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‘It’s Clear, Shiv Sena Abandoned Hindutva for Power’: RSS Thinker

Despite Mahrashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray insisting he is with Hindutva, right-wing thinkers think otherwise.

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While Maharashtra CM and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray, leading the Sena-NCP-Congress alliance, might say that he is ‘still with the ideology of Hindutva’, there is brewing concern about how a Hindutva-driven Shiv Sena will form a stable government with two secular parties.

Questions regarding Shiv Sena’s ability to stay true to and deliver on Hindutva have been doing the rounds since the MLAs took oath on 27 November, and there are a wide-range of opinions even within the right-wing.

The Quint talked to a few of them.

A member of RSS Delhi’s state executive, Rajiv Tuli, was of the opinion that the development is actually favourable.

Despite Mahrashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray insisting he is with Hindutva, right-wing thinkers think otherwise.

Tuli added, “Now the challenge is on the Shiv Sena to not digress from their path in the midst of such complexities. It is for them to figure.”

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Shiv Sena Already Dealing With Fallout

Ramesh Solanki, who has been a Shiv Sena leader of the Yuva Sena for over two decades, resigned from his post due to the alliance, hours after the MLAs took oath. Discussing the reasons behind his resignation, he said, “But my conscience and ideology doesn’t permit me to work with Congress, I can’t work half-heartedly and it won’t be fair to my post, my party, my fellow Shiv Sainiks, and my leaders.”

Who Compromised – Shiv Sena or NCP-Congress?

RSS member and ideologue Desh Ratan Nigam told The Quint that Maharashtra politics indicates a paradigm shift in politics. “The NCP and Congress are shaking hands with the Hindutva ideology, that is, with the Shiv Sena, then I believe they have made certain compromises.” Nigam added,

Despite Mahrashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray insisting he is with Hindutva, right-wing thinkers think otherwise.

On the other hand, RSS ideologue Ratan Sharda, who has authored the book Secrets of RSS: Demystifying The Sangh discussed the broader impact of the combine on the ideals of Hindutva, “From the point of view of Hindutva, as a thought and a philosophy, it is a welcome sign that the space for Hindutva has expanded, because Shiv Sena’s cadre is imbibed with the spirit of Hindutva.”

Despite Mahrashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray insisting he is with Hindutva, right-wing thinkers think otherwise.
However, contrary to Desh Ratan Nigam, Sharda believes the Shiv Sena’s alliance shows they are no longer a party driven by Hindutva.

Talking about the political ramifications of the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress alliance in the scope of Shiv Sena’s political ethos, he said, “However, politically speaking, the Shiv Sena is no more driven by Hindutva. Its tie up with strongly anti-Hindu political parties, who coined the fiction of ‘Hindu Terror’, created a patently anti-Hindu 'Communal Violence Bill', called Bhagwan Ram a myth, Sena's own recent pronouncements clearly indicate that Shiv Sena has abandoned Hindutva. The entire of space of Hindutva has been abandoned by Sena for the sake of grabbing power, in favour of BJP.”

Sudheendra Kulkarni, who served as close aide to former BJP PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee, believes ideologies often dissolve owing to coalition governments. “Political parties that claim to be wedded to Hindutva often evolve with the changing times, shed their old dogmas and broaden their socio-political perspective. This happens either through conscious self-reflection or under the force of circumstances.”

Despite Mahrashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray insisting he is with Hindutva, right-wing thinkers think otherwise.

Referring to the Shiv Sena in particular, Kulkarni said, “The Shiv Sena has already started saying that it accepts secularism as a core principle of the Indian Constitution because it has to run a government in Maharashtra in alliance with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party.”

Taking the argument further, he says the BJP might also be forced to take a stance similar to that of the Shiv Sena, like former BJP PM Atal Bihari Vajpayee did. “Tomorrow, even the BJP will do the same if it finds itself in a similar situation where it has to depend for government formation on parties that do not believe in Hindutva. It happened when Atal Bihari Vajpayee had to lead the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government (1998-2004), whose Common Minimum Programme made no mention of Hindutva or core Hindutva issues. India’s social diversity, political pluralism and multi-party governance system will force every party to shed communal extremism and exclusivism.”

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