HydPark in collaboration with the NALSAR Public Policy Group presented a discussion with Dr Shashi Tharoor on his latest book, ‘Why I Am A Hindu?’, besides a freewheeling conversation moderated by Sriram Karri, followed by an audience interaction at the NALSAR auditorium.
In ‘Why I Am A Hindu?’, Dr Tharoor writes about the history of Hinduism and its core tenets, socio-cultural developments in India that relate to Hinduism, while elucidating his own religious convictions. Tharoor intends to repudiate Hindu nationalism, its rise in India, which relied upon an interpretation of Hinduism which was markedly different from the one he had grown up.
Sriram Karri who was the moderator of the discussion, explored various aspects of the ideas in the book besides a range of questions from the current Indian political and social context which includes but not limited to, whether Mr. Tharoor acknowledges that secularism is dead in the context of his book? By his book ‘Why I Am A Hindu?’ in 2018, has he conceded the war to RSS because both the parties that will fight for India’s power are Hindu? Isn’t his premise coming down to congress party wants to worship cow and eat its beef too?
To which Mr. Tharoor replied that Congress Party has no religion, and Congress Party members are from all religions. BJP only stands for one faith and one narrow understanding in that faith and it happens to be his faith but not the way he interprets it, practices it or propogates it. The difference between BJP’s Hindutva and Congress’s Hinduism is that for Congress, Hinduism remains as a personal matter, a religious issue whereas for them, Hindutva is a political ideology which goes to the heart of the way in which they wish to see our society organised, our culture promoted and even our constitution amended. That to his mind, that is the fundamental difference between both and Hindutva is profoundly anti-Hindu.