gayatri Mantra, which he enunciated. If someone else than Vishwamitra had given us the Gayatri Mantra, it would still be considered great because of its message. It is the same with Krishna and the Gita. It is the message of the Gita that has led to people revering Krishna as a great teacher. Also, a Hindu is free to question or reject any part or all of a religious work. The teaching must stand or fall on its own merit. This is what makes it a-paurusheya. Cosmic truths existed before the arrival of Vishwamitra and Krishna. These sages, who first expressed them, were historical persons but the truth of their message is eternal and always existed.

This feature— of focusing on the message and its truth rather than the authority of the messenger brings Sanatana Dharma close to science and the scientific method. In science also, a principle or a theory must stand or fall on its own merit and not on the authority of anyone. If Newton and Einstein are considered great scientists, it is because of the power and validity of their scientific theories. In that sense, science is also a-paurusheya. Gravitation and Relativity are eternal laws of nature that existed long before Newton and Einstein. These are cosmic laws that happened to be discovered by scientific sages Newton and Einstein. Their greatness as sages lies in the fact that they discovered and revealed great scientific truths. But no one invokes Newton or Einstein as authority to ‘prove’ the truth of laws of nature. They stand on their own merit. The same is true of the Gita and the Gayatri Mantra.

In addition to these, Hinduism recognizes the freedom of the individual. It recognizes no prophet’s claim as the possessor of the ‘only’ truth or the ‘only’ way. This is probably the greatest difference between Sanatana Dharma and revealed religions. I can illustrate this with the help of a recent proclamation by the Vatican. In a just released document titled ‘Declaration of Lord Jesus‘ the Vatican proclaims non-Christians to be in a ‘gravely deficient situation’ and that even non-Catholic churches have ‘defects‘ because they do not acknowledge the primacy of the Pope. This of course means that the Vatican refuses to acknowledge the spiritual right (and freedom) of non-Catholics. This consigns non-Christians to hell, and the only way they can save themselves is by becoming Christians, preferably Catholics, by submitting to the Pope.

It is worth noting that this statement has nothing to do with God, or even noble conduct. A Hindu who lives a life of virtue is still consigned to hell because he refuses to acknowledge Jesus as the only savior and the Pope as his representative on earth. A believer is one who accepts the intermediary as the savior. God is irrelevant. He is even dispensable, but not the intermediary. Hinduism recognizes no intermediary as the exclusive messenger of God. In fact the Rigveda itself says: ‘ekam sat, vipra bahuda vadanti,’ meaning ‘universal truth is one, but the wise express it in many ways.

From this it is also clear why revealed religions always claim to be monotheistic: One God allows only One Intermediary. So every monotheistic religion also tends to be monopolistic. It also requires a thought police to enforce this belief system, just as every earthly dictator does. So they invariably become theocratic political systems. In contrast, in Hinduism, God is internal to the seeker. As a result each seeker has his or his own version of God. Different traditions like Dvaita, Advaita and others represent different pathways. They exercise no authority and there is no clergy to enforce belief.

This spirit of freedom is the foundation of Hindutva. Where the twentieth century was dominated by the materialist ideology of Communism, this century will see Hindutva founded on spirituality on the rise. Its rise will accompany the ecological catastrophe that is likely to overtake our planet. Ecology is not my concern in this essay, important though it is, and a topic to which Hinduism attaches great importance. In politics, Hindutva is the application of this principle of spiritual freedom to national life.

Hinduism and spiritual freedom

India is the land where Sanatana Dharma took root and flourished. So whatever her present condition, the rise of Hindutva in India will have a major impact on the history and politics of this century. It is therefore of fundamental importance to understand it role in the growth of the Indian nation. It is a uniquely spiritual ideology founded on spiritual freedom. In the light of this, ‘conversion’ to Hinduism entails accepting a way of looking at the world and not simply changing faith and adopting a new mode of worship. Above all it means acknowledging spiritual freedom and rejecting exclusivism.

It is like accepting the scientific method, which also is a way of looking at the world. But ultimately, every Hindu must place truth and knowledge above faith. There is no dogma. This is why people who are initiated into Hinduism are made to recite the Gayatri Mantra, which is an assertion of this spirit of intellectual freedom. The only enemies of Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism) are those that oppose spiritual freedom. Protecting and nurturing Sanatana Dharma and the society founded on it is the responsibility of Hindutva. Rights like spiritual freedom come with responsibility.

India’s unity is of untold antiquity

After a long and dark period in its history, Hinduism is again on the rise. This is true in the national as well as the spiritual sense, for India cannot exist without its spiritual foundation. There are many Western scholars as well as Western educated Indians who hold that India was never a nation but only a collection of clans and groups in a geographical ‘subcontinent’. They further claim that Indians were united as a people for first time by the British. This has two fallacies. First, the British did not rule over a united India. Their authority extended over roughly two-thirds of India while the remaining portion was ruled by hereditary rulers — like the Maharajas and Nawabs — who acknowledged the British monarch as their chief but ruled according to their own laws and tradition. This means it is not India per se, but British India that was not a nation, but a patchwork or states. Second, although often politically divided, the goal was always to unite all of India under a single rule.

