Under the interesting title Hindu nationalism is more Italian and Christian than Sonia Gandhi
Hindu nationalists have always made large claims about their exemplary and inimitable Hindu-ness. In Essentials of Hindutva, the book that comes closest to defining the ideology of modern Hindu nationalism, V D Savarkar claimed that the Hindus are a people who possess a common pitrubhumi or fatherland, common blood, “common Sanskriti (civilisation)” and a common punyabhumi or holy land.
A range of figures — from Narendra Modi alleging that Sonia Gandhi with her Christian ancestry represents ‘Rome Raj’ and V S Naipaul raging about the Muslim invasions of India to today’s trolls attacking Western scholars and journalists — have offered a distinctive version of Indian history: one in which a glorious Hindu past is violated by various foreigners.
Militantly irreligious, like Savarkar, Mazzini spoke of regeneration of the Italian nation rather than of traditional religion. In his view, Italians had a sacred mission — the establishment of the ‘Third Rome’ following the First and second Romes of the Caesars and the Church. He wanted the Italian people, whom he only knew from afar, to dedicate their lives to the fulfilment of their nation’s special mission, which involved, among other things, the creation of undivided or ‘Akhand’ Italy through the re-conquest of territories that had once belonged to the first and second Romans.
Nationalism, as Mazzini conclusively defined it, was a system of beliefs that ought to pervade collective existence, and encourage the spirit of self-sacrifice. His writing resonates with praise for martyrs who ‘consecrate with their blood and idea of national liberty’. Indeed, Lala Lajpat Rai explicitly identified Mazzini as the founder of a whole new religion of martyrdom and sacrifice — one that Modi has pressed upon Indians with special vigour after the fiasco of demonetisation.
But, like many upper-caste Indian devotees of Mazzini, Lajpat Rai did not realise that Mazzini’s own notions were derived from a hugely influential French Catholic priest Felicite de Lamennais, whose 1834 book Words of a Believer was one of the most widely read books of the 19th century. It was Lamennais who tried to establish a precise relationship, subsequently insisted upon by nationalists in India as well as Italy, between the ‘motherland’, and the isolated individuals who voluntarily ‘penetrate and become enmeshed’ with it.
Savarkar could not have formulated his messianic nationalism without the help of such deeply Christian ideas of sacrifice, martyrdom, resurrection and redemption that his hero Mazzini introduced into the political discourse of the 19th century. Indeed, Mazzini’s fantasies of re-establishing Akhand Italy and Rome Raj hover over every page of Essentials of Hindutva; his pseudo-Catholic obsessions have suffused all subsequent Hindu nationalist dreams of a common blood, fatherland, civilization, and holy land. In this sense at least, Hindu nationalism is more Italian, and Christian, than Sonia Gandhi.
So, who do we have at the heart of Hindutva?
That’s right, Felicite de Lamennais, the very first liberal Catholic priest, who – while busy substituting the State for God – admittedly still had enough integrity to publicly separate himself from Christianity in all its forms.
Something that today’s clergy – Catholic and Protestant alike – will never do: it’s far more comfortable to keep the forms while raping the substance.
And let it be noted that they have been amply rewarded for doing do by the Establishment. Just ask the current Pope for details.
As for their reward from God’s hand?
Sure, their churches are in decline, a decline that will accelerate in due course as Christ removes their future, disinheriting them from His kingdom. But they don’t care about that.
And yes, as they certainly have no interest in God, nor Christ, nor Heaven or Hell, and certainly have not the slightest interest in obeying God’s Commands, it’s quite likely that they will indeed be cast into hell. But they don’t care about that, either.
Ah well: it is natural for men to desire hell, in their intense rebellion against God.
It is shameful for such men to claim to lead the Church: but so long as the Churches recruit their pastors from a humanist kindergarten to seminary gelding center, this is what we are going to get, to a lesser or greater degree.
American churches screen their pastors by forcing them to attend college, and many denominations add three years of seminary to this. By that time, the pastors have been forced to run the gauntlet through academic humanism, kindergarten through early adulthood. Then they are forced to run another gauntlet through the studied irrelevance of the seminary curriculum. These are not my targets. — Gary North, My Marketing Strategy for My Book, Christian Economics
“Studied irrelevance” is exactly the right term here. No matter how directly the Christian Church is attacked, and Christian Beliefs despised and rubbished, the church hierarchy can be counted on to do nothing at all… thus pleasing their actual master.
Gary North advises that we let the dead bury the dead.
Any advise grounded in the insights of Jesus Christ is good enough for me!
(Thank God for Charismatic/Pentecostal pastors, many of whom are escapees from the Government Ideological programming centres!)