September 17, 2023
The Different Cogs in the Fascistic Hindutva Wheel

Sitaram Yechury

AS India approaches the 75th anniversary of the constitutional republic (2025), the Hindutva narrative is being aggressively scripted to metamorphose the secular democratic character of the republic into a fascistic Hindutva rashtra. The prerequisite for this is to ensure that the Modi led BJP government wins the 2024 elections, by hook or by crook. Control of the government and State power by the RSS/BJP is most crucial to achieve this metamorphosis.

This metamorphosis is sought to be realised through a variety of sub-narratives through campaigns claiming India be the ‘mother of democracy’; rewriting Indian history to erase its multiculturalism and syncretic civilizational ethos; spreading poisonous campaigns of hate and violence against the religious minorities particularly, the Muslims etc. These sub-narratives are integral to the fascistic project and constitute cogs in the Hindutva wheel.

The latest among such sub-narratives are the campaigns centered round a Uniform Civil Code; replacing India with Bharat as the name of our country; one nation-one election corresponding to one nation-one culture-one language etc. Irrespective of the realisation or materialisation of such narratives the focus is on creating a mindset bolstering the Hindutva narrative.


One earlier instance is the laying of the foundation stone for the construction of the temple at Ayodhya. Though the Supreme Court verdict gave the responsibility for the construction to a Trust, the entire exercise was undertaken by the prime minister acting as the high priest in the presence of constitutional functionaries, in accordance with the Hindu religious rituals. This was reported live on Indian and global electronic media. The image was to convey that India is already a Hindutva rashtra. Likewise, the installation of the national symbol on the new parliament building was also accompanied by Hindu religious rituals reinforcing the Hindutva mindset.

The recently concluded G20 summit was also marked by the display of Hindutva symbols camouflaged in international terminology.  Declaring that “India’s G20 Presidency will work to promote the universal sense of one-ness” the concept of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam was invoked to convey the sense of a global universality. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam does not mean the imposition of a uniformity, but is the recognition of a global family where social pluralities are not merely recognised, but celebrated by treating all diversities on the basis of equality and dignity. Needless to add, such a global family can only emerge when domestically this principle is followed by all countries.

It is precisely this principle of celebrating diversities and strengthening a political structure based on equality for all as the Constitution of India declares “irrespective of caste, creed or sex” and premised on the delivery of justice – social, political and economic – to all citizens that is being demolished in our country under the Modi government.

All such sub-narratives are like cogs that are integral to the rolling of the fascistic Hindutva juggernaut. Most, if not all, of these can be traced to the 1939 publication of longstanding RSS chief Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar’s treatise, “We or our nationhood defined”.

Such narratives and the metamorphosis can succeed only when it can be established that Hindus and Hindus alone are the original inhabitants of this land.  Golwalkar does this by the simple recourse to assertion: “We-Hindus-had been in undisputed and undisturbed possession of this land for over eight or ten thousand years before the land was invaded by any foreign race” and hence, this land “came to be known as Hindustan, the land of the Hindus” (Page 6). The fact remains that this name Hindustan was given by people outside of India, not only the Arabs but also Greeks and Romans, to describe the lands beyond the Indus River.

Golwalkar uses the terms Hindu and Aryan synonymously and thus unscientifically and ahistorically asserts that Aryans originated here in India. He therefore asserts, “But obsessed with the idea, that Aryans came to Hindustan from somewhere near the Caspian Sea or the Arctic region or some such place, and invaded this land in bands of marauders, that later they settled down first in the Punjab and gradually spread eastward along the Gunga, forming kingdoms at various places, at Ayodhya among them, the Historian feels it an anachronism, that the kingdom of Ayodhya in the Ramayan should be older than the more western Pandava Empire at Hastinapur. And he, with pedantic ignorance, teaches us that the story of the Mahabharat is the older. Unfortunately, such misconceptions are stuffed into the brains of our young ones through textbooks appointed by various universities in the country. It is high time that we studied, understood and wrote our history ourselves and discarded such designed or undesigned distortions” (Golwalkar, 1939, pages 5-6).

