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Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expressions of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Some scholars have argued that the use of the term "Hindu nationalism" to refer to Hindū rāṣṭravāda is a simplistic translation and is better described by the term "Hindu polity".

Hindu nationalism has been collectively referred to as the expressions of social and political thought, based on the native spiritual and cultural traditions of the Indian subcontinent. Some scholars have argued that the use of the term "Hindu nationalism" to refer to Hindū rāṣṭravāda is a simplistic translation and is better described by the term "Hindu polity".

The native thought streams became highly relevant in Indian history when they helped form a distinctive identity in relation to the Indian polity and provided a basis for questioning colonialism. They inspired the independence movements against the British Raj based on armed struggle, coercive politics, and non-violent protests. They also influenced social reform movements and economic thinking in India.