The Truth That Mahatma Gandhi Was Searching for Was Hindutva, Says Mohan Bhagwat

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Mohan Bhagwat cited his argument saying, if Hindus become more kattar (fundamentalist), it would actually mean they will be more liberal and that makes Gandhi a 'kattar Hindu'.

New Delhi: Mahatma Gandhi always talked about the “consistent search for truth and that “truth is Hindutva”, observed RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat, during a recent interview with two RSS-affiliated publications ‘Organiser’ and ‘Panchjanya’.

Asked about the attempt to portray two versions of Hindutva — the original Hindutva and an aggressive version of it — Bhagwat observed that they consider Hindutva as only one and what it does is what it means.

He had explained the same at the Rashtrodaya Samagam in Meerut recently and said, “If Hindus become more kattar (fundamentalists), it actually means they will be more liberal”.

Taking it a step further, Bhagwat said, “In this sense, Mahatma Gandhi was a ‘kattar’ Hindu. In one of his writings in ‘Harijan’ he declared that he was a ‘Kattar Sanatani Hindu’ in the same sense. Now, how to practice and perfect that Hindutva is an individual’s decision.

“There is no differentiation in Hindutva. You can say someone’s understanding of Hindutva is wrong. You can say my interpretation and practice is right and others’ is wrong. There is no meaning in saying our Hindutva or their Hindutva. The society collectively will take a call about this and it is doing it now. The larger collective consciousness of society is clear about what is Hindutva,” he said.

Defining Hindutva, Bhagwat said that Hindutva is the set of values which we believe in such as satya (truth), ahimsa (non-violence), brahmacharya (consciousness of a higher ideal), ishwara-pranidhana (surrender to almighty) among other things.

He further referred to Mahatma Gandhi and other national leaders and said, “Gandhiji also talked about the “consistent search for truth” and that truth is Hindutva. It is the same Hindutva… about which Vivekananda, Subhas Chandra Bose, Gurudev Rabindranath Thakur, Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar etc have spoken about.”

The expression of those values depends on the person and the situation. Bhagwat said, “There was no word called ‘Hindu’ at the time of Maryada Purushottam Shri Ram, but he is still an icon of Hindutva. The principles that he practised were considered to be ideal and they are now called as Hindutva. On the other hand, Sri Krishna, who in a way broke all the norms of propriety of conduct but still he was following Hindutva.”

Bhagwat further observed that Shivaji Maharaj extended respect to Mirza Raja. He was also following the Hindutva, therefore, Hindutva is one and it cannot be different even if one looks at it with different prisms.

In his opinion, as there is a growing attraction towards Hindutva, these confusions and distortions are deliberately being created.