How glaring is the dichotomy between Indian rhetoric and Indian reality? Is India truly the pluralist, secular largest democracy in the world? If so, then why are minorities becoming increasingly marginalised in modern India? India’s strong government sponsored discourse on pluralism, secularism and democracy make it unique. As does the peaceful relations it seems to have with most of the world. Clearly, the pacifist, non-violent teachings of Gandhi and the philosophy of non-alignment spearheaded by Nehru have had a long lasting effect on the country. The foundation for these seem to be found in the life and character of Mauryan Emperor Ashoka. This is perhaps India’s greatest strength, that for most of its post-independence history, the Indian state has embraced plurality and refrained from attempting to strong-arm different Indian communities into following a monolithic ideology or definition of “Indian”. This only makes sense, as there is no single ethnic marker in India that constitutes a large enough majority to be considered “most Indian”. However, there have been Indians who have perceived this as a weakness.Back in the 1920s, an atheist but extremist Hindu named Vinayak Damodar Savarkar felt this amounted to an ‘identity crisis’, and did what he could to remedy it.He presented his concept in 1923, titled ‘Essentials of Hindutva’. Again, in 1928 Savarkar published a monograph entitled Hindutva: Who is a Hindu?He laid down the foundations of the ‘Hindu Nation’ based on three entities;race,culture and nationalism. It was a deliberate and desperate attempt made by Savarkar to carve out the basic contours to overcome ‘identity crisis’.Savarkar was deeply influenced by the Akhil Bharatiya Hindu Mahasabha — a reactionary organization made to counter the Muslim-dominated All India Muslim League. However, after the partition of India in August 1947 — the affiliates of RSS and Hindutva ideology remained influential in Indian politics. The first and foremost indicator of this instrumentalism was the assassination of Gandhi at the hands of Nathuram Godse — an active member of RSS on January 30, 1948. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar was the primary suspect behind the assassination,since he motivated Godse to get the job done. Nehru was the primary beneficiary of Gandhi’s assassination; however, Savarkar was acquitted by the court and Nehru was not prosecuted since he was then Prime Minister of India. There have been numerous incidents which have made the effects of this ideology clear for all to see. Sikh leader Jarnail Singh Bhinderawala and Babbar Khalsa demanding secession from India, Operation Blue Star, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s murder at the hands of her own Sikh guards, Rajiv Gandhi’s assassination via Tamil suicide bomber, the demolition of Babri masjid and the organised anti-Muslim carnage at Gujarat in 2002 all point towards the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) — the epicentre of Saffron terrorism. Gurmehar Kaur — a 20 year old female student from Delhi University has become the voice of the unheard. She and her fellows have resisted the ABVP — an RSS affiliated extremist right-wing Hindu student organization. Time named Kaur in the list of 100 influential people who could become leaders in the future Yet there is no such thing as an ‘Indian Nation’. The very concept was put forward by Savarkar and advanced by the RSS and its affiliated organisations in the first place. It is quite telling that Gurmehar Kaur — a 20 year old female student from Delhi University has become the voice of the unheard. She and her fellows have gallantly resisted to the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) — an RSS affiliated extremist right-wing Hindu student organization. Time magazine named Kaur in the list of 100 influential people who could become leaders. This resistance is not limited to Gurmehar Kaur but Indian academia and literary people such as Ananthamurthy (late) have already started to refuse and oppose Hindutva ideology. UR Ananthamurthy openly defied RSS in his posthumous book ‘Hindutva or Hind Swaraj’ (2016). The ongoing episode at Aligarh University is also an eye opener. The people of India must halt this ideology’s increasing footprint by resisting the enforced Hindutva ideology. RSS and its affiliates have greatly damaged India’s social fabric already. Moreover, the RSS is accelerating the development of its militant wings to eliminate resistance and opposition to its ideology and politics. Unfortunately, the entire world has kept its eyes closed when it comes to Saffron terrorism in India. This must end immediately.It is the spillover effect of Saffron terrorism intoneighbouring Myanmar that has motivated Buddhist leaders to conduct organized pogroms and genocide against Muslims. The writer can be reached at: email@example.com Published in Daily Times, May 17th 2018.