Ram Madhav, author and member of national executive of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) engaged the audience at the inaugural ‘Indic Dialogue’ in Atlanta on April 23, 2023. ‘In the wake of so many attacks on Hinduism in the west and rise in Hinduphobia, this event is refreshing and such programs can help in diffusing dis-information and promote harnmony’, Ram Madhav said at the inuguration of the Indic Dialogue. It was attended by community leader of several faith based organizations, recipients of prestigious awards from Government of India.
and the Quest for a Non-Western Worldview’ was the topic of discussion. The book is based on Deen Dayal Upadhyay’s Integral Humanist philosophy Deen Dayal was lifelong RSS Pracharak (an individual who is inspired by the mission and objective of the RSS and dedicates life to carry forward the mission) and later became the president of the Indian political partry named ‘Bharatiya Jan Sangh’, the forerunner of current ruling political party of India, the ‘Bharatiya Janata Party’ (BJP). Deen Dayal Upadhyay articulated the philosophy of integral humanism as a modern twenty-first century Indian alternative to European and western models of polity, economics and governance. Explaining Integral Humanist philosophy Ram Madhav said,’integral means inclusive, all encompassing and humanist means approach of love and care for humanity. Integral humanism is sum and substance of Hindu philosophy.’
Ram Madhav noted that there is confusion in the meaning of Hindutva in last couple of decades including dis-information campaigns. He said, ‘Greatness and profundity of universal message of our great Hindu Dharma is being widely owned up by average Indians today. Hindu thought has come to center stage.’ He further emphasized that, ‘Hindutva is not an idealogy, it’s open thought process which has evolved through continuous dialogue over millenia. Hindutva is wisdom and ideals of Hindusim in action!’ During the discussion, he quoted Mahatma Gandhi when asked on how would Indian system be after independence, ‘Ghandhiji said India will be Ram rajya. Ram rajya does not mean it is a theocratic state but it is that state where the weakest shall have as much power as the strongest.’
Ram Madhav during his discussion covered range of topics like caste, sustainability and, value systems to highlight that Hindutva has great insights for entire humanity and not only for Hindus. He commented on the raging debate of caste in USA. He recognized that in the context of India the hierarchical belief of caste need to be removed. India has done effective work on eliminating caste issues. However, in USA the raging debate of caste is more of conspiracy to defame Hindus. On the topic of environmental issues, Ram Madhav remembered India’s prime minister Indira Gandhi’s speech at first earth summit in 1972 at Stockholm, where she had quoted from Rig-Veda meaning ‘this earth is our mother, we should behave like children‘. Hindutva view of environment is about nurturing and not exploitation. He elaborated that the human centric model of development is more of exploitation of nature which needs to be changed to humanity based model. In the context of moral and value systems, Ram Madhav expounded to say, ‘Hindu Dharma is not about dry morals but about values. We are a society of values. We uphold values because values have far reaching impact on society. So we never made issue of LGBT. We always said that LGBT can live peacefully and should have independent choices in their life. In 2009 RSS, Hindutva organization, stood for decriminalization of gays and lesbians.’ Indic dialogue was attended by various Hindu faith based organizations and recipients of prestigious awards from Government of India along with many local attendees.