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India Is a Hindu Nation: Why Feel Shy About It?

Updated on December 25, 2017

Background

Background

I have lived in India for my entire life, but some things have intrigued me. One of the things that bugs me and for which I have no immediate explanation, is that why a great number of educated Indians become agitated when India is referred to as a Hindu country?

The facts are palpably clear that the majority (almost 80%) is Hindus and also Hindu tradition dates back to 5000BC. This was a time when most other civilizations were in the Stone Age. Another facet that must be mentioned is that Westerners from Europe and America are attracted to India because of Hinduism and for no other reason. Despite this there is educated elite that wishes to deny the ancient roots of Hinduism and the deep philosophy that can be traced to thousands of years before Muhammed or Christ appeared.

To my mind this approach looks strange. A little dissection shows that these so called elite seem to have a problem only with “Hindu” India. They have no qualms with the “Muslim” or “Christian” countries. An example may perhaps bring out the hypocrisy of these so called Hindu elite.

Germany is a nation with a long and tortured history. It has seen the rise of Hitler with his race policies. But now it is a secular country. The dominant faith is Christian and only 59 percent of the population is registered with the two big Christian churches (Protestant and Catholic).

Despite only 59% having registered as Christians the German nation today is bracketed as a Christian nation. Nobody seems to having any objections to this terminology, but India which is 80% Hindu is objected by many to being called a Hindu nation. I will remind readers that Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, stressed Germany had Christian roots. People can’t forget that in 2012 she exhorted the people of Germany to go back to their Christian roots.

There is no agitation in Germany to considering Germany a Christian nation, though the past history of Christianity in Europe is far from reassuring. The Baltic States were Christianized by the sword. Entire indigenous tribes in America were converted at sword point. Even in Germany 1200 years back Emperor Karl the Great in an act of tyranny ordered the death sentence for all and sundry who refused to be baptized.

Those times, are of course over and Christianity is much more liberal now. Many are leaving the church who does not agree with the dogmatic policy of Christ as the only savior.

Situation in India

In India the entire scenario is different. One fact stands out is that Hinduism is different from Islam and Christianity. Both Islam and Christianity at some point in time used the sword to devastating effect for conversion. But Hinduism is the only religion that spread by love. There has never been any violence in the spread of Hinduism.it spread in ancient times by convincing arguments and not by force. It is belief system that is cerebral and caters to the higher echelons of the mind.

However unlike in the other nations Indian do not value their tradition. Perhaps 900 years of Muslim rule and 200 by English have weaned away the educated elite to denigrate the ancient philosophy. They can’t read Sanskrit and have been so brain washed that they feel “modern” and Hindu cannot go together.

The role of the missionaries cannot be underestimated. On orders of the Vatican they decry Hindu gods to the young and bring out the ills of Hinduism like caste. Unfortunately we have an elite that feels it is passé to criticize being Hindu. There is an inherent sense of shame and such elite feel happy in Moslem and Christian company. The Indian Congress party has had a big hand in this and the leaders even Gandhi will have to answer to the bar of history.

Last Word

At the same time, many Westerners, including staunch Christians, know the value of Hindu culture and surreptitiously appropriate insights from the vast Indian knowledge system, drop the original Hindu source and present it either as their own or make it look as if these insights had already been known in the West. Isn’t this sad? Yet Hinduism still has a lot to offer as it is an ocean whose depth cannot be fathomed

Recently the Dalai Lama said some time ago that, as a youth in Lhasa, he had been deeply impressed by the richness of Indian thought. “India has great potential to help the world,” he added. It is not only the Dalai Lama, but a new enlightened elite in the west is having a relook at Hinduism and the infinte wisdom that is hidden within its folds. Yet the Hindu elite is running away and that will spell doom for them in the long run,

Comments

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    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      23 months ago from Abu Dhabi

      Thank you Austin. Nice to read your comments

    • AshutoshJoshi06 profile image

      Ashutosh Joshi 

      23 months ago from New Delhi, India

      I may have my disconnects with some orthodox beliefs but I fully support your views on India being predominantly a Hindu nation, that proudly embraces all religions and allows them to flourish.

      To what you have mentioned about Hindus feeling embarassed or getting worked up with the thought of a hindu nation is primarily owing to the politcs and how I always refer it as a Politico-Media-Religion nexus. Hindus especially educated ones do have a rational outlook and many of them are returning back to their roots but still many feel that the very idea of being Hindu today is holding a safron flag and being looked as a problem creator in the society.

      Thats all thanks to our political classs. All of them with no exception.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Thank you Grand old lady. Such a pleasure to read your comment. Hope you do come to India

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      2 years ago from Philippines

      This is very nice and educational article. Hinduism sounds so interesting. My dream is to one day visit India.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      People are not dogs. I suggest training our children to walk away from a fight. Do not become enmeshed in combat. As individuals we may choose to leave a bad situation. Learn to be constructive with your life... Not destructive. You can always control yourself.

      This article is about Hinduism. We must stop making heroes out of killers in our stories. It sets a bad precedent. The same applies to other religions. In Judeo-Christianity Joshua is depicted as a hero for killing Canaanites. Change our stories and teachings to depict Peace Makers as heroes: MLK, Gandhi....

