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I resent what Hindutva is doing to Hinduism: Nayantara Sahgal

"As a Hindu, I resent what Hindutva is doing to Hinduism. They are distorting and destroying it"

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Image: Wikimedia commons

Hindutva is a brand of fundamentalism and the Hindu right wing is distorting what Hinduism stands for, says renowned author Nayantara Sahgal who was among one of the first writers to return her Sahitya Akademi award to protest against intolerance in the country.

She also claimed the situation in the country is worse than the Emergency era, but said figures like Jawaharlal Nehru University Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar offer hope.

Speaking to IANS on the sidelines of the first edition of the Dehradun Literature Festival here, Sahgal, niece of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, lamented that the Hindu right seemed to be becoming like terror outfit IS and said it was “time for a debate on the tendency of Hindutva to become like IS, to cut off people’s heads”.

We need a debate on why Hindutva is becoming like the IS. The Hindu right wing is talking in the same criminal language as IS. As a Hindu, I resent what Hindutva is doing to Hinduism. They are distorting and destroying it,” she said.

Terming as “bogus” the debate on nationalism, she accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of trying to instill fear on people’s mind with “silly” issues like chanting of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

“The debate on nationalism is irrelevant now. Nationalism was needed at a time when the country was fighting to become a nation under British Raj. Then the Hindu right and Muslim right supported British to lay the path to Partition,” she said.

Accusing Hindu rightwing groups of fostering trouble in the NIT Kashmir campus, Sahgal said that the effort began at the time of Syama Prasad Mookerjee, founder of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS).

There has been an attempt by Hindu right wing to create trouble between Jammu and Kashmir to bring in the Hindu element from the time of Syama Prasad Mookerjee and it’s still going on,” she said, charging the BJP with wanting to destroy secularism in Kashmir.

“Kashmir was the only secular place in India where there was no riots even during the Partition. It used to be the centre of a great religious culture,” she said.

The author also took exception to the BJP’s effort to appropriate historic figures like B.R. Ambedkar and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, saying that the party discovered the great leaders after so many years. “It’s better late than never,”she added.

Sahgal, known for her outspoken views, also held that the present situation in the country is much worse than Emergency.

“It’s an undeclared emergency now. Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi goes abroad and says great things. But here, they are crushing dissent and force us into obedience,” she said.

However, Sahgal felt that young people like Kanhaiya Kumar are a beacon of hope for the country. “The Dalit issue has come to the fore now because of the students movement which started in the Hyderabad university. Kanhaiya Kumar aptly said that the issue of caste, communalism, poverty and other issues is to be fought,” she said.

Lauding Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s call for a grand alliance to fight the BJP, she said that all like-minded parties should come together to save the idea of India.

“I think the time has come for a great coalition like Nitish Kumar said. There has to be a combination of all parties who don’t support the ‘Hindu rashtra’ business. It’s slowly happening,” she said adding that Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has undergone a change and gives hope for his party.

“Rahul seems to have changed and spoke well in parliament recently. I think Rahul has stepped forward and it is a good move,” she said.(IANS)

  • P. B. Josh

    We resent what you and your elk has done to Secularism.

  • AVISHEK TALUKDAR

    “Kashmir was the only secular place in India” where in 1941, Kashmir pandits constituted 15% of Valley’s population, which today is not even 0.5%. Secular local Muslims along with militants carried out massacres’ of Kashmiri Pandits also known as Ethical cleansing. Overnight 350,000 KP became refugees in their own land.

    Scores of people are dying in the streets of India everyday in the hands of Islamic terrorist, but the biggest threat to the country is from Hindusim & Hindutva. Rather for Nayantara Sahgal it`s worse than ISIS.

    If hypocrites like Kanhaiya Kumar are beacons of hope for the country, then maybe god even cannot save this country.

  • Guest

    Looks like idiocy is a necessary part of the Nehru lineage, it’s not just RG, it’s her too. Kanhaiya, RG, Nitish Kumar a beacon of hope.Huh!

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  • P. B. Josh

    We resent what you and your elk has done to Secularism.

  • AVISHEK TALUKDAR

    “Kashmir was the only secular place in India” where in 1941, Kashmir pandits constituted 15% of Valley’s population, which today is not even 0.5%. Secular local Muslims along with militants carried out massacres’ of Kashmiri Pandits also known as Ethical cleansing. Overnight 350,000 KP became refugees in their own land.

    Scores of people are dying in the streets of India everyday in the hands of Islamic terrorist, but the biggest threat to the country is from Hindusim & Hindutva. Rather for Nayantara Sahgal it`s worse than ISIS.

    If hypocrites like Kanhaiya Kumar are beacons of hope for the country, then maybe god even cannot save this country.

  • Guest

    Looks like idiocy is a necessary part of the Nehru lineage, it’s not just RG, it’s her too. Kanhaiya, RG, Nitish Kumar a beacon of hope.Huh!

Next Story

I Fall in Love with India Every Time I Return Here: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos

On Friday, Goyal clarified that government welcomes all kinds of investments into the country which are within the ambit of the law

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amazon, jeff bezos
Amazon.in arrived in India on June 5, 2013 and for world's top billionaire Jeff Bezos, has transformed the way the country buys and sells. VOA

Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos on Friday posted a note on the company’s e-commerce website Amazon India, saying “he falls in love with India every time he returns here”, a day after Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal snubbed him during a public event.

“I fall in love with India every time I return here. The boundless energy, innovation and grit of the Indian people always inspire me,” Bezos wrote in the letter while mentioning Amazon’s investment in the Indian economy and that the firm is aiming to create 10 lakh new jobs by 2025.

Bezos, in the letter, added that more than 550,000 small and medium businesses (SMBs) in India are using Amazon as a platform to offer millions of products.

The new expected jobs are on top of the 700,000 jobs Amazon has already created in the country since 2013.

Amazon, drones
In this Sept. 13, 2018, file photo Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, speaks at The Economic Club of Washington’s Milestone Celebration in Washington. VOA

On Thursday, Goyal not only ticked off Bezos saying that they are not doing India a favour by investing a billion dollars, but also raised concerns if its losses were a result of predatory pricing and if Amazon and Flipkart were gaining entry into multi-brand retail by using loopholes.

Also Read: Tech Giant Apple Solves Location Privacy Issue with iPhone 11 in 2nd iOS 13.3.1 Beta

On Friday, Goyal clarified that government welcomes all kinds of investments into the country which are within the ambit of the law.

“We welcome all kinds of investments that follow the letter and spirit of the law. If some investment is outside the legal purview, appropriate action will be taken,” he told reporters. (IANS)