Dehradun: Hindutva is a brand of fundamentalism and the Hindu right wing is alterting what Hinduism actually stands. These are the words of Nayantara Sahgal, who is a renowned author and also was among one of the first writers to return her Sahitya Akademi award to protest against intolerance in the country.
According to her, the concurrent situation in the country is worse than the Emergency era and figures like JNU Students Union president Kanhaiya Kumar offer some hope.
Sahgal who is the niece of India’s first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, lamented that the Hindu Right seemed to be becoming like the terror outfit IS and would someday resort to cut off people’s heads, if need be.
She insisted that there is a need to debate on why Hindutva is becoming like the IS. She proclaimed that the Hindu right wing is talking in the same criminal language as the IS and being a Hindu she resents the very thought of how it is destroying and distorting the Hindu sentiments and teachings. She accused the Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government of trying to instill fear among the masses with “silly” issues like chanting of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’. The right-wing elements have even tried to cultivate trouble in an educational institute (NIT Srinagar). She has charged the government of trying every possible way to destroy secularism in Kashmir promoting riots in the state. She did mention names of some of the efficient leaders like B.R. Ambedkar and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, and that the nation needs leaders like them.
According to her, the country is under an Undeclared Emergency now where the Prime Minister goes abroad, says great things, but here, they are crushing dissent and forcing the citizens into obedience. She strongly feels that young people like Kanhaiya Kumar are a beacon of hope for the country and can help raise the issues of caste, communalism and poverty.