Bhodham 94

(26) – MODERN INDIAN PERCEPTIONS OF INDIA AND THE WEST (38): (xxxx) SOCIAL REFORM: UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS: Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru

I would talk of Nehru as two not one!

He earned the distinction of being part of my Dharma tweets because he had a role in the events leading to the partition of India.

It had been as controversial as has been the direction that he gave to the Indian nation as its first Prime Minister from 1947 to 1964. He died in 1964.

We are concerned here not with his politics but with the assumptions, the intellectual foundations.

These foundations on which he based his understanding of Indian society and its future.

From these foundations followed the policies of the Government of post-partition India.

There were two Nehrus: the Jawaharlal of 1933, who wrote Whither India?

It was published as a series of articles in the Indian press on 9 11 October of that year.

Jawaharlal of 1958, who wrote The Basic Approach, published in the A.I.C.C. Economic Review of August 15 was different.

Intellectually and emotionally, the later Nehru was as different from the earlier man, although not quite as radically so.

It was like the Manabendra Nath Roy of India in Transition had been from the Roy of India: Her Past, Present and Future.

The interesting thing is that the later Jawaharlal, of 1958, had beliefs more akin to the earlier Roy, of 1918.

It was a belief that Indian society can best be raised on that inner unity of all life, the divine impulse, or life force, that pervades the universe, as seen in the Vedanta.

But the earlier Jawaharlal, of 1933, had very nearly the same assumptions which the later Roy of the Marxist phase had.

That Hindu nationalism is the force of reaction, employed to keep the masses ignorant and oppressed, that India’s struggle to obtain freedom from British rule is part of the great struggle which is going on all over the world it was for the emancipation of peasants and workers and that socialism is the only future for India, as it is for the world.

In the same year in which Nehru wrote Whither India, 1933, soon after his release from prison he had written a series of letters, while he was in prison from October 1930 to August 1933, to his young daughter Indira.

He wrote to educate her in the history of India and the world, and in the philosophy of the Indian nationalist movement of course.

They were published in 1934 as Glimpses of World History, with a ‘Preface’ by him.

In his letter of 14 May 1933 he tells her how there were three different varieties of nationalism at work in India, the first two being Hindu nationalism and the second is the nationalism of the Muslims.

Of these, Nehru says, Muslim nationalism was not ‘true nationalism’, because it had at the same time religious international loyalties.

It was difficult to draw a sharp line between Hindu nationalism and true nationalism, for ‘The two overlapped, as India is the only home of the Hindus and they form a majority there.

It was thus easier for the Hindus to appear as full blooded nationalists than for the Muslims, although each stood’ for his own particular brand of nationalism’.

Nehru characterised, them, dismissively, as ‘religious and communal’.

He did so without examining what possible meaning could there be in his attaching the word communal’ to them as their main attribute.

This introduced into Indian perceptions much confusion.

For now the assumption was that any agenda that was Hindu, or Muslim, was communal and, to Jawaharlal, what was communal, the word itself had a bad smell.

He further assumed that what was ‘communal’ was always ‘religious’, and would thereafter use the two words together, ‘religious and communal’.

He would see in them the main problem of Indian society, and would separate them from ‘true nationalism’.

But he never really defined what ‘true nationalism, or what he also called ‘real or Indian nationalism” was.

He simply put that undefined entity in opposition to Hindu nationalism and Muslim nationalism.

Since these two were ‘religious and communal’, Indian nationalism ‘strictly speaking, was the only form which could be called nationalism in the modern sense of the word” Nehru argued.

In that case, his argument ought to have been, not that they were religious and communal, but that they were no nationalism at all, and he should have then proceeded to show how the assumptions on which they were based were false, and that ‘real’, or ‘true’, nationalism in India was Indian nationalism, to which he ought to have given not just a name but substance.

Nehru mentioned also ‘a third type of sectional nationalism’ Sikh nationalism.

He says that although ‘In the past the dividing line between the Sikhs and the Hindus had been rather vague’, one effect of the national awakening was that it ‘also shook up the virile Sikhs, and they began to work for a more distinct and separate existence.

Nehru’s theory is that ‘The bulk of them were peasant proprietors in the Punjab, and they felt themselves menaced by the town bankers and other city interests.

This was the real motive behind their desire for a separate group recognition.’

He says that in the beginning it took the form of agitating for ‘the possession of property belonging to shrines’, and ‘came into conflict with the Government over this’, but later they ‘turned to the political field and rivalled the other communal groups in making extreme demands for themselves.’

Nehru now talked of ‘Hindu and Muslim and Sikh nationalisms’.

Besides calling them ‘religious and communal’, he characterised them, in a muddle of political vocabulary, ‘group nationalism”.

By “Group Nationalism” he implied that the Hindus, the Muslims and the Sikhs were not even communities but ‘groups’.

In his view ‘Non co-operation had stiffed up India thoroughly, and the first results of this shaking up were these group awakenings’.

This is even chronologically not correct. For Hindu nationalism was being advocated by Tilak and the earlier Aurobindo  for at least two decades earlier.

Its philosophical and emotional foundations had already been laid by very many people by the end of the nineteenth century.

Muslim nationalism was to grow from what Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan was telling the Indian Muslims soon after the events of 1857; and its premises were clear in the birth of the Muslim League in 1906 at Dacca.

Nehru spoke also of ‘many other smaller groups which gained self¬consciousness’, and mentioned the so called ‘Depressed Classes’.

‘These people’, he said, ‘long suppressed by the upper class Hindus, were chiefly the landless labourers in the fields.

It was natural that when they gained self consciousness a desire to get rid of their many disabilities should possess them and a bitter anger against those Hindus who had for centuries oppressed them.’

Just around that time Bhimrao Ambedkar was arguing, as we saw earlier, that the Depressed Classes were not a small group but constituted the largest part of Indian society, a part that produced also the most substantial portion of national wealth but were treated inhumanly.

Nehru concluded that ‘Each awakened group looked at nationalism and patriotism in the light of its own interests’:

‘The demands of the Muslim communal leaders were such as to knock the bottom out of all hope of true national unity in India.

To combat them on their own communal lines, Hindu communal organizations grew into prominence.

Posing as true nationalists, they were as sectarian and narrow as others’: ‘and, inevitably, there was conflict.’

‘As inter-communal bitterness increased, the more extreme communal leaders of each group came to the front’:

‘The conflict was aggravated in a variety of ways by the Government, especially by their encouraging the more extreme communal leaders, ‘So the poison went on spreading, and we seemed to be in a vicious circle from which there was no obvious way out.’

