Why I Am A Hindu: Demarcating Hindutava from Hinduism


One of the most prolific intellectual who has been synonymous to versatility as a novelist, author, politician, orator, and a lot of other things; Shashi Tharoor have been a central focus of media and the general masses alike. A person having an exclusive persona, sophistication, posh language has been in news this time for his latest book “Why I Am A Hindu”. People are fussing over the simplicity of the title of the book as how can he use such a title even though “Why I Am…” title format have been used for classics like ‘Why I Am Not A Communist’ by Karel Capek, Why I Am Not A Christian by Bertrand Russell, Why I Am Not A Muslim by Ibn Warraq, Why I Am Not A Hindu by Kancha Illiah and some others.

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The book which has been written in two sections has its first past dedicated to Hinduism. The current state of Hinduism which has been the mistaken form or the customized format of Hindutava is being elaborated in a fine manner. The book touches  upon the various aspects including the multi-dimensional Puranic stories, doctrinal absolutism and the common Hindu concepts which have been interpreted in their own way. The book touches the various aspects of casteism, rituals, textual traditions and the popular belief of vegetarianism and the abstinence of alcohol in the Hindu religion.

The doctrines and faiths which we are all aware of with the grace of great scholars but have been the prey of assumptions and traditions which are the by-product of our superstitions. The second part of the book titled “Political Hinduism” throws light on the importance of secularism. He suggests the importance of “Pluralism” in the Indian context and takes his time to contrast the idea of V.D Savarkar. He not only takes his time to criticize Bhartiya Janta Party, Bajrang Dal, Karni Sena but also refutes the ideas of Ghar Wapsi, Love Jihad, Gau Rakshaks, Anti-Romeo Squads and Cow Vigilantism.

The book has been very firm and gentle in the approach where he could clear the misconceptions of Hindutava and condemns the saffronising of such a glorious cultural past of India.