In spite of this history, it was claimed by the British, and faithfully repeated by the Leftist intellectuals, that the British unified India. This is completely false. The unity of India, rooted in her ancient culture, is of untold antiquity. It may have been divided at various times into smaller kingdoms, but the goal was always to be united under a ‘Chakravartin’ or a ‘Samrat’. There was always a cultural unity even when it was politically divided. This cultural unity was seriously damaged during the Medieval period, when India was engaged in a struggle for survival — like what is happening in Kashmir today. Going back thousands of years, India had been united under a single ruler many times. The earliest recorded emperor of India was Bharata, the son of Shakuntala and Dushyanta, but there were several others. I give below some examples from the Aitareya Brahmana.

With this great anointing of Indra, Dirghatamas Mamateya anointed Bharata Daushanti.    Therefore, Bharata Daushanti went round the earth completely, conquering on every side and offered the horse in sacrifice.’

 ‘With this great anointing of Indra, Tura Kavasheya anointed JanamejayaParikshita. Therefore JanamejayaParikshita went round the earth completely, conquering on every side and offered the horse in sacrifice.’

There are similar statements about Sudasa Paijavana anointed by Vasistha, Anga anointed by Udamaya Atreya, Durmukha Pancala anointed by Brihadukta and Atyarati Janampati anointed by Vasistha Satyahavya. Atyarati, though not born a king, became an emperor and went on to conquer even the Uttara Kuru or the modern Sinkiang and Turkestan that lie north of Kashmir. There are others also mentioned in the Shatapatha Brahmana and also the Mahabharata. This shows that the unity of India is an ancient concept.

bharatAs previously noted, the British did not rule over a unified India. Far from it, for their goal was divide and rule. They had treaties with the rulers of hereditary kingdoms like Mysore, Kashmir, Hyderabad and others that were more or less independent. The person who united all these was Sardar Patel, not the British. But this unification was possible only because India is culturally one. Pakistan, with no such identity or cultural unity, is falling apart.

The spiritual tradition of Sanatana Dharma, which we call Hinduism, includes the code of Raja Dharma and Kshatra Dharma needed to defend the nation. This is also part of Hindutva. This is needed to defend society against hostile forces seeking to destroy society, especially its spiritual foundation. This is what happened during the medieval period when Islamic warriors tried to uproot Hinduism from its soil. But thanks to the heroism of both rulers and the common people, Hindutva defeated these forces and saved Sanatana Dharma. It is now being called upon to defend again in the face of cries of Jihad by fanatics across the border and intellectuals and politicians hostile to the concept of nationalism. It is therefore of paramount importance to understand what the role of Hindutva is in defending the country. This is what we need to look at next.

Kshatra Dharma is everyone’s duty

While Hinduism (or Sanatana Dharma) provides and nourishes spiritual freedom, there are always hostile forces at work that want to destroy this freedom and turn humans into intellectual and spiritual slaves. So it is always necessary to have the tools — both physical and intellectual — to protect this freedom. This part of Sanatana Dharma is called kshatra dharma. Those engaged in the defense of Sanatana Dharma are called kshatriyas. Politics, like warfare calls for the kshatriya spirit— to protect the weak and uphold values like freedom.

kshatriya does not always fight with weapons. The intellect is as important as the sword and the gun. As Sri Aurobindo put it:

We should be absolutely unsparing in our attack on whatever obstructs the growth of the nation, and never be afraid to call a spade a spade. Excessive good nature will never do… in serious politics. Respect of persons must give way to truth and conscience… What India needs especially at this moment is aggressive virtues, the spirit of soaring idealism, bold creation, fearless resistance, courageous attack; of the passive tamasic inertia we already have too much.

His words still hold today. It was this ‘tamasic inertia’ as Sri Aurobindo called it that gave rise to endless appeasement of evil in the name of ahimsa— or nonviolence. (In Sanskrit, ‘tamas’ means darkness or ignorance.) Evil must always be resisted, not appeased. Intellectually, this calls for taking and defending unpopular positions. A kshatriya must do it.

Without this kshatriya spirit, a noble ideal like Sanatana Dharma becomes an orphan. This is what happened in India a thousand years ago. Excessive wealth and attachment to pleasure sapped its strength. Soldiers were willing to lay down their lives in defending the land, but intellectuals failed to analyze the new destructive ideology that came in the guise of religion. As Allaudin Khalji’s general Malik Kafur ravaged South India, our acharyas sat in the seclusion of their monasteries and wrote commentaries upon abstruse commentaries. There were noble exceptions. Sayana, the greatest Vedic scholar of the age, and his brother the great Vidyaranya helped Harihara and Bukka found the empire of Vijayangara. They too were Kshatriyas but fighting without weapons. They used their mind as weapons— like Krishna in the Mahabharata War.

vijayPhysical and intellectual weapons are both necessary. As Sri Aurobindo wrote:

‘The sword of the warrior is as necessary to the fulfillment of justice and righteousness as the holiness of the saint. Ramdas is not complete without Shivaji. To maintain justice and to prevent the strong from despoiling, and the weak from being oppressed is the function for which the Kshatriya was created. Therefore, says Krishna in the Mahabharata, God created battle and armour, the sword, the bow and the dagger.’