M.N. Roy had complained, as we saw, that the most outstanding feature of the Indian national movement has been its lack of theoretical foundation.

Some twelve years later, Nehru found the same lack.

‘It is worthwhile therefore to clear our minds of all the tangled webs that may have grown there’, he pleaded ‘and go back a little to basic facts and principles’; for ‘Right action cannot come out of nothing; it must be preceded by thought.’

The principles which the earlier Nehru invoked, and the concerns which determined his view of future India, were not of nationalism but of socialism.

With the foregoing assumptions firmly embedded in his mind, Jawaharlal asked: ‘What exactly do we want? And why do we want it, the same two questions which Roy had asked, in 1922, in his What Do We Want. ‘Whither India?’, the earlier Nehru asked.

´Surely to the great human goal of social and economic equality, to the ending of all exploitation of nation by nation and class by class, to national freedom within the framework of an international cooperative socialist world federation.’

To this he added, in the course of the debate that followed the publication of his article Whither India?, the following proposals.

‘I want to increase the wealth of India and the standards of living of the Indian people and it seems to me that this can only be done by the application of science to industry resulting in large scale industrialization’; ‘I believe in industrialization and the big machine.’

He proposed that the caste system is only a petrified form of class division and must be done away with.

So far as religion is concerned, he proposed that it should be a personal affair and must not interfere in political or economic questions.

The earlier Nehru had completely rejected the premises on which, in his Hind Swaraj, 1909, Gandhi had based his vision of future India.

Gandhi maintained till the last day of his life that India must not follow the ways of Western civilization.

‘That is because, he argued, modern Western civilization is based on industrialism, which by its very nature is raised on violence to the individual, and whatever is raised on violence can produce only evil.

Instead, Gandhi talked of Rama¬Rajya as an ideal system of social relationships.

In his letter of 11 January 1928 Jawaharlal was telling Gandhi: ‘You misjudge greatly, I think, the civilization of the West’;

‘I certainly disagree with this viewpoint and I neither think that the so-called Ram Raj was very good in the past, nor do I want it back.

I think that Western or rather industrial civilization is bound to conquer India, maybe with many changes and adaptations, but none the less, in the main, based on industrialism.’

A week later, on 17 January, Gandhi replied to Nehru, saying: ‘The differences between you and me appear to me to be so vast and radical that there seems to be no meeting ground between us’;

‘I see quite clearly that you must carry on open warfare against me and my views.’

But, Gandhi added, ‘I suggest a dignified way of unfurling your banner. Write to me a letter for publication showing your differences. I will print it in Young India and write a brief reply.’ Nehru did not do that.

And the socialists within the Congress party continued to attack Gandhi.

In 1918 M. N. Roy had advocated the Vedanta as the highest philosophy of life.

‘This concept of the unity of the universe, the realization of the identity of the individual with cosmic existence, is India’s contribution to the progress of humanity’, he had then believed.

All this would soon be superseded by his passion for Marxism and communism.

By 1946 he would abandon that passion and develop his philosophy of Radical Humanism.

It was Roy, more than India, who was in transition.

His biographer, and also an intimate colleague during the later part of his life, Sibnarayan Ray, tells us: ‘the misgivings about the ruthless pursuit of power and suppression of intellectual freedom which had arisen in his mind in consequence of his personal experience in the late 1920s, and the subsequent revelations of the ugly features of the Bolshevik regime during the 1930s and early 1940s gradually undermined his faith in the moral and the intellectual soundness of communism as an ideology’.

Roy now believed that ‘Freedom for the common man had become even more remote under the dictatorship of the Party than in the bourgeois democracies’.

Sibnarayan says: ‘Rejecting then nationalism, bourgeois democracy and communism, Roy now searched for a new body of principles which would both explain historic processes and provide guidelines for a restructuring of society towards freedom and justice in an increasing manner in the lives of the common people.’

Jawaharlal was on a similar path by 1958.

In The Basic Approach he had abandoned every one of the main theses he had propounded in Whither India?.

The chief elements of Gandhi’s vision of future India were now also what constituted Nehru’s profoundly changed perceptions.

The second Nehru now believed, with Gandhi, that Western economics has little bearing on India’s present day problems.

We have to do ‘our own thinking’, to find a path suited ‘to our own conditions’.

Communism has allied itself to the approach of violence: its language is of violence; its thought is violent.

Violence cannot possibly lead to a solution of any major problem.

Wrong means will not lead to right results; and this is no longer merely an ethical doctrine but a practical proposition.

There has got to be a moral and spiritual approach to human problems; materialistic considerations alone will not do.

The law of life should not be competition, nor acquisitiveness, but cooperation, the good of each contributing to the good of all.

In such a society, the emphasis will be on duties, not on rights; the rights will follow the performance of the duties.

It is the quality of human being that ultimately counts.

The touchstone should be how far any political or social theory enables the individual to rise above his petty self and thus think in terms of the good of all.

We have to give a new direction to education and evolve a new type of humanity.

This leads us to the Vedantic conception that everything finds a place in the organic whole; everything has a spark of the divine impulse.

This might help us to get rid of our narrowness of race, caste or class and make us more tolerant and understanding.

These are Nehru’s own words.

But these were the very propositions, all in the framework of Hindu nationalism of course, which were being advanced by Madhav Golwalkar as well.

Earlier having seen Nehru as a communalist, because he was talking of India as a Hindu nation, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh as a communal organisation, because it was working to restore to Hindu society its disturbed unity, the later Nehru should have clearly acknowledged that he was now of the same mind as Golwalkar as regards the basic principles for which he had little use earlier.

Nehru did not quite do that. Nor did he acknowledge his debt to the Mahatma.

This failure had a crucial bearing on the policies which, with Nehru as Prime Minister, were being followed by the Government.

For those were mostly based on the theses he had advanced in 1933, but had now abandoned, but without replacing their intellectual premises with those he came to profess in 1958.

This meant that those policies continued, with assumptions he no longer believed in, and what he now believed in was of little consequence for official India.

Neither did the later Nehru break the mold of political debate which he had himself created, and which was always profoundly misleading.

Not the least part of that language is the assumed conflict between communalism and secularism, perceived also as a central issue in modern India.

In this there has been a confusion of terms, from which has arisen the confusion of perceptions.

Properly speaking, the conflict can be between communalism and nationalism, between the limited interests of a community and the larger interests of the nation, and not between communalism and secularism, for it is not to community that secularism is opposed but to organised religion.

It is entirely conceivable that, in being communal, a viewpoint may still be quite secular.

But the political debate in India has centred on communalism v/s secularism.

At no point of time was any serious effort made to examine what precisely did these words connote in the Indian context.

