Bid to profile India based on Golwalkar’s idea of ‘Hindustan’
Since last month, protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA of 2019 across India have been gaining momentum with each passing day. Young and old, men and women, Hindus and Muslims, Sikhs and Christians, are hitting the streets, questioning in unison, the Narendra Modi government’s intention to create Indian citizenship based on religion.
During these protests, however, if there is one thing swirling in the minds of the young protestors, it is the ideology of Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, better known as M.S. Golwalkar, the most prominent ideologue of Hindutva and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mentor.
Golwalkar died in 1973 at the age of 67 in Nagpur where he was chief of the biggest and the most influential Hindutva outfit, the Rashtriya Swyamsewak Sangh (RSS). In his books written in Hindi, he had openly demanded the creation of a Hindu nation in India where people belonging to other faiths would have no place.
Voices within India can be heard expressing concern over the government’s trying to sow seeds of communal and religious discord and creating new fault lines. There are also apprehensions that the Golwalkar’s long cherished dream is being fulfilled by the Modi regime.
This article will bring to light Golwalkar’s idea of a Hindu nation. In one of his books entitled:“We or our nationhood defined” Golwalkar openly endorses the massacring of Jews by Hitler in Germany, and wants Indians to learn a lesson from that.
“German race pride has now become the topic of the day. To keep up the purity of the race and its culture, Germany shocked the world by purging the country of the Semitic race—the Jews. Race pride at its highest has been manifested here. Germany has also shown how well-nigh impossible it is for races and cultures, having differences going to the root, to be assimilated into one united whole, a good lesson for us in Hindustan to learn and profit by.”Page 87-88.
He further goes on to call India ‘Hindustan’, the land of the Hindus, their home country, hereditary territory, a definite geographical unity, delimited naturally by the sublime Himalayas in the North and the limitless ocean on the other three sides, an ideal piece of land, deserving in every respect to be called a country, fulfilling all that the word should imply in the idea of a nation.
“Living in this country since pre-historic times, is the ancient race—the Hindu race, united by common traditions, by memories of common, glories and disasters, by similar historical, political, social, religious and other experiences, living and evolving, under the same influences, a common culture, a common mother language, common customs, common aspirations. This great Hindu race professes its illustrious Hindu religion, the only religion in the world worthy of being so denominated, which in its variety, is still an organic whole, capable of feeding the noble aspirations all men, of all stages, of all grades, aptitudes and capacities, enriched by the noblest philosophy of life in all its functions, and hallowed by an unbroken, interminable succession of divine spiritual geniuses, a religion of which any sane man may be justly proud.” Page 94-95.
Golwalker says that those only are nationalist patriots, who, with the aspiration to glorify the Hindu race and nation next to their heart, are prompted into activity and strive to achieve that goal. “All others are either traitors and enemies to the national cause, or, to take a charitable view, idiots.”
Views on minorities
“At the outset we must bear in mind that so far as the 'nation' is concerned, all those, who fall outside the five-fold limits (country, race, religion, culture and language) of that idea, can have no place in the national life, unless they abandon their differences, adopt the religion, culture and language of the nation and completely merge themselves in the national race. So long, however, as they maintain their racial, religious and cultural differences, they cannot but be foreigners, who may be either friendly or inimical to the nation.” Page 100-101
“There are only two courses open to the foreign elements, either to merge themselves in the national race and adopt its culture, or to live at its mercy so long as the national race may allow them to do so, and to quit the country at the sweet will of the national race. That is the only sound view on the minorities’ problem. That is the only logical and correct solution. That alone keeps the national life healthy and undisturbed. That alone keeps the nation safe from the danger of a cancer developing in its body politic.”
“From this standpoint, sanctioned by the experience of shrewd old nations, the foreign races in Hindustan must either adopt the Hindu culture and language, must learn to respect and hold in reverence Hindu religion, must entertain no idea but those of the glorification of the Hindu race and culture, i.e., of the Hindu nation and must lose their separate existence to merge in the Hindu race, or may stay in the country wholly subordinated to the Hindu nation, claiming nothing, deserving no privileges, far less any preferential treatment -not even citizen's rights. There is, at least should be, no other course for them to adopt. We are an old nation; let us deal, as old nations ought to and do deal, with the foreign races, who have chosen to live in our country. Page 105.
Views on language
We have no hesitation in saying that though the vastness of our country has had the necessary consequence of giving birth to different dialects in the various localities, still, all these local tongues, are naturally united in their great parent, the Sanskrit language, and are essentially one. There is thus no doubt regarding the existence in us of the fifth component of the nation idea - language. Thus applying the modern understanding of 'nation' to our present conditions, the conclusion is unquestionably forced upon us that in this country, Hindustan, the Hindu race with its Hindu religion, Hindu culture and Hindu Language, (the natural family of Sanskrit and her off-springs) complete the nation concept: that, in Hindustan exists and must needs exist, the ancient Hindu nation and nothing else but the Hindu nation. All those not belonging to the national i.e. Hindu race, religion, culture and language, naturally fall out of the pale of real ‘national' life. Page 98.
Thus, Golwalkar gives Modi’s Citizenship Amendment Act of 2019, his plan to conduct an all-India National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the National Population Register (NPR) in 2020, an ideological basis for choice based on religion.
The CAA, passed by both houses of parliament, brazenly says that only Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians from three Muslim-majority countries (namely, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan) can apply for Indian citizenship on the plea of religious persecution in these countries. The CAA glaringly leaves out the Muslims, insinuates that in these countries non-Muslims are persecuted and declares that India cannot accommodate an “alien” people like Muslims. All this along the lines prescribed by Golwalkar.
The NRC, already conducted in Assam, initially rendered four million Stateless. A second revised list brought the Stateless down to 1.9 million – still a very large number. Lakhs of Muslims are in the Stateless list. Not knowing what to do with them, the State of Assam is now constructing 15 detention camps. And despite the tragic outcome of the exercise in Assam, Indian Home Minister Amit Shah is determined to go ahead with an all-Indian NRC. The very intention of doing so has created a nation-wide stir.
And as if the NRC were not enough, the Modi region is also going to draw up a National Population Register (NPR) which is said to be part of the ten-year census-taking exercise. But many allege that it is yet another exercise to profile the Indian population on religious lines on Golwalkarian lines, a charge that the Modi government denies.