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Hindutva: Who is a Hindu

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Author)
Synopsis Hindutva: Who is a Hindu? is a 1923 ideological pamphlet by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. The text exhibits one of the early uses of the term Hindutva (a Sanskrit -tva, a neuter abstract suffix, meaning "Hinduness", "quality of being a Hindu"). It is one of the foundational texts of contemporary Hindu nationalism.

Savarkar wrote the pamphlet while imprisoned in Ratnagiri jail. It was smuggled out of the prison and was published by Savarkar's supporters under his alias "Mahratta."

An atheist, Savarkar regards Hinduism as an ethnic, cultural and political identity. Hindus, according to Savarkar, are patriotic inhabitants of Bharatavarsha, those who consider India (Bharat) to be their fatherland (pitrbhumi) as well as their "holyland" (punyabhumi). Sarvakar includes all Dharmic religions in the term "Hindusim" and outlines his vision of a "Hindu Rashtra" (Hindu Nation) as "Akhand Bharat" (United India), stretching across the entire Indian subcontinent.
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About the author

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar

Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was born on May 28, 1883 into a family of jagirdars (landlords) in the village of Bhagpur near Nasik. Vinayak was one of four children others being, Ganesh (Babarao), Mainabai and Narayan, born to Damodarpant Savarkar and Radhabai. Being descendents of a line of Sanskrit scholars, the Savarkars inculcated the love of learning into their children. Vinayak and Babarao were sent to the Shivaji School in Nasik. When Vinayak was nine years old, his mother died of cholera. Damodarpant himself looked after his children thereafter.

Vinayak's patriotic spirit found an outlet through an organization called the Mitra Mela that he formed. Vinayak inducted young patriotic men like himself into the Mela. He encouraged the members of the Mela to strive for "absolute political independence for India" by whatever means necessary. In the event of an armed revolt the young crusaders toughened themselves through physical training. The Mitra Mela served the city of Nasik in many ways, especially during the plague when the group carried victims for cremation.

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Bibliographic information

Title Hindutva: Who is a Hindu
Format Softcover
Date published: 31.12.2009
Edition Reprint.
Language: English
isbn 8188388254
length xiv+141p., 19cm.