The views of Swami Vivekananda and “Guruji” Golwalkar are surprisingly similar when it comes to religious pluralism and inclusiveness.
For both, Islamic and Christian proselytizing activities are problematic and not the spiritual value of the religions themselves.
Dr. Gregg, through an in-depth study of Swami Vivekananda, comes to the conclusion that Vivekananda in essence and spirit is not chauvinistic. But the same aspects with which he comes to this conclusion are also found in the essence and spirit of the Hindutva discourse.
Thus, the only credible conclusion he can come to is that Hindutva is the continuation of Vivekananda’s vision and mission and that it is inclusive and not chauvinistic.
In India, the preservation of mechanistic secularism has become only a preparatory stage for the establishment of a theocratic state by the competing monopolistic religions of Christianity, Islam and Marxism.
India offers these three conqueror mode theopoliticians the opportunity to establish a theocratic state with theological control over the population that could only rival their medieval hold in Europe, Saudi Arabia and Stalinist Russia or Maoist China. .
Hinduism, with its liberal and inclusive nature, naturally becomes a target because it often fosters an environment that blunts the visceral hatred necessary for aggressive proselytizing.
The Nehruvian polity, with its anti-Hindu colonial bias and inherent pro-Marxist bent, provides a field of war and a harvest field for souls, which unfortunately uses the very liberal and spiritually democratic nature of Hinduism to work for the annihilation of the Hindu dharma. Hindutva thus represent a movement of resistance against these anti-democratic theo-colonial aggressions.
In this battle, Swami Vivekananda has, over the past 12 decades, emerged as the symbol of the explicit colonial resistance movement then and has re-emerged as the symbol of the resistance movement now.
Thus, just as British colonialism wanted to see in the “perversion” of Swami Vivekananda’s national movement, today pro-theo-colonial forces are doing their best to dissociate the formidable figure of Swami from Hindutva movement.
The book, despite the program’s failure, is a welcome and positive addition to the ever-growing literature of Sri Ramakrishna-Vivekananda studies.
Stephen E. Gregg, ‘Swami Vivekananda and Non-Hindu Traditions: A Universal Advaita‘, Routledge, 2019 $134 (Kindle $57.99) 260 pages