During the pre-independence movement but more particularly after the independence, adherents of apparently opposite ideologies of secularism (in reality pseudo-secularism) and Hindutva have sharpened their attacks on each other almost like enemies.
Congress party ruled India for the most part of independent years. It advocated secularism as its official policy and therefore introduced the same in our Constitution during the Emergency period. Much of the media, therefore, aligned itself with the so-called secular forces considering Hindutva as outdated ideology without knowing it in reality.
Similarly in the universities, where discussion on such topics is supposed to take place dispassionately, to enlighten the society appropriately, the governmental line was toed. Many appear to have aligned on the secular side, without knowing what both sides mean, only for its apparent modern-ness.
As a result, academic discussion on this topic has hardly taken place at the university level anywhere in India since independence; the subject is left to politicians alone to talk about. The net effect is that the original Hindu philosophy or Hindutva, as is commonly referred to in the socio-political parlance, has not come out properly before the public to decide one in juxtaposition to the other. Both have been reduced to the level of mere political slogans.
The net effect is that media has overpowered successfully in establishing secularism as modern, in tune with time, and that there is no alternative to it. On the flip side it was also successful in convincing the public at large that Hindutva is archaic, old fashioned, out of tune with time, and therefore, needs to be discarded lock stock and barrel. It demoralized the Hindu society with an inferiority complex. The British attempt to project Hindutva as the negative social perception was finally established, not by the British but by Indians, in independent India.
The caste and minority appeasement policies of the outspoken and outright selfish politicians could readily be camouflaged under the outwardly progressive slogan of secularism to consolidate vote-banks, disregarding national interests. Whatever attempts were made by the votaries of Hindutva to bring forth the reality practically failed to reveal the real Hindutva and they also reduced it to merely a slogan in competitive politics. There was no need to study in depth to project secularism; mere slogan proved adequate whereas it required in-depth study to project the real Hindutva.
The votaries of Hindutva failed to put forth their studied vision on Hindutva. Those who tried to put Hindutva in proper perspective were obscured by the secular din. This difficulty was compounded because of perversion already set-in in the Hindu society due to its long prior history. The net result has been that vast section of the society now believes that Hindutva means untouchability, inequality (Manuvad), Chaturvarna (layered society) and all that are the antithesis of modern democratic societies. If it is so then what did Swami Vivekanand preached as glorious Hindutva more than a century ago and the world acclaimed it to be far superior to any other worldview? What did many other Hindutva stalwarts including the likes of Swami Dayanand spend his life for? Hence away from the political sloganeering Hindutva needs to be studied and understood in its pristine form as originated in the ‘Vedant’.
Historical reasons: Before trying to understand the real Hindutva it is necessary to understand why and how Hindutva has been apparently reduced to such a low. The reason can be found in the history of more than one thousand years. This period is marked by loss of social awareness amongst Hindus because mere survival was the only consideration against the brutal onslaughts of first Muslims and then the intelligent Europeans. That obscured the entire Hindu philosophical view of life under the cover of rituals, to apparently maintain Hinduness.
The long saintly tradition in general but that in Maharashtra, in particular, emphasized devotional aspects and therefore again mere rituals of Hindu tradition. The Acharya tradition in the south was too philosophical for its efforts at rejuvenation of Hindutva. They all in effect made Hindus more ritualistic on one hand or too highly abstract for common Hindus. The traditional Dharmashastras was followed by the average Hindus to save Hindutva from the Muslim invaders. The overall effect was in reducing Hindutva into a religion and not the way of entire life. It made easier for the English rulers to equate Hindutva with Islam and Christianity. The western educated Hindus were swayed by the new perception. There were exceptions to this rule. Swamis like Vivekanand, Dayanand, Aurobindo, Raman and many smaller ones did try to bring forth the real Hindutva. But their attempts did not prove adequate in relation to the avalanche of westernization under and after British rule.
