“Hindutva is mainstream in India and it is a way of life in which there is no room for hatred,” said Indian politician, author and thinker Dr Ram Madhav.
He was speaking at a book discussion event about his latest work, ‘The Hindutva Paradigm’, organised by Sri Samskruthika Kalasaradhi, Singapore at the Global Indian International School (GIIS) Punggol Campus.
A renowned author and thinker, Dr Madhav has over 200 publications to his credit and a Doctorate in Philosophy from the Nalanda University. He has authored several books in English and Telugu. Some of his most recent works include ‘The Hindutva Paradigm – Integral Humanism and the Quest for a Non-Western Worldview’, ‘Because India Comes First: Reflections on Nationalism, Identity and Culture’ and ‘Uneasy Neighbours: India and China after 50 years of the war’.
Dr Madhav has served as the National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and has handled the political affairs of Jammu and Kashmir and the North-Eastern States of India for the BJP. He is a founding member of the board of governors of the India Foundation, a New Delhi-based premier think tank. He also serves as a Member of the National Executive of the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS).
“There are no true and false Hindus, except when once can use these distinctions as part of a political narrative,” Dr Madhav said in his address to the 600 attendees at the event. “Hindutva and Hinduism are not two separate things. Hindutva is the Indianised name of Hinduism. It is Hinduism in practice.”
Madhav’s book expands on the notions of Hindutva, the Hinduness, and expands on Deen Dayal Upadhyay's idea of 'Integral Humanism.' The book, according to Madhav, is a "humble attempt to give a twenty-first-century interpretation to Integral Humanism."
He also said that every religion can be classified as a way of life, and Hinduism was an all-encompassing view of life which was open to multiple interpretations and variations.
“We believe that God is everywhere. That is our dharma (divine law); it is not one God sitting somewhere, but finding divinity everywhere,” Dr Madhav said.
He also said that Hinduism was a many-form rather than many-god religion, as innumerable deities and idols were aspects of the one formless God who “had many different forms”.
“Hate is not Hindutva, we are not anti- anybody,” Dr Madhav added. He ended on a philosophical note, stating his book explored whether the Hindutva worldview could be adapted to the contemporary world of the 21st Century.
“Our worldview has historically been about building consensus and respecting different viewpoints; we must adapt this to our governance and politics today,” he said, signing off.
Read more India News and Singapore News here