It was assumed, by Jawaharlal Nehru most of all, that there existed, corresponding to the words ‘communalism’ and ‘secularism’, a state of mind and a social situation in India.

This assumption, on which many State policies were based, was not only wrong but also dangerous.

It did not describe a situation, but created it.

With the publication of Basic Approach, the debate ought to have shifted from the controversy of communalism vs secularism to asking the question: what, indeed, is the swa, or ‘one’s own’, of Indian civilization, its distinctive nature, in the light of which must India build its future?

And it is about this that there have been huge misconceptions, in which lie the roots of Indian violence.

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Bhodham 93

(26) – MODERN INDIAN PERCEPTIONS OF INDIA AND THE WEST (37): (xxxix) SOCIAL REFORM: UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS: (xxix) (h) Hindu Nationalism: (b)Pandit Dheendayal Upadhyaya

It is, in my view, in the writings and speeches of Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya, especially those of his later years, that we find a clear departure from Golwalkar’s perceptions of India, a shift of emphasis so very fundamental that his vision of future India is not that of Hindu India.

Deendayal Upadhyaya was born on 25 September 1916, at Dhanakiya, a small village situated on the Jaipur Ajrner rail route.  His father was a railway station master, like his grandfather.

After his studies he dedicated his life to the Sangh.

He was one of those few eminent men of the RSS whose investigations into the real nature of Indian civilisation, and the problems that arose from its encounter with British rule, had a sound intellectual discipline.

After the formation of the Bharatiya Jan Sangh in 1951, he became one of its General¬Secretaries, and early in January 1968 its President.

Although the Jan Sangh set out as a political party, its intimate connection with the RSS remained, for not a few of its leaders came from the Sangh family, and retained its outlook.

When Deendayal Upadhyaya died on 11 February 1968, ironically, during a train journey, his body found sprawling on one of the train tracks of the Mughalsarai railway station yard, there was a commonly shared public grief, and a unanimous perception of him as a truly great man, which even the Marxists shared.

In fact he was very nearly a saint.

For he had achieved freedom not only from personal bitterness but also from the bitterness of collective memories.

His speeches and writings, in Hindi, were published in three collections: Rashtra Jivan ki Samasyaen, or ‘The Problems of National Life’, 1960; Ekatma Manavavada , or ‘Integral Humanism’, 1965; and Rashtra Jivan ki Disha, or ‘The Direction of National Life’, 1971.

What is the framework of Deendayal Upadhyaya’s social and political perceptions concerning India?

The essential thing to be observed is that that framework is not of Hindu nationalism.

His concerns are undoubtedly still with the Indian nation and its social and economic problems but those are viewed in the setting of dharma and not Hindutva, or ‘Hinduness’.

Excepting one place, nowhere else in his speeches and writings, if we consider the three works mentioned above, does he talk of Hindu rashtra, or Hindu nation.

He talks of dharma rajya instead.

And there is a world of difference between the two conceptions. Nor does he view dharma as a ‘Hindu’ category.

The proposition around which Deendayal Upadhyaya’s thoughts revolve, like those of Golwalkar, is that the existence of a nation lies in its distinctive consciousness.

It rises or falls in the same degree as that consciousness comes into light or is obscured.

But, unlike Golwalkar, who perceives India’s consciousness as ‘Hindu consciousness’, Upadhyaya perceives it as centred in dharma, about which, however, there are numerous misconceptions.

Golwalkar’s concern is to make Hindu society united and strong, and since in his view Hindu society is the Indian nation, to make the Hindu nation the chief object of every Hindu’s devotion.

Deendayal’s concern is to bring to light the real nature of Indian consciousness, its citi, as he calls it for it is only then that one can obtain a satisfactory answer to the question, ‘what direction shall India take?’

But what is dharma which gives to Indian society its distinctive consciousness, and should give to the Indian nation its direction?

He clears the ground by first saying what dharma is not. It is not ritualism. It is not a system of rites and ceremonies. It is not to be found necessarily in temple or mosque or church. They are not dharma any more than a school is knowledge.

They are a medium, but they are that only a medium.

Dharma is not a sect, nor a philosophical opinion, nor any one spiritual path. In short, dharma is not ‘religion’.

Wrongly translated as ‘religion’, in the next step all the social disorders which religion in the West produced are quickly attached to dharma as well.

And just as in the modern West, religion was progressively ousted from the political and economic affairs of nations, the doctrine of secularism taking its place; so also in India, the mention of dharma would be dismissed from the public domain, by the secularist leaders of independent India, as medieval religious stuff.

That happened because dharma was confused with ‘religion’.

‘Of the very many damages done to us by English, this (translation of Dharma to religion) is one of the greatest’.

The fundamental cause of the numerous problems that modern India is faced with lies, according to Deendayal Upadhyaya, are in the indiscriminate application of the Western forms of thought to Indian political life, obscuring thereby the true nature of Indian consciousness.

The policies that have been advanced after partition reflect, not that consciousness, but one Western ism of another.

Far from achieving coherence and harmony of social purpose, the national life of India has been turned into a battle ground of conflicting economic and political philosophies.

There are, he says, those who regard the means of production alone as the determining social factor; it is in their given ownership and distribution that they see the cause of all disorder, and in their transfer from private to social domain the cure of all social evils.

They believe that, as elsewhere in the world, Indian political life must be grounded in purely economic realities, culture and religion being secondary.

{Socialists and communists constitute this group. (Arun Jaitley and Narendra Modi too belong in this group).}

Then there are those who look upon political power as the ultimate factor. They assess religion, culture, and economics strictly in the light of political considerations. Most of them belong to the Congress (and the Hajpayee’s BJP) which runs the government.

Again, there are religious groups who want that India’s political and economic policies should be based on their respective religious principles.

Religious dogmatists belong to them.

And there are those who believe that India’s life is in its civilization, and the chief concern should, therefore, be to preserve it and enhance it.

They form a very large part of Indian society, many of them belonging to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, and not a few once belonged to the Congress as well.

Or, to put it differently, there are, he says, three main groups: one holding the theory of ‘one civilization’ the second, of ‘two -civilizations’; and the third, of ‘many civilizations’.

The first group believes that there is in India only one civilization; it does not admit the existence of any other forms of civilization in India; and, if they do exist, it believes that they should all be assimilated in the one dominant civilization.

`The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh is the advocate of this point of view.

The group that believes in the ‘two civilizations’ theory consists of those who advocate it openly and clearly, as in the Muslim League, contending that the Hindus and the Muslims are two distinct civilizations; and those, as in the Congress, that outwardly reject that theory, but in actual practice try, unsuccessfully, to reconcile one with the other, thus betraying their belief that the two are, after all, really different from one another.

