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Hindutva Is A Political Ideology, Hinduism Is Not: Shashi Tharoor

Shashi Tharoor in conversation with journalist Vir Sanghvi on his latest book ‘Why I am a Hindu’.

Updated
India
2 min read

It is no secret that Congress leader Shashi Tharoor is a man who wears different hats – more prominently, that of an author. At a recent event in Delhi, the author-politician spoke at length with journalist Vir Sanghvi about his latest book 'Why I am a Hindu', which was released in January 2018.

Tharoor who spoke predominantly about religious identities, said that Hinduism and Hindutva were two different things. He termed Hindutva a “political” ideology that was created with the sole purpose of garnering votes.

Speaking about the importance of secular identities, Tharoor recalled his growing years where he did not "realise" the lines drawn to differentiate religions.

“While growing up, I did not realise that there were different religions. And I kind of took it for granted. So when lines were drawn to differentiate religions, I did not take it seriously. And soon, it became a threat”.
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However, he also alleged that "double standards" existed in India.

It is important for us to identify with the core idea of India. Amongst the things that went wrong, is the double standards we have. For example, I am a ‘proud’ Christian, I am a ‘proud’ Muslim, but I am a ‘secular’ Hindu.

The MP from Thiruvananthapuram added that while political parties respected group identities, they should also “respect” individual rights.

When asked by Saabout his stand on Uniform Civil Code, Tharoor asserted that he was in “favour” of it but that it should not be imposed on people.

I am definitely in favour of the Uniform Civil Code, provided it is not imposed on people. I don’t think of the Code as a political representation. I don’t think it should be imposed on people.

Tharoor also took potshots at the BJP government saying that the party resorted to polarisation when their development agenda did not work.

The next 12 months is really difficult for India. Had BJP’s development agenda succeeded, this polarisation would not have been necessary. With development faltering, they had to resort to this. When you’re selling an empty package and people realise it is empty, people will no longer buy it. No matter how good a salesman you are.

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