Hinduism or Hindutva: The Choice Is Yours


Sanatana Dharma is believed to be eternal (beyond the time), but it can be said that Sanatana Dharma is 155.52 trillion years (50 years of Brahma) old. Currently, 50 years of Brahma are passed. If we try to find a basis of the word ‘Hindu’, we’ll have to read and understand The Vedas, The Upanishads, Post- Vedic texts (such as Ramayana), The Bhagavad Gita, The Puranas and other religious Hindu texts. That’s seriously A LOT! If we try to define Sanatana dharma in Hinduism, it can be regarded as the term used to denote the ‘eternal’ or absolute set of duties or religiously ordained practices incumbent upon all Hindus, regardless of caste, class or sect. In general, Sanatana-dharma is all about the virtues of honesty, refraining from injuring living beings, purity, goodwill, mercy, patience, forbearance, self- restraint, generosity, and ascetism.

The creators and the writers of the religious texts must have been so great; they would have envisioned a world of peace, brotherhood, and respect for each other through their work. Little did they knew, that the word Sanatana would become the biggest market for money-making and caste politics in the 21st century.

As a common and concerned man in today’s society when I hear Shri Narendra Damodardas Modi speaking in Parliament saying “The only religion before me is the constitution of India.” I tend to smile in happiness and irony both. I smile with happiness because the fact that since the NDA led Narendra Modi government was formed; India has achieved new heights of development in local and global level. With ministers like Sushma Swaraj, Suresh Prabhu, Piyush Goel, Manoj Sinha and a lot more led by Mr. Modi himself, I personally feel that this NDA government is better relatively what we had in the name of UPA and is continuously working for developing our country.

Now coming to the irony, I fail to understand why in the age of education and human rights for all, a class of the followers of the party follow so much of extremism. It may be because the BJP have always had very close relations with right-wing extremist groups like the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP whose wing of Bajrang Dal is really famous), Hindu Yuva Vahini, etc. because of the massive vote bank they influence. Also, it may be because of some leaders in the party who believe and prefer in ‘Hindutva’ and not ‘Hinduism’.

Hinduism is the practice of sanatana dharma or in simple words just a way of life or art of living, but ‘Hindutva’ is much more than that. Basic definition of Hindutva can be promoting hindu ideology and preaching the Hindu culture, but nowadays for political benefits a more horrific definition of ‘Hindutva’ can be seen opted by the extremists group which goes like “we are always right and anything which is against us or questions’ our ideology is wrong and not in the country’s sake. Hence, we would fight against it to make it right.”

The recent cases of moral policing, lynching, harassing the minorities in some places by these groups in the name of Hindutva is really wrong. If asked, the authorities of the BJP and RSS deny any kind of disharmony spread because of them or their youth wings but, the ground reality is still many of the members of such groups consider them to be above the law and try their best to oppress others for political benefits and ego satisfaction. Like for an example, many cases have been reported till now of these extremists beating up, harassing and even lynching the cow slaughterers. Much of them didn’t even care to verify the news before pursuing such barbaric activity and if they were confirmed of it too, sanatana dharma only says to save cows, it doesn’t say in any of the religious text that kill someone who kills a cow. You people could have followed a legal procedure as there is a law existing for saving the cow, what gave you the right to be the police and the court yourself? Cows do mean a lot to us Hindus I know but as we try to save a cow without asking her religion, same should be followed for humans too.

This type of conduct is neither Sanatana nor constitutional, and all I want to say to these groups is I don’t have a problem with your ideology of spreading cultural awareness. In fact, it’s a noble deed but the fact some of your members who are all hands in supporting barbarism against any other religion or practice is what makes me question you guys about the preaching you have given to your own people. You should spread Hinduism but not force it on anyone because above all we are all humans and we should live in harmony. That’s what distinguishes Hinduism from Hindutva. It’s good you care for animals, but start caring for humans too.

Now many of you would see this as a criticism but the fact is it’s just an appeal to the fellow followers of what happens to be my religion too. Thank you for reading and not only in Hindus but there are people in every religion who believe in barbarism and are known for spreading the misinterpreted messages of religious values and degrading the mentality of many. Please stay away from those kinds of people, spread peace and happiness, respect everyone, and start taking things easy as life’s too short to be fighting over religion.

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah!

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I hail from the city of temples, ghats and Ganga: Varanasi. An engineer by profession, it's the admiration of arts, culture and the strive to change what I feel wrong is what motivates me to write. It doesn't mean I am bad with the engineering thing by anyways, LOL. Just a little creativity in the simplest of things makes it beautiful. I love to read good books with some coffee and favourite tracks from the Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd till late hours of the night. I love to constantly challenge myself, as I am my greatest competition and the only one.