5.2Hinduism, which is marked by heterogeneity, must be standardised through the Hindu Dharm Shastra
It is puzzling why RSS/BJP treat Hinduism the way they do. I believe that Hinduism is anopen house where ALL kinds of ideas co-exist and are constantly debated. Compared with this hetergeneity, only a few elements of Hinduism form part of the agenda of RSS/BJP – best illustrated by the Ram Janmabhoomi issue. Simplification of a VERY COMPLEX worldview seems to be their specialisation.
RSS/BJP believe in standardising Hinduism, despite the fact that there are many times more Sanskrit texts than found in any ancient language. Each Sanskrit text goes off on its own tangent, with its own hypotheses. Each text criticises others' views, and the whole Hindu system is basically a hodge-podge of contradictions and disputes. No UNIQUE picture of "Hinduism" can be obtained from these texts. It is not a religion, in any standard usage of the world.
Now, either RSS/BJP are really stupid people, or they have deliberately simplified as complex a matter as Hinduism for political gain. I believe it is the latter.
They are definitely NOT stupid. But yes, they are very mischievous, and politically driven to create a "Hindu" India. They are consciously carving out a brand of POLITICAL HINDUISM. To create a standardised version of Hinduism is a MAJOR (often) unstated goal of RSS/ Hindu revivalists. Wherever possible, they use school text books as a mechanism to transmit this standardised (and seriously defective) idea about Hinduism.
BS Moonje, one of the most important founders of Hindu revivalism (president of Hindu Mahasabha from 1927 to 1937 before handing over to Savarkar), said: "I have thought out a scheme based on Hindu Dharm Shastra which provides for standardisation of Hinduism throughout India". [Source: Marzia Casolari, Hindutvas Foreign Tie-Up in the 1930s: Archival Evidence , Economic and Political Weekly, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Jan. 22-28, 2000), pp. 218-228].
The actions of all RSS/ Hindu Mahasabha thinkers since then clearly indicate a focus on reviving specific components of Hinduism that suit a political agenda. Note also that they PRETEND to oppose the caste system (saying that hereditary caste was not part of the Vedas), but they ALWAYS defend their own caste. Vivek Garg is a classic example. He is proud of his caste, he tells me. And while they elevate Vivekananda in many ways, they OPPOSE his praise for Islam, and OPPOSE any semblance of universal brotherhood that Vivekananda represented. Vivekananda would have bee shocked that they use his name to promote their political ideology.
The RSS/BJP have eliminated the DIVERSITY of Hinduism and shrunk it into a small set of common myths, e.g. about Lord Ram. The gross simplification of Hinduism is crucial to this ideology. Like Hitler's simplistic myth of the master race of Aryans, Hindus must forget their complexity, their disputes, their differences, for only then can they act asone.
But it may be actually not standardising based on religion. It is perhaps standardising based on the concept of "Mother India". – "It rejects a transcendent God and demands that Indians worship Mother India and make nationalism the source of all other valuesd (cited in Jaffrelot 1996 534)". This is consistent with the fact that Savarkar was an atheist.
Uniting Hindus through a new (selective) mythology is crucial to the RSS agenda. Golwalkar wrote:
The training that is imparted every day in the shakha [a local unit of the RSS] imparts that spirit of identification and well-concerted actions It gives the individual the necessary incentive to rub away his angularities, to behave in a spirit of oneness with the rest of his brethren in society and fall in line with the organized and disciplined way of life by adjusting himself to the varied outlooks of other minds The persons assembling there learn to obey a single command (cited in Jaffrelot 1996 534) [Source]
The standardisation was largely north India based:
Although both the Jana Sangh and the RSS were careful not to associate themselves too closely with any one regional tradition of Hindu nationalism,their documents and periodicals constantly refer to the coming of the Aryans, the wars of the Mahabharata in the Punjab doab, and northern heroes such as Shivaji, Maharana Pratap and the Rani of Jhansi. Their myths were a synthesis of earlier regional myths, but they nevertheless expressed a northern view of Hindu origins. [The Origins and Development of the Bharatiya Jana Sangh by B.D. Graham]
This standardisation basically goes contrary to the basic (individualist, God focused) direction of Hinduism.
in emphasizing devotion to the nation (rashtra-bhakti) rather than God, and in propagating the ‘man-making’ ideology of the RSS, Golwalkar paradoxically instituted a definitively Western conception of ‘Man’ and ‘nation’, rather than God, at the centre of the universe. One need not affiliate with the dharmic ideals of Badrinath to recognize that for conscientious and interested believers, Hindu nationalism poses a grim challenge to ‘dharma’, rather than anything like its fulfilment. [Hindu Nationalism: Origins, Ideologies and Modern Myths by Chetan Bhatt]
Standardisation can also mean falsifying or at least not telling the truth. There is conclusive evidence that "Hindu" revivalists have promoted shoddy research and often taken recourse to falsehoods.
From the mid-1980’s, BJP-ruled states had begun to issue new textbooks in regional languages which subscribed to their line on India’s history. The RSS had also issued “saffronised” textbooks for use in its own nationwide network of schools, the Shishu Mandirs . When BJP came to power nationally, they extended this pattern across the country. In 2000, as an interim measure, numerous deletions were made from the existing history textbooks: the passage pointing out that cows were eaten in the Vedic period was, for example, removed from Thapar’s Ancient India without her permission. Any suggestion that Indian civilisation might have developed its extraordinary richness specifically because of its multi-ethnic, multi-religious character was airbrushed from the picture. The following year the syllabus was modified and several million copies of a new set of history textbooks were distributed nationally. [Source: India: The War Over History, By William Dalrymple, New York Review of Books 52,6 (April 7, 2005)]