Finally, the third group upholds the theory that India is ‘many civilizations’, those of different regions, and, applying the doctrine of self determination, contend that they all are autonomous.

The communists and the language-based regionalists form this group.

To the communists, it is the unity of economic and material interests that is the main thing, not the mythical unity brought about by civilization.

Those who believe in the existence in India of two or many civilizations are evidently mistaken.

But those who rightly believe in the existence of one civilization as the substance of the Indian nation can be mistaken about its nature.

So we return again to the question, what is the nature of Indian civilization?

Deendayal Upadyaya clears the ground further by taking up the question of ‘nation’ and ‘nationalism’.

For, he says, it is with that question that India’s future is linked, even as that future is linked with India’s contribution to mankind.

But the first thing to do is to remove the very many crippling misconceptions with which, in the Indian mind, ‘nation’ and ‘nationalism’ have come to be surrounded.

Nation is not just a political concept, a changing construct of the mind, much less just a territorial concept.

Nation is not a collection of the people that have historically lived together; nor is the people, jana, simply a collection of human beings living in a geographical space.

Nor is nation just a geographical space.

It is not born out of social contract, nor would it die should that contract be abrogated.

Nation arises out of a deeper life force; it is self created, swayambhuva.

It has a historical growth, of course, but history alone cannot explain it.

Language, culture, literature, are undoubtedly the basic elements of a nation’s unity, but they are basic because they reflect something even more fundamental that gives life to a nation its citi, or consciousness.

They are attributes of nation, not its cause.

Confusing attributes with cause, the Western thinkers, then, believe that a nation can be created by putting together somehow those attributes.

That cannot be done, for the common elements of a national life are only expressions of an inherent consciousness at work, which cannot be created artificially by political means.

Each nation has its own unique consciousness. That is what distinguishes it from others.

So long as that consciousness, the citi, lives, that nation lives; when it dies, the nation dies.

A nation dies, not by the loss of territory, or by decrease in its population; a nation dies when its consciousness ceases to exist.

Deendayal Upadhyaya mentions how the growth of nationalism in Europe meant also the aggression of one nation against another.

That was inevitable. In that regard he speaks of the dilemma of Western nations.

Should they remove from their minds the thought of their opponents and enemies, then they would themselves cease to be.

For the very basis of their nationalistic unity would then have been destroyed.

But if they continue on the basis of conflict, then their slogan of human unity and peace will come to nothing.

This dilemma must arise, he maintains, from the negative perspectives of Western nationalism, which originate in turn, in that characteristic Western world view where human life is seen as in perpetual conflict.

The Western thinkers perceive every unit of human life as conflicting with one another; when two or more of such units combine, producing a new formation, it is with the purpose of struggling against a more forceful power.

It was, he says, in this perspective that Darwin viewed biology, Hegel viewed philosophy, and Marx viewed history.

And in that lies the root, also, of those ideas of Nietzsche that were converted into Hitler’s Nazism.

The economic philosophy of capitalism assumes conflict, and competition to be the unalterable truth and scientific facts of life.

Socialism views conflict in its collective and organised forms and advocates a classless society by annihilating one particular class.

They all perceive ‘nation’ either as a useful means or as hindrance.

The nationalists, because nationalism helps the struggle they are engaged in those who oppose nationalism, because it can seriously impede their idea of world struggle.

This philosophy of life, he argues, is out of harmony with that co-operation, love and feeling of unity which the Western thinkers wish at the same time to bring about.

A conflict free society cannot be created on the basis of a philosophy which assigns primacy to the principle of conflict.

For if it were true that human nature, or life itself is rooted in conflict, and man’s every instinct is to survive by subjugating others, then nothing could make him live for others, or love others.

When he must, he would do so only as a policy, an expedient, and not as a natural part of his being.

If we want to keep the world from being destroyed, we would have to change such a philosophy of life.

That is because the whole creation is based on harmony and not on conflict.

In case there is a force at work in the universe, and in human consciousness, then that force is without doubt creative, unified, and positive; neither destructive, nor divisive.

Deendayal Upadhyaya advances the thesis that the traditional Indian perspective on nation and nationality is born out of a world view in which, giving primacy to creative harmony, everything is seen as connected with everything else.

The individual, having his distinct existence, his legitimate self interest, and desires and pursuit of happiness, fulfills himself in the larger life of society:

society derives the meaning of its existence from the still larger life of the nation: the nation finds its ultimate fulfilment in serving the universal interests of mankind.

All these units of life are interconnected, not in a hierarchy, but in a natural, innate, inviolable simultaneity of reverence for life.

Here the law is not conflict and competition for the mastery of the world, but harmony and co-operation, and ultimately the mastery of the self.

For the first condition of human happiness is the mastery of the self.

These, according to Upadhyaya, constitute the ideals of traditional Indian national life.

They form the Indian consciousness, its underlying life force, the purpose of its existence its citi चिति.

That consciousness finds its clearest expression in dharma, which is the sustaining force of all civilized life, indeed of all life.

Dharma is the vital impulse, the life breath, of Indian civilization.

The one ideal that India has kept before itself, through the numerous vicissitudes of its existence through centuries is respectful acceptance of the diverse forms in which life expresses itself.

After saying what dharma is not, Deendayal Upadhyaya, in the major part of his three works that we are considering here,  gives an exposition of what dharma is.

He then applies it to the social problems of India today.

He recalls the classical definition of dharma as that force which sustains, upholds.

Dharma is everything which has that characteristic.

It follows that it is only when the legal and the political arrangements adopted by post partition India will have that characteristic, that they will have any creative moral force.

He maintains that the State exists for the sake of the nation, and not the nation for the sake of the State.

Similarly, the nation is not a means of achieving political ends; rather, policies shall have the one aim of strengthening the nation, and shall express a nation’s deeper consciousness, the purpose of its existence.

The people will, rightly, decide who will govern; but neither those who are thus elected to govern, nor the people, can determine what principles will govern such governance; that can be determined by dharma alone.

Governments are elected by the will of the majority; but what truth is, what justice is, cannot be determined by the majority; those can be determined only by dharma.

In short, neither the State, nor the majority of the people, nor the government, is sovereign.

The force that is sovereign above them all is dharma.

This is the essence of Deendayal Upadhyaya’s understanding of traditional Indian thought.

It is from this understanding that arise his critique of the prevalent political ideas and policies and his vision of the future India.