Hindu Rejuvenation: The best ever attempt at Hindutva rejuvenation was started by Dr. K. B. Hedgewar in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangha (RSS) in 1925. The challenges were so great that the pace of RSS could not meet the demand of time. With some success, after several decades of hard work and sacrifice, it has also confined itself to another ritualistic lifestyle as RSS-Shakha work. The original ritualistic nature of devout Hindus came in handy to adopt the new nationalistic rituals as something superior under the garb of nationalism. But it has not been able to develop real Hindutva or Hinduness in their workers as readily discernible from the professional secularists. It could not enlighten the real Hindutva in their followers. In its absence, RSS workers could not equip themselves to take on the secularists as required at the intellectual level.
Another reason for the failure of Hindutva in the public eye was that these were isolated attempts and not a co-ordinated all-India effort except that of RSS. Propagation of real Hindutva requires in-depth studies. It also requires differentiation between the Hindu outlook of human life from the ritualistic Hindu Dharmashastra. This problem was not readily understood and propagated as it should have been. In the present knowledge era intellectual discussions and arguments are necessary but the relevant study was considered as of secondary importance in preference to the ritualistic lifestyles by the Hindutva forces with the aim of organizing Hindus. It did serve some purpose but real Hindutva got obscured.
It must be clearly understood that howsoever our social life may be controlled democratically the direction of its progress is generally decided by the intellectuals alone. It is they who dominate the media and which in turn and by and large dominate our perceptions, thinking and actions. It needs to be understood by the Hindutva forces and accordingly prepare and act as and when necessary. Being westernized under the influence of modern education much of the intellectual force considers themselves, as in the west, as secular, in reality non-religious, perhaps more non-ritualistic. To them, Hindutva appears entirely religious because of its apparent ritualistic form. This is the level of their understanding of Hindutva.
Gandhi and secularism: Particularly after Mahatma Gandhi assumed leadership of Congress‘s independence movement Hindutva was slowly and progressively sidelined in preference to secularism to accommodate especially the Muslims in the movement. Swatantryaveer Sawarkar, therefore, wrote a book titled ‘Hindutva’ in 1923 to prove how our nationhood is nothing but Hindutva and Hindus alone are nationals of India. Perhaps the same view was more rigorously propounded by Guruji Golwalkar in 1939. These treatises emphasized nationhood and sidelined what qualities constitute the Hindutva or Hinduness. Golwalkar has later thrown light on what qualities constitute Hinduness. But this discussion went on the spiritual track. Hence it was not much discussed in RSS to any significant depth. The emphasis on ritualistic RSS-shakha work came in handy to sideline the same.
Integral Humanism: The RSS started almost the first pariwar organization in the field of political activities in 1951. It was ‘Bharatiya-Jana-Sangha’, led at the philosophical level by Deen Dayal Upaddhaya who worked out Integral Humanism in the form of Ekatma Manavavad as the basis of restructuring the socio-economics of modern and independent India. It was entirely based on pristine Hindutva philosophy. But his untimely demise left that work at that point since no one further worked on it. In newly independent India almost the entire socio-political discussion got centered on the economic development of the vast poor masses. Hence the emphasis of integral humanism was more on economical thinking of BJS. That obscured the basic Hindu perceptions of life. The Later leadership of BJS defined Hindutva as cultural nationalism and left it at that. It was not elaborated further in depth.
All the socio-political discussion since the pre-independence days in a way avoided the discussion on our nationhood and hence ran away from the elaborating meaning of Hindutva. This is in spite of the fact that most believed it to be the Hindu nation. It thereby eliminated the possibility of revealing the truth that Hindutva is the sure guarantee to be secular. Hindutva therefore remained as a mere slogan by first the BJS and then by its new incarnation Bharatiya Janata Party or the BJP and several such parties. The purpose of writing this article is to elaborate the meaning of Hindutva or Hinduness as is the dire necessity of time.
