June 26, 2022
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SC declines to re-look 1995 order on definition of ‘Hindutva’


It seems that the Supreme Court of India is not interested in creating any controversies over the word, ‘Hindutva’, at this stage. A SC bench on last day declined to reconsider the 1995 order on the definition of ‘Hindutva’. In 1995, a controversial judgment announced by Justice J S Verma ordered that seeking vote in the name of ‘Hindutva’ is not a wrong practice under the Representation of the People Act. According to the Representation of the People Act, promoting hatred in the name of religion, language, race, caste, or community by the political party or candidate or their agents is a corrupt practice. So, those candidates who use these practices are not eligible to contest in the elections. The issue again resurfaced as senior advocate K K Venugopal demanded that the 1995 order on ‘Hindutva’ needs more clarification.

Adv Venugopal was representing former diplomat O P Gupta. Some renowned social activists like Teesta Setalvad and Shamsul Islam also demanded the same. Teesta alleged that the 1995 order on ‘Hindutva’ led to demands of homogenisation of the other communities, existing in this diverse country, in the Hindutva way of life. Anyway, adjudicating the complicated issue, the court held that seeking vote in the name of religion is a corrupt practice. But, the court further observed that the ‘Hindutva’ is a way of life of Indian society. So, it is clear that the court does not want to give anything new on this issue. Notably, this time, the court pointed out that if anybody can clearly prove that there is an authentic reference to ‘Hindutva’ word, the court will reconsider the issue.




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