BJP Says it is "Proud of Hindutva;" Calls it Nationalist, Not Religious, Ideology

August 3, 2004

Source: Hindustan Times,0008.htm

On August 3, 2004 the Hindustan Times reported, "Unperturbed by warnings by some NDA allies, BJP asserted it was proud of Hindutva, arguing it was not associated with religion but nationalism and its rival parties were 'misrepresenting' the terminology to 'portray' themselves as secular. The party also claimed that construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya was not linked to religion and emphasised that it will no bring Hindutva into the political sphere. 'Hindutva is not related to religion but nationalism and national prestige. We are proud of it,' party Vice President and spokesperson Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told reporters in New Delhi, seeking to draw a comparison between the two. He was responding to questions about some NDA allies warning of snapping ties with the BJP if it went back to Hindutva. Naqvi said Hindutva was 'not a political commitment for BJP but an ideological one. So we will not like to bring it into the political sphere.' Asserting that the BJP was not apologetic on Hindutva and would go to people using it as 'ideological issue,' he said, 'It has become fashion for some parties to criticise Hindutva to show themselves as secular.'"