Seekers of truth
The first qualification of being Hindu is being the ‘Seeker of Truth’. That is how the Vedic Rishis endeavored to find the truth in this universe. Even after realizing the reality they did not tell the generations thereafter to accept it as a revealed truth once and for all time like in Christianity or in Islam. They insisted that everyone should seek truth for own self through own efforts, albeit with the help of the enlightened ones as gurus. In Christianity and Islam, their originators are assumed to have revealed the truth once and for all and no one thereafter try to seek the truth, simply obey their dictates. Hence a true Hindu shall try to seek truth all through h/her life. One who marches on his own path to seek truth is a Hindu. Anyone can thus become Hindu. The present day scientists are Hindus in their own areas of activity.
Yat Pindi tat Brahmandi
The Hindus realized whatever element (tattva) was present at the beginning of this universe is present in microform not just in every human but in every living being and non-living existence (charachar shrishti). Humans can realize this truth more readily because of their more evolved state. It was realized by them and described as Sat, Chit and Anand state of mind. They called it as Brahma.
Later with reference to many different perceptions of the same they called it as the state of Moksha, Nirvana, Arihant, Permeshti, Narayan and so on. With time and development of Hindu Dharmashastras it came to be known as becoming God or Narayana or Ishwar and so on. But the ‘principle’ that was discovered from this realization is more important and useful for happy and contented lifestyles. The Hindus there from discovered a universal principle that the world as it appears may be apparently so varied but it is unified from within. They explained it in the form of a principle ‘Unity in Diversity’. All the constituents of existence are of same value and importance and have an equal right to exist. No isolated thing will have more importance than others (strange and incomprehensible that the society with such great perception degraded into untouchability later).
We must go back to the same perception of unity rather than tolerance exhibited in secularism because tolerance is accommodative and not really liberal. There were no conflicts in the perceptions in Vedic society. The same is needed in modern times. The different religions and sampradayas of today can co-exist without any ill feeling and conflict if this principle is accepted in true spirit. The loudly trumpeted ‘secularism’ means nothing but the same spirit, if at all. Why then denounce and put Hindutva in opposition to it? When the Hindus, ignorant of their own rich tradition, plead for secularism against Hindutva the knowledgeable Hindus can only feel pity for them. This principle was proclaimed unequivocally that the Brahma spirit pervades all through the existence as ‘tat-twam-asi’.
If it is understood that everything in this world has born out of Brahma and everything that is born has to die someday then it must be logical to expect that everything must go back to the same Brahma. But here is the tag. Although it is logical and inevitable it must be understood that the reverse journey is not automatic. It has to be consciously tread, at times sacrificing many other alluring things. In terms of modern physics, the first journey of birth is downwards and hence natural and easy but the reverse journey is upwards and hence unnatural, and therefore needs efforts to achieve it. Fortunately, humans have been endowed with necessary intelligence and capacity to achieve it. Hindus realized it long ago in the Vedic-era itself. Hence the Hindus declared that though humans are born as humans they must not die as humans. They must become Narayana before death through their pious activities. Those who try to become Narayana are called Hindus and the involved spirit is Hindutva.
Truth is one
What path is traversed to become Narayana is immaterial for Hindus. There can be many such paths in tune with individual personality. Modern science recognizes that every individual is a unique personality and hence there can be many such paths to becoming Narayana. There is a possibility of clashes between individuals or groups by their insistence on their path being the only one or the superior path to others. Hindus realized it and perceived that if the ultimate goal is same then every such path should be recognized as valid.
The scientific principle worked out of it by Hindus is that truth is one and wise men spell it out only differently. This basic principle was propounded by the Hindus as ‘ekam sat viprah bahuda bad anti’. One who believes in this principle is a Hindu. Obviously, those who insist on their own path, as superior to others, like the Muslims or the Christians are not Hindus. Also, they are damaging peace and beauty of nature by such insistence. Much of the human blood that is shed in history and is being shed currently all over the world is on account of the insistence of a particular path of salvation (Muslims and Christians) as the only path of true salvation. Will the secularists like to go that way to bloodshed and damaging peace in the world? Hindus traveled all over the then known world but no blood was shed anywhere. On the contrary, the societies and individuals over there were enlightened on the path that truth is only one and wise men say it differently. Will the secularists still insist on decimating Hindutva in favor of secularism?