Resisting evil does not simply mean fighting invaders and other foreign enemies. There are internal evils also — lack of education, discrimination on the basis of caste, untouchability, rampant corruption — that should also be seen as enemies to freedom that must be destroyed. This is the case in India today. At the same time, in a time of national crisis, everyone has to become a kshatriya of one kind or another. Scientists have to work on new weapons to defeat the enemy. Similarly, businesses and workers must create whatever is necessary to defend the nation. Everyone must contribute to the defense of society, and not just depend on the ruling class and the professional soldier.

This is what people had to do during the medieval period when Hindu society was struggling for survival against the onslaught of Islam. In fact, many of what we call backward and scheduled castes and tribes were created out of the fighting classes when they were dispossessed by the invading armies. As the renowned medieval historian K.S. Lal has written:

The Scheduled Castes, the Scheduled Tribes, Dalits and Other Backward Castes are there in large numbers in present-day India. Many backward classes were there from pre-historic or very ancient times, but many more were added in the medieval period spanning over a thousand years… As we put the record straight, we find that the small and scattered class of trained and traditional warriors, mostly Rajputs, stood exhausted by the time of the Mughal invasion, having fought the earlier invaders at every step for well nigh eight centuries — from the middle of the seventh to the end of the fifteenth.

The leadership of Hindu resistance to Muslim rule thereafter was provided by what are termed the Backwards Castes and the Dalits in present-day India. These classes had fought earlier under the leadership of Rajput Rajas and Zamindars. Now onwards they took up the leadership on themselves, and battled with the Moghul regime till the latter stood shattered by the middle of the eighteenth century. It is a different story that in the process the Backward Castes and the Dalits suffered grievously and found themselves in bad shape by the time the Islamic nightmare was over.’

This shows that the people we call Dalits— the Scheduled castes and tribes have made a major contribution to defending India and Sanatana Dharma. It is no accident that many such tribal clans still carry names lake ‘Nayaka’, ‘Raja’ and ‘Dorai’ that bear testimony to their previous station as warriors and defenders of the land. (History books should bring out and highlight this forgotten chapter in history.) This was so even in ancient times. In times of crisis and oppression, it was the duty of everyone, regardless of position to fight to uproot evil and defend society. This is the reason that the sage Parashurama became a warrior to end the tyranny of the Haihaya king Kartaviryarjuna.

Hindutva leads to spiritual nationalism

Hindutva therefore is an outgrowth of Sanatana Dharma as well as an essential part of it. Its main goal is to serve, defend and nurture Sanatana Dharma. It is not an aggressive or imperialistic ideology. It seeks to destroy no one except those that want to destroy spiritual freedom, i.e., enemies of Sanatana Dharma. It is no accident that the Hindus have never sent armies of missionaries to convert others. It is important to note that ‘dharma’ does not mean religion or creed or sect, but a way of life, a code and a body of knowledge. Sanatana Dharma is this body of knowledge acquired through the ages by sages, rulers and the common people.

And for India to rise again and find its place in the world, it must rediscover the message of its ancient sages. When Sanatana Dharma was going through a crisis like the present one, and leaders had lost their nerve, in the Bhagavadgita Sri Krishna gave the message to Arjuna:

I taught this timeless Yoga to Vivasvan, who taught it to Manu. Manu bequeathed it to Ikshvaku. This ancient wisdom transmitted through generations of royal sages became lost in the tides of time. I have taught you, my best disciple, this best and most mystical knowledge.’

Observe the importance Krishna attaches to the ‘royal sages’ or members of the ruling class. This wisdom became lost again in the darkness of the medieval age when India and her civilization were struggling for survival. Then other sages arose — from Vidyaranya and Ramdas to Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo — to lead India out of the darkness. All were sages, but they were also kshatriyas in the intellectual field. They fought hostile forces — both soldiers and propagandists like missionaries — with uncompromising force of the spirit and intellect. To inspire this struggle, Sri Aurobindo defined Indian nationalism in spiritual terms. He expressed it in public in his famous Uttarapara speech:

‘It is this dharma that I am raising up before the world, it is this that I have perfected and developed through the Rishis, saints and Avatars, and is now going forth to do my work among the nations… When therefore it is said that India shall rise, it is Sanatana Dharma that shall rise. When it is said that India shall be great, it is Sanatana Dharma that shall be great. When it is said that India shall expand and extend itself, it is Sanatana Dharma that shall expand and extend itself all over the world. It is for the Dharma and by the Dharma that India exists… I say no longer that nationalism is a creed, a religion, a faith; I say that it is the Sanatana Dharma which for us is the nationalism.’

rishi 1So the message is clear. India and Sanatana Dharma exist for each other. Sanatana Dharma is Indian nationalism and Indian nationalism is Sanatana Dharma. Hindutva is the practical and political manifestation of Sanatana Dharma. It exists to defend Sanatana Dharma, while threatening no one. This was the India that Sri Aurobindo and many other sages dreamed about. It should also the dream and goal of every nationalist and leader, and everyone who holds spiritual freedom dear— regardless of race, creed or national origin.

