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‘Nationalism not an Indian concept’: RSS Joint Gen Secretary Manmohan Vaidya

"Bharat is often described as a country of diverse cultures. The right description should be India is a culture that celebrates diversity. That's because India is basically a country with a spiritual base," Vaidya said.

“Nationalism isn’t a Bharatiya concept. It was born in the Western concept of nation-state and comes with a baggage of ideologies like fascism and personalities like Hitler and Mussolini,” said Manmohan Vaidya. (File)

Emphasizing that Indian ethics were completely different from those in the West, RSS Joint General Secretary Manmohan Vaidya Saturday called for the use of Indian words instead of English terms that tend to change the whole way of looking at concepts like religion, nationalism, secularism, tolerance ideology, and fundamentalism.

“Nationalism isn’t a Bharatiya concept. It was born in the Western concept of nation-state and comes with a baggage of ideologies like fascism and personalities like Hitler and Mussolini. In Bharat, the concepts are rashtriyata which are different from nation and nationalism. Hence Rashtrvad for nationalism isn’t an acceptable parallel word,” Vaidya said in his inaugural address at the 2nd Nagpur Literary Festival here.

“Bharatiya concept of Rashtra is different than that of nation. For us, Rashtra means not geography but people and society. That’s why in Bharat, there never was the idea of a government doing all the things for the people like in a welfare state, as eloquently enunciated by Ravindranath Tagore,” he added.

“Bharat is often described as a country of diverse cultures. The right description should be India is a culture that celebrates diversity. That’s because India is basically a country with a spiritual base,” Vaidya said.

Talking about secularism, Vaidya said, “It is a word that was born in the West as a reaction to excesses committed by the theocratic state, which again is a Western idea. Some people call it as Dharmanirapekshata. Actually, since the very meaning and concept of Dharma is different in Bharat, where it’s a way of life than the English word religion. Secularism is a completely alien concept. Hence, the Constitution makers had deliberately kept it out at the time of drafting it. It’s another matter that it was later inserted during Emergency.”

“Hinduism is a wrong word. The correct usage should be Hindutva or Hinduness. I once told a Christian cleric that it is wrong to use the word Hinduism when Christianity isn’t termed as Christanism or Islam isn’t termed as Islamism,” he added.

Vaidya also quoted Swami Vivekanand and said, “India is beyond tolerance. It is a word that again came at the end of a long violent regime of religious conversions by force when some people thought killing wasn’t good. In Hindutva, the question of tolerance doesn’t arise since it has always been inherently so.”

“Similarly, “kattarwad” fundamentalism is irrelevant coinage in regard with Hindutva since a Hindu can never be fundamentalist,” he added.

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