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‘If Hindutva is to sustain itself on a cow’s legs, it’ll crash at the hint of a crisis’: VD Savarkar

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An excerpt from ‘Savarkar: The True Story of the Father of Hindutva’, a biography by Vaibhav Purandare.
'The differences of the two leaders on how to deal with the tricky question of Hindu–Muslim conflict were deep enough. On the point of how to take Hindu society forward, the chasm was even greater. Savarkar attacked Gandhi’s relentless focus on his rules for daily living which included hours at the spinning wheel, enemas, a dogged insistence on vegetarianism and debates on whose milk – a cow’s or a goat’s – was more beneficial to human health. (Some of these rules, however, were meant for Gandhi’s ashramites and not for his followers elsewhere or the general public.) These, for Savarkar, were non-issues with no bearing on either moral fibre or health. Their sole effect, he felt, was to fritter away people’s energies and direct public debate down the wrong path. Far more crucial were attributes such as courage, Savarkar said, voicing the apprehension that India’s “Kshatriya spirit” could be in danger of dying if the Mahatma, with his insistence on absolute non-violence, continued to delegitimise the application of force essentially for self-defensive acts like the repulsing of invaders, oppressors and plunderers. Yet Savarkar’s personality was truly as complex as Gandhi’s. A devout Hindu, the Mahatma sincerely believed in prayer, ritual and ritual cleansing.. Read more'