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Hindutva is an ideology which is centered around the following beliefs:
- the entire Indian subcontinent (which includes countries other than India) is the homeland of the Hindus.
- "Hindus" are those who believe India is their fatherland (pitribhumi) and holyland (punyabhumi)
- emphasizing historical oppression of Hindus by invading forces like the Muslims and the Christians and the call to "reverse" the influence resulting from these intrusions.
- opposing British colonialism
- opposing Communism for a perceived weakening of Hindus.
- a call to form a "Hindu Nation" (Hindu Rashtra)
- Cow slaughter in India should be banned.
The Hindutva ideology is the central tenet of the organizations which advocate Hindu nationalism.
Many proponents of the Hindutva ideology portray violence against Muslims and Christians as a form of "self-defence" against "invaders". As the Hindutva ideology has grown more powerful over the years, many Hindutva activists have partaken in riots against minority communities in India. The Hindutva ideology is described as a fascist ideology. Although this ideology is associated with Hinduism, majority of Hindus who are tolerant or "secular" do not support the Hindutva movement. Some tolerant or "secular" Hindus describe the supporters of the Hindutva movement as "Hindu Taliban".
- Basu, Tapan Kumar (1993). Khaki shorts and saffron flags: a critique of the Hindu right. [New Delhi]: Orient Longman. pp. 20. ISBN 0-86311-383-4.
- Paul Brass, The Production of Hindu-Muslim Violence in Contemporary India, University of Washington Press, 2003: p1144.
- S. P. Udayakumar (2005). Presenting the Past: Anxious History and Ancient Future in Hindutva India. Greenwood Publishing Group. pp. p39. ISBN 9780275972097.
- "The Fascism of Our Times" Social Scientist VOl 21 No.3-4, 1993, p.69
- Fritz Blackwell (2004). India: A Global Studies Handbook. ABC-CLIO. pp. p126. ISBN 9781576073483.