1. It was basically a battle between Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Supporters of one or the other will find something or the other to put forward in defence of their support for that particular group, but the truth is both the groups are equally indifferent to Hinduism and Indian culture. Bribing or blackmailing small groups of Muslims (as in Meerut) to convert to Hinduism (and ending up with egg on our own face), talking against reservations on the one hand and bribing more and more caste groups (and powerful ones like Jats and Marathas) with reservations on the other, pointlessly using abusive language against individuals from “minority communities”, banning beef and attacking isolated individuals on the grounds that they possessed, ate or sold beef, defending disgraceful “Hindus” like Asaram “Bapu” and Radhe “Maa”, etc. do not constitute acts of Hindutva.
Real acts of Hindutva would have been: rigorously banning conversions from Hinduism to Christianity, making article 30 of the constitution applicable to all communities and disbanding the Minorities Commission and removing gender justice laws from religious ambits and making it clear that there would be no more such discrimination on the grounds of religion, openly declaring the cultural allegiance of the Indian state to India’s ancient heritage and to its true history (which requires correction), etc.
These would have constituted real acts of Hindutva. And all this would have to be done not by what is being called “fringe elements” and “hotheads”, but by the very fountainhead of the so-called Hindutva power-hierarchy, i.e. by the Prime Minister, who would also have been required to publicly explain the full rationale of all these things clearly, logically and unapologetically to the whole world.
However we had the BJP playing its usual two-faced games, with the top bosses maintaining a frigid silence or talking in doublespeak or in fact failing to openly disown fake “Hindutva” stands while totally failing to openly endorse genuine Hindutva stands. I have noticed in all my years of association with the Sangh Parivar and its supporters that they are actually inordinately proud of their “tactic” of doublespeak and double standards (criticising the Congress for certain things and then defending exactly similar actions of the BJP)! No amount of setbacks can convince them that only honesty and genuine ideology pays!
And not only did the BJP and its worshipping supporters not take an open and honest stand but we had the top leaders from the PM downwards making “secular” noises every time they were accused of Hindutva motives. What in my opinion took the cake was the God-given opportunity we had to make it clear to the whole world that genuine Hindutva, but not hate-ideology, was our ideology and that we were unapologetic about it.
When Obama came to India and in his public address in the presence of Modi lectured to us about our treatment of “minorities” (something he would never have dared to even think of doing in, say, Saudi Arabia), it was a God-given opportunity for Modi to tell the world in Obama’s presence itself (in diplomatic words of course) that treating Hindus as punching bags or as people who were permanently in the dock was now a thing of the past, and Hindus who had the most glowing history of treatment of minorities could teach the world a lot in these matters and did not require advice. But he maintained a benevolent silence and a few days later lectured Indians, in his turn, to treat the minorities better!
Author of The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis