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‘Hindutva means being proud of Hindu roots’: 12 year old Kianna Rodrigues pens an open letter to Shashi Tharoor

"I don’t know what is your definition of Hindutva. But I believe that if Hindutva means to be proud of my Hindu roots and my Hindu culture then every Indian irrespective of religion should be proud of it. My Hindu culture fascinates me"

Dear Mr Shahi Tharoor,

At the onset of this open letter, let me state firmly and confidently that my intent is to share my views as a 12-year old of this great nation and not to offend you anyway.

I normally do not write, that is a skill my elder sister has picked up from my father; however, I do like to debate and share my point of view. 

Since I have no manner in debating with you on this. I have opted to write an open letter to you.

It is with utmost surprise and disappointment that I heard on television that a senior politician of your stature made a statement ‘Hindi, Hindu and Hindutva is dividing our country’.

I do not agree with this statement of yours. It is not right, it is misleading and it is hurtful to millions of Hindus in our country.

If Hindus are dividing the country would you remove all the Hindus from the Congress party, which I am sure has a considerable number of Hindus? 

If you cannot remove all Hindus in the Congress party, would it be fair to arrive at this conclusion that you think as Hindus they are dividing the nation, you are insulting your own Hindu congress women and men, or that you prefer to be positioned as a Christian and Muslim political party while you demonise Hindus.

I do not think Hindus are dividing the nation.

I think the division you and others like you talk about is a game plan of certain sections of our society (in particular – politicians) who want to stir fear in the nation. 

I also feel that some nations want India to continue to be submissive and not reach its true potential. A fact I noticed in my research during our Mock UN debate.

At my age, I do not see my friends by their caste or creed. I see them as humans, I see them as schoolmates and I see them as Indians.

I don’t know what is your definition of Hindutva. But I believe that if Hindutva means to be proud of my Hindu roots and my Hindu culture then every Indian irrespective of religion should be proud of it. My Hindu culture fascinates me.

It would be nice if you could correct your statement.

People in power must unite and not divide.

-Kianna Rodrigues, Grade – 7, Vidya Vikas Academy, Goa

(This article was first published in IndianExpose, it has been reproduced here with due permission.)

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