Dr. N.S. Rajaram is an Indian mathematician, notable for his publications on the Aryan Invasion debate, Indian history, and Christianity. Among his numerous books, the “The Dead Sea scrolls and the crisis of Christianity” is widely acclaimed.
  • varunreddy2

    Great article.Absolutely loved reading it.

  • Rajalakshmi J

    Why blame MUSLIMS needlessly?

    It is hindus who are shooting their movies inside Temples of Hindus. Including Chidambaram Natarajar Temple.
    Ask VHP. They would tell you how various politicians hindus , crypto christians , christians , leftists , atheists , agnostics included have been tinkering in Daily Rituals , Finances etc etc brazenly violating Agama and Vedic Sasthrams. In the name of ‘secularism’. It is politicians like tr.balu , congress party , dmk , dk , leftists who came up with ‘Sethusamudram blah blah bringing in machinery from Norway inflicting lot of damage. Why no PUNISHMENT for them ? Nitin Gadkari is no less. Reworded it ”alternative route”.

    Why not BREAK , DEMOLISH presidential palace of india instead ? Why not DEMOLISH ALL kollybollywood filmstars properties , cricketers properties , their spacious homes , distributing their hoarded loot , exploring employment
    opportunities ?? Once demolished the ruins would attract lot of foreign and local tourists to gaze at them. No need to turn our Holy Temples into tourist spots thus commercializing Spirituality. We get SPACE for AFFORESTATION. We need to bring back our Flora and Fauna.

    Let the Birds & Animals thrive , make babies & flourish. Including Fish.

    To HELL with indian filmstars gambolling , swaying & gyrating calling it “track 2 diplomacy”.

    ARABS do not consult kamalhassans , kushboos , hemamalinis , shabana azmis on matters of GOVERNANCE.

    The great Rulers of Bharath did NOT either.

  • Rajalakshmi J

    In truth , I do not find ISLAM a problem as made out to be ( leaving aside certain core issues like Cow slaughter & few others) Hindus’ Dharma Sasthrams precribe an extensive Code of Ethics.

    That are in many ways similar to Islam. Our Code of Ethics also prescribe punishment commensurate with the scale of crimes committed. ARAB countries I find are safer as they do adhere to punishment. It is Indians who have introduced all pervasive corruption & debauchery all over Arab countries today. Forgeries , malpractices have been exported into these countries by Indians. For many decades Indian Establishment itself has been actively abetting corruption. Most of the MPs have criminal background.

    Talking about Hinduism , Glory of Lord Rama & Krishna , recycling Svami Vivekananda’s quotes are very easy.
    However the conduct of most hindus is diametrically opposite. As an individual my problems have all been wantonly perpetrated by Hindus ( relatives , acquaintances , neighbours ) with the connivance of converted christians. It is the latter who monopolize nursing & medical professions. Hindus also.

    For the FIRST time if anyone cared to LISTEN ( language is a formidable barrier for me as I do not speak Arabic & I am a housewife with no clout inside corporate offices) it has been only ARABS.

    Hindu CULPRITS conveniently invoked ‘karma’ theory protracting my excruciating torture. RAPE included.

    Hinduism is GREAT.
    Contemporary hindus are not necessarily great.

  • Sree Charan R

    21st century,a century which increasingly perceptive people are imagining to be a very “different” one.It is precisely for this difference that, Indian (read Hindu) presence in the world political, cultural, intellectual, and spiritual world is being addressed so enthusiastically today.And hence, it is now on the shoulders of the world to promote and practice the Eternal Truth of this Nation–identifying India`s truthful position as not only a World Power, but also The World Teacher.
    And in this process, one cannot be hypocrite or coward; instead the necessity is of an honest, confident and Scientific world view, well supported by Hindu Dharma.This message needs to be heard aloud, as the author correctly points out.
    Thank You

  • Krispy K

    This is a valuable article. Although I will point out that while Rajaram’s words suggest that his own interpretation of Indian history is largely abstract/analogical/mythological etc. (as he is entitled to do so), a great many (if not most) people do not. As is characteristic of our open-mindedness, one must accept that other interpretations exist and are to be accommodated.

  • Outstanding article by a renowned scholar! Thank you very much for this much needed articulation that is so coherent and compelling. This article should be a “must-read” for ALL Indians. The enemies allied against Hindutva will pull the familiar shibboleths out of their hat – caste, discrimination, class & gender inequalities, sati, Hindus-as-invaders-of-native-Indians, and all such failed propaganda. I am glad that you have recognized that Hindus need to police their own kind, and make efforts to intellectually demolish some inequalities.

