Who is Hindu? One Who practices Hinduism (Religion)

Mohan Bhagwat, the Head of RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) or RSS Sarsanghchalak, the parent body of BJP, addressing at Raksha Bandhan, Bhubaneswar on Sunday Aug 10-2014 said,

“all live here in Hindusthan is Hindu. Our worshiping style may be different, even some may not worship at all, we may talk in different languages, may stay at various part of the land, we may eat different food, but we are One, one Nation We are Hindu. Those who stays in England are English, all those are in Germany are German, all those who are in USA are Americans, Likewise All here in HINDUSTHAN are HINDUs, so simple to understand. Hinduism is our Nationality. It’s a way of life. Unnecessarily some are confusing people.”


Actually, one of these ‘some’ who are unnecessarily confusing people , is Mr. Bhagwat himself.

The Constitution of India uses Bharat or India for the Nation. It doesn’t use Hindustan. In addition, if India is known in Persian as the land of Hindus, then the word used is HinduSTAN and Not Hindusthan. Hindu is a Persian Word. The same way, one says Pakistan.

Thus any person who lives in India is either an Indian or a Bharatiya. He’s not a Hindu. Our Nationality is either Indian or Bharatiya.

Hindu is a person practicing the religion of Hinduism. Hindutva in contrast, is the way of life RSS wants Hindus to practice. It’s an altogether different thing whether even a Hindu lives his/her life on the tenets of Hindutva. That apart, Hindutva is a political agenda aimed at grouping those who call themselves Hindus by religion.

When we fill any job application form , any Government form, or some admission form; we have to Fill either Hindu or Muslim or Christian etc.  If every person living in India was a Hindu; then there would be no need to mention one’s religion.

Using Hindu as Nationality is similar to I buying a truck , and all of a sudden deciding to call it a Car. Not only that, I insist on others calling it a Car too.

To strengthen his assertion, Mr. Bhagwat further added that :

even today’s research has revealed that since 40,000 years or even much before , only one species is living on the Indo-Iranian plate . DNA mapping confirms this.

This proves even more the futility of Mr. Bhagwat’s assertion. If he already knows that majority of people living in India, once belonged to the Hindu religion; then what is the need to state that now. Does he want them to be reconverted back to the Hindu religion? If yes, then what will he do if someone is unwilling to adopt Hinduism. But, if he simultaneously holds the belief that a person is a Hindu by birth; then why is he confusing people on the definition of Hindu ?

The problem with Mr. Bhagwat or any party who does the politics of religion is that it can’t see people beyond the outer manifestations of symbols. They see them as a political entity, but seldom get rid of the bias  towards them. In short, they can call Dalits, Muslims and Christians as Hindus (by their way of life definition) but are not willing to see them as humans , because for their faith. This becomes clear from Mr. Bhagwat’s other utterances from the same speech.

Quoting Swami Vivekananda, Mohan Bhagwat said,

“Swamiji said, there are numerous individuals who have worked for the society much vigorously than even Rama, Krishna and Jesus. But they didn’t want any recognition and served the society silently. Likewise we don’t work because of any recognition, silent work is our style.”

Sure silent work is RSS’s style. And it can quote even Jawaharlal Nehru to prove its point. What Mr. Bhagwat is doing is exactly how Hindu religion survived all this while. First , it modeled tribal Gods, in vogue prior to its existence, as its own (Male deity of proto history is remodelled as Proto Shiva ). Founders of new religions like Buddhism, Jainism etc. are propagated as Avatars of Lord Vishnu. Tribal Goddesses as the reincarnations of Shakti etc. In the above speech too, Mr. Bhagwat placated Ram, Krishna and Christ in the same bracket. This is clever, as in the tribal belts, where many tribes have converted to Christianity, the RSS propaganda machines may already be defining Christ as no one but the “Reincarnation of Vishnu”. If they don’t shy away from seeing Ram, Krishna and Christ as the same; then calling one the reincarnation of the other is no big ask. This way, the saffron groups killed not only numerous small tribal cultures in India; they also tried to quash formidable religions like Sikhism . Early 20th century they started calling Sikhs as Hindus and Guru Nanak Dev as a reincarnation of Vishnu. Fortunately, the Sikhs stuck to their distinct identity.

It’s unfortunate, but RSS and its political wing is confusing and complicating people. They are not only putting unnecessary burden on other religions living in India, they are also trying to induct other religions into Hinduism. Irrespective of whether, Hindus want such assimilation or not. It would have been better, if people are left on to themselves to follow their faith.