Hindu Vivek Kendra
«« Back
HVK Archives: Hindutva and dialectics

Hindutva and dialectics - Indian Express

P. Parameshwaran ()
3 July 1996


Title :Hindutva and dialectics
A reply to O. V. Vijayan
Author : P. Parameshwaran
Publication : Indian Express
Date : July 3, 1996

THE entry of O. V. VIJAYAN into the'Hindutva' debate
(Dialectics of Hindutva, IE June 17) has not come a, day
too soon. Though he labels the debate 'phoney', the fact
that a creative intellectual like him could not resist
the temptation to intervene, shows that the central point
around which the debate revolves is profound and genuine.

Vijayan has been over the decades travelling from Marxian
dialectics to the 'dialectics of Hindutva'. Those who
have been following his writings know how arduous and
painstaking the joucy has been. But it is richly rewarded
by its productive outcome. The sincere quest of a
fearless seeker for truth is a continuing and never
ending process. In that process, the idiom of expression
undergoes continuous, and sometimes, marvellous
because each new experience in the inner realm demands
its own suitable vehicle of expression. It is truly so in
Vijayan's case.

"Dialectics of Hindutva" is highly suggestive and
significant. 1 may be excused for suggesting that the
term 'dialectics' is slightly misplaced and hence
inappropriate vis-a-vis Hindutva' Dialectics is a
Hegelian concept borrowed, and made to stand on its
head, by Marx.

Conflict of opposites is its very essence. In the Hindu
world-view, there are pairs of opposites like pain and
pleasure, good and bad, success and failure, life and
death; but these opposites d6 not conflict and lead to a
new category. These are different layers and levels of
consciousness; they are not contradictory and exclusive,
but, complementary and inclusive. They a reascending
aspects of one Integral Truth. You only transcend them
and arrive at a higher stage of consciousness where these
opposites do not affect you. Therefore Swami
Vivekananda once said: "One idea may be better than
another, but mind you, not one of them is bad. One is
good, another is better and again another may be best,
but the word bad does not enter the category of the Hindu
Religion." It is in this sense, Vijayan beautifully sums
up, 'Hindutva is almost like Marxism, without doctrinal
rigidity, an ideology of unlimited questioning' and also
endless achieving.

The detractors of Hindutva - with whom Vijayan has very
little in common - draw a distinction between "genuine
Hindutva" and "the saffron of conflict and petty
political power". Having also done so, Vijayan's
imagination takes wings and soars high into ethereal
regions, where he comes facet of ace with the magic
spectacle of a people in contemplation, where every tree
is a canopy of enlightenment, where every person sitting
cross-legged beneath it is on his way to renunciation,
on his way to a splendrous and joyful failure". Vijayan
sees in "the confluence of meditating India and the
labouring India a great accommodation of the material
into the spiritual", "Sanyasa at work". =

Vijayanis deeply fascinated by the 'Pranava' and the
'Brahmin' and makes a fervent plea to discover Bharat's
great quest and experience "Pranava" and relate it to
the "Brahmin of perennial contemplation".

In these days it requires great courage of conviction for
a writer to say "the postulation of the Brahmin is yet
another great leap for the Indo-Gangetic Mystic".

Vijayan is also totally opposed to the slippery model of
secularism imported from the West. He is too well aware
that semitic religions are exclusive while the Hindu
view is not. He also knows that it is because of this
inclusive approach that the Hindus welcomed all faiths
and people whether they came here for refuge or
challenge; when there were no secular constitution or
leaders to protect the minorities, the Hindus gave lands
for Synagogues, Fire Temples, Mosques and Churches,
even built them. The semitic faiths powered by hate and
intolerance within, and towards'infidels', needed to
effect a compromise through secularism between the
conflicting spiritual and temporal views. In the Hindu
view there is no need for a truce between the spiritual
and the temporal as, in Hindutva, there is no conflict
between the sacred and the secular. =

Where Vijayan goes wrong is in assuming that a
lifestyle based on such alofty concept can exist on this
earth as it is constituted today without the help of a
more solid and mundane support system. The
Kshatriya in Hindutva made it possible for the Brahmin
sit absorbed and get lost in contemplation of the supreme
blissful reality.

Mahayogi Aurobindo said "the virtue of the Brahmin is a
great virtue. You shall not kill. This is what Ahimsa
means. If the virtue of Ahimsa comes to the Kahatriya, if
you say, 1 will not kill, there is no one to protect the
country. Injustice and lawlessness Will prevail. The
virtue becomes a source of misery". The Mahayogi was firm
that "the law of Vishnu cannot prevail, unless debt to
Rudra is paid".

Great truths were discovered by "the contemplative
mystics of the lndo-Gangetic plain" or in the misty
Himalayan forests, because the armed Kshatriya warriors
were around to assure them safety and security from
outside barbarians. The hushed veneration with which the
kings used to enter the hermitage of a Rishi is portrayed
by Kalidasa in his Sliakittitala.

The mighty Dushyanta quietly climbs down from the royal
chariot and walks with humble steps as he approaches
Kanwa's Ashram.

Guaranteed peace produced the mighty Vedas and other
sacred texts, No Upanishad was produced during the
troubled days of foreign invasion or domination, with the
singular exception of a synthetic product of dubious
quality called 'Allopanishad'. All the great Upanishads
are the product of a much earlier period when Kshatriyas
were duty bound and powerful enough to protect the
Ashrams and their inmates who could carry on their
spiritual practices unhindered.

So, the contemplative Brahmin or the far-seeing Rishi in

Hindutvais only one side of the picture. The other side
is the protective Kshatriya with all his weapons.

The insistence on internalising strength or the Kshatriya
quality in Hindutva as a prerequisite to protect its
contemplative genius is at the heart of the current Hindu
resurgence. The insistence on strength in Hindutva is
derided as "saffron" and "conflict".

Without such internalised strength, Hindutva will be an
archival virtue in today's world of might vs right, and
not a living reality. This inevitable mundane strength
approximating to the Kshatriya of ancient times is
missing in Vijayan's view of Hindutva.

If, as alleged by some secularists, the exponents of
Hindutva have become more shrill in recent years, there
is a solid justification for that. It is in fact the
attack of a besieged majority whose legitimate claims
were rejected without a hearing and on whom insults were
heaped for their only fault of being proud of the Hindu
tradition. The counterattack, undeterred by ridicule and
dishonest criticism by the so-called secularists finally
began to yield results in the form of massive popular
backing. Unable to deny the Hindu assertion, or defy it,
the secularist intellectuals have changed their strategy
and started propagating that there are two models of
Hindutva - one fundamentalist and retrograde and the
other progressive and universal. Vijayan seems to have
fallen into their trap. As far as I can see, there is
only one Hindutva and not two. lie attempt is to invent
anclite Hindutva that does not exist to malign the
popular and the real one.

The writer is Director of the Bharatiya Vichara Kendra,

Back                          Top

«« Back
  Search Articles
  Special Annoucements