    • Ashish R.

      First off, bravo on all your comments so far! We should begin with teaching our brethren to communicate in a manner that you so eloquently display! Both the author and yourself , SamDidymus are refreshing examples of clear concise crisp writers. Our message of hindutva is lost when we communicate incorrectly and this prevents us from fighting back the illogical assumptions and the colored interpretations that the foreign funded “Indian” presstitute-run media flood the national consciousness with, resulting in a majority of the so-called proud hindus learning about their “hinduism” from the very same media! Ask most of the pseudo-proud heart-thumping hindus who yell “secular is way to go”, such as the fellow you so aptly responded to above, if they have ever read an unbiased interpration of our beloved Gita, the Srimad Bhagavatam, or any ancient scripture and really understood its meaning…and they will yell “No but I don’t need to because I already understand Hinduism”! Isn’t that sad and pathetic? The same ignorant brethren of ours consume new western ideals (which are barely a couple centuries old) vomited out by the presstituted media and, due to their own inherent insecurities with their Hindu identity, seek to merge these western ideals with their “understanding” of hinduism! This is why we have “hindus” who claim Hinduism should continue to “welcome” all and sundry, with their exclusivist clergy-controlled cults disguised as “religions”, while conveniently forgetting, as you rightly pointed out, that those cults in their disguises as Islam and evangelical Christianity were force-fit to hindu society. Those cults did not organically originate here nor did they “peacefully” live here amongst for all time. The Muslims invaders infected our enlightened society by force and sheer cruelty, and Christian missionaries infected us by money-funded slimy sneaky preying-on-the-weak ulterior motivated goals: both efforts essentially two sides of the same coin.

      This article and folks like you give me hope. Being born a Hindu gives me, you and others like us, the best chance possible in all this world and all these past lives to achieve liberation from this cycle of births and deaths. What a beautiful state of being it is…to be hindu.

      • Thank you for your kind words, and focus on the issues.

  • commenter

    this article is a load of a crock. as a proud hindu, hindustan MUST be secular. it is a land where many faiths and religions have arisen and lived in peace for millennia, and for hindustan to advance it must stay that way. all free men and women must be allowed to practice their faith, join a faith, leave a faith, preach a faith without government interference or favor. we must not become a south asian version of the middle east.

    • What utter rubbish. You fail to understand the etymology of the word “secular”. You fail to see that this is force-fit on India, destructively. You fail to see the dishonesty of the current academia towards the Indian civilization. But you have no problem articulating your prejudices here, while pejoratively raising questionable presumptions.

    • bharatpremi

      All these examples show Hindus respecting others traditions/beliefs, where are the examples (in the same numbers) of muslims who go to Haj stopping by at Tirupati, Christians who celebrate Christmas visiting the local temple on the same day.
      That day world will change…. till then Hindus will be fools to believe this nonsense called secularism which calls upon only hindus to shed their traditions and adopts others traditions

      We will become another version of Middle East as long as we let exclusive cults retain their exclusivity and secularism is preached to Hindus

      • commenter


        There is the definition for those of you who actually don’t know its meaning. see it doesn’t take long to google something. I weep for the day when a hindu taliban decides to impose its sharia on hindustan…seems like that day is coming soon.

        • Sree Charan R

          Your questions are genuine,but…
          Then I can safely say that, “the day” is NOT going to come; until we Hindus embrace our own religion honestly, instead of petty discussions about personal ideologies.And please read Rajiv Malhotra`s Being Different to understand the difference, that book is really an excellent introduction to the concept.
          Note:Do you sincerely believe in the Wikipedia(which, in many cases, is proven to be biased) definitions ??
          Thank You

          • Krispy K

            His/her question is not genuine. Someone who dismisses an entire argument and responds with the same tired old nonsense which anyone with half a brain who actually *understood* the original thesis would never respond with is clearly not here for genuine debate, or at best not intellectually equipped for it. Either way, they are undeserving of engagement.

          • commenter

            wow, brainwashed much? i can’t believe you people are this serious about imposing your religious views on other people. in a world where ISIS regularly beheads people of opposing views, and you’re talking about garbage about “secularization” being alien to indian ethos?? Here’s a hint: secularism is alien to ALL ethos. It wasn’t too long ago where christian and muslim theocracies ruled and slaughtered. Even here in america, Christian theocrats are trying to turn the tide and impose their beliefs on the rest of the free country (and failing, thank God). Its so funny how completely oblivious you people are. Other religions have been in India for THOUSANDS of years, such as Jainism and Buddhism, and have at certain points in time been a quite dominant force. And don’t give nonsense about how they’re essentially hindu…there’s a reason they don’t call themselves that, no matter how much you might want to.

