Definition of Hindutva

The meaning of the term `Hindutva’ is often misconstrued by politicians. It is a way of life and is synonymous with Bharatiyata (Indianness) and the concept encompasses all sections of the Indian society. The Supreme Court of India, in its judgement dated 11 Dec 1995, defined Hindutva as follows:-

“The development of Hindu religion and philosophy shows that from time to time saints and religious reformers attempted to remove from the Hindu thought and practices element of corruption and superstition and that led to the formation of different sects. Buddha started Buddhism; Mahavir founded Jainism; Basava became the founder of Lingayat religion; Dhyaneshwar and Tukaram initiated the Varakari cult; Guru Nanak inspired Sikhism; Dayananda founded Arya Samaj, and Chaitanya began Bhakti cult; and as a result of the teachings of Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, Hindu religion flowered into its most attractive, progressive and dynamic form. If we study the teachings of these saints and religious reformers, we would notice an amount of divergence, there is a kind of subtle indescribable unity which keeps them within the sweep of the broad and progressive Hindu religion.”