Hindutva

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Hindutva (Devanagari: हिन्दुत्व, "Hinduness", a word coined by Vinayak Damodar Savarkar in his 1923 pamphlet entitled Hindutva: Who is a Hindu? ) is the term used to describe movements advocating Hindu nationalism. Members of the movement are called Hindutvavādis.[citation needed]

In India, an umbrella organization called the Sangh Parivar champions the concept of Hindutva. The sangh comprises organizations such as the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Bajrang Dal, and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

This ideology has existed since the early 20th century, forged by Veer Savarkar, but came to prominence in Indian politics in the late 1980s, when two events attracted a large number of mainstream Hindus to the movement. The first of these events was the Rajiv Gandhi government's use of its large Parliamentary Majority to overturn a Supreme Court verdict granting alimony to an old woman that had angered many Muslims (see the Shah Bano case). The second was the dispute over the 16th century Mughal Babri Mosque in Ayodhya — built by Babur after his first major victory in India. The Supreme Court of India refused to take up the case in the early 1990s, leading to a huge outcry. Tempers soon flared, and a huge number of nationalist Hindus from all parts of India razed the mosque in late 1992, causing nationwide communal riots. The razing of the mosque and subsequent conflict arguably lifted the BJP and Hindutva to international prominence.

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