This is a 40-year journey from secular to Hindutva.
You need to cross a certain mental Lakshman Rekha in order to call yourself a Sanghi, given the negative associations the label attracts in ‘secular’ media. But Rahul Roushan has never been afraid to put himself out on a limb in his voyage of self-discovery and pursuit of political incorrectness.
He has repeatedly been in the line of ‘secular’ fire for calling out their hypocrisies, first in Faking News, a satirical portal, and later in OpIndia.com, the digital platform he was instrumental in founding. In this book, Roushan mixes the personal with the political to document both the nation’s and his own journey away from Nehruvian secularism to Hindutva.
It encompasses 30 tumultuous years of the Republic, starting with the first stirrings of change in Hindu society after the Mandal agitation and the movement to build a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, and culminating in the rise of Narendra Modi as Bharat’s prime minister.
Today, many Hindus no longer see Hindutva as a communal slur, just as Rahul no longer sees the term Sanghi as a handicap, even though he has no illusions about the RSS’s strengths and shortcomings. Many Indians have become covert or partial Sanghis; that is, they are in the process of rediscovering their Indic roots.
This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand changing India, and emerging Hindutva.
R. Jagannathan (Jaggi)
Senior journalist and Editorial Director, Swarajya magazine