'Savarkar would disagree with BJP on cow protection'

'Savarkar would disagree with BJP on cow protection'

Vaibhav Purandare, a Mumbai-based journalist, who wrote “Savarkar: The True Story of the Father of Hindutuva,” talks about his book at the Banglore Literature Festival on Nov 20, 2019.

The political philosophies of Vinayak Damodar Savarkar may be steering the Modi government, but a newly published book postulates that the Hindutva darling would disagree with much of the BJP’s manifesto, had he been alive today.

In his new book, 'Savarkar: The True Story of the Father of Hindutva', Vaibhav Purandare, a Mumbai-based journalist, said on the face of things, Savarkar appeared to be steering the Indian government at present because he was clear that the concept of religion is implicit in the definition of who is an Indian citizen in the National Register of the Citizens of India and the Citizens Amendment Bill.

"These are in some ways fulfillment of his politics because Savarkar believed that Muslims and Christians should not live in India because they have sacred lands elsewhere, alleging that their loyalties were divided," Purandare said.

"At the same time, however, Savarkar did not have a clear idea of what should happen to these minorities. He wanted a common civil code. He did not want special concessions for Hindus," he added. 

Then, there is the matter of cow protectionism and Hindu ritualism, which Savarkar disagreed with and would likely see him part ways with modern Bharatiya Janata Party.

“At his core, Savarkar was a strident opponent of cow protection; he said that if the cow is the mother of anything, it is only of the bullock. He was not averse to eating beef. However, he disagreed with the deliberate killing of cows to spite the Hindus,” Purandare explained. 

The contentious comments, which the journalist has documented in his book, was hurled at a rapt and packed audience, vying for space in the smallest venue location at the Bangalore Literary Festival on Sunday.

The author added that Savarkar was fine with people consuming meat if they liked it because he was firmly of the opinion that the cow was an inferior animal. "In fact, some of the statements are so strong that even rationalists will not make them in India today,"  Purandare added, a statement that appeared to hit some young people as a challenge. 

As Purandare finished his talk, he was besieged by a band of vocal members of Generation Z, who bombarded him with questions about his portrayal of the framer of Hindutva. One young man accused the author of drawing erroneous conclusions, which the author gamely brushed off as a difference of interpretation. 

“Savarkar was a man of contradictions. What other word can be used to describe a man who was an ardent atheist at the end of his life, but still promoted Hinduism as a means to enable political mobility?” Purandare said.