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Hindu politics

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Title: Hindu politics  
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Subject: Harsh Narain, Hindu nationalism, Ram Swarup, Hinduism, Gandhian socialism
Collection: Politics of India
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Hindu politics

Hindu politics refers to the political movements professing to draw inspiration from Hinduism. Hindu nationalism is the numerically most significant among the current political movements claiming to be inspired by Hinduism.


  • Revivalism 1
  • Hinduism in political discourse 2
    • Ideologies 2.1
    • Parties 2.2
  • Minority politics 3
  • Independent authors 4
  • References 5
  • Further reading 6


Hindu revivalism started with a reassertion of Hinduism in British India, mainly in its largest province, Bengal. Hindus were trying to incorporate things from the West,but while some were trying to make a clean break from their past, others tried to preserve their heritage in an adopted form.[1] Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Bankim Chandra Chatterjee and Swami Vivekananda were the earliest to formulate a political vision and a social reform program for India on the basis of Hinduism. Later, Aurobindo, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar and Golwalkar formed much of the political direction of the Hindus in India.[2] [3] Taking into account just how ancient the features of Hinduism were, it is clearly understandable why many maintained a nationalist Hindu mentality.

The revivalism movement from other Hindu groups, however, was brought about in hopes of incorporating Western ideas into their ritualistic political practices. What revivalists failed to realize though, was that by forcibly impressing the unpracticed thoughts of Western culture into fellow Hindus, it further distanced their potential to achieve what they were ultimately hoping for. Instead of attaining a society that grew in part of Western political processes, what revivalist Hindus contracted was plainly a broadening of their existing culture; Hinduism expanded, and continues to expand, by claiming more and more religions as acceptable, such as Christianity and Buddhism. By their attempts to christen Hinduism as spiritual, not religious, it severed the possibilities to connect existing traditional Hindu culture to what was being practiced in the West. The efforts to modernize were in fact too radical, and thus revivalism essentially fell victim to motionless Hindu nationalism. [4]

Hinduism in political discourse

Hinduism is an important source of political discourse in India. Hindu minorities have played significant roles in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Hindu symbols are frequently used in political campaigns of Indian politicians. For example, the Ram Janmabhoomi issue in Ayodhya was brought up as a national issue by the Bharatiya Janata Party before the Babri Mosque demolition in 1992.



Parties claiming to be inspired by Hinduism and Hindutva ideology include the erstwhile Jana Sangha, Hindu Mahasabha, Ram Rajya Parishad and the current Bharatiya Janata Party and Shiv Sena. Parties have even formed in countries such as Bangladesh (e.g. Banga Sena) and in Mauritius (Independent Forward Bloc) supporting the oppressed Hindus in these countries and giving importance to Hindu traditions.

Minority politics

Hindus form minorities in countries like Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Fiji. Minority Hindus in these countries have been denied human rights in many cases.[9][10] Dhirendranath Datta was a Bengali Hindu member of the renamed Pakistan National Congress who supported the creation of Bangladesh and was later assassinated by the Pakistan Army. Krishan Bheel, a Hindu member of the National Assembly of Pakistan, came into news recently for manhandling Qari Gul Rehman.[11]

Independent authors

In recent years, a few authors have taken up the cause of Hinduism as a political force. Some of these commentators on the Hindu political scene include Sita Ram Goel, Ram Swarup, Arun Shourie, Koenraad Elst among others.

Panchjanya and Hindu Sabha Varta are the main Hindi weekly based on Hindu Interest and culture. Shri Tarun Vijay, Shri Ashok Tyagi and Shri Devendra Swarup are the reputed journlists for Hindu and national issues.


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  5. ^ Harijan, 2 January 1937
  6. ^ Young India, 19 September 1929
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Further reading

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