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Is Inclusive Hindutva a Common Good?

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s claim of an inclusive Hindutva is more ephemeral than real.

A s the general elections loom, different political forces are making calculated attempts to politically position or reposition themselves in order to forge a winning combination. It is also interesting that this positioning and repositioning around the notion of a common good is mutually conflicting. The parties in opposition, for example, seem to be suggesting that they are committed to positioning themselves with each other, and around the universal perspective that is inclusive of values like democracy, secularism, and freedom from fear. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on the other side of the spectrum, are attempting to convince the public that Hindutva is the only universal common good. However, such attempts by the Sangh Parivar chief to calculatingly flesh out an “all-inclusive” position is couched more in self-confidence and, therefore, devoid of egalitarian conviction.

His attempts both at outreach through a lecture series and at underplaying Narendra Modi–Amit Shah’s pet slogan of a “Congress-mukt Bharat” (Congress-free India) could be seen as a part of this repositioning. Moreover, the accommodative posturing of the RSS can also be seen as resulting from the recognition of widespread public discontent against the policies of the current government. Seeking an extended meaning in Hindutva is fundamentally motivated by the need to maintain its control over levers of formal political power. The posturing that the RSS is “not interested” in formal political power, therefore, is necessarily a defensive ploy; a reasserted political will to push forward its Hindutva agenda. In electoral terms, it would mean presenting to the public a supposedly moderate face of the RSS.

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Updated On : 9th Oct, 2018

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