Well, trust me.
This is not clickbait.
The issue is very serious.
Lately, there has been too much of an uproar and hullabaloo about Hinduism and Hindutva.
In this short article, I will tell you if there is a difference between the two or not.
I put forward my case through linguists and linguists alone. One must realise that while Hinduism is an English word, Hindutva is a Indian or Bhartiya in origin.
So, forget Savarkar, forget RSS, forget Bajrang Dal, forget ideologies, forget politics, forget everything. Keep them aside for a while.
I will talk about words alone. Yes, words! As that is my forte.
Let’s begin with “ism”. What is “ism”? How does the suffix “ism” translate into Hindi and Sanskrit?
Because if we dissect the word Hinduism we get ‘Hindu’ and ‘ism’.
Unless we understand the suffix “ism”, we will never have a clear idea about what Hinduism is.
Well, “ism” is translated into Hindi as “vad”.
For example, Marxism is translated as Marxvad.
Pessimism is translated as Nirashavaad.
And so forth.
If we go by this, Hinduism should be translated as Hinduvad.
Now let’s come to the bone of the contention. Yes, you are right. I am talking about Hindutva.
If we go to its roots, we will find this too is composed of two words. Hindu and Tatva. Tatva means essence. The essence of something.
If translated into English it would be ness. And when ness is attached to any word it becomes an abstract noun.
Happy is Happiness. Eager is eagerness.
So, Hindutva would be translated as Hinduness. The essence of being a Hindu.
Do you get it?
There is no such thing as Hinduism in the real sense.
It is a word that was imposed on us by colonial powers.
Just Like the word India was imposed on Bharat.
Hinduism is therefore an English word with its origin in the west.
We don’t need it. In fact, We should stop using it, altogether.
There is no Hinduism.
In reality, there is only Hinduvad and Hindutva. As these are two words that originated in India to define who a Hindu is.
I am repeating again. Forget all politics. Forget which side you are on. Forget Savarkar. Forget RSS.
Hindu Dharma is defined by the words Hinduvad and Hindutva, not Hinduism. Period! Like it or not. But these are words that are Indian. Hinduism is not!
So, when the likes of Rahul Gandhi, Shashi Tharoor and Devdutt Patnaik say Hinduism and Hindutva are different, I agree with them. But for completely different reasons. Yes, Hinduism and Hindutva are different. One is an English word, the other is Indian. That’s it!
There you have it. The answer to your question. As simple as it can get. 🙂