Hinduism - Hope and Hindutva A Message of Peace And Humanity, a photo by firoze shakir photographerno1 on Flickr.
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Hinduism in India
Hinduism is a religion of the Indian subcontinent of India, with 80.5% of the population identifying themselves as Hindu. The vast majority of Hindus in India belong to Vaishnavite and Shaivite denominations.
The Vedic culture originated in India between 2000 and 1500 BC. As a consequence, Hinduism, considered to be the successor of Vedic religion, has had a profound impact on India's history, culture and philosophy. The name India itself is derived from Greek Ἰνδία for Indus, which is derived from the Old Persian word Hindu, from Sanskrit Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the Indus River. Another popular alternative name of India is Hindustān, meaning the "land of Hindus". The Marathas of India are considered as champions of Hinduism.
In response to the high rate of conversions during the Muslim Mughal and Christian British rule, Hinduism in India and abroad (like Guyana and Suriname) underwent a series of reforms, the spearheading organisations being Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj. Religious leaders like Swami Vivekananda, Dayanand Saraswati, Raja Ram Mohan Roy, Sri Aurobindo and political leaders like Gandhi called for reform and complete turnover of the social structuring. Tulsidas, Sant Kabeer Das, Raidas, Chaitanya Mahaprabhu etc. were pioneer of the bhakti movement for the social reformation.
India saw Muslim and later European rule; yet the country remains dominated by Hindus. Some account the strength of Hinduism for the sponge-like nature of the religion, in that to worship Jesus Christ or Allah does not necessarily contradict Hinduism. This religion has polytheistic tendencies, so considering another conception of God another form or avatar of the ultimate reality or creator is certainly possible. While most Hindus do not worship non Hindu God(s), it is possible in the explanation.
Another reason could be like Buddhism, Hinduism is an ancient religion with well established traditions that cut deeply into Indian daily life. Unlike indigenous American or African religions, which vary from tribe to tribe, these Indian religions spread across the vast entity that was the Indian subcontinent, generally accepted by a majority of Indian ethnic and tribal groups. Hindu civilization had a long history on its own, with well developed scriptures and traditions. It would be much more difficult to convert members of a religion that was accredited with defining a civilization than would be tribal peoples.
Main article: Hindu nationalism
Hindu nationalism fueled Indian nationalism following partition. Hindu nationalism was aggressively promoted by right wing Hindus like:
Vinayak Damodar Savarkar - for the formation of Akhand Bharat
Purushottam Das Tandon - promoted Hindi as the Official language of India
Others include: Syama Prasad Mookerjee, K.B. Hedgewar.
The 1947 Partition of India gave rise to bloody rioting and indiscriminate inter-communal killing of Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs. Around 7.5 million Muslims were forced out and left for West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now known as Bangladesh) and 7.2 million Hindus moved to India. This was a major factor in fueling Hindu-Muslim animosity. What followed over the years was the laying of secular principles in the Indian Constitution. The last 60 years have been seemingly peaceful in most parts of the country except with the notable exception of communal riots in 1992 and 2002 and the wars fought against Pakistan.
Christian missionary groups from the West seek to convert the populace, Muslim, Sikh and Hindu, to Christianity, often using external aid, education and medical care as an inducement or bribe, and thus have been at loggerheads with right wing Hindu groups.
Kerala, Andhra, and the North East are some of the regions where conversion is prevalent.In Response to the activities of Christian Missonaries in India,the Hardline Hindu groups like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) have agressively started reconversion of converted Christians as well as Muslims back to Hinduism. The Hindus still form the majority community in most regions of the country, except the Valley of Kashmir, Punjab and three states in the North-East - namely Mizoram, Nagaland and Meghalaya. However, when considered as a region the North-East still has a slight Hindu majority. There is even reason to believe that Hinduism is growing through the incorporation of tribal belief-systems in specific areas of the North-East. However, in the Kashmir valley the Hindu population has plummeted as an outcome of the civil unrest when more than 500,000 members of Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) were forced to leave the valley by fanatic muslim terrorists. Pakistan sponsored terrorists attempt to liberate Kashmir from Indian rule in line with presumably the majority Muslim population's desire for independence, which was expressed at independence but overruled by the ruling Hindu Maharajah and the British during partition. In Punjab the Sikhs form the majority population.