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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. Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement, claimed that Hinduism, among other religions and philosophies, was a source of his political ideas.
Hindu revivalism started with a mild 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. 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.
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.
- Hindu nationalism is the political philosophy of religious nationalism. The followers claim to be inspired by Vivekananda, Aurobindo and other modern Hindu Gurus.
- Hindutva ("Hindu-ness") is the political ideology first expressed by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar who defined a Hindu in terms of nationalism, rather than religion.
- Integral humanism, the official ideology of the BJP
Parties claiming to be inspired by Hinduism include the erstwhile Hindu Mahasabha, Ram Rajya Parishad and the current Shiv Sena. Parties alleged to be Hindu nationalist (although the parties themselves deny it) include: Jana Sangha and Bharatiya Janata Party. 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.
- See also: List of Hindu nationalist parties
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. 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.
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.
- ↑ Gandhi- Religion. Retrieved on August 14, 2006.
- ↑ Elst, Koenraad (2005). Decolonizing the Hindu Mind. India: Rupa, 102. ISBN 8171675190.
- ↑ Elst, Koenraad (2005). Decolonizing the Hindu mind. India: Rupa, 2-3. ISBN 8171675190.
- ↑ Savarkar, Vinayak Damodar (1923). Hindutva. India: Bharati Sahitya Sadan.
- ↑ Nasrin, Taslima (1994). Lajja. India: Penguin Books India. ISBN 0-14-024051-9.
- ↑ Hindu Human Rights. Retrieved on August 23, 2006.
- ↑ Opp MNAs fight in PM’s presence. Retrieved on August 23, 2006.