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India always has spiritual democracy and this identity is called Hindutva, says RSS leader

NEW DELHI: Rashtriya Swayamevak Sangh (RSS) joint general secretary Manmohan Vaidya on Saturday said India always had spiritual democracy and it is this identity which is known as Hindutva in the world.

He also said unlike in Pakistan, ”so-called” minorities in India have many equal rights, which is ”Hinduness of the Indian constitution”.

Speaking on the topic ‘Sanatan Bharat” in a programme organised by Hindu Dharm Sankriti Mandir here, Vaidya said the meaning of the word ”rashtra” should be understood correctly as Bharat is neither nationalist nor Rashtrawadi but is ”Rashtriya”. ”India always had spiritual democracy and it is the identity of India which has got the name Hindutva in the entire world. It is wrong to call it Hinduism in English but it should be called Hinduness,” he added.

Vaidya said religion should not be regarded as ”Dharma” because Dharma is entirely different and everyone has the freedom to choose ”upasana” (forms of worship). ”In Bharat, religion is as personal as one’s toothbrush,” he said quoting Hindutva ideologue Dattopant Thengdi. Vaidya said India and Pakistan were one stock and the Constitutions of both countries were prepared at the same time. ”However, minorities in Pakistan do not have equal rights in their Constitution. But, in Indian Constitution, the so-called minorities have many equal rights and this is the Hinduness of our Constitution”, he added. Vaidya said India is not nationalist but it is Rashtriya.

”We are not nationalist, we are not rashtrawadi but we are ‘Rashtriya’. In the Indian context, (the meaning of) rashtra is different while (the meaning of) nation in the West is different. In India, samaj (society) is rashtra. Hence rashtra is a society that needs to be connected and become Rashtriya”, he added. Vaidya said nationalism in Europe has the baggage of Hitler and Mussolini. He said caste and casteism are two different things.

”Casteism is absolutely wrong and it does not have any basis shastras (scriptures). Casteism should be eradicated from society. When every person is part of God and all are one, then why (classifications of) high caste, low caste, and untouchables etc”? he asked.

Source: Press Trust of India

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