Hindus first time ever in the history of humans thought over the nature of human beings. They realized that the desire to be happy and contented is supreme in human beings. Hence they pondered over what constitutes happiness and elaborated it in detail. Accordingly, human feels happiness on four different accounts or parameters. These are physical (bodily), mental (psychological), intellectual and spiritual and which are at the individual level. Similarly, humans also feel happiness as a part of society as well as of nature (surroundings). Hence they concluded that humans, at the individual level, feel happiness at physical (material) and spiritual levels and at the social and nature’s levels collectively. All these are not discreet but are felt in an integral way.
The four ways are in the form of individual and social and, material and spiritual. Hence they discovered three different principles for becoming happy. In one human should expand at the mental level from self to the society to nature to finally achieve the final human goal of becoming one with the Brahma. In the second they are expected to control human desires since these cannot be fulfilled to any unlimited extent. In the third, the direction to establish and cultivate peaceful and disciplined social structure is suggested. All the three integrally can make human happy as an individual and as well as society, albeit humanity as well.
Expanding mind or ego
If one confines to own self in achieving happiness then there are bound to be a conflict of interests amongst members of the family or society. Hence one should expand one’s own ego to identify himself as if he/she is himself the family/society culminating in entire humanity. It is exactly like the mother sees herself in the form of her progeny. No one then will try to damage the society for own interests. Similarly, man being a part of the entire existence should identify himself as if he is himself the existence or nature so that the entire existence shall be able to exist in harmony.
Problems like environmental degradation then will not crop up to challenge the very existence of human race on the earth. This is described by the formula that human should expand one’s ego from being as individual (Vyashti) to social (Samashti) to entire existence (Shrushti). If one does so then he will achieve Brahma the Permeshti in tune with the first three. Humans should always remember that they have to expand their ego as Vyashti to Samashti to Shrushtri to Permeshti. One who believes in this principle is a Hindu and his behavior on this path is Hindutva. This is a motivation to think and act in social and environmental interests. Hence no one will consciously be anti-social or corrupt and think of social welfare as a matter of priority. Similarly, no one will damage environment consciously and try to maintain it harmoniously for human existence. In the natural course, this journey shall end up at Permeshti.
Every life-form has the natural selfish interest not only of survival but leading life happily. For that, it has to undertake some efforts. In the Hindu perception, all desires and interests are called Kama and all efforts to achieve them is called Artha. Hence Artha and Kama are integral part and parcel of all life forms. Humans are more conscious about them. Everyone will try to fulfill his own Kama through his own Artha. In an organized human group or the society, the Artha-Kama of one is bound to come in conflict with those of the others. It is bound to make society more violent and less peaceful thereby adversely affecting endeavors of all towards achieving Artha-Kama.
To solve this problem Hindus invented the concept of Dharma to be followed by all to ensure equal opportunity to all in achieving own Artha and Kama. Hence Dharma is collective or social Kama and Artha. In our traditional literature, Dharma is defined as that which sustains society (Dharmo dharayati prajaha). Since society is a very complex human aggregate the Dharma cannot be codified in simple rules and regulations. It is a very complex perception. The principle evolved from out of these perceptions is that everybody must carry out his own Artha and Kama within the limits of Dharma and not beyond. If this is adhered to then Moksha shall be automatically achieved.
And how to know and understand Dharma? It is said that follow the wise and great men (Mahajano yen gatah sa panthaha). So the formula is living as per Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha. This is worth achieving and hence referred to as Purusharthas. The four-fold Purusharthas are the key to living happily with the individual as well as social levels. It is bound to evolve social structure to ensure all opportunities for progress for all. One who believes and follows this formula is Hindu and the path in achieving it is Hindutva. Dharma may include mode of worship if one wishes. But it is no precondition.