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Jay, in a particular scenario related by you I agree that killing is not desirable. Mentally ill persons need treatment, but sometimes people can run amuck. What do you do to a mad dog?

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Peace Officers arrest dangerous men and bring them to trial and perhaps incarceration. There is a need for social justice. There is no need to decide to kill people before hand. About 20% of the adult population has some form of mental illness. Perhaps we should consider this from the standpoint of a mentally ill person. There is a mental health warrant available.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Thank you, Jay. I have also been an airman ( Fighter pilot) and I do agree that killing is not the answer, but there is a big BUT. What if you spare a dangerous man and he kills you? It has happened so many times. Sometimes it is righteous to draw the word like facing the ISI.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      "If you recollect Guru Gobind Singh said " if all else fails it's righteous to draw the sword" This is what Krishna taught."

      I respectfully disagree with Guru Gobind Singh and suggest that Krishna did Not teach the killing of one person by another. Yes, I know the Bhagavad Gita says what you suggest. However, I suggest a new and different view which is better.

      I suggest Krishna/God/Allah/Yahweh are all one and we are all art of this one great God Organism. If we harm or kill another person it is like harming ourselves. We are not to harm, but to instruct. Killing has no part in it. Now do you understand?

      I recognize the need for social order. After 20 years as a Peace Officer I have concluded that killing someone is Not the answer. You may arrest someone without harming them.

      Arjuna had many options. Killing your family is Not one of them.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      If you recollect Guru Gobind Singh said " if all else fails it's righteous to draw the sword" This is what Krishna taught. The battle of Kurukshetra was fought when all overtures made by the Pandavas for peace were rejected by Durodhyan and the Kauravas. It was righteous to draw the sword. Look what happened to the Jews in Hitler's Germany as they were defenceless. So the sword has a meaning, but not for converting but only to follow Dharma. Hindus never fought Islam with the English as ally.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Place God over nation and do not fight at all.

      Look at the precedent set by Arjuna: kill during a war.

      There is no duty (Dharma) to kill anyone ever.

      There is a duty to arrest Without Harm to maintain social order, but not with intent to kill as with Arjuna.

      Hindus fought with the British against Islam.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Hi OBrien. Thanks for stimulating the mind. However though violence per se is bad, the fact of Arjuna killing in battle his cousins and uncle doesn't fit in here. Firstly Hindus ñever killed anybody to convert to Hinduism, so rampant in Islam and Christianity. Secondly Hindus only reacted to force. Arjiná fought a battle and killings took place in war. I am basically talking about conversion by the sword which never happen during any Hindu rule/period.

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      Hello again, just checking in. Didn't Arjuna kill his family based on his religious beliefs? Let us agree at the beginning that harming/killing another person is the wrong result. Therefore any reasoning getting to a wrong result must be flawed.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Jay, you have raised some interesting points which I shall endeavour to answer in a later post. Thank you for commenting

    • Jay C OBrien profile image

      Jay C OBrien 

      2 years ago from Houston, TX USA

      From article:

      "Both Islam and Christianity at some point in time used the sword to devastating effect for conversion. But Hinduism is the only religion that spread by love. There has never been any violence in the spread of Hinduism.it spread in ancient times by convincing arguments and not by force. It is belief system that is cerebral and caters to the higher echelons of the mind."

      Yes, Judaism, Christianity and Islam converted by the sword and I am opposed to violence in religion. I am also concerned about violence in Hinduism. Didn't Arjuna kill his cousins and uncle based on his religious beliefs?

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      thank you grand old lady for appreciating and commenting. Its great to know that you like such hubs

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 

      2 years ago from Philippines

      This is a wonderful article about the benefits of Hinduism. I hope you write more articles about it, like its faith and practices. Thank you for the learning experience:).

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Thank you Gundu for comments

    • 10000001 profile image

      madugundu krishna 

      2 years ago from Yemmiganur

      the great devotion

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Thank you Devika for your support..

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 

      2 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A very interesting hub on Hinduism. I like the way you presented this hub. The photos are colorful and I Tweeted.

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Dear Promod, Thank you for your comment. I wrote this hub as many erudite Hindus are everyday criticizing India and Hinduism. I hope these people can see reason. Hinduism has some faults and need to be rectified, no doubt about it, but the philosophy is simply great

    • emge profile imageAUTHOR

      Madan 

      2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      Thank you Sukhneet for commenting. It is good you feel proud of being Indian

    • pramodgokhale profile image

      pramodgokhale 

      2 years ago from Pune( India)

      Yes ,

      we need not shy at all.British education and England returned graduates were blind follower of Empire and became Anglophile.Hindus produced shenanigans (Above the top) like Gandhi and Nehru. They damaged Hindu social fabric and under the name of so called rationalist who criticized Hinduism for nothing.Hindus let Hindus down. Untouchable is a curse on Hinduism and we should rectify immediately.

      Caste system needs to be overhauled and dialogues among communities should begin to close differences.

    • sukhneet profile image

      Sukhneet Kaur Bhatti 

      2 years ago from India

      Well, a bit perplexed about the points you have added. Somehow I am not shy about being a Hindustani, I am shy about the mentality of the people that still needs a revolutionary change. Else, I am proud to be an Indian, a country that is known for its cultural heritage. No other country in the world has such different cultures and colorful people. Love it!

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