The two-nation theory [25-27]

Savarkar was the first to propound the two-nation theory. He propounded it first in Hindutva in
1923 and next in his Presidential Address to the Hindu Mahasabha on December 30, 1937: 'There
are two nations in the main: The Hindu and the Moslems in India.' An year later, in 1938, he said:
'the Hindus are the nation in India in Hindusthan, and the Moslem minority a community'.

R.C. Majnmdar, a historian with pronounced pro-Sangh Parivar sympathies, acknowledged that
there was 'one important factor which was responsible to a very large extent for the emergence of
the idea of partition of India on commnnal lines. This was the Hindu Mahasabha...' Savarkar was, to
him, 'the great revolutionary leader.' He added that 'the Muslim League took serious notice of the
frank [sic] speeches of Savarkar.' Jinnah propounded his two nation theory in 1939. It divided the
country he once loved, harmed the community he led, and blighted the future of the State he
founded. Pakistan broke up in 1971, exposing the falsity of the theory. Thirty years later it is still in
the grip of sectarian religious strife. Jinnah himself discarded his theory in 1947. The two-nation
theory is intrinsically poisonous, but it becomes all the more pernicious when it proceeds to assert
that not only are the two communities different, but that one is inferior to the other. That was
Savarkar's belief throughout his life.

Hatred came naturally to him. In 1925,Jayakar invited him to a public meeting at the Vedanta
Ashram:

"Some eminent speakers participated. Among them, Savarkar the Hindu Sabha leader made an
extraordinary speech, the main theme of which was that, until we are a free nation, we must not think
of practicing soft virtue like humility, self-surrender or forgiveness. On the Contrary, we must, during
our subjection, develop sturdy habits of hatred, retaliation, vindictiveness and such other features. In
other words, we must postpone, until we are free, the virtues inculcated by our religion. Though this
speech was delivered in attractive language, there was commotion in the audience. Savarkar
strengthened his argument by misconceiving Tilak's observation that Indians must postpone the
delights, the ease and dignity of scholarship and research until India was free. A few speakers
supported Savarkar's view, though a large majority differed and the danger appeared to be that a
meeting called chiefly to popularize the lofty teachings of Shri Ramakrishna was likely to be misused
for the propagation, in the name of patriotism, of views bordering on spiteful retaliation, vengeful
hatred, vindictive punishment and the like."

In a detailed critique of Hindutva, Dr B.R. Ambedkar shows his definition of a Hindu -which forms
the basis of Hindutva - 'has been framed with great care and caution'. A Hindu is one who regards
India as both his Fatherland (Pitrubhoomi) as well as his Holyland (Punyabhoomi). 'It is designed to
serve two purposes which Mr Savarkar has in view. First, to exclude from it Muslims, Christians,
Parsis and Jews by prescribing the recognition of India as Holy Land as a qualification of being a
Hindu. Secondly, to include Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs, etc., by not insisting upon belief in the sanctity of
the Vedas as an element in the qualifications."

It is a man with this divisive credo whom the BJP lauds as a national hero. Speaking at a function to
launch a book on Bhagat Singh at New Delhi on February 25, 2000, Vajpayee went out of his way
to drag in Savarkar's name. He maintained that the contribution of RSS theoretician Veer Savarkar
and others was no less than that of Shaheed Bhagat Singh and his compatriots." No two persons
could have been more different than Bhagat Singh and Savarkar. Bhagat Singh wielded the gun
himself twice, knowing, on the second occasion, in the Central Assembly, on April 8, 1929, that
escape was impossible. Savarkar repeatedly used others to kill the one he hated. Bhagat Singh was
a man of noble disposition. Savarkar wallowed in hate. Bhagat Singh was an Indian nationalist. He
distanced himself Lala Lajpat Rai, when his mentor turned communal. Savarkar was a Hindu
nationalist who spread communal hate. Bhagat Singh was generous to a fault. Savarkar was mean
even to those close to him. In prison Bhagat Singh realized the futility of violence and turned against
its use. Savarkar's mindset protected him from such realisation. Bhagat Singh refused to plead for
mercy even when he faced the gallows - in fact, he pleaded that he and his comrades be shot dead
like prisoners of war rather than hung, since they were guilty of waging war against the British
empire. He wrote a sharp letter to his father asking not to write in his defense to the Tribunal trying
him. Savarkar's is a remarkably consistent record of sheer cowardice. Every terrorist of old wielded
the gun himself, led a life of  self-denial, had a noble vision of India, was prepared to lay down his life
for his country. The prospect of death did not deter him. In all this, Savarkar presents a contrast in
disgrace. He would cringe and prostrate at the first opportunity when forced with imprisonment. He
was a merchant of hate. He was heavily subsidized by well-known financiers, as the archives reveal.