He makes some obvious criticisms: that Indian politics has turned into a free hunting ground for the unscrupulous, the opportunists, and the unprincipled;  that the disorder of today is caused, first of all, by the lack of knowledge as regards the goal and direction of the national life; and the complete disregard for Indian consciousness.

His aim, however, is not to compile a list of all that is wrong with Indian polity today.

Rather, his concern is to battle with that one fundamental error of perception in which all the ills of Indian society originate.

That error, Deendayal Upadliyaya points out, lies in adopting a fragmented view of social reality, which leads to dividing what in reality are integrated and interdependent social units.

Liberal individualism and socialism alike, he says, are rooted in a view of the world where the individual is fragmented from society, on the underlying assumption, assumed to be the truth of human existence, that there is an innate conflict between the two, and that that conflict is permanent.

From this follows the political philosophy of the two separate domains, the individual and the social, and then the theory of separate rights. This fundamental error, he says, runs
through also the prevalent Indian political thinking.

But Indian thought, Upadhyay maintains, has never seen the individual and society as two conflicting and colliding entities.

Neither has it ever seen them in their separateness. One has no existence apart from the other; the two are inseparable.

The Western nations have divided themselves in two principal opposite camps: those that uphold the primacy of the individual and subordinate society to the interests of the individual; and those that uphold the primacy of society, and subordinate the individual to collective social interests.

Both these views are one sided, and must produce profound disorder.

Indian thought has throughout its history looked upon the individual and society as an indivisible unity.

Both have their distinct requirements, which can be fulfilled, not in the subjugation of the one to the other, but in their interdependence.

At the same time this interdependence is not a mean state, one of helpless dependence; rather, in the Indian conception, it is a state of mutual harmony, where one is not seen as a threat to the other, but as the natural part of one’s growth.

Deendayal emphasises the truth that higher than even interdependence is the state of ‘inter-harmony’, or ‘interagreeableness’.

In dependence, there is little dignity; in inter-dependence, there is genuine self respect.

It is only in a social order where this mutual harmony, or mutual–agreeableness, is the guiding principle of social and individual relationships, that true freedom is obtained for man.

But only he can be agreeable who in his own being is independent.

The true meaning of freedom is the freedom to be in harmony with others.

It is the freedom to summon one’s inherent physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual powers in the service of one’s own self and of others.

This, then, is the meaning of dharma; and dharma is the link which binds the individual and the social in an integral unity of humanness.

It was this world view that secured the foundation of the varnasystem, the Indian social order, in which there was perfect equality among all the different parts of society.

‘Many causes of the degeneration of that system lie not in the conception itself but in human pride and selfishness.

The agenda of future India must lie, Deendayal Upadhyaya suggests, in overcoming social disorder, which can be achieved only when India has regained its very self.

That self lives in its abiding faith in the truth that no social order can survive on the basis of inequality and division.

There is diversity in nature; but diversity is not inequality; nor is diversity division.

Inequality and divisiveness can only destroy human worth, not uphold it.

What can uphold and sustain is dharma.

Hence his vision of future India is dharma rajya, which is not a theocratic state, nor is there in it inequality and division.

From these traditional philosophical principles of Indian civilization he derives the political and economic contents of dharma rajya.

Set forth, with perfect clarity of principle and practical details, they are as follows:

a. Assurance to each individual of a minimum living standard, which will imply an assured opportunity to every able bodied individual of purposeful employment.

b. Beyond these, such increasing prosperity that will offer the means, to the individual and to the nation, to enable them to contribute, in the light of their distinctive consciousness, citi, to the progress of the world.

c. Taking into account the productive potential of the nation, to develop appropriate technology; to husband the natural resources; and to arrange for the safety of the country.

d. The question of ownership of different industries, whether it shall be with the individual, or the State, or any other organisation, shall be decided on the basis of what is most practical.

e. The order, advocated above, should be such that in no way must it disregard man; the order be an instrument of his full development; and that order protect cultural and other life values of Indian society.

This is that protective line which in no circumstances must the economic order transgress.

In Pandit Deendayal’s dharma rajya there will have to be, besides, free education for everybody.

It is inconceivable, education of the people being in the greatest interest of society, that anybody should have to pay to get himself or herself educated; or, if unable to pay, remain uneducated.

Education in traditional India was always free. That was the case, until 1947, in Indian states as well.

Primary and higher education shall be a charge on the nation.

It is equally inconceivable, he says, that people should have to pay for medical treatment, which, like education, will have to be made available, free, to everybody.

Health and education will be, in dharma rajya, the two primary concerns of society.

If two words are required to indicate the direction in which Indian polity should move, they are, he says, de-centralisation, and self-reliance.

Diversity, he says, is an inestimable gift of nature: Indian life, like nature, has been immensely diverse, where life has expressed itself in different colors, sounds, textures.

This excessive veneration for centralizing every social and economic function in one authority can produce only disorder, for it will be against life itself.

Authority must be dispersed, so long as the different centers of authority, and initiative, are all held together by dharma.

Similarly, self-reliance must take the place of this pathetic dependence on what is foreign, in practically every field, in thinking, social arrangements, methods, capital, the ways of production, technology, and standards of consumption.

This dependence on the others cannot be the way of progress.

But neither does it mean that India blindly follows only that which is ancient.

Many old institutions will change and the new ones take their place.

Finally, Pandit Deendayal advocates the thesis that dharma does not lie either in the rule of the majority or even in the people.

Dharma is eternal.

It is not sufficient, therefore, that democracy be understood only as the rule, of the people; it must also be a rule for the good of the people.

What the good of the people consists in can be determined only by dharma.

Hence democracy will have to be also dharma rajya, the rule of dharma.

True democracy is only that where both freedom and dharma combine.

 

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Bhodham 92

(26) – MODERN INDIAN PERCEPTIONS OF INDIA AND THE WEST (36): (xxxviii) SOCIAL REFORM: UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS: (xxviii) (h) Hindu Nationalism: (a) Madhav Golwalkar (10)

Guruji Golwalkar is the god-father of Hindustan that gave rise to the demand for Pakistan! Muslims got Pakistan & Hindus got Congistan!

Patel knew that RSS was not responsible for Gandhi’s death yet arrested and jailed Guruji Golwalkar & 60,000 RSS volunteers.

Patel arrested Guruji Golwalkar but court exonerated him. Yet Patel was pressuring Golwalkar 2 disband RSS and join Congress!

Patel kept threatening Golwalkar that he will keep him in jail for ever despite court order.

This is because Golwalkar gave his followers only bamboo sticks and not sten guns.

Patel knew that Golwalkar had openly declared that he has no political ambition and his followers too were made of that stuff.

