A Warning to the Hindus
A Warning to the Hindus is a 1939 booklet by intellectual and mystic Savitri Devi. It was written in an attempt to "...make both those Hindus who are not nationalists and those Indian nationalists who do not care to call themselves Hindus into Hindu nationalists." The author projected Hindu India as the last surviving remnant of ancient Aryan spirituality, and issued this work as a warning to what she perceived as the threat of submergence through 'alien', meaning non-Aryan, influences.
Background and Summary
After working at the Hindu Mission in Calcutta for eighteen months, and having been influenced by V.D. Savarkar's concept of Hindutva, Devi concluded that "...nothing is more necessary, to-day, than to revive, to exalt, to cultivate intelligent Hinduism through the length and breadth of India." A Warning to the Hindus is Devi's attempt to alert Hindus to the threat of submergence and cultural alienation which she saw as resulting from the disproportional growth of the Muslim population in India. She thought the hitherto complacent response of upper-caste Hindus would result in Hinduism suffering the same fate as pagan classical Greece.
The book expresses admiration of Hinduism for its view of visible beauty, its broad artistic outlook on life and the universe, and its conception of God as both creative and destructive: living expressions of Aryan Paganism which Devi saw as being lost in the West. She criticizes Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as creedal religions and for being narrowly anthropocentric, in contrast with Hinduism, which is presented as biocentric.
Devi proposes that the numerical decline of Hinduism could be successfully remedied by a relaxation of the strict rules implicit in the caste system, which would have the additional benefits of developing Hindu solidarity and nationalist sentiment. Additionally, she argues that women should play a more active role in fostering devotional nationalism in the home with shrines to Shivaji and other national heroes.
A Warning to the Hindus was first published by Brahmachari Bijoy Krishna of the Hindu Mission in Calcutta in 1939 with a foreword by Sree G. D. Savarkar (brother of V.D. Savarkar). It was translated into six Indian languages, including Bengali, Hindi, and Marathi. It was re-published in 1993 by Promilla Paperbacks (New Delhi, ISBN 81-85002-40-1).
- p. 114
- p. 39
- Hitler's Priestess: Savitri Devi, the Hindu-Aryan Myth, and Neo-Nazism by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, pp. 52-58 (New York University Press, 1998, hardcover: ISBN 0-8147-3110-4, paperback: ISBN 978-0-8147-3111-6).
- The Saffron Swastika: The Notion of "Hindu Fascism" by Koenraad Elst, chapter V. "Savitri Devi and the "Hindu-Aryan Myth"", section vii. "A Warning to the Hindus". (New Delhi: Voice of India, 2001, 2 Vols., ISBN 978-81-85990-69-9).