Narendra Modi (Left) and MS Golwalkar (Right)

The 103rd Constitutional amendment, upheld by the Supreme Court last month, has been appreciated by our middle class, the core votaries of Hindutva. The opening up of reservations to all Hindus irrespective of caste, they believe, demonstrated that Hindutva is inclusive; that other parties are divisive because of their propensity towards casteism but, and this is their thinking, the Bharatiya Janata Party is above caste.

But is it? Does it reject caste and if not, then what sort of relationship does it have with the primary faultline in Hindu society?

Hindutva like other ideologies based on nationalism and religion does not produce thinkers so much as believers and so there is a dearth of material. It is intellectually underpinned by the thinking of one man, MS Golwalkar, who led the RSS for over 30 years from 1940 and is the individual responsible for its ideology and its success.

The prime minister has written a fawning biographical sketch of Golwalkar in which he compared him to Buddha, Mahavir and BR Ambedkar. If there is a Hindutva view of caste, it comes from Golwalkar and so let us examine it.

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