          • Sree Charan R

            My last words:
            Please find out how and why secularism emerged in Europe(NOT to be mistranslated as “west”).And find out why India,with her Dharmic traditions,Jain,Hindu,Buddha,and Sikh,was and always remained “secular” for 6000 years,at least relatively peacefully.And how that “India Secularism” is different from the modern (mis-)understanding of it–that you are talking about.Find out who is really oblivious, to truth.Find out how all the religions that sprouted in India,with the central pillar being Sanathana Dharma(nowadays called as Hinduism),developed on Spiritual lines, and NOT on religious lines, at least until recently.How all those religions could achieve a harmonious, peaceful space in the cosmic existence.And this is not “nonsense”, all my Sikh, Jain friends( to my experience) acknowledge that indeed,many of their philosophical ideas are essentially derived from Hinduism; nevertheless,even Hinduism has been enriched by those Dharmic Traditions, and arguments about “who did what” are strictly unnecessary, from Indian perspective.And how much damage that the ill-informed understanding of “secularism” has done to this nation; this much cannot be disagreed with ,for it is, by now, obvious and evident.Without the real understanding and the required historical knowledge,one can never speak about tradition or culture.Or without having read or conversed about the original sources, why speaking about it would be a disastrous.Do you understand, how did so many religions come in the first place?And that every religion has a purpose to be fulfilled, whether we like it or not(this should not to be misunderstood as extremism)?
            Note:ISIS has nothing to do with Islamic Religious Philosophy(or encouragement), but is being entirely funded by “other” sources.

          • Krispy K

            Why are you bothering? This cretin doesn’t have (a) the basic brainpower, or (b) the basic honesty as a human being to try and look at things objectively. He’s another bacterium from the disease of Indian “intellectualism”, where everything is upside down and inside out and where empty rhetoric and tired old soundbites trump actual substance.

            These people are to be treated with absolute *contempt*, not engaged with as you would someone in a genuine debate.

          • commenter

            Good thing India is still a free country then? Theocrats like you would rather mob murder people you disagree with instead of debate. Also I love your ridiculous hypocrisy, telling me to read “real books” but then talking about the disease of “intellectualism.” make up your mind.

          • Krispy K

            I thought you were in America, you fucking imbecile? I recall you calling yourself a “us hindu” (sic) somewhere. Whereas we both know you’re as Hindu as the Pope.

            Theocrat? Big word for someone with a small brain. Shame you clearly don’t have a clue what it actually means. Not surprising, since you are patently unable to even read a small passage of text and comprehend the content.

            Your efforts at deception are poor I’m afraid. If you want to lie effectively, you need some degree of intelligence and on that score you fail miserably. Go to a real school. Bye.

          • commenter

            Your insults are as pathetic as you. Take your trolling somewhere else. I’m sure you have women to rape or something.

          • Krispy K

            Yes, you are brainwashed very much. And once AGAIN – replying by simply repeating the same nonsense you excreted from your mouth/anus just before. You really don’t have the wit to conjure something new up, do you?

            Understand this you village idiot – getting all your “knowledge” from Wikipedia doesn’t make you an “intellectual”. Some of us have actually read proper books. Until you actually learn something about the world that didn’t emerge from the deluded, indoctrinated mind of your brainless JNU (or equivalent fake-secular) “professor”, I suggest you go back to school because you are *hopelessly* out of your depth, as all of your ilk are.

            Oh, and upvoting your own comment just highlights what a colossal fuckwit you are.

          • commenter

            what a joke. claiming “strawmen” doesn’t make you some kind of philosophy master. good job “trying” to shoot down my arguments without once making one of yours, instead resorting to your nonsense right-wing garbage. its because of people like you that our young people are leaving the religion in droves

          • Krispy K

            You don’t know what the fuck you are talking about. I don’t think there’s a single sentence you have written that wasn’t complete nonsense.

            You’re an idiot, and I’m finished responding to you.

        • Krispy K

          A pathetic attempt at deception. The main problem with you people is that for your objectives to be met, you require your targets to be as stupid as you. You’re not going to get much joy there.

          Of course, what you people ultimately want is an India where true freedom of religion is destroyed, ripe for the *real* “Taliban” to take over.

      • Rajalakshmi J

        On the contrary multi culti mixing is very dangerous.

        Already it is christians who have invaded lot of our Temples. samuel rajasekara reddy , his family are all crypto christians. The leftists , dmk , dk are all ostensibly hindus but evangelical footsoldiers.

        Muslims are NOT a threat to us. Our differences with them on core issues can be resolved provided we allow knowledgeable Vedic Acharyas to engage their Representative(s). I certainly am not referring to politically correct art of living ravishankars , ammachis blah blah.

        Haj subsidy becomes a problem ONLY because various chief ministers & various politicians decide to increase whimsically with a view to harvesting VOTES of Muslims. Hence let Acharyas decide. I guess it is not a problem as imagined. It came into place to help those Muslims who cannot afford travel.