Morality lies somewhere between social and individual Artha-Kamas. The higher the level of morality the less emphasis is on the individual Kama and more emphasis is laid on social Artha-Kama and vice-a-versa. In other words behavior according to Dharma pushes morality on the high side. Then there is more chance of establishing peaceful and disciplined society through Dharma, while providing opportunities for everyone’s progress, not of a select some or few. The Hindu concept of Dharma needs to be understood properly and differentiated from religions and Sampradayas. That is why it is said that Dharma sustains society and also ensures progress of individuals on both fronts, the material and the spiritual.
The third element of the Hindu’s discovery was pertaining to individual lifestyles as ideals to progress. For this, the Hindus in the Vedic period itself imagined ideal lifestyle for an individual’s idealized lifespan of one hundred years. It was divided into four equal parts of twenty-five years each. These were called the Ashramas. The first twenty-five years, including the first eight years as a toddler, were meant to acquire all that knowledge, skills, etc. to equip oneself for enjoyable working life later. Marriage was forbidden in this span and therefore was called Brahmacharyashram.
The next twenty-five years, 25 to 50 years of age, was meant to get married, raise a family and enjoy all worldly pleasures. This was called the Grihasthashram. These two Ashramas are followed almost all over the world even today while allowing loose age limits as suited to individuals.
The specialty of Hindus is in the third and the fourth segments. The worldly pleasures enjoyable in Grihasthashram, though natural, cannot go on till death. One should get slowly detached from these pleasures after enough of their enjoyments and think about the pleasures beyond material pleasures or of the spiritual world. This is to be achieved in the third quarter of one’s life-span. This was called as Vanaprasthashram.
It also meant giving up not only material pleasures but all power, if any, so that slowly all Kama shall disappear and therefore the relevant Artha as well. Vanaprastha perception is the unique contribution of Hindus to human society. This alone ensured peaceful and disciplined family and social life in India, providing thereby full scope for individual progress in their active life. It is seen that in the absence of Vanaprasthi mental make-up people stick to material pleasures and position of power till the end and create problems for all (as is today).
The last quarter of life is meant to relinquish everything material and even family in search of Moksha or becoming Narayana. But this was not meant for all. One may accept it as per one’s own will and family and social circumstances. In case this was not possible then Vanaprasthashram may be continued until the end. It is not related to any religion or sampradaya. Anybody can adopt it while being a follower of any or no religion. An atheist can also adopt it to enjoy life fully. Maharshi Charvak, who was a devout atheist, is its typical example.
One who believes in this lifestyle and attempts consciously to adopt it in one’s own life is Hindu and the way towards this deal is Hindutva.
Adopting the above-mentioned ideals in life can evolve one towards ideal lifestyles, an ideal constituent of the society, an ideal conservator and lover of nature and, finally an ideal human being endeavoring to achieve Moksha. What is a better way than this to conserve nature and maintain the environment and evolve social structure conducive to happy human habitation on the earth?
So far nobody in the world has ever provided a better alternative. It is a challenge to the so-called secularists to suggest a better alternative to this. If they do not have then they should accept Hindutva unequivocally as the only alternative for better social transformation and better environmental conservation for the entire humanity. One who intends to adopt the above ideals in life is Hindu and the path to achieving the same is Hindutva.
The above-mentioned perception of ideal human life was perceived and adopted by the society in Vedanta era itself. Does it mean that everyone then lived as per the above ideals? It was never ideal all through in any society any time. It is against nature to have so high a uniformity level because nature abhors symmetry and similarity. It is always diverse and includes all from one extreme to another extreme. But the question is who then dominated the society? Those who believed and followed these ideals or the non-believers?
It must be understood that those having faith in these ideals, particularly the leaders, dominated the society for a long until some aberration slowly crept in. The aberration is a slow process and no specific time can be stated when it started degrading. The lifestyles in the ideal days developed two ways to achieve the above ideals, namely the Dnyan-Marg (Knowledge) and the Karma-Marg. So long as it was so there was not much of perversion.