When Golwalkar declined to join Congress Patel put 3 pre-conditions for his release viz. accept (a) Constitution of India, (b) the tri-color flag and (c) write a constitution for RSS approved by him. Golwalkar succumbed and was released.

Golwalkar for all his sabre-rattling was a pitiable failure in his mission. All because he did not know our Dharma.

It was left for Dheen Dhayal Upadhyay to shift the emphasis on course correction.

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Bhodham 91

(26) – MODERN INDIAN PERCEPTIONS OF INDIA AND THE WEST (36): (xxxvii) SOCIAL REFORM: UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS: (xxvii) (h) Hindu Nationalism: (a) Madhav Golwalkar (9)

Given these assumptions, Golwalkar’s Hindu nationalism doubtless followed, but the assumptions themselves had little to do with reality and truth.

a). In actual fact the logical structure of Golwalkar’s argument, the argument of Hindutva, is simply fallacious.

He begins by concluding that India has been a ‘Hindu’ land, Indian civilisation is ‘Hindu’ civilisation, its ideals are ‘Hindu’ ideals, its ways of life are ‘Hindu’, and then assumes that Indian nationalism can only be ‘Hindu’ nationalism.

In this logic the Indian Muslims and Christians cannot have that emotional loyalty to India, now equated with Hindu society, which only the Hindus can.

From the presupposition that they cannot have, the next step is to conclude that in fact they do not have.

And since the Muslims cannot evidently be Hindus, their nationalism must be separate. The rest followed.

b). If the truth of Hindu nationalism is assumed, then the justice of the Muslim demand for Pakistan could not be denied.

It was the logical culmination, even before it was an emotional culmination, of the false doctrine of Hindu nationalism.

c). In his fateful presidential address to the Muslim League session at Lahore, on 24 March 1940, now resolutely demanding a separate homeland for the Indian Muslims, Muhammad Ali Jinnah did no more than apply to the Indian Muslims the same criteria of nationality which the advocates of Hindu nationalism had applied to the Hindus, and assert what was already explicit in the doctrine of Hindu nationalism: the Hindus and Muslims are two nations.

‘Musalmans are a nation according to any definition of a nation’, he said, ‘and they must have their homelands, their territory and their State’:

‘We wish our people to develop to the fullest our spiritual, cultural, economic, social and political life in any way that we think best and in consonance With our own ideals and according to the genius of our people.’

d). The truth is that Muslim nationalism was a product, emotional and political, of Hindu nationalism with its insistence that India’s swa, or ‘one’s own’, was Hindu.

The seeds of the idea of Pakistan were sown, without knowing it, by the Hindu intellectuals and not by the Muslims.

And that is because they had begun to interpret India’s past not in the framework that was systematically developed in India, that of dharma, but in the framework of the Western political thought of the last two centuries with ‘nation’, or ‘state’, or ‘nation state’ as its centre.

They superimposed the latter on the former, and then insisted that ‘nation’ has been a category of Hindu thinking for countless centuries.

(5) Golwalkar often quotes Vivekananda in support of his call to the Hindus to develop strength and energy, in one word manhood.

But there is little indication that he concerns himself with one dominant concern of Vivekananda: the wretched condition of the Indian masses, in whose service he had preached the Vedanta as the only firm foundation for social and economic equality.

Without which, Vivekananda insisted, no nation could achieve political unity, much less national strength and energy.

a). Neither does Golwalkar refer to another central perception of Vivekananda, that it was in Islam and in Islam alone, that the Vedanta had found its true practical application, and therefore what was required for the future of India was a fusion of Islam and Vedanta.

That was throughout an article of faith with Vivekananda.

Whether, or not, it is philosophically a realistic proposal, is not the question here.

What is important is the acknowledgement, the attitude.

In Vivekananda’s Works, that acknowledgement is to be found everywhere; in Golwalkar, nowhere.

(6) The crucial problem with Guruji’s perceptions of Indian society arises, I think, from an evident, but startling, lack of harmony

between his acknowledgement that ‘dharma constitutes the life breath of Indian civilisation’ and his advocacy of Hindu nationalism.

One does not yield the other.

And if the phrase rashtradharma, or ‘national dharma’, should give the impression of being a legitimate part of Dharamic tradition, it is only because, in the history of Indian thought, the word ‘dharma’ came to be applied indiscriminately to all manners of things.

The problem however, is not one of semantics but of substance.

The concerns of dharma, as that order in which all life is sustained, conflicts reconciled, bitterness overcome, and disharmonies, dissolved, are concerns to which at all times a nation must be subordinate.

It is dharma which is sovereign, not nation.

Guruji speaks of dharma as sovereign; and then proceeds to turn ‘nation’ into an absolute value, ‘the living God’.

In the next step he perceives the Indian nation as only the Hindu nation.

The result is that, speaking on the one hand of how we should try to identify our joys and sorrows with an ever increasing circle of men and thus expand our being, he narrows that ideal on the other hand, at any rate in its social expression, to Hindu society.

Talking of the ‘Great Unifying Principle’ of the Hindus, he bases the agenda of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh

on the great dividing principle of we and they.

(7) The explanation for that lies, I think, in the equally startling lack of harmony between the Golwalkar who had achieved completest freedom from personal bitterness and  the Golwalkar who let his energies be dominated by the historical bitterness of Hindu humiliation.

(8) The organization itself has no political goal and in the name of service it creates a body of political sanyasis.

These ‘sanyasis’ always took opportunist decision in the matter of politics with no one to answer to and

sometimes they remained stoically silent on important issues.

Guruji had opposed the tricolor flag and the constitution tooth and nail and demanded for affirming Manusmriti to take its place but abandoned all opposition

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Bhodham 90

(26) – MODERN INDIAN PERCEPTIONS OF INDIA AND THE WEST (36): (xxxvi) SOCIAL REFORM: UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS: (xxvi) (h) Hindu Nationalism: (a) Madhav Golwalkar (8)

Although Madhav Golwalkar’s perceptions, forming the ideology of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, were clear and unwavering, and many of his propositions indisputable, they suffer from several infirmities, at least three of them touched also with profound irony.

(1) Golwalkar attributes to the introduction of Western isms into Indian polity its present disorder.

But, despite his opposition to building India’s future on the foundations of Western political thought, the core of his own teachings in that regard lies in those very foundations, the concept of ‘nation’, with ‘nationalism’ as its derivative, providing their two most decisive ingredients.

a). But ‘nation’ and ‘nationalism’ form no part whatever of the traditional Dhaarmic thought, any more than they do of Christianity and Islam.

The idea of ‘nation’ itself as a self defining principle, which gives to an individual his or her identity, and to a society its overriding value, is unDharmic, unChristian and unIslamic.