        Christians do NOT need any kind of subsidy as they arm twisted Jayalalithaa into doing so. They are flush with money to “convert / plant the cross & harvest souls of …..” usurp Temples turning them into churches thus holding monopoly over LAND . They monopolize schools , colleges , hospitals virtually everything in India. Those “secularists” who want to convert to christianity OUGHT to be sent to UK , Vatican , Australia , America etc. Lots of churches are lying desolate in those countries. Why build churches in Bharath ??

        Once the useless toxic burden of crypto christians ( LIARS basically) , wannabe christians , secularists , yechurys , dk veeramanis , dmk thugs , congressis are DEPORTED to UK , Vatican , America , Australia GOVERNANCE would be a cakewalk for Narendra Modi.

    • Sree Charan R

      This is the regular outcome of an irregular Psychology,excuse !!
      Enough is enough;enough of (this kind of) pseudo-intellectualism, enough,enough and enough.If at all India is secular, it is undeniably because of Hindu Dharma. The damage that secularism did to this nation is, sometimes I feel, irrecoverable; only time will tell for the contrary.India has always been multi-cultural, but NOT multi-religious, i.e before Islam,Christianity and other religions came into India(or rather….gone from!!).The only religion that we had then was: Truth.And by “secularizing” this, we are moving further from this truth, please understand.
      Thank You.

    • Krispy K

      Spoken like someone who: (a) doesn’t understand the meaning of “secularism”; (b) hasn’t read and/or understood this article; (c) doesn’t understand Dharmic thinking; and (d) probably doesn’t actually want to.

      Parroting the same lines you’ve heard elsewhere might make you sound clever to yourself, but just makes you look like an idiot to everyone else.

  • krishnamoorthy

    Hindus are a loose-knitted community. Islam & Christianity are close-knitted and homogenous (unnatural though) communities. This point our broad Hindus should realise and give themselves a time period to unite, chart out action plan and implement the plans in a very strong manner to shake the miniroties’ seemingly fake unity. They unite for a couple reasons. One to push central & state governments for reservations and quotas. Another reason to resist Hindus uniting against minorities’ right to propagate their faiths with the help of corrupt officials, gutless police and leftist congress and other petty political parties and not the least the English – MSM. The shining example is the recent Ghar Vapasi arranged by some Hindu organisations which were thwarted by minorities’ opposition country wide. Even Shri Modiji’s nationalist attitude is sending shivers to the minorities. Time we rise again and speak in one voice.

  • Dr. MS

    Absolutely wonderful. Will be sharing it with friends and relatives. Any chance a book is going to come out, and I can ask students to read it and discuss it?

    • NSRajaram

      I have written a book titled A HINDU VIEW OF THE WORLD in which I look at many issues from this perspective. It is published by Voice of India of New Delhi, Indi.

  • ​Interesting piece by Rajaram. The point about Kshatriryas is well taken, and we can add to the context in the article with a short excerpt from Sri Aurobindo’s commentary on the Mahabharata where he touches upon this subject. We need an entire re-emphasis on this sense of the Kshatriya spirit and action.

    “I ​have dwelt on Vyasa’s ethical standpoint because it is of the utmost importance in the present day. Before the Bhagavadgita with its great epic commentary, the Mahabharata of Vyasa, had time
    deeply to influence the national mind, the heresy of Buddhism seized hold of us. Buddhism with its exaggerated emphasis on quiescence & the quiescent virtue of self-abnegation, its unwise creation of a separate class of quiescents & illuminati, its sharp distinction between monks & laymen implying the
    infinite inferiority of the latter, its all too facile admission of men to the higher life and its relegation of worldly action to the lowest importance possible stands at the opposite pole from the gospel of Srikrishna and has had the very effect he deprecates; it has been the author of confusion and the destroyer of the peoples. Under its influence half the nation moved in the direction of spiritual passivity & negation, the other by a natural reaction plunged deep into a splendid but enervating materialism. As a result
    our race lost three parts of its ancient heroic manhood, its grasp on the world, its magnificently ordered polity and its noble social fabric. It is by clinging to a few spars from the wreck that we have managed to perpetuate our existence, and this we owe to the overthrow of Buddhism by Shankaracharya. But Hinduism has never been able to shake off the deep impress of the religion it vanquished; and therefore though it has managed to survive, it has not succeeded in recovering its old vitalising force. The practical disappearance of the Kshatriya caste (for those who now claim that origin seem to be with a few exceptions Vratya Kshatriyas, Kshatriyas who have fallen from the pure practice and complete temperament of their caste) has operated in the same direction. The Kshatriyas were the proper depositaries of the gospel of action; Srikrishna himself declares

    imam vivasvate yogam
    proktavan aham avyayam
    vivasvan manave praha
    manur iksvakave ‘bravit