[Pg 67-69]
The section 'Hindus, a nation' makes Savarkar the first to propound the two-nation theory in 1923.
Consider this passage, full of hatred and venom:

Everything that is common in us with our enemies, weakens our power of opposing them. The foe
that has nothing in common with us is the foe likely to be most bitterly resisted by us just as a friend
that has almost everything in him that we admire and prize in ourselves is likely to be the friend we
love most. The necessity of creating a bitter sense of wrong and invoking a power of undying
resistance especially in India that had under the opiates of Universalism and non-violence lost the
faculty even of resisting sin and crime and aggression, could best be accomplished by cutting off even
the semblance of a common worship - a common Church which required her to clasp the hand of
those as her coreligionists whose had been the very hand that had strangled her as a nation.

The identity of his 'foes' is obvious.

Savarkar's persistent reference to 'Sindhasthan' and 'Sindhu' (pp. 30-31 ) explain Advani's recently
acquired passion for the Indus and with it pleas for undoing the partition of India as urged by
Savarkar.  To proceed with Savarkar's Hindutva, the author traced 'chapters of the history of the
words Hindu and Hindusthan from the earliest Vedic period to the fall of the last of our Hindu empire
in 1818 A.D .... We are now in a position to address ourselves to the main task of determining the
essentials of Hindutva' (p. 70). To begin with, 'territorial nationalism' is totally rejected, 'although the
root-meaning of the word Hindu like the sister epithet Hindi may mean only an Indian, yet as it is we
would be straining the usage of words too much -we fear, to the point of breaking - if we call a
Mohammedan a Hindu because of his being a resident of India' (p. 83). Further,

    "An American may become a citizen of India. He would certainly be entitled, if bona fide, to be
treated as our Bharatiya or Hindi, a countryman and a fellow citizen of ours. But as long as in
addition to our country, he has not adopted our culture and our history, inherited our blood and has
come to look upon our land not only as the land of his love but even of his worship, he cannot get
himself incorporated into the Hindu fold. For although the first requisite of Hindutva is that he be a
citizen of Hindusthan either by himself or through his forefathers, yet it is not the only requisite
qualification of it, as the term Hindu has come to mean much more than its geographical significance.

The reason that explains why the term Hindu cannot be synonymous with Bharatiya or Hindi and
mean an Indian only, naturally introduces us to the second essential implication of that term. The
Hindus are not merely the citizens of the Indian state because they are united not only by the bonds
of the love they bear to a common motherland but also by the bonds of a common blood." (p. 84)

Having discarded 'territorial nationalism', he moves to 'cultural nationalism'.
    We Hindus are bound together not only by the tie of the love we bear to a common fatherland
and by the common blood that courses through our veins and keeps our hearts throbbing and our
affections warm, but also by the tie of the common homage we pay to our great civilization - our
Hindu culture, which could not be better rendered than by the word Sanskriti suggestive as it is of
that language, Sanskrit, which has been the chosen means of expression and preservation of that
culture, of all that was best and worth preserving in the history of our race. We are one because we
are a nation a race and own a common Sanskriti (civilization). (pp. 91-32)

Thus the BJP is absolutely correct in arguing that 'Hindutva' and 'cultural nationalism' are
synonymons.

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