The desire for Moksha, particularly prescribed for the Sanyasashram, might have crept into entire life slowly since it might have been far too charming. It might have led to evolving the Bhakti Marg (Devotional) and that might have been the beginning of deterioration in Hindu society because fundamentally it is ritualistic in nature. The Hindu philosophical outlook thereby changed into Hindu religion.
The life-sustaining Dharma transformed itself into codified Dharmashastra and it slowly evolved to transform life into a ritualistic one. It was easier to adopt and was adopted by the vast majority. Hindus thereby forgot their Hinduness and became Hindu religionist. This perverted Hinduness is what is seen today and loathed by the western educated elite. The other major religions, particularly the Semitic ones have all along been ritualistic religions only. Hindus got equated with them and is being cursed equally. The reaction led the elite to become secular that non-religious.
Fortunately, there have all along been some who understood the real Hindutva and they passed it down from generation to generation uninterruptedly to us today. The Hindus have to first realize it that our nationhood is based on these real Hindu ideals and hence it is our cultural nationhood. It is to be strengthened by first understanding it properly and then projecting it properly and not as a mere slogan against secularism. There is no better format of secularism than Hindutva. It requires proper education and enculturation. Those who are uprooted from Hindutva and entrenched in western perception call the attempts at cultivating Hinduness as Saffronisation as an abuse. The ignorant ones, unfortunately, accept it. Hence what is required is to have extensive discussion throughout the society in general but at the university level in particular on the issue of Hindutva in its pristine form. Politics on Hindutva is no solution. The nation does not have any future without Hindutva.
As said right, in the beginning, Hindutva is understood by many as nothing more than Chaturvarna or layered society. In the Vedanta era, the society was divided to do only four different functions by four different groups to satisfy everybody’s all needs in those days. It was a division of labor on a professional basis. It worked well in the very simple, small and self-contained village level society.
In due course Hindus forgot that economy has an inherent tendency to get complex with time and the simple division of society is not adequate to deal with the complex economy. They should have developed a more complex social system to deal with the problem. Also, it should have been revised again and again with the passage of time to suit the timely economics. But in those days the economy was changing at a snail’s pace such that before the need was felt to restructure the same it had already entrenched and accepted by all.
Some vested interests might also have crept in and who might have opposed any change. With the passage of time, it became more and more difficult to change the same. After the lapse of a long time when it became necessary to restructure the same the then Hindu thinkers could not do so. The industrialization brought in by Europe made it all the more apparent the need to change it. Perhaps by then it had already become very rigid with no alternative suggested by anyone. Neither there were leaders capable of getting it done.
One thing is certain, the then Hindu thinkers, unfortunately, failed to redesign the social structure in tune with changed economy. Long lapse of time developed extreme perversions in the system and the four-tiered system had already transformed into rigid castes and sub-castes that we see today. It also became obnoxious with the tint of untouchability. Today’s extremely complex and large society cannot be designed by some in any way. It takes its own course aided by legal provisions after the long public debate.
It is perplexing to note that those who could visualize such lofty philosophical ideas about human nature and its aspirations and could organize the society in those remote times, utterly failed to change it in tune with time. Even in the recent past those who dominated the society did not regret and apologize for the inhuman treatment meted out to some of their own brethren is simply appalling. The Hindutva got only defamed because of their failures. The extreme reactions by the sufferers are to throw away Hindutva in preference to some modern ideas is entirely understandable. But truth should finally prevail.
One must realize that the social structures are always timely and contextual arrangements but must be based on the philosophical perceptions of human happiness as stated above. The aberrated social structure has nothing to do with the basic philosophical outlook of Hindutva. Hence the old order must be thrown lock, stock, and barrel, no doubt. But the basic philosophical outlook still holds ground as the best in the world even today. The challenge is, therefore, to reorganize the Hindu society in tune with timely requirements.
Many thinkers feel that modern civilization is supposed to be founded on five basic values. Of these, the three are liberty (freedom), equality and fraternity (as originated from French Revolution). India has added two more in the list, namely non-violence and truth. It is Hindu’s great contribution. Let us juxtapose these with the Hindu philosophical perception as mentioned above.
