Why Not Hindu India?

हिन्दी में पढ़ने के लिए यहाँ क्लिक करें

Though I have lived in India for a long time, there are still issues here that I find hard to understand. For example, why do so many educated Indians become agitated when India is referred to as a Hindu country? The majority of Indians are Hindus. India is special because of its ancient Hindu tradition. Westerners are drawn to India because of Hinduism. Why then is there this resistance by many Indians to acknowledge the Hindu roots of their country? Why do some people even give the impression that an India which valued those roots would be dangerous? Don’t they know better?

This attitude is strange for two reasons. First, those educated Indians seem to have a problem only with “Hindu” India, but not with “Muslim” or “Christian” countries. Germany, for example, is a secular country, and only 59 percent of the population are registered with the two big Christian churches (Protestant and Catholic). Nevertheless, the country is bracketed under “Christian countries” and no one objects. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor, stressed recently the Christian roots of Germany and urged the population “to go back to Christian values.” In 2012 she postponed her trip to the G-8 summit to make a public address on Katholikentag, “Catholics Day.” Two major political parties carry Christian in their name, including Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union.

Germans are not agitated that Germany is called a Christian country, though I actually would understand if they were. After all, the history of the Church is appalling. The so-called success story of Christianity depended greatly on tyranny. “Convert or die” were the options given—not only some five hundred years ago to the indigenous population in America, but also in Germany, 1,200 years ago, when the emperor Karl the Great ordered the death sentence for refusal of baptism in his newly conquered realms. This provoked his advisor Alkuin to comment: “One can force them to baptism, but how to force them to believe?”

Those times, when one’s life was in danger for dissenting with the dogmas of Christianity, are thankfully over. Today many in the West do dissent and are leaving the Church in a steady stream. They are disgusted with the less-than-holy behavior of Church officials and they also can’t believe in the dogmas, for example that “Jesus is the only way” and that God sends all those who don’t accept this to hell.

The second reason why I can’t understand the resistance to associate India with Hinduism is that Hinduism is in a different category from the Abrahamic religions. Its history, compared to Christianity and Islam, was undoubtedly the least violent as it spread in ancient times by convincing arguments and not by force. It is not a belief system that demands blind acceptance of dogmas and the suspension of one’s intelligence. On the contrary, Hinduism encourages using one’s intelligence to the hilt. It is an enquiry into truth based on a refined character and intellect. It comprises a huge body of ancient literature, not only regarding dharma and philosophy, but also regarding music, architecture, dance, science, astronomy, economics, politics, etc. If Germany or any other Western country had this kind of literary treasure, it would be so proud and highlight its greatness on every occasion. When I discovered the Upanishads, for example, I was stunned. Here was expressed in clear terms what I intuitively had felt to be true, but could not have expressed clearly. Brahman is not partial; it is the invisible, indivisible essence in everything. Everyone gets again and again a chance to discover the ultimate truth and is free to choose his way back to it. Helpful hints are given but not imposed.

In my early days in India I thought every Indian knew and valued his tradition. Slowly I realized I was wrong. The British colonial masters had been successful in not only weaning away many of the elite from their ancient tradition but even making them despise it. It helped that the British-educated class could no longer read the original Sanskrit texts and believed what the British told them. This lack of knowledge and the brainwashing by the British education may be the reason why many so-called “modern” Indians are against anything Hindu. They don’t realize the difference between Western religions that have to be believed (or at least professed) blindly, and which discourage, if not forbid, their adherents to think on their own, and the multi-layered Hindu Dharma which gives freedom and encourages using one’s intelligence.

Many of the Indian educated class do not realize that those who dream of imposing Christianity or Islam on this vast country will applaud them for denigrating Hindu Dharma, because this creates a vacuum where Western ideas can easier gain a foothold. 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. As the West appropriates valuable and exclusive Hindu assets, what it leaves behind is deemed inferior. Unwittingly, these Indians are helping what Rajiv Malhotra of Infinity Foundation calls the digestion of Dharma civilization into Western universalism. That which is being digested, a deer for example, in this case Hindu Dharma, disappears whereas the digester (a tiger) becomes stronger.

If only missionaries denigrated Hindu Dharma, it would not be so bad, as they clearly have an agenda which discerning Indians would detect. But sadly, Indians with Hindu names assist them because they wrongly believe Hinduism is inferior to Western religions. They belittle everything Hindu instead of getting thorough knowledge. As a rule, they know little about their tradition except what the British have told them, i.e., that the major features are the caste system and idol worship. They don’t realize that India would gain, not lose, if it solidly backed its profound and all-inclusive Hindu tradition. 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.

