In 1923, Veer Savarkar wrote his seminal book ‘Essentials of Hindutva’ in Ratnagiri Jail where he was kept for nearly two years after being brought to the Indian mainland from the Andamans.
Excerpts from the book :
Hindutva is different from Hinduism :
Hindutva is not a word but a history. Not only the spiritual or religious history of our people as at times it is mistaken to be by being confounded with the other cognate term Hinduism, but a history in full. Hinduism is only a derivative, a fraction, a part of Hindutva. Unless it is made clear what is meant by the latter the first remains unintelligible and vague. Failure to distinguish between these two terms has given rise to much misunderstanding and mutual suspicion between some of those sister communities that have inherited this inestimable and common treasure of our Hindu civilization. What is the fundamental difference in the meaning of these two words would be clear in the book.
Here it is enough to point out that Hindutva is not identical with what is vaguely indicated by the term Hinduism. By an ‘ism’ it is generally meant a theory or a code more or less based on spiritual or religious dogma or creed. Had not linguistic usage stood in our way then ‘Hinduness’ would have certainly been a better word than Hinduism as a
near parallel to Hindutva. Hindutva embraces all the departments of thought and activity of the whole Being of our Hindu race. Therefore, to understand the significance of this term Hindutva, we must first understand the essential meaning of the word Hindu itself and realize how it came to exercise such imperial sway over the hearts of millions of
mankind and won a loving allegiance from the bravest and best of them
ISBN : 978-8188388257 ; Pages : 140 ;