Hindutva and Liberalism

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A first attempt at exploring the parallels between Hindutva (essense of "Hindu" thought) and the tenets of classical liberalism. Pl contribute and share widely. Thanks

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  • Dr S Radhakrishna’s quote from http://www.hindu-blog.com/2009/09/hindu-blog-turns-3.html
  • THIS IS NOT SAVARKAR’S HINDUTVA; IT SI NOT BJP’S HINDTUVA; IT IS NOT ANYBODY’S HINDUTVA; THIS IS THE HINDUTVA FOR OUR TIMES *** IN ALL CAPS *** THEREFORE HINDUTVA IS INDIAN-NESS, HINDUTVA IS BHARATIYATA HINDUTVA IS LIBERALISM, HINDUTVA IS THE ETHOS AND CULTURE OF THIS ANCIENT LAND HINDUTVA IS NOT HINDUISM; IT IS NOT FUNDAMENTALISM; IT IS NOT RELIGION ; IT IS NOT DICTATORSHIP OF THE RELIGIOUS FANATICS; IT IS NOT ANTI-FAITH; HINDUTVA IS A POITICAL CONSCIOUSNESS THAT RESPECTS FAITH AS A MATTER OF PERSONAL CHOICE FOR THE PRIVATE REALM – NOT SOMETHING FOR THE STATE TO INTERVENE IN THIS IS NOT SAVARKAR’S HINDUTVA; IT SI NOT BJP’S HINDTUVA; IT IS NOT ANYBODY’S HINDUTVA; THIS IS THE HINDUTVA FOR OUR TIMES ARTICLE 370 IS NOT ABOUT HINUTUVA – IT IS ABPUT INTEGRATION OF THE STATE OF J&K AND RELATIONS BETWEEN STATES Ram Janmbahoomi s not Hindutva – It is about a disputed site and historical grievances Uniform civil Code is not Hindutva – UCC Is about removing the misleading nomenclature of minoroties and majorities So what is Hindutva: HINDUTVA IS X, Y and Z (from the following slides) IN OFFSTUMPED’S WORDS (COMMENT ON KANCHAN’S BLOG: You have rightly pointed out why UCC, 370 are federal, national, secular liberal issues and nothing to do with Hindutva. ) From another comment on Kanchan’s Blog: ii) Ideological Coherence (nationalism, commitment to provide primacy to native Indian beliefs, fostering unity among its adherence) /Big ideas (local governance, harmonious local community relations to expand economic pie, urban renewal, superior enforcement of rule of law).
  • not something for the state to intervene in
  • Minimum government, Maximum governance Minimum government, Maximum governance // It is also about Local autonomy and Urban renewal Used “Economic Freedoms” in place of “ economic liberalisation”
  • Concepts and ideas heavily borrowed from Offstumped’s post on “Flat World Hindutva” Nitin: http://acorn.nationalinterest.in/2008/09/04/on-liberal-nationalism/
  • From http://offstumped.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/rama-and-the-enlightened-pursuit-of-self-interest/ Ramayana source:http://www.valmikiramayan.net/ayodhya/sarga1/ayodhyaitrans1.htm#Verse26 Vivekananda quote: http ://www.ramakrishnavivekananda.info/vivekananda/volume_5/notes_from_lectures_and_discourses/law_and_freedom.htm
  • Concepts and ideas heavily borrowed from Offstumped’s post on “Flat World Hindutva”// EXCEPTION – NEED TO CLARIFY FURTHER: Exception would be when fighting “Adharma” when the rule of law enforced by the State is not “desireless” and is motivated by an all-encompassing “Adharma” as was the case with the British rule and the freedom struggle *** Vasishta on Commerce, Private Property and the Rule of Law – All of Chapter 67 Ayodhya Kaanda Verse 22. araajake= in a ruler less; janapade= land; vaNijaH= traders; duura gaaminaH= who go to distant places; bahuvaNya samaachitaa= along with several merchandises; na gachchhanti= can not travel; kshhemam=safely; adhvaanam= on the path.” “ In a rulerless land, traders who go to distant places, carrying with them several merchandises, cannot travel safely in their voyages.” Verse 31 – araajake= in a rulerless; janapade= land; na bhavati= there is no; svakam= one’s own property; kasyachit= for any one; naraaH= persons ; nityam= always; bhakshhyanti= eat away; parasparam= each other; matsyaah iva= like eating fishes . “ In a rulerless land, there is no one’s own property for any one. Like fishes, persons always eat away each other.”
  • See http://www.hinduwebsite.com/hinduism/h_aims.asp http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puru%E1%B9%A3%C4%81rtha Purushartha is “aim of human existence” Artha : "(material and/or financial) prosperity as well as pursuit of meaning"
  • Hindutva and Liberalism

