BOOK REVIEW : Savarkar and Hindutva

Title: Savarkar and Hidhutva
Author: A.G.Noorani
ISBN: 8187496282

This book is about one of the controversial leaders in Indian history, Vinayak Damodhar Savarkar who is popularly known as ‘Veer Savarkar’ and the ‘Hidhutva’ ideology which was coined by him. This book also talks about Gandhiji’s assassination and Savarkar’s involvement with that. This book is written by A.G.Noorani who is a famous columnist in ‘Frontline’ magazine. Since the book contains very serious stuff the terminologies also pretty complex to understand.

In the year 1928 Savarkar coined the term ‘Hindutva’ which according to him the perfect political ideology for governing India. This ‘Hindutva’ is totally different from ‘Hinduism’. The Hinduism is all about the religious aspects which explains the principles, philosophies which is been existing for thousands of years. This has to do with what has mentioned in Vedas, Upanishads and various Hindu holy books. But ‘Hindutva’ is all about political ideology and Savarkar is the person who conceptualized this terminology. The Rastriya Swam Sevak Sangh (RSS) or popularly known as ‘Sangh parivar’ is created based on this ideology and Bharathiya Janatha Party (BJP) is the political face of the Sangh.

According to Savarkar the political ideology of any country should be based on the ‘Religious’ basis and the Hindu religion is the only way to unite the whole India as a single country. He puts forth ‘Hindustan’ is for Hindus and all other religions should be given next priority as 80% of Indians are Hindus. To put in another way Hidutva is all about ‘Religious Nationalism’. This is totally different and opposite to what Congress party’s ideology which is mainly based on ‘Geographic Nationalism’. According to Geographical Nationalism India is a country with certain geographical boundaries and whoever lives in the country should be treated in the same way irrespective of the religion they follow. In fact the whole Indian constitution is based on this ‘Secularism’ concept.

For each and every ideology in the world there is an opposite one (Example: Capitalism Vs Communism) and it is up to individuals to follow the ideology which suites to them. By reading this book I was able to understand more about the ‘Hindutva’ ideology and formed my own perceptions on Hidutva as well as Secularism.


Anonymous said…
This book seems to be a subset of what I'm currently reading - "The Argumentative Indians" by Amartya Sen. Similar to what you have mentioned, the style of writing and the terminologies used are pretty complex, and one needs to be a little patient in order to really grasp the content and enrich oneself on "India". Sen also explains "Hinduvta" and secularism. Though I've just started with this book, the content does appear promising. Enjoy reading!
Thats cool man.The Argumentative Indian is pending in my book shelf for a long time. These type of books are pretty different from what we are used to reading and I think thats the reason we are finding it hard.If you get a chance pl read 'India Unbound' by Gurucharan Das which is also very good book.
Anonymous said…
I read ur article abt "BOOK REVIEW : Savarkar and Hindutva" n that is really informative.. I would definitely read the book whenever I'll get a chance to.
But sir, in initial line you have give his name as "Vinod Savarkar", his actual name is "Vinayak Damodar Savarkar"
Thanks a lot for taking time and looking into the blog.

The name confusion is because of my typing mistake. I have modified and updated the blog now. You are more than welcome to give feedbacks and point of any thing you feel like. In fact I created this blog to have a ‘Collective learning’ experience. From now on you can leave comments in the blog site itself by clicking the ‘Comments’ under each blog. I am now adding your comment into the site.

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