Who will guarantee liberty unless one believes in Ekam sat vipra bahuda vadanti and unity in diversity of Hindus? Who can guarantee equality and fraternity without practicing Dharma perceptions of Hindus? In the post-independent India, religion was discarded as an entirely personal affair. But it amounted to the rejection of Dharma. The result is that we are becoming unequal and individualistic rather than faith in a fraternity. Who can guarantee non-violence without accepting the Hindu view that every other existence is just the same and has every right to exist and is the same Brahma, the supreme spirit? Bouddha religion as originated in India is based more on non-violence only. Islam is identified with fraternity (only for their own followers and not for entire humanity). Christianity is identified with service to humanity. In the same vein, Hindutva is known as the seeker of truth. Can true fraternity with others come without some kind of identification of oneness? Can anything other than Dharma perception of Hindus offer a better form of identification? Hence can secularism offer a better alternative for the oneness of human race in the form of belief of Hindus in Vasudhaiva kutumbkam based on the above-mentioned perceptions of Hindutva?
Other religions of India
Religions like Sikh, Bouddha, Jain, Lingayat and may be some other minor ones originated in India at different times emphasizing one or the other aspect of the then Hindu society. The Bouddha emphasized on non-violence, perhaps as a reaction to killing in the Yagya that was a rampant practice in those days. Buddhism tried to decipher the cause of sorrow and rectify it. Jainism went a step further in non-violence. It suggests that everything can be viewed differently in different angles (Syadvad) and thereby suggested only unity in diversity. Sikh tried to synthesize Hindu and Muslim to some extent but relied more on Hindu perceptions. Truly it was a devotional path for salvation. Lingayat emphasized the elimination of caste as a matter of priority. All of them prescribed some kind of their own methodology of worship of God or of some value. They all criticized some or the other perverted practices going on in Hindu society as per the Dharmashastras.
Dharmashastra is timely practices, known as Yugdharma and is not eternal as the above-mentioned perceptions of Hindutva, which is called as Shasvatdharma. The above-mentioned perceptions are eternal that is shasvat which does not change with time. Has anyone of the above religions originated in India ever contradicted any of the perceptions of Hindus as mentioned above? They all criticized one or the other prevalent and outdated social practices (Yugdharma) in Hindu society. In fact they tried to reform Hindu society. That is why they all fall under Hindu philosophical fold. Dr B R Ambedkar rightly included all of them in the legal definition of Hindu while drafting the Hindu Code Bill in the 1950s when he was the union Law minister. Since Hindu is no religion and since it is a way of life one can adopt it while practicing any religion.
The problem with Semitic or Judea religions is that they are fundamentally at the cross with Hindu perceptions of life. They believe that theirs is the only true perception of life worth a place in the world. That is why they are at the cross with their own other counterparts. That always leaves the possibility of a clash of civilizations any time. They cannot live happily with others. That is why there are violence and tensions in the world wherever they migrated for proselytization, in particular in India, when they preach their religions. They are not compatible with modern democratic values. They are intolerant from within. They do not believe in unity in diversity and in diverse perceptions of the same truth. Even if they outwardly preach tolerance it is an adjustment with the situation and not out of liberal values from within. Similarly even if they preach universalism it is the adjustment for the time being till situation becomes ripe for them to assimilate others within their unitary fold.
Hindutva as truly it should be and as explained above is an outlook of life. Since it is not merely a theory it is to be practiced in one’s own life to the extent possible. Hence it is a way of life. It has nothing to do with a way of worshipping or religion. With time when Dharmashastras were slowly evolved for average Hindus to practice the Hindu way of life, it entirely obscured the basic philosophical view of Hindutva. That is why the present extremely perverted state of Hindutva is seen today. The above-mentioned view is what it is in its pristine form as the perception of life. Hindus are expected to be swanlike to differentiate the water from the milk and talk and practice the ‘milk’.