Jaideep A Prabhu
Vichara Vedike – CRI Essay Writing Competition
This article originally appeared in centreright.in. CRI content has now been subsumed in swarajyamag.com. The views expressed here are personal and do not necessarily reflect those of the editors of swarajyamag.com

On the occasion of the 65th anniversary of India’s independence, CRI is pleased to announce the launch of its annual essay writing competition, Vichara Vedike.


The topic for this year, 2012, is, “What is Hindutva?” This question has caused much hair-pulling and sleepless nights among many in India, Right and Left of Centre. With the national elections coming up in 2014, this is an opportune time to establish the fundamentals of one label we will undoubtedly hear being used by all sides, either in condemnation or in aspiration.


  • The essay may be between 1,500 and 2,000 words.
  • Essays will be accepted in English, Tamil, Kannada, and Hindi. If you wish to submit in any other language, Indian or non-Indian, please inquire with us on twitter or Facebook.
  • Essays must be submitted, double-spaced, 1″ margins on all sides, in .doc or .pdf format. Essays in English must be in 12 pt. Times New Roman, and if in other languages, in an appropriate size and legible font.
  • Essays must be emailed to editor@centreright.in no later than 23 59 IST on 30th September, 2012. In the subject field of your email, please fill in “VV2012” so that your email is directed to the appropriate people.
  • This is NOT a research project, and we do not expect footnotes. Paraphrase and attribute within the body of the essay.
  • By participating in this competition, you affirm by your honour that all work is your own.

Everyone above the age of 18 is eligible. There is no bar on nationality, gender, or any other locus of discrimination. Members of the CRI team – chief editors, community editors, commentators, technical support – are forbidden from participating.


Submissions will be judged on clarity of thought, style, grammar, and force of argument by a panel of five members of the CRI team. A good essay would define hindutva, consider alternate features and explain why they are not  part of the proposed paradigm, comment on (if relevant) social, political, cultural, and economic aspects of the question, and reflect upon the socio-political milieu of the debate. These are just a few issues which upon the participant may or may not wish to dwell. The arguments would be logical, consistent, and lucid. Content, meaning support or opposition to various facets of hindutva or hindutva itself, will not be a factor in the judgement – the parameters of the competition outlined above allow a participant to explain what s/he thinks hindutva is and why it is not /a suitable platform/the way forward for India. Choice of language will not be a factor in judging the essays either.


The best three essays shall be published on the CRI website and their authors recognised. The awards for the best three essays are as follows:

  • First place – Rs. 5,000
  • Second place – Rs. 3,000
  • Third place – Rs.  2,000

A new India for a new generation…Jai Hind!