Bengaluru: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is an organisation that was established in the year 1925, with a view to strengthening the society. 

While the organisation completes a century in a few years, it has often been criticised for its Hindutva principle, saying it is a principle of exclusion and not inclusion. 

But what does Hindutva mean? Is there a misconception? 

A book titled – The RSS Roadmaps for the 21st Century – deals with this topic. 

Also watch: New book traces history of RSS

A chapter dedicated to this topic says Hindutva is a way of life and adds that it is ‘sanatan’ in nature. 

In turn, the word ‘sanatan’ means certain values and life principles that are eternal, an accretion of wisdom that has held sway beyond the vagaries of time and tumult of historical events.  
Contrary to many views that the liberals hold, Hindutva is a philosophy of life that is pervasive, complete and even humane. Not just that, it is a force of goodness and an idea of welfare for all. 
This meaning or definition of Hindutva has to be appreciated. But in the modern world, the word has often been criticised. For self-proclaimed intellectuals, it has become a fad to issue diatribes against this concept, which gives them a sense of gratification. 

Let’s give you Shashi Tharoor’s take on the word. 

He says, "It (Hindutva) seeks to refashion Hinduism as something it has never been... The Hindutva project seeks to reinvent Hindu identity with a new belief structure and a new vocabulary."

We wonder as to what the new vocabulary he is referring to. One of the main principles on which the RSS works is Vasudaiva Kutumbakam which roughly translated into English means, “The whole world as one family.” 

The word was first coined by Chandranath Basu in the year 1880. He conducted a comparative study of different doctrines located within Hindu realm of philosophical and thinking in his most important book Hindutva (1892).