Neo Sanskrit of VHP/RSS

Madhav Deshpande mmdesh at UMICH.EDU
Mon Nov 16 15:19:31 UTC 1998

        I was going to list the same works which are now listed by Prof.
Arjunwadkar.  I found one more interesting booklet edited by S.B. Velankar
(Devavanimandiram, Bombay, 1989) titled:
                kim nAma Hindutvam
        This 40 page booklet contains little articles (mostly in Sanskrit)
by a number of people on the definition of Hindutva. Again, this is not an
official publication by the RSS or the VHP, but reflects mostly that point
of view.
        To add a historical note to the RSS daily prayer composed by Pt.
N.N. Bhide, it reflects the sentiments at the beginning of the RSS.  The
Hindutva terminology found in his composition, i.e. mAtRbhUmi, hindubhUmi,
hindurASTra, vIravrata, etc. is of course not original with him, nor with
the RSS, but has deeper historical roots in the Sanskritized Marathi used
by the HindumahAsabhA leader V.D. Savarkar.  Most of these words are used
in his prose and poetic works, and the inspiration for these words, I
suppose, ultimately can be traced to the politics of LokamAnya Tilak in
Maharashtra and the nationalistic politics in Bengal.
        The Neo-Hindutva terminology is not only seen in the writings such
as the ones listed above, but is seen in a lot of modern Sanskrit works,
i.e. the Sanskrit MahAkAvya by S.B. Varnekar on the life of Shivaji :
zivarAjyodayam.  In this epic poem written in exquisitly beautiful
Sanskrit, one inevitably finds Sanskrit words used in their modern
connotations, including the HindutvavAdi connotations.  Varnekar has
contributed an article "kA nAma HindutA?" to the booklet edited by
Velankar I mentioned above.

                                        Madhav Deshpande

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