The Country and Its Culture
(With friends and pressmen on Several Occasions)


Q : What does the word "Hindu' indicate, according to you?
A : The word 'Hindu' denotes a society. That is the current meaning also.
Q : Is the word 'Hindu' to be found in our Shastras?
A : Why not? The word is formed with the letter Hi from the Himalayas and Indu from the Indu Sarovar (the Southern Ocean), conveying the entire stretch of our motherland.
The Brihaspati Aagama says :
Himalayam samaarabhya yaavad-indu-sarovaram
Tam devanirmitam desham hindusthaanam prackakshate.
Q : Why not the word ' Arya' instead of 'Hindu'?
A : 'Arya' is an old and proud name, no doubt. But it has gone out of use especially for the last thousand years. Moreover the mischievous propaganda carried on by the British during their rule here has poisoned our people's mind with the cooked-up Aryan-Dravidian controversy. Thus the word 'Arya' would not bring up before our eyes the entire picture of our country and our people.
Q : Why not the word 'Bharatiya' instead of 'Hindu'?
A : No doubt, Bharatiya too is our own name, associated with us since hoary times. But today there is a misconception regarding that word. It is commonly used as a translation of the word 'India' which includes all the various communities like the Muslim, Christian etc., residing in this land. So, the word 'Bharatiya' is likely to mislead us when we want to denote our particular society. The word 'Hindu' alone connotes correctly and completely the meaning that we want to convey.
Q : Is the name Bharat in vogue since ancient times?
A : Yes. In our Sankalpa we say, Jambu Dweepe Bharata khande.....
Q : Then how is it that in you prayer you refer to the Hindu Bhoomi?
A : You forget that at the end of the prayer we chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai.
Q : You have always equated the 'Indian Nation' with 'Hindu Rashtra'. How far is it correct?
A : Let me try to clear, at the very outset, one misconception about 'Hindu Rashtra'. The word Hindu is not merely 'religious'. It denotes a 'people' and their highest values of life. We, therefore, in our concept of nation, emphasize a few basic things : unqualified devotion to the motherland and our cultural ideals, pride in our history which is very ancient, respect for our great forefathers, and lastly, a determination in every one of us to build up a common life of prosperity and security. All this comes under the one caption : 'Hindu Rashtra'. We are not concerned with an individual's mode of worship.
Q : Do you opt for a Hindu State?
A : The word Hindu State is unnecessarily misinterpreted as a theocratic one which would wipe out all other sects. Our present state is in a way a Hindu State. When the vast majority of people are Hindus, the State is democratically Hindu. It is also a secular state and all those who are now non-Hindus have also equal rights to live here. The State does not exclude any one who lives here from occupying any position of honor in the State. It is unnecessary to call ours a Hindu state or a secular state.