When will the Westernized Indian elite realize it?

~ Maria Wirth  (freelance writer who has lived in India for the past 33 years)

जब जर्मनी ख्रिश्चन है तो क्या भारत हिन्दू है?

मैं काफ़ी अर्से से भारत में स्थित हूँ, फिर भी कई बाते समझने में मुझे अभी भी कठिनाई महसूस होती है। उदाहरण के लिए, जब भी भारत को एक हिन्दू देश मानने की बात होती है, तब बहुत सारे शिक्षित भारतीय क्यों उत्तेजित हो जाते हैं? भारत की बहुसंख्य जनता हिन्दू है। भारत की परंपराएँ इस देश की खासियत मानी जाती हैं। पश्चिमी लोग भारत की तरफ आकर्षित होने की यह एक प्रमुख वजह है। फिर भी इस देश की हिन्दू जड़ों का स्वीकार करने में कई भारतीय नागरीकों को क्या बाधा हो सकती है?

यह रवैया दो तरह से अटपटा है। पहेली बात यह है कि, इन शिक्षित हिन्दूओं को केवल ‘हिन्दू’ भारत देश के बारे में समस्या होती है, लेकिन अन्य ‘मुस्लिम’ या ‘ख्रिश्चन’ देशों से नहीं। उदाहरण के लिये, जर्मनी में केवल ५९ प्रतिशत आबादी दो प्रमुख ख्रिश्चन चर्चों से (प्रोटेस्टंट और कॅथॉलिक) जुडी हुई है, फिर भी इस देश को ‘ख्रिश्चन’ देशों की सूची में शामिल किया जाता है। चॅन्सेलर अँजेला मेर्केल ने हाल ही में जर्मनी की ख्रिश्चन जड़ों का जिक्र किया था और जनता से ‘ख्रिश्चन मूल्यों की तरफ़ वापस जाने’ का अनुरोध किया था। २०१२ में उन्हों ने जी-८ देशों की शिखर वार्ता में जाने की यात्रा, उन्हें जर्मन कॅथॉलिक दिवस के अवसर पर अभिभाषण करना था, इस कारण एक दिन के लिये विलंबित की थी। अँजेला मेर्केल की राज्यकर्ता पार्टी के साथ जर्मनी की दो प्रमुख राजकीय पार्टीयोँ के नामों में ‘ख्रिश्चन’ शब्द का समावेश है।

जर्मन लोगों को उन के देश को ख्रिश्चन कहा जाने पर कोई उत्तेजना नहीं होती, हलांकि अगर ऐसा होता तो मैं समझ सकती हूँ। क्यों कि चर्च का इतिहास वाकई भयानक है। ख्रिश्चानिटी की तथाकथित यशोगाथा की बुनियाद जुल्म और जबरदस्ती पर आधारित है। ‘धर्म परिवर्तन करो या मरो’ का विकल्प पाँचसो साल पहेले सिर्फ अमरीका की मूल रहिवासी जनता को ही नहीं दिया गया था। बल्कि बारासो साल पहेले जर्मनी में भी, कार्ल द ग्रेट नामक सम्राट नें उन के नये विजय प्राप्त मुल्कों में ईसाई दीक्षा (बपतिस्मा) लेने से इनकार करने वालों के लिये मौत की सजा का ऐलान किया था। इस से उनके सलाहकार अल्कुइन ने प्रभावित हो कर कहा था, “आप उन्हें जबरदस्ती से बापतिस्मा तो दे सकते हैं, मगर उन में जबरदस्ती से श्रद्धा कैसे पैदा  करोगे ?”

अपने सौभाग्य से अब वह दिन नहीं रहे, जब चर्च की रूढीओं के खिलाफ आवाज उठाने के लिये प्राणों का मोल चुकाना पडता था। आज कल पश्चिमी देशों में विचार विभिन्नता के कारण चर्च से संबंध तोडने वालों का एक सतत प्रवाह देखा जाता है। इस में से कुछ व्यक्ति चर्च के अधिकारिओं के नापाक वर्तन से ऊब गये हुए होते हैं, तो कुछ चर्च की रूढीओं में विश्वास नहीं कर सकते, उदाहरण के लिए, ‘जीझस के सिवाय कोई चारा नहीं है’ और