Not more than four hundred years old, probably less, the idea of ‘nation’ became a central part of the modern quest of freedom from the control of the Church.

Modern political thought has been a steady repudiation of the traditional Christian concern with universal Christendom, with the Church as its authority.

The concerns of Christianity are not the concerns of nationalism.

‘Christian nation’ is a profound contradiction in terms.

b). ‘Hindu nation’ is even a profounder contradiction, and ‘Hindu Nationalism’ no more than a product of Golwalkar’s graft of a Western concept on the body of Dhaarmic thought in whose name he spoke.

The Sanskrit word rashtra, which occurs at numerous places in the Mahabharata, and in other works, does not in the least connote the modern concept of ‘nation’.

Nowhere in what he describes as ‘Hindu civilisation’, or ‘Hinduism’, is there any concern with ‘national glory’.

c). But that, not as a deficiency, or indifference to political order as made out by the British and other Western observers, but because, placing man and society in a far more integrated system of thought than what was ever achieved in the history of the West, it had a radically different view of social unity.

Golwalkar imports into Dharmic civilisation concerns which it would not have; and forces the concerns it did have, into the Western mold of nationalism.

Advocating a total rejection of all Western isms as any remedy to the Indian ills, he speaks of nationalism as one dominant passion India ought to have.

d). Rejecting the possessive individualism of liberalism and democracy, Golwalkar ascribes to ‘nation’ an individuality that is far more possessive, and infinitely more dangerous.

He raises his ‘Hindu Nation’ to the status of divinity and talks of ‘Nation God’ and ‘worship of nation’.

For this he repeatedly invokes what he puts forth as the sanction of ancient Dharmic thought, a sanction which is simply  invented, when his ideas are actually derived from the German romanticism of the eighteenth century.

e). Golwalkar’s glorification of nation comes from the teachings, not of Dhaarmic thinkers, but those of Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803), with whom begins the German romantic movement.

It is important to observe that the idea of ‘humanity’, Humanitat, was quite as central to Herder’s thought as was his concept of the uniqueness of each ‘nation’.

However, since the influence of a thinker is hardly ever as systematic as his own formulations might have been, it was Herder’s glorification of nation, and not his concern with humanity, which came to have a very wide influence on the rise of nationalism not only in Germany, but in other parts of Europe as when, particularly among the Slavs.

f). Golwalkar also talks of humanity, and of service to man as service to God, but in the next instance limits ‘humanity’ and ‘man’ to his Hindu nation.

Nationalism had become by the nineteenth century a dominant passion of Europe. Golwalkar, more than any other modern Indian thinker, sought to introduce into his Hindu society the same Western passion.

(2) Like the romantic conception of the German nation, Golwalkar’s Hindu nationalism resurrects and appropriates the Semitic notion of ‘the chosen people’.

He talks of a divine trust that has been laid upon the Hindus.

The knowledge of what he calls the Inner Spirit is in the safe custody of the Hindus alone.

It is the Hindus alone that can provide the abiding basis for human brotherhood.

For it is they alone, thinkers and philosophers, seers and sages, who had unraveled the mysteries of human nature.

He talks of the world mission of the Hindus, for they are the chosen people for a divine task.

It is only that at no time in its very long history had Dharmic civilisation made even remotely any such claim.

It is a Semitic, not Dhaarmic, idea.

(3) A suggestion of this variety, that the Hindus are chosen by Destiny for a unique world mission, produces the false notion of their innate superiority over others.

Not only does this misrepresent grievously the character of classical Dhaarmic thought, which does not even know the word ‘Hindu’, but must also lead to profound untruth about other traditions of the world.

The highest ideal which Golwalkar can, for example, ascribe to Western civilization is earthly enjoyment and unbridled sway of the senses over the mind, which is of course a caricature.

He contends seriously, but not he alone, that the satisfaction of material appetites is all that there has been to the Western concept of individual freedom.

This is not a description but a crude caricature.

(4) What is likewise a prejudice, and quite as much a caricature, is his perception that the Muslims and the Christians of India, all of them, for he makes no exceptions, are lacking precisely in that quality of feeling which is the true test of nationality: mental allegiance.

They are not nationalists: only the Hindus, we, are nationalists.

For the Hindus alone look upon India as a holy land, motherland, fatherland, every particle of whose dust is sacred to them.

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Bhodham 89

(26) – MODERN INDIAN PERCEPTIONS OF INDIA AND THE WEST (36): (xxxv) SOCIAL REFORM: UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS:  (xxv) (h) Hindu Nationalism: (a) Madhav Golwalkar (7)

As an important next step he describes its three main characteristics.

One: Hindu nationalism is not just a political concept, ‘a mere bundle of political and economic rights’, nor is the Hindu nation merely a territorial entity, but ‘essentially a cultural one’, permeated with the breath of spirituality.

Two: it is not based on common economic interests alone, which is not to say that they play no part whatever in its formulation.

And three: it has never been, nor is it now, a product of antagonism to others.

It is rooted in harmony and not in conflict.

Excepting Gandhi, to the leaders of the Indian National Congress, nationalism was primarily a political phenomenon, with its economic aspects, against colonialism.

To the Indian Marxists, and also to Jawaharlal Nehru, it was essentially an economic struggle, with its political forms, to free the masses from capitalist exploitation.

Both denied, with varying degrees of passion, that religion or spirituality formed any part of nationalism; and when it did, that it betrayed itself.

To Golwalkar, both were absolutely mistaken, and had only slavishly followed the Western ideas of nationalism or, in opposition to nationalism, the Marxian socialism.

Neither of the two had any understanding of the deeper cultural and spiritual roots of nationalism in India that arose from a certain philosophy of life which, honestly examined, could only be viewed as Hindu.

The reason why the Rashtriya Swayarnsevak Sangh resolutely kept itself out of politics, Golwalkar explains, and concentrated on the primary task of building Hindu character, was that, in Hindu tradition, life was never ‘equated with politics’, nor was politics looked upon ‘as the pivot of life,’ as it is in India now.

He argues that political arrangements being only a means to an end, the end being the highest development of the individual, ‘political power is an external appliance which cannot by itself mould the ‘inner man’ after an ideal.

Mere governmental legislation cannot mould the minds of men on the lines of virtue’.

Besides, ‘political authority, by itself, becomes powerless when it has to play the role of rejuvenating the cultural values and social solidarity and much worse, if left to itself, it corrupts those high standards.

The secret of the immortality of a nation conserving all the noblest of its traditional qualities has to be sought elsewhere’.

