B R Ambedkar and Vinayak Damodar Savarkar are not against each other, claimed BJP MP Tejasvi Surya, saying both opposed birth-based discrimination, and favoured industrialisation for building a modern Hindu society.
Participating in a discussion on the book ‘Hindutva: Origin, Evolution and Future’ by Aravindan Neelakandan, Surya also said it is important to protect the institution of “family” which passes down culture and language through generations.
Asked about the ‘Ambedkar vs Savarkar debate’, Surya, the BJP MP from Bangalore South who also heads the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha said, “It is Ambedkar and Savarkar, not Ambedkar vs Savarkar”.
“If you try to understand the communist philosophy, it tries to pitch one versus another, it is capitalist vs labour, man vs wife… They keep conflict alive,” he said.
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Surya said on caste system, both Savarkar and Ambedkar were “on the same page that birth-based discrimination is not right”.
“The very definition of the word Hindu where Savarkar defines Hindu to include everyone except those practicing Abrahamic religions was backed by Ambedkar,” claimed Surya.
“On the economic front, both Savarkar and Ambedkar were in favour of industrialisation. They saw it as a tool to bring modernity in the Hindu society,” he said.
He said both Savarkar and Ambedkar can be celebrated together.
The Bangalore South MP said the “confusion” with regard to Hinduism has been created by “dry intellectuals” who do not see the emotions behind religious practices.
He also said the greatest reforms in Hindutva have come through those who were “sympathetic” to the Hindu cause and not by those who wanted to destroy it.
Surya also stressed on working to protect the “family system”, and said, “The whole woke culture is threatening family as an institution of India’s culture”.
“I am meeting so many young people who do not want to get married… The family is central to transmission of culture. When recessions happen globally, India does not get affected much because our families promote saving. Wokeism is affecting families, protecting Indian families is an important project that young India must do,” he said.
Surya said the next 25 years, the ‘Amrit Kaal’ of Indian democracy, is a crucial period for the revival of Hindutva.
“The battle is not faraway, it’s happening as we speak. The cost we will have to pay will be extremely heavy,” he said.
Meanwhile, professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University Makarand R. Paranjape said there is a need to shift from “negative Ambedkarism” to “positive Ambedkarism”.
He said the “negative Ambedkarism” is resulting in “martialisation of Indian Dalits”, which is “anti-India”.
Commenting on Mahatma Gandhi, he said while he identified as a ‘Sanatani Hindu’, the biggest problem with Gandhi was the over-emphasis on non-violence.
“The weak are not respected… Dharma alone won’t save us. We have to organise Dharma. We don’t need to over militarise, but as you rise, everyone wants to cut your feet. We need to organise and have alliances,” he said.
Tamil Nadu state BJP President K Annamalai said whenever the BJP comes to power in the state, they will do away with state control on temples.
He also said as the world looks up to India as “Vishwa Guru”, India will have to look up to Tamil Nadu as the Guru for revival of Hinduism.