Congress leader and former Union minister Salman Khurshid’s differentiation of Hindutva from Hinduism in his new book titled ‘Sunrise Over Ayodhya: Nationhood in Our Times’ is hardly justifiable, says Professor Jagdish Batra
Jagdish Batra, Professor and Additional Director, English Language Centre, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
It is a pity that a veteran politician like Mr Salman Khurshid, who has had long innings as a Congress leader, has very inappropriately compared Hindutva to ISIS and Boko Haram. In this, not only has he, with one stroke, diminished his own stature but also done further harm to his party which is already in bad shape.
Khurshid’s differentiation of Hindutva from Hinduism is hardly justifiable. For one, Hindutva is the Hindi noun that serves as the perfect Hindi translation of the English abstract noun Hinduism which expresses the non-concrete essence of the word ‘Hindu’. There is no other Hindi translation available. That is the way people all over the Hindi-speaking belt of the country understand it. Khurshid can, however, be excused for not being aware of this common use of the term since he belongs to the elite class.
Secondly, even if ‘Hindutva’ is considered to be the version of Hinduism adopted by the present government, has anyone from the ruling dispensation ever defined Hindutva differently from the accepted tenets of Hinduism? Has any Hindu leader of substance (fringe lunatics excepted, being common to followers of all creeds), interpreted Hinduism as an exclusive religion that calls upon its followers to decimate followers of other faiths? Certainly not, because there is nothing in sacred Hindu texts bearing any such suggestion even remotely.
Published in: The Times of India
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