Waquar Hasan | Caravan Daily
New Delhi: Journalist, author and former politician – Ashutosh has penned a new book Hindu Rashtra. The author, who used to be the spokesperson of Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), has two other books to his credit – Anna: 13 Days that awakened India and The Crown Prince, The Gladiator and the Hope: Battler for change. He quit journalism to enter into politics. He worked at IBN7 as a managing editor.
In his new book Hindu Rashtra, he takes a look at Hindutva ideology, politics of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the governance of Narendra Modi government in the past five years.
In an interview with our correspondent Waquar Hasan, he talks about his book, the difference between Hindutva and Hinduism, Hindu Rashtra and his latest profession. Following are excerpts:
Why did you feel the need to write this book?
I think that in the last five years, things have not been going in the right direction. They were on the wrong track. People should know why this is happening. What are the reasons behind these things? I have tried to search for those causes. I think that India is being ruled with an ideology which tries to divide the society. It is provoking Hindu-Muslim conflicts. People must be aware of it. If they are not aware of it, how will they counter this ideology?
What message do you want to convey through this book?
The message is very clear that you should know who these people are? Who is leading your country? And in which direction they want to take the country?
What Hindu Rashtra is all about?
Hindu Rashtra is nothing to do with Hinduism. It is nothing to do with the Hindu religion. Hindu Rashtra basically is a political ideology. They want to create a utopia in which everybody has to follow their dictates and people will not have any freedom. There will be no freedom of expression. There will not be any minority. They will not be treated well. That’s why I oppose it.
Why do you think Hindutva wants to change Hinduism?
RSS wants to change Hinduism. In their understanding, Hindus have been ruled by Muslims and Christians in the last centuries. It is because Hindus were very weak back then. Now is the time to make them ruthless.
What is the difference between Hindutva and Hinduism?
Hinduism is a religion but Hindutva is not. Hindutva is a political ideology to do politics and gain power.
What do you say about soft-Hindutva?
Let’s not mix up Hindutva and soft-Hindutva. If somebody is going temple and talking about Hinduism, it does not mean that he is Hindutvawadi (Hindutva Supporter). Hindutva is a political ideology.
Have you taken complete retirement from politics or do you want to make a comeback?
I don’t want to make a comeback into politics. Now, I’m back to journalism. I have started my own website called ‘Satyahindi.com’. And we do journalism in Hindi.
What’s your message to the young journalists?
Be honest to yourself.