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Over the last few years, the terms 'Hindutva' and 'Hindu Rashtra' have been very much in the air. Specially so be\ue000 tween 1988 - when the Ramajanmabhumi liberation move\ue000 ment started gathering momentum
and 1993, when the Bharatiya Janata Party suffered serious electoral reverses in the mid-term elections inV.P.and other north Indian States. During these years, Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra appeared to figure prominently all around - in our news columns and editorials, in the lecturesofour political leaders, in the manifestoes and statementsofpolitical parties.Be it in support or in virulent opposition, everyone was seriously expressing views on Hindutva and Hindu Rashtra, which terms persistently dominated all discussions during these years.
But, in spiteof all this discussion, it has neyer been made clearasto what the term 'Hindu Rashtra' really means. Notwithstanding all the speeches, editorials and articles, some basic confusion continues to prevail regarding the meaningofHindu Rashtra or the Hindu Nation.
We come across futuristic statements like 'we shall make a Hindu Nation (Rashtra)', or'noone can prevent the for\ue000 mationofthe Hindu Nation', or'a Hindu Nation can never be created', and so on. Such statements obviously imply that no Hindu Nation has been in existence so far. Butifthat be so, how does one talk at the same time about the national honour
Revised and expanded version of a lecture delivered on31 July 1994 at Mahajati Sadan, Calcutta, under"the auspicesofPurvanchal Kalyan Ashram and Friendsof Tribal Society.
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