Advocating that human quality is decisive in everything, he maintains that ‘The power of the organised life of the people imbued with the spiritual urge of our ancient heritage well, that has been the secret of our immortality all down these ages.

That is verily our Rashtradharma’. He speaks of ‘this deathless potency’ of Hindu society.

‘Again and again it has risen from the ashes, smashed the stranglehold of the evil forces and established the reign of righteousness’:

‘How did this miracle happen?’, he asks.

It happened because ‘the basis of our national existence was not political power’:

‘The political rulers were never the standard bearers of our society.

They were never taken as the props of our national life.

Saints and sages, who had risen above the mundane temptations of self and power and had dedicated themselves wholly for establishing a happy, virtuous and integrated state of society, were its constant torch¬bearers.

They represented the dharmasatta’; and ‘the dharmasatta continued to hold the people together’.

Political power, Guruji declares, is only one of the several manifestations ‘of the innate strength of the people’.

The ‘real and inexhaustible source of national strength’ lies not in political and military power but in the ‘dedicated and disciplined life of the people as a whole’, ultimately in the ‘patriotic and heroic condition of the people’.

He speaks of how ‘Political and other factors are only temporary and superficial.

Political parties come and pass away’, ‘But society is eternal, immortal’.

Hence the ultimate vision of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh: ‘of a perfectly organised state of our society wherein each individual has been moulded into a model of ideal Hindu manhood and made into a living limb of the corporate personality of society.’

 

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Bhodham 88

(26) – MODERN INDIAN PERCEPTIONS OF INDIA AND THE WEST (35): (xxxiv) SOCIAL REFORM: UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS:  (xxiv) (h) Hindu Nationalism: (a) Madhav Golwalkar (6)

As I said before Golwalkar contended ‘the Hindu People is our God’.

‘This supreme vision of Godhead in society is the very core of our concept of ‘nation’ and has permeated our thinking and given rise to various unique concepts of our cultural heritage’.

He quotes Ramakrishna Paramahamsa as saying: ‘Serve man’.

But, he argues, man, ‘in the sense of the whole of humanity, is a very wide concept and, as such, cannot be grasped easily as a single solid entity for us to see and feel.

Therefore it is that so many who took up the idea of serving humanity ended in inanity and inaction’.

In order to get over this limitation he proposes, as he claims that the ancient Indians had themselves done, that man be understood in the first instance as ‘the Hindu People’.

‘Therefore, in the devotion to our Living God, the Hindu Society, all the ruling disruptive passions in our minds today have to be given up, as they come in the way of our discharging the essential and foremost duty of upholding and strengthening the inherent unity of our people’.

He concludes: ‘Nothing can be holier to us than this land’.

That provides also Golwalkar’s answer to the question, ‘what path shall India take?’

It follows logically from his understanding of what constitutes the Indian nation; the root cause of its historical decline; and what place once again it ought to have in the thoughts and emotions of the people of India.

The answer he offers is unambiguous, whatever other infirmity it may have.

The problem of Hindu society, and thus of the Indian nation, the two being identical, arises wholly from the evident lack of national consciousness, unity and strength.

‘The root cause of our national tragedy then, a thousand years ago, and now, a thousand years after, is the same utter lack of organised and unified life among the Hindus, the children of this soil.’

‘Every page of our history of the past thousand years is a mute witness to this bitter truth operating on our national plane’,

He tells us that ‘it is of no use to curse the external aggressors as being the cause of our degeneration and destruction’,

rather, ‘even after repeated experiences of disgrace and disaster, we failed to learn the one basic lesson that we alone are responsible for our downfall and unless we eradicate that fatal weakness from ourselves we cannot hope to survive as a nation.

The political agenda of post independence India cannot remedy the ills of Indian society, Golwalkar argues.

On the contrary, democracy, or socialism, or socialist democracy, it has seriously aggravated those very ills.

The official policies have demonstrably created in the place of common ‘duties’ a sense of separate ‘rights’.

‘Nowhere is there any stress on ‘duties’ and a spirit of selfless service’

The clamour for ‘rights’ has promoted only regional and sectional interests and not the national interests.

‘The spirit of co operation which is the soul of society can hardly survive in a climate of the consciousness of egocentric rights.

That is why we are finding conflicts among the various component parts in our national life today.’

The Constitution itself describes India as ‘a union of States’, emphasising thereby the primacy of States and not of the nation as a whole.

To have reorganised States themselves on the basis of language has clearly strengthened lingual loyalties, often expressed quite fiercely, and not the loyalty to the nation.

Electoral politics in India carried within itself the seeds of self promotion at the expense of the collective welfare of the people.

In order to win elections, the substance of democracy, not only do the political parties, the ‘Marxists being no exception, seek utterly unprincipled alliances, which have never worked, but in that process encourage, promote and aggravate those very interests that simply must destroy the sense of national unity.

Golwalkar maintains that the remedy of Indian ills lies in resurgent Hindu Nationalism;

for it was in the decline of Hindu character that those ills originate.

He insists that Hindu nationalism is not an aggressive creed directed against others.

It is an agenda of regeneration, bringing together what is now disunited, of rebuilding what is broken and shattered.

It is a process of building, step by step, by an organised effort, the Hindu character, the Hindu manhood, strong and virile, dedicated to one aim: the glory of the Hindu nation.

But, if nationalism be the one remedy of all Indian ills, ought it not properly be called Indian nationalism?

Are the Indian Muslims and Christians not part of it?

Golwalkar maintains that they are not.

And that is entirely because ‘all those communities that are staying in this land yet are not true to its salt, have not imbibed its culture, do not lead the life which this land has been unfolding for so may centuries, do not believe in its philosophy, in its national heroes and in all that this land has been standing for, are, to put it briefly, foreign to our national life.

And the only real abiding and glorious national life in this holy land of Bharat has been of the Hindu people’.

Given these assumptions, Golwalkar’s ‘Hindu Nationalism’ naturally follows.

He declares: ‘Therefore, the foremost duty laid upon every Hindu is to build up such a holy, benevolent and unconquerable might of the Hindu people in support of the age old truth of our Hindu Nationhood’:

‘the path of re-establishment of dharma shown by all our great masters of the past is clearly the awakening of the Hindu people to the truth of their National Self the glorious, effulgent Hindu Nationhood’.

He further declares: ‘It is only when a nation, just as an individual, sticks to its roots of svadharma that it grows and blossoms forth in all round glory and achievement.

Pulling out one’s roots of svadharma and transplanting something else in its place will only result in utter chaos and degeneration’.

And since that is what has happened, chaos and degeneration, now Hindu nationalism must replace all the Western isms governing the corporate life of India.

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