Religion in India

From Wikiquote
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Religion in India is characterised by a diversity of religious beliefs and practices. Throughout India's history, religion has been an important part of the country's culture and the Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of four of the world's major religions, namely, Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism, which are collectively known as native Indian religions or Dharmic Religions.


  • For all its Muslim appeasement and anti-Hindu discriminations, the Indian state is not aggressively anti-Hindu: the Hindu-born ruling class may sell itself for petro-dollars, but it does not organize the kind of oppression which exists in Pakistan. It does not support Hinduism, but at least it passively allows Hindu culture to flourish on its own strength.
    • Elst, Koenraad. (1997) BJP vis-à-vis Hindu Resurgence
  • India consists only of minorities. Hinduism is a commonwealth of many communities, each a minority. One has to be very gullible (or so absorbed by “development”, as the present BJP team claims to be) to swallow this notion of “minority” with all the privileges that go with it. So, of course a Hindu government means no harm to the minorities, and should not. As an old VHP slogan said: “Hindu India, secular India”. It is only secularist propaganda that claims an equivalence between Hindu activism and trouble for the minorities: the more Hinduism, the more oppression for the minorities. This is a false projection of the Pakistani situation: the more of the dominant religion, the more the Hindu minority suffers.
    • K. Elst. On Modi Time (2015)
  • The primary fact in India's religious conflict is that Hinduism is fighting for its survival in its only homeland, while the "minorities" (in fact the Indian branch of powerful and wealthy multinationals) are only angling for additional conquests.
    • Elst K. Forever Ayodhya, 2023, Aryan Books International
  • Moreover, on top of this undeniable political and legal discrimination, Hindus perceive a serious threat to the very existence of their culture and society, when they look across the borders and into the future. Their acute sensitivity to minorityism is strengthened by the perception that the minorities indulge in aggression against the Hindus wherever they get the chance, and that they are also growing stronger by the day... Moreover, the so-called minority is in fact the Indian department of a world-wide movement, from which it effectively gets moral and financial support...
    However, as a citizen of a fully secular state, I strongly object to Mr. Abrahams minorityist statement. I have never heard of minorityism either as a term or as a concept somehow functional in our secular system. We do not give religious minorities a veto against decisions enacted by a democratic majority... In a secular democracy, the veto right of a religious minority is limited scrupulously to those decisions that directly the exercise of their religious freedom.
    • Elst K. Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society (1991)
  • During the 1891 census in Punjab 1,344,862 Sikhs declared themselves Hindus. When the decennial census was carried out in Gujarat in 1911 a total of 200,000 people in the province declared themselves Mohammedan Hindus. The community of Mole-Salam Girasia Rajputs had two names for its members, one Hindu and the other Muslim. Bengali Muslims invoked the Creator as ‘Sri Sri Iswar’ instead of the Islamic ‘Allahu Akbar’, and it was not uncommon for them,right into the nineteenth century, to have Hindu names.In Tamilnad when the most celebrated of the local Muslim writers, Umaru Pulavar (born c. 1655), composed a biography of Prophet Muhammad, he based it on a Tamil version of the Ramayana—this was quite similar to the Bengali anthologies on the lives of the prophet and his grandsons, Hasan and Husain, which were framed in terms of Hindu narratives. Many popular Muslim saints and their shrines in south India displayed features—particularly in terms of mythical episodes, religious objects and cultic practices—that were directly acquired from Saivite, Vaishnavite and goddess traditions. And in Punjab when the head of one of the foremost Muslim centres of pilgrimage was installed, those attending and participating in this key ceremonial included Hindus.” All these materials, I believe, are significant historical indicators that should make us rethink any simplistic usage of the categories Muslim, Sikh and Hindu. In the case of the subcontinent, the either/or dichotomy is not to be taken for granted, for the religious life of the people, particularly in the pre-colonial period, was characterized by a continuum. There was much interpenetration and overlapping of communal identities.
    • Harjot Oberoi - The Construction of Religious Boundaries_ Culture, Identity, and Diversity in the Sikh Tradition (1994, University of Chicago Press)
  • Sultan Firuz Shah composed a book also in which he compiled an account of his reign and which he named Futuhat-i-Firuz Shahi'...He writes in its second chapter:Muslim and infidel women used to visit sepulchres and temples, which led to many evils. I stopped it. I got mosques built in place of temples.
    • Futuhat-i-Firuz Shahi, in Tabqat-i-Akhari, (also known as Tabqat-i-Akbar Shahi, Tabqat-i-Akbari, Tarikh-i-Nizami) by Khwajah Nizamud-Din Ahmad bin Muhammad Muqim al-Harbi, Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Tughlaq Kalina Bharata, Aligarh, 1957. Vol. II, p. 349., in Goel, S.R. Hindu Temples - What Happened to them
  • 'The Islamic sentiment (in him) was so strong that he demolished all temples in his kingdom and left no trace of them. He constructed sarais, bazars, madrasas and mosques in Mathura which is a holy place of the Hindus and where they go for bathing. He appointed government officials in order to see that no Hindu could bathe in Mathra. No barber was permitted to shave the head of any Hindu with his razor. That is how he completely curtailed the public celebration of infidel customs.
    • Sikandar Lodi. Tãrîkh-i-Khãn Jahãn Lodî, Translated from the Urdu version by Muhammad Bashîr Husain, second edition, Lahore, 1986, pp. 172-179. In Goel S.R. Hindu Temples What Happened to them. Tãrîkh-i-Khãn Jahãnî wa Makhzan-i-Afghãnî of Khwãjah Niamatallãh Harwî, translated into Urdu by Muhammad Bashîr Husain, second edition, Lahore, 1986.
  • 'He was a stout partisan of Islam and made great endeavours on this score. He got all temples of the infidels demolished, and did not allow even a trace of them to remain. In Mathura, where the infidels used to get together for bathing, he got constructed caravanserais, markets, mosques and madrasas, and appointed there officers with instructions that they should allow no one to bathe; if any Hindu desired to get his beard or head shaved in the city of Mathura, no barber was prepared to cut his hair.
    • Tabqat-i-Akhari, Translated from the Hindi version by S.A.A. Rizvi included in Uttara Taimur Kalina Bharata, Aligarb, 1958. Vol. I, In Goel, S.R. Hindu Temples - What happened to them

External links[edit]

Wikipedia has an article about: