Hindu Nationalism

1317 Words6 Pages
Hindu Nationalism: From a Dravidian perspective

Hindu nationalism has seen an unprecedented rise in the years following our Independence. It is odd considering the otherwise non-rigid nature of Hinduism by itself, which is not very amenable to the creation of a separate ideology around it. Yet the nationalist ideologue is stronger than ever, in fact rising with the rise of industrialization and modernization in India. How the ideologies of a predominantly upper-caste Hindutva elite was even propagated in a country as diverse as India is a study in itself, but the chief factor of this paper is the ideas that are conveniently neglected by the otherwise fervent ideologies of Hindutva as a school of thought. The idea of our origins isn’t something
…show more content…
Does this mean that there are simultaneously two clashing cultures in India at the very same time? No, since the Aryanization of the South, and the Dravidianization of the North cannot be stated enough. Sanskrit evolved as a mixture of languages, as did classical Tamil. Also, the question of society in the Eastern part of India in the same period is also a mystery. Researchers hypothesize the migration of a Southeast-Asian related ethnic group into the region around the same time as an Indo-Aryan migration. Their culture is also largely a result of the eventual mixture of all three cultures present in Eastern India, and is quite distinct from either Aryan or Dravidian culture. In a Hindu nationalist’s frame of mind, all these distinct cultures are to be shoved away, just as the influences of other religions is to be discarded. Savarkar called for a reconversion of Muslims and Christians and those of other relgions as a way of their acceptance in Hindu society. The irony is that South Indian culture is by far the biggest proof against Hindu nationalist theories. A Hindu nationalist would be loath to admit or recognize the influences of Islam in the religion they so enthusiastically propagate. A monotheistic, conservative understanding of religion that looks at culture or religion rather than racial aspects is basically a Hindu reworking of Islam. South indian culture, excluding Brahmin culture, is quite different from that of the North because one might argue that it has seen a more organic form of acceptance and assimilation of religion through natural conversion as compared to the spread of Islam by invasion in the North. Even Christianity, which is demonized as a result of the opportunism of missionaries, has coexisted peacefully alongside Hinduism and Islam in the
Open Document