ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

V D SavarkarSubscribe to V D Savarkar

Fratricidal Violence and Indian Political Thought

Violent Fraternity: Indian Political Thought in the Global Age by Shruti Kapila, Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 2021; pp 328, $35 (Hardcover).


Gandhi's Hinduism and Savarkar's Hindutva

The present national crisis of violently conflicting communal identities represents a choice between the inclusiveness of Gandhi and the exclusions of Savarkar. Gandhi did not separate religion from politics. He brought a religious ethic to politics rather than political militancy into religious communities. Meanwhile, Savarkar's Hindutva ideology was narrow and exclusivist in its conflation of janma bhoomi (motherland) and punya bhoomi (holy land). In spite of its pretensions to be nationalist and modern, its militant chauvinism and authoritarian fundamentalism make Savarkar's Hindutva the antithesis of Gandhi's Hinduism. Hindutva defines India as Hindu and wants all Indians to be Hindus. In contrast, Gandhi's Hinduism gives space to all. This paper argues that the future of our multicultural, pluri-religious people can only be even bloodier with the preclusions of Savarkar's Hindutva. Only Gandhi's sarva-dharmasamabhava can possibly be an effective basis for a tolerance on which to premise a just inter-religious peace and harmony.

What Is a Name after All?

While opposing the naming of the airport at Port Blair after Veer Savarkar, the Leftists could and should have argued that Savarkar was no patriot and nationalist. Anyone who writes a book like the one he wrote on Hindutva cannot be a patriot and a nationalist - even if the issue of Savarkar's apology to the British had not been there. This would have, of coruse, meant taking a view of nationalism which is different from that of the national bourgeoisie.

Calcutta Diary

To name the airport at Port Blair in the Andaman Islands after V D Savarkar, at least some people would conclude, is a deliberate affront to India's war of independence. But, please, hold your horses, there is little scope for any sense of outrage. Was not 'Roshomon' a much hailed film, and accepted as a trendsetter? The same datum, the datum of a murder, is interpreted in several ways, and you are welcome to take your pick: all that is needed is cultivation of an appropriately cynical frame of mind; things will then fall in their respective places.

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