    1. 1. Hindutva, Liberalism and the Centre-Right B Shantanu Satyameva-Jayate.org
    2. 2. Preface <ul><li>While Centre-Right ideology* is well-understood and articulated, a parallel effort is needed to articulate Hindutva ( हिंदुत्व ) </li></ul><ul><li>Not just to silence the critics but.. </li></ul><ul><li>..to help construct a solid basis for national identity and consciousness.. </li></ul><ul><li>… and to find common ground </li></ul>* Centre-Right in this context includes the ideology of classical liberalism
    3. 3. <ul><li>The next few slides are an attempt at providing context and backdrop for debate & discussion </li></ul><ul><li>The expectation is a more refined articulation can emerge through arguments & counter-arguments </li></ul><ul><li>Many steps in this thought-process are incomplete and still missing </li></ul><ul><li>Please contribute and enrich the discussion </li></ul>Preface
    4. 5. Hindutva’s 1 st Principles… <ul><li>Hindutva is a manifestation of Dharma ( धर्मं ) </li></ul><ul><li>Hindutva is nationalism rooted in the essence of Hindu traditions </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Of pluralism and tolerance </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Hindutva is Indian-ness; Hindutva is Bharatiyata ( भारतीयता ) </li></ul>
    5. 6. <ul><li>About freedom </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It draws its core from the essential “Hindu” belief in free thought </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hinduism is freedom, especially the freedom in thinking about God – Dr S Radhakrishnan </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It is neither a faith nor a belief system </li></ul>Hindutva is…
    6. 7. Hindutva is… <ul><li>Not about Hindu identity or about Hinduism </li></ul><ul><li>Not dictatorship of the fanatics </li></ul><ul><li>Not a religion </li></ul><ul><li>Not anti-faith </li></ul>
    7. 8. <ul><li>A political consciousness that respects faith as a matter of personal choice </li></ul><ul><ul><li>And for the private realm; not something for the state to intervene in </li></ul></ul><ul><li>About reconciliation and harmonious coexistence – even of conflicting ideologies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As long as they respect each other’s right to exist </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Not specific to religion but culture and civilisation specific </li></ul><ul><li>A nationalist, not a religious or theocratic concept </li></ul>Hindutva is…
    8. 9. Hindutva is about… <ul><li>National Interest </li></ul><ul><li>Individual Liberty </li></ul><ul><li>Rule of Law </li></ul><ul><li>Prosperity and Economic Freedoms </li></ul>
    9. 10. Hindutva and National Interest <ul><li>Hindutva stands for primacy of national interest above everything else ( राष्ट्र सर्व - प्रथम )   </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The State exists to ensure security and prosperity for its citizens </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Raj-Dharma ( राज - धर्मं ) mandates that a ll decisions of the state must be guided by national interest, above everything else </li></ul><ul><li>… a king’s duties are more than that of a citizen’s. If a situation calls for the partition of a nation, then call for war, but never partition the nation </li></ul><ul><li>Can you five brothers cut your mother into five and distribute amongst yourselves? If not, then how can you divide the motherland? – Bhishma Pitamah, MahaBharat </li></ul>Source: http://satyameva-jayate.org/2009/10/15/raj-dharma/
    10. 11. <ul><li>Liberty in terms of freedom of thought </li></ul><ul><ul><li>This life is a tremendous assertion of freedom.. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our Vedanta is the assertion of freedom – Swami Vivekananda </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Liberty to pursue enlightened self-interest </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(Bhagwaan ShriRam)…knew the ways and means of getting income… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>He was acquainted with the fine arts useful for entertainment* </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This liberal ethos owes its character to the traditions within Sanatan Dharma ( सनातन   धर्मं ) and it ought to be defended vigorously </li></ul>Hindutva and Liberty * Ayodhya Kaanda (Chapter 1, verses 26-28)
    11. 12. Hindutva & Rule of Law <ul><li>Hindutva stands for rule of law; Hindutva is Kshatra-Dharma ( क्षत्र धर्मं ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>i.e. the duty of the state is to protect the rights of its citizens </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Rule of Law is the ultimate Dharma </li></ul><ul><li>… kings who perform RajDharma selflessly, following the prescribed code of crime and punishment, and who treat their subjects even-handedly…get the highest position that may be available to a true sanyasin.. - MahaBharat (66/4-5) </li></ul>* Courtesy, Palahalli; Also http://satyameva-jayate.org/2009/10/15/raj-dharma/
    12. 13. Hindutva & Artha <ul><li>Hindutva is about prosperity and celebrating wealth </li></ul><ul><ul><li>As long as it is earned or acquired through honest means </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Artha ( अर्थ ) is one of the four Purusharthas ( पुरुषार्थ ) </li></ul><ul><li>Hinduism does not glorify poverty; Wealth is not an impediment to self-realization* </li></ul><ul><li>Hindutva is in harmony with economic freedoms that are a pre-requisite for prosperity in society </li></ul>* Although attachment to wealth is
    13. 15. <ul><li>Several steps in this thought-process are incomplete and still missing </li></ul><ul><li>To arrive at a more robust articulation of Hindutva, I need your help and support </li></ul><ul><li>Such an articulation can emerge through debate and discussions in the highest traditions of Shastrartha ( शास्त्रार्थ ) </li></ul><ul><li>Please contribute and share widely to get insights from scholars and experts </li></ul>The Next Step…
    14. 16. Acknowledgments <ul><li>This effort is dedicated to Bharat and Dharma </li></ul><ul><li>These thoughts have been inspired & prompted by commentators on my blog, “Internet Hindus” and several bloggers including (but not limited to) Varnam , Acorn , Sandeep , Sanjeev Sabhlok and Offstumped … </li></ul><ul><li>I am grateful to all of you for helping me develop my own understanding, knowledge and awareness about Hinduism, Bharat and the world around us </li></ul><ul><li>Jai Hind, Jai Bharat! </li></ul>Additional References: Understanding Raj-Dharma , Understanding Raj-Dharma, Part 2
    15. 17. Reclaiming India – One Step at a Time

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