“My complaint against the BJP has been that the Hindutva projected by it for electoral purposes is a counterfeit Hindutva. Its core has no resemblance to the real philosophy. Hindutva, properly understood, is neither the product nor the property of any political party, not even the Jana Sangh of old and the BJP of today. It was not manufactured at the Shiv Sena home in Bombay or at the RSS offices in Delhi….
“Hindutva is the core of the Indian Constitution to which all citizens of India swear allegiance and complete loyalty. ‘Hindutva,’ said the Supreme Court in a decision, ‘is a way of life or a state of mind and cannot be equated with or understood as religious Hindu fundamentalism’ (paragraph 40 of JT 1995 (8) SC 407 p.637).” What is distinctive about this way of life is what Hindutva has imbibed from its root—the Hindu religion.
“Hindu thinkers realised almost from the very beginning of human thought that truth is many sided, that different views contain different aspects of truth, but which no one can express fully. They took it for granted that there is more than one valid approach to truth and salvation and that these are not only compatible but also complementary.
“This conviction inevitably bred a spirit of tolerance and willingness to understand and appreciate every rival point of view. No wonder the Hindu religion did not and does not claim any one doctrine; it does not worship any one God; it does not adhere to one prophet; it does not subscribe to any one dogma; it does not believe in any one philosophical concept; and it does not follow any one set of religious rites or performances…
“Mahatma Gandhi was the greatest exponent of Hindutva. He practised it in thought, word and deed. He found no conflict or obstacle in reading and reciting the religious scriptures of all diverse and supposedly discordant religions in his prayer meetings. To respect Gandhiji is to respect Hindutva….
“It is a pity that the BJP has not been able to explain to people that Hindutva and Indian secularism are practically synonyms.”