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Mark Tully pulls out all stops for Hindutva
By Bishwanath Ghosh
The Asian Age -  August 27, 1997

The BJP has found a new advocate in Mr Mark Tully, the former BBC correspondent, who feels that Indian civilisation has a Hindu base to it and that Hindus should proclaim their identity with pride.

The party is so thrilled with one of India's famous foreigners endorsing its line that it has devoted seven pages to Mr Tully's views in a recent issue of its mouthpiece, BJP Today.

The former BBC correspondent has expressed these views while addressing the National Hindu Students Forum in Britain. "I believe that Indian has to have some way of expressing its respect for its own civilisation and accepting the fact, and I have said this publicly many times before, that it is, and you can argue, whether there is such a thing as Hinduism or not, scholars will always argue but most Indians feel that there is a Hindu base to this civilisation," says Mr Tully, who has authored several books including No Full Stops in India.

Mr Tully is considered by many in the BJP as more Indian than Indians, and they are extremely happy that the well-known foreign journalist has expressed such an opinion at a time when "many educated Indians were wary of endorsing BJP's Hindutva philosophy." 

Mr Tully even comes to the rescue of the BJP: "As soon as you talk about Hinduism in Bharat, you are immediately, and I have had this said to me many times, been accused of or told that you are BJP or RSS or something like that. Now in my view the BJP is a political party. 

"But I do profoundly believe that India needs to be able to say with pride, 'Yes, our civilisation has a Hindu base to it.' And for Hindus to be able to say with pride that they are Hindus." 

Mr Tully says he was aware that this was the slogan of the RSS in some places, but he still believed that it was "right and proper" for both these things becoming part of India's life.

He opined that the genius of Hinduism, and the very reason of its survival for so long, was that it does not stand up and fight. "It changes and adapts and modernizes and its absorbs and that is the scientific and proper way of going about it as well. 

Why is Christianity in so much trouble at the moment? Because it is so difficult for it to adapt," says the celebrated television journalist. Saying that Hinduism would prove to be the religion of the next Millenium.  Mr. Tully added it should be proud that there are 125 million Muslims, who can do namaaz whenever they like, and that there are Christians who rejoice that St. Thomas probably came to India and 20 million of whom flood to the churches.





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