    “This imperishable Yoga I revealed to Vivaswan, Vivaswan declared it to Manou, Manou to Ixvaacou told it; thus did the royal sages learn this as a hereditary knowledge”,

    and when in the immense lapse of time it was lost, Srikrishna again declared it to a Kshatriya. But when the Kshatriyas disappeared or became degraded, the Brahmins remained the sole interpreters of the Bhagavadgita, and they, being the highest​ caste or temperament and their thoughts therefore naturally turned to knowledge and the final end of being, bearing moreover still the stamp of Buddhism in their minds, have dwelt mainly on that in the Gita which deals with the element of quiescence. They have laid stress on the goal but they have not echoed Srikrishna’s emphasis on the necessity of action as the one sure road to the goal. Time, however, in its revolution is turning back on itself and there are signs that if Hinduism is to last and we are not to plunge into the vortex of scientific atheism and the breakdown of moral ideals which is engulfing Europe, it must survive as the religion for which Vedanta, Sankhya & Yoga combined to lay the foundations, which Srikrishna announced & which Vyasa formulated. No apeings or
    distorted editions of Western religious modes, no Indianised Christianity, no fair rehash of that pale & consumptive shadow English Theism, will suffice to save us.”

    From Early Cultural Writings, p332.
    Volume I Collected Works of Sri Aurobindo
    [available in PDF here http://www.sriaurobindoashram.org/ashram/sriauro/writings.php ]

  • Kishore Chandra Das

    Very much a timely piece and a scholarly one! Every Indian and especially, every Hindu must read it! Grateful to N. S. Rajaram Ji! Best wishes!

  • Rajalakshmi J

    Abdul Kalam is one of the sophists. While lighting a lamp (as he gets invited as chief guest to talk & talk about ” dream dream …we will become sooperpower “) he said ” this lamp is considered sacred by Hindus….the candle I am holding to light up the wick(s) is sacred to Christians ..& I am a Muslim…..( thunderous applause follows) ..what more proof do you need for secularism , :மத நல்லிணக்கம் ..? “.

    Another Tamil speaker says ” all hindus tonsure your hair at Thirupathi ; then go to Velankanni Chuch & shave off your hair…..then go to Nagur Dargah to tonsure once again….what better way to foster மத நல்லிணக்கம்…?” Thunderous applause follows. He also says ” ….the fountain pen I am holding has a cap that looks like the cap of muslims …the metallic part looks like Namam ( நாமம் ) of Iyengars …what gets written is all in praise of Jesus Christ….is this not மத நல்லிணக்கம்…secularism…..”. He says osho rajneesh is his guru.

    • Nabha Garjana

      i think prof. Abdul Kalam is a Great Indian no disrespect inteneded. But for Hindus the point has to be clear, we should Not rely on the Individuals testimonies to make us realize that Hinduism is the pinnacle of intellectualism. Only Hindus & indic Value people are made understand the Values of Secularism while other are free to do and act as their Abrahimic cults. its has to stop , Hindus DO NOT need a lesson on secularism , we NEED to follow the Dharma to the letter and defend it and rise & stand our ground and Values for the sake of it .

  • Sree Charan R

    This is by far, the best intellectual exposition on the subject, at least to my knowledge.Thanks to N.S.Rajaram and India Facts.

  • Rajalakshmi J

    NS Rajaram is always at his best. Thank you very much. All Hindus should read it several times. And his other articles also.

    Over a period of several years people of Tamil Nadu have been gleaning their know how about Hinduism from useless movies churned out by Indian film industry. Kollywood is but synonymous with dmk. Spineless hindus justify all blasphemy , micromanaging of opinions by mentioning “this is Kaliyuga(m)”. When Time itself has been unambiguously established to be Mithya ( much before Einstein ) by A-Paurusheya Vedas , Vedic Hymns this kind of justification is untenable. This brutally violates what Thiruvallavar decrees in one of His well known Thirukkural -“”கற்க கசடற….நிற்க அதற்குத் தக” .
    Steady ABIDANCE in knowledge gathered is what Thiruvalluvar emphasizes. Not necessarily memorizing & pattering through collecting trophies.

    The threat to Hindus & Hindutva is getting more & more insidious from many sophists among hindus. They are allegedly well read. With eyes wide shut can quote many verses from KambaRamayanam , Thirukkural etc . But lacking the gumption to condemn dk , dmk , leftists of India in tandem with lot of respect & admiration for EVR , his follower periyardasan , annadurai & so forth. Periyardasan I was appalled to find had many admirers among people of Tamil Nadu. Many brahmins who had relinquished their traditional Vedic vocation for generations are his fans. Before dying periyardasan went to Saudi Arabia , embracing Islam & started badmouthing Vedic Hymns.

    Many well known speakers are bracketing Hinduism with other creeds pontificating to Hindus to (sic)”give up fanaticism”.
    They are too eager to decry Rituals hoodwinking all “Religion is different from Spirituality” to appease leftists of india.
    “..different paths leading to God” is a well worn ploy. Where is the question of laying down “different paths to access the Omnipresent ….can Space ever take a walk ??

    The wry irony being many such speakers pontificating on morals , integrity , honesty blah blah do so through sun tv of maran brothers & dmk.