If Hindutva is Hinduism then the Ku Klux Klan is Christianity – By Anand Patwardhan
…. Hindutva is as Hindu as the Ku Klux Klan is Christian. The term Hindutva was invented in the 20th century and popularised by Savarkar in his book of the same name. Published in 1923, the book was originally titled Hinduism but its title was covered over by a paper sticker with the word Hindutva.
The book makes ahistorical, illogical and contradictory claims and must have been confusing even to Savarkar’s followers, as 80 years later, right up to 2003 when the Bharatiya Janata Party began to glorify Savarkar, only seven editions were published. Savarkar claimed the deepest antiquity for Hinduism, treated the Ramayana as actual history, while admitting that the term Hindu originated from Greeks, Persians and Arabs. Indeed the term Hindu cannot be found in scriptures like the Vedas, Upanishads, Bhagvad Gita or any of the Smritis and Puranas.
How then to differentiate Hinduism from Hindutva? In 2018, we completed a film Reason/Vivek, which apart from documenting atrocities against Muslims and Dalits, examines the murders of rationalists like Narendra Dabholkar, Govind Pansare, MM Kalburgi and journalist Gauri Lankesh, all of whom were born Hindu. The murder trials have not concluded but several Hindutva militants are under arrest….