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"Deciphering the Hindutva Paradigm: AnAnalytical Review of Ram Madhav's Book"


The Hindutva Paradigm :Integral Humanism and the Quest for a Non Western Worldview

Author: Ram MADHAV

Published by Rupa Publications

Genre: Political Non-Fiction

Pages: 422

MRP: Rs. 395/-

 

Thank you @rupa_publications for a review copy of the book

 

The Battle Between Idea and Ideology

Madhav’s work is a brave attempt to launch Hindutva as a non-Western worldview. It transcends mere political discourse, positioning Hindutva beyond the confines of an ideology. Instead, he presents it as a profound idea that deserves global academic recognition1. Let’s explore the key facets of this paradigm:

 

  1. Integral Humanism: A Philosophical Foundation At the heart of Madhav’s exploration lies Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s ‘Integral Humanism.’ Upadhyay, deputed by the RSS top hierarchy, worked tirelessly to give ideological foundations to the newly-floated Bharatiya Jana Sangh (the earlier avatar of the Bharatiya Janata Party). His philosophy revolved around man, society, nature, and the divine. Upadhyay advocated that the “all-encompassing idea of Dharma” should be the basis for universal good.  

  2. Beyond Ideologies: The Indian Way Madhav draws a sharp distinction between ideologies prevalent in the Western world (such as Socialism, Communism, Liberalism, and Capitalism) and India’s historical penchant for profound ideas. Unlike the West, which offers prescriptive models, India has been a land of ideas that prioritize the welfare of mankind. Upadhyay’s ‘Integral Humanism’ aligns with this tradition, emphasizing the holistic well-being of individuals, society, and nature.  

  3. Rewriting History and Academic Attention Madhav’s work seems part of a larger plan—to rewrite history and present Hindutva thinkers in a manner that captures the attention of the academic and intellectual community. By positioning Hindutva as a non-Western worldview, he challenges the prevailing global order, especially in the face of the existential crisis posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

  4. The Enigma of Upadhyay Upadhyay’s ‘Integral Humanist Philosophy’ remains an enigma, even to his followers. His premature demise in 1968 left his idea incomplete, yet its impact reverberates through Madhav’s work. The book seeks to unravel this enigma, shedding light on a thinker whose legacy continues to shape India’s socio-political landscape.

 




Critical Reflections

While Madhav’s political allegiance is evident, the book’s academic rigor may fall short for some readers. The absence of detailed scholarly analysis and critical engagement with opposing viewpoints leaves room for further exploration. However, as a foundational text, “The Hindutva Paradigm” opens doors for deeper inquiry into the intersection of ideology, philosophy, and historical context.

 

Conclusion

In a world grappling with shifting paradigms, Madhav’s work invites us to reevaluate our understanding of Hindutva. Whether one agrees or disagrees with its tenets, the book serves as a catalyst for dialogue, reflection, and scholarly engagement. As we navigate the complexities of our times, “The Hindutva Paradigm” remains a significant addition to the discourse on India’s ideological landscape1.

 

In summary, Madhav’s endeavor to elevate Hindutva beyond mere ideology into a profound idea deserves attention. Whether you approach it as a scholar, a skeptic, or an enthusiast, this book invites you to explore the contours of a paradigm that continues to shape India’s destiny.


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