Hence to establish that over ten thousand years the Hindus lived in these lands under the rule “of peace, power and plenty”, it is necessary to create new narratives, revise textbooks and rewrite history.


In order to establish that Indians lived in peace and plenty, for thousands of years, the RSS/BJP find it necessary to assert that Indian society was based on the spirit of equality. Addressing the UN General Assembly in September 2021, Modi referred to India as ‘mother of democracy’ and as evidence he asserted, without any historical validity, that the vedas “speak of political power being exercised by broad based consultative bodies”.

The entire fascistic Hindutva eco system has been activated to rewrite Indian history on this basis, not only ignoring but validating the outrageous inequalities and exploitation in the Manusmriti social order, the four caste varna system accompanied by oppression and exploitation of the lower castes, particularly of those outside of this four-fold classification, i.e., dalits and patriarchal oppression of women. Modi describes democracy not merely a structure but also ensuring a spirit of equality. What perfidy!

The UGC followed this up with the exercise of its chairperson writing to all state governors to project “ideal kings” in ancient India as well as khap panchayats and their “democratic tradition” to celebrate India as a “mother of democracy” on the Constitution Day on November 19, 2022.


The Hindutva eco system is manufacturing history using technological tools such as photoshopping etc to distort the real history. While this is widespread, just one glaring instance has been the rewording of an original thesis of Allan Morines, a retired Canadian anthropologist and a scholar whose Oxford University doctoral dissertation on “Pilgrimages of the Hindu tradition – a case study in West Bengal”, was tampered with in the archives and reworded to suggest that the Muslim rulers had stopped a Kumbh Mela at Triveni in Hubli district in West Bengal 700 years ago. On the basis of such a distortion, the Kumbh Mela pilgrimages were started. Modi, in February this year, expressed his great joy saying it is very special, “since this practice has been revived after 700 years”. The author whose dissertation was doctored and disinformation circulated widely says that his research established the following: “historical fact is that there never was a Kumbh Mela at Triveni and so called ‘revival’ is based on falsified research.”


Likewise, tradition of the sengol was invoked for the inauguration of the new parliament building, where all history has been distorted and utilised to accord to Modi the ‘divine right to rule’ invoked by the kings and emperors in the medieval period.

The highlight of the inaugural function was the focus on Hindu rituals and smacked of a Rajabhishek (coronation of a king). This entire ceremony was marked by an effort to manufacture a new narrative of transfer of power from the British. This new narrative, a total fabrication of facts, was created around sengol given to the feudal kings, a practice followed in the Chola kingdoms. The manufactured narrative was that Lord Mountbatten had handed over the sengol to Nehru symbolising the transfer of power, which was procured by C Rajagopalachari in consultation with religious mutts in Tamilnadu. There is not a shred of evidence to prove this. Like many other presents Nehru received, at that time, the sengol also was placed in a museum. The BJP invoked the sengol tradition for the Hinduisation of the inauguration of the new parliament building. Modi leading a procession of priests and heads of mutts flown in from Tamilnadu holding the sengol was orchestrated to convey the impression that the new parliament building symbolises the establishment of the Hindutva rashtra.

Sengol presented by the high priest seeks to sanctify the divine right to rule invoked by the king being coronated to lord over his subjects. Vital to a democratic republic is the relationship between the State and its citizen, where all citizens are equal irrespective of caste, creed, or gender. The State is administered by a government elected by the people. The whole inaugural ceremony smacked of destroying the democratic, State-citizen equation and replacing it with a feudal raja-praja autocracy.


The defence of the secular democratic character of the Indian republic can only be ensured when such narratives to control the people’s mindset are squarely met and defeated. Alongside, the popular struggles in order to create a better lived reality for the vast majority of our people suffering from growing hardships like unemployment, price rise, poverty and hunger will have to be intensified for the sake of India that is Bharat. These efforts to metamorphose the character of India into a rabidly intolerant, fascistic Hindutva rashtra must be defeated. The precondition for this is to prevent the RSS/BJP from controlling the reins of State power and the government.