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Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu?

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Hindutva: Who is a Hindu? is an ideological pamphlet by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar. Originally published under the title Essentials Of Hindutva in 1923, it was retitled Hindutva: Who Is a Hindu? when reprinted in 1928. Savarkar's pamphlet forms part of the canon of works published during British rule that later influenced post-independence contemporary Hindu nationalism.[1]


Savarkar used the term "Hindutva" (Sanskrit -tva, neuter abstract suffix) to describe "Hinduness" or the "quality of being a Hindu".[2] Savarkar regarded Hinduism as an ethnic, cultural and political identity. Hindus, according to Savarkar, are those who consider India to be the land in which their ancestors lived, as well as the land in which their religion originated. He advocates the creation of a Hindu state in that sense.[1]

Sarvakar includes all Indian religions in the term "Hinduism" and outlines his vision of a "Hindu Rashtra" (Hindu Nation) as "Akhand Bharat" (Undivided India), stretching across the entire Indian subcontinent.

"We Hindus are bound together not only by the tie of the love we bear to a common fatherland and by the common blood that courses through our veins and keeps our hearts throbbing and our affections warm, but also by the tie of the common homage we pay to our great civilization - our Hindu culture" Fifth Edition 1969 p91 (Internet Archive PDF p108)

Savarkar wrote the pamphlet while imprisoned for his alleged role in the assassination of William Hutt Curzon Wyllie.[3]


  1. ^ a b Peter Lyon (2008), Conflict between India and Pakistan: an encyclopedia, ABC-CLIO, p. 75, ISBN 978-1-57607-712-2
  2. ^ Women, States, and Nationalism. Routledge. pp. 104–. ISBN 978-0-203-37368-2. Retrieved 24 April 2013.
  3. ^ Shōgimen, Takashi; Nederman, Cary J. (2009), Western political thought in dialogue with Asia, Lexington Books, p. 190, ISBN 978-0-7391-2378-2

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