Hindu vs Hindutva
AA WAY OF LIFE, an ancient tradition of religious thought and diverse practices. A uniquely inclusive culture and the source of shrill and polarising rhetoric. How can the rich legacy of Hinduism be squared with the fractious politics that surround it today?
While the appropriation of Hindu identity by the ‘Hindutva’ politics of the Sangh Parivar has gathered momentum and helped propel the NDA government to power at the centre—and now in 19 states—recent months have seen an unprecedented attempt by ‘liberal’ political forces to reclaim the lost ground. From Rahul Gandhi’s temple tour on the Gujarat campaign trail to Rajinikanth’s manifesto of ‘spiritual politics’ and Siddaramaiah’s war of words with Yogi Adityanath or the latest posters depicting the PM as Ravana in Amethi—the battle of ‘Hindu versus Hindutva’ has been joined.
Now, as the loquacious Congress MP Shashi Tharoor releases another broadside in the form of a book reclaiming Hinduism as a liberal legacy, we asked a panel of eminent and engaged writers from across the political spectrum to weigh in. The result is an enlightening, sometimes perplexing debate reflecting, we think, the richness of the Hindu cultural tradition. Call it diversity in unity.