July 05, 2020
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'The Term Hindu Encompasses All'

Madan Das Devi, joint general secretary of the RSS, says that the new approach of the BJP vis-a-vis the Muslims could be a historical turning point. He told Outlook in an interview the BJP's new approach doesn't imply a dilution of Hindutva ideology.

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'The Term Hindu Encompasses All'

Does the BJP’s attempt to woo Muslims amount to the dilution of Hindutva?
The BJP is a mature political party. It has been open to such experiments. If it gets success through this path, it will be a turning point. It will be the defeat of the efforts to keep the Muslims away from the BJP. As far as the RSS is concerned, it has its own place and political parties have their own place. The Sangh talks about the Hindu rashtra and they (the BJP) call it the Indian nation. We use the term Hindu in the national sense and not in the religious sense. According to our analysis, the term Hindu encompasses all religions - Parsis, Sikhs, Jains, Muslims and Christians. We believe the entire society should come to the national mainstream. There are people who prefer to use the term Bharatiya or Indian. Ham kahte hein ki ham Hindu shabd badalkar dusra shabd nahin layenge (we say we aren’t going to replace the word ‘Hindu’ with any other term).

What will the BJP be like without the core Hindutva agenda?
The BJP has said that the government is bound by the nda programme and till they have an absolute majority they cannot touch the issues of Article 370, common civil code and Ram Janmabhoomi. But the organisations outside the BJP have no such compulsions. Atalji has also said that the BJP is independent of these organisations. What we are saying is that the Assam issue has nothing to do with the Muslims - it is an issue concerning foreigners. Similarly, the special status given to Kashmir is a temporary arrangement which has to go sooner or later. We feel that these issue should become the issues addressed by the entire nation.

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