Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Vitality of the Indian life lies in religion

Hindutva - its basic ideology S Surya Location: Mumbai, India
Some of my thoughts on Hindutva, about the ideology and basis for it. If one observes the Indian life closely, one thing which becomes immediately apparent is that religion is the one and sole interest of the people of India. For good or bad, religion pervades almost every sphere of life in India. People eat religiously, talk religiously, walk religiously and even rob religiously. Even if a robber in India has to find some followers, he has to explain the art of robbery as one of the 64 spiritual arts. We will not go into details whether such interpretations and manipulations are correct or not, nor shall we go into pros and cons of it. The point to be understood is that vitality of the Indian life lies in religion, you touch them there and they respond. Whenever Indians came together and fought, it was under the banner of religion.
It is this issue of deep intermingling of religion and life that the thinkers trying to revive the weakened Indian were faced with. The reactionaries and communists reacted by rejecting the whole of its religion and culture. They thus tried to transplant the whole tree of national life whose roots are deep inside religion to another place. The other group like Vivekananda, Aurobindo saw the potential of religion. They realized that one can work only under the law of least resistance, and that religious line is the line of least resistance in India.
The same with the case of nationalism. If there is anything which is common and has the ability to unify and bind all the various regions of India, it is Hinduism alone. Here I am not referring to Hinduism as a set of beliefs (which again is very diverse), but about the Hindu attitude and culture. Religion thus once more became the means for generating nationalistic attitude. Whether it is the “For the next fifty years this alone shall be our keynote — this, our great Mother India. Let all other vain gods disappear for the time from our minds” of Swami Vivekananda, or the Vandemataram of Bakim Chandra where he identifies India with Goddess Bhavani or the freedom struggle under the leadership of Gandhi who had to explain Satyagraha as a spiritual practice or the first war of Independence which again was started because of religious reasons... all of them demonstrated the potential of religion in uniting and activating Indians towards action. Thursday, November 24, 2005 posted by Surya S at 11:35 PM

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