Skip to main content

Indian nation should forget supremacy of Vedas, Puranas: Savarkar quoted by Dabholkar, victim of "Hindu terror"

VD Savarkar
By Rajiv Shah
What Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the BJP's Hindutva icon, said about religious books should completely shake those who think that scriptures are a gospel truth and shouldn't be criticized, and there is nothing beyond them. Quoted by Narendra Dabholkar, a Pune-based rationalist who was shot dead allegedly by a Hindu fanatic on August 20, 2013, Savarkar had said, “The Vedas, the Avesta, the Bible and the Koran are but man-made tomes and should be studied accordingly...”
Quoted in yet-to-be-released English translation of his original book in Marathi, “The Case for Reason: Understanding the Anti-superstition Movement”, according to Savarkar, “The man who does not want to become just a telephone of religion and wants to possess a mind and intellect of his own, should overcome his belief in the 'word'” and should “nurture the opinion” opinion that these “respectable 'Books'” should not be judged on the basis of whether these are “useful” today or not.”
Asking in “the Indian nation” to “close the ‘book’ of the ancient era, forget the supremacy of shruti, smriti and the Puranas, keep them safely away in libraries and enter the age of science”, Savarkar insisted, “Those old tomes are relevant only for telling us what happened in the past. But the science that is objective and experimental alone qualifies as the basis for deciding what is appropriate for today.”
Savarkar continued, “Modernity contains the essence of all that was useful in past experiences; but the shruti-smriti-puranokta cannot have even a speck of modern knowledge. Therefore, we ought to be modern and up-to-date. Whether a thing is good or bad, and whether reform is beneficial or not should be answered, hereafter, only on the basis of one test, that is, whether it is useful or useless today. One should never ask the question whether something is sanctioned by the scriptures.”
Underling the need to take the lesson from what happened in Europe four centuries ago, when the continent “was similarly enslaved by the unalterable supremacy of religion”, Savarkar asserted, “But since the time Europe distanced itself from the Bible and adhered to science, it was freed from the shackles of ‘shruti-smriti-puranokta’ (codes of behaviour, morality, worship stipulated in religious tomes of supernatural origin) and became modern and up-to-date; Europe is now four thousand years ahead of us. It has conquered three continents!” 
The powerful Savarkar view has come to the limelight at a time when Punjab's Congress chief minister Captain Amarinder Singh has proposed a bill, cleared by his Cabinet, which decided, to quote Singh, “on amendments to the Indian Penal Code (IPC) to make sacrilege of all religious texts punishable with life imprisonment”, calling it an example of his commitment “to preserve communal harmony in the state.”
Cabinet meeting under Punjab chief minister Capt Amarinder Singh 
Considering Savarkar a Hindu reformer alongside “Mahatma Phule, Shahu Maharaj, Lokahitavadi Agarkar, Dr Ambedkar, Prabodhankar Thakre and Gadge Baba”, all of them from Maharashtra, Dabholkar in his book sought to answer to a question a question being asked about the rationalist organization he headed, “Does Andhashraddha Nirmulan Samiti (ANS) oppose only the Hindu religion?”. He said, an answer to this question is important because there is a deliberate effort at “discouraging ANS activists and spawning prejudice in the minds of people.”
Believed Dabholkar, what is important to understand is that Savarkar, along with these “Hindu reformers”, came to the fore in the course of the “evolution of Hindu religion”, and “dared to criticise superstitions mercilessly.” Thus, according to Dabholkar, “These great men, in fact, cautioned all humanity, not just one religion, to be humane and vigilant, but their teaching inadvertently largely addressed only the Hindus.”
Pointing towards why he quoted from Savarkar, Dabholkar said, this is because of “the ruthless examination of religious books undertaken by Savarkar”, who happened to be “the hero of the independence movement, and more importantly from our viewpoint, eulogised by his followers as the ‘ruler of Hindu hearts’,” adding, his was one of the “pitiless scrutiny of religious books”, illustrating “the long tradition of Hindu social reformers who endeavoured to eradicate superstitions.”

Comments

Uma said…
When the books finally comes out it will probably be banned, burned, and some property damaged. I can't wait to get my hands on it.

TRENDING

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Liberating Bengal Hindus? Worst flames of communal division, lessons from the past

By Shamsul Islam*  The whole thrust of the RSS-BJP election campaign for 2021 state assembly elections in West Bengal has been to save Bengal from the rule of Mamata Bannerjee who is allegedly not a ‘Hindu’. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, a self-proclaimed Hindu nationalist, as usual set the polarizing agenda. While addressing the first election rally, he called upon the electorate to overthrow the ‘nirmam’ (cruel) rule of Mamata by showing a ‘Ram Card’. He did not name Hindus directly but there was no confusion about the religious identity of the electorate Indian PM was addressing to.

Pradeep Bhattacharya, who spent his life for the cause of working masses, rational thinking

By YS Gill*  At 11:30 pm on May 3, 2021, I lost my best friend and comrade Pradeep Bhattacharya. He spent his life dedicated to the cause of the working masses and rational thinking. A person of thorough scientific outlook and a well-read student of Marxian thought, he was a walking encyclopedia and could speak on a wide variety of topics from art and culture to science, philosophy, history and politics.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Rs 5 crore 'demand' for India Today anchor: What about 52 lesser souls who died in April?

By Vidya Bhushan Rawat*  A well known Hindutva protagonist masquerading as journalist passed away recently resulting in messages of condolences and tribute right from the Prime Minister and the Home Minister to progressive liberals expressing grief of his untimely death. It is said that he passed away due to cardiac arrest, though the fact is, he was also Covid infected. The Prime Minister and the Home Minister termed him a ‘brave’ journalist, insisting, his passing away has left a big ‘vacuum’.

Modi's Hindutva 'ensuring' empowerment of rich, disenfranchisement of poor

Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  The Hindutva socio-psychopaths are neither nationalists nor patriotic people. These medieval reactionary forces don’t understand the idea of citizenship, justice, liberty, equality and humanism. Indian democracy is merely an electoral transaction for the Hindutva forces. Hindutva forces neither follow science nor understand the sufferings of fellow human beings. These core qualities are common among the Hindutva forces in India.

Communal rhetoric? Hindutva preached by RSS-BJP is 'monolithic', not Hinduism

By Prem Verma*  I am a devout Hindu but not a believer of RSS Hindutva form of Hinduism which brings about hatred of other religions. My Hindu religion has not taught me to look down on other religions and neither has it instilled in me to go about converting others to my religion because my religion is superior.

Despite crisis, Modi's Hindutva strategy 'increased' mass base in society and polity

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Narendra Modi and his RSS brethren can qualify as masters of fake claims. There is a long lists of lies spread by RSS, BJP and their IT cell workers. It is not a personality disorder or lying with fear. They are trained to defend Modi and his government’s decisions in whatever possible way. They defended demonetisation by arguing that it is “an important step” in his fight against black money and corruption.

India's Covid-19 'nightmare': A product of majoritarian Hindutva ideological praxis?

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Indians struggle to find place and time to bury their dead due to the devastating effects of the second wave of Covid-19 in India. The crematoriums in the capital cities are overflowing with dead bodies. People are dying without oxygen and basic medical support. The cities like Delhi and Mumbai are struggling to cope with the rising number of infections and COVID-19 led deaths. The deaths and destitutions are products of a defunct BJP government led by Narendra Modi.

Indian media persons collapsing to Covid disease as fast as 3 per day, third highest

Yogesh Sharma, Shailesh Rawal  By Our Representative  The Switzerland based media rights and safety body, Press Emblem Campaign ( PEC ) has said that it is “alarming for Indian journalists”, who have lost at least 107 colleagues to Covid-19”, noting, Indian “journo-colleagues” have been collapsing to the Covid-19 complications now as fast as three scribes per day. In a statement, PEC said, “India with 107 media corona-casualties has already placed itself on the third position just below Brazil (181 dead) and Peru (140) in the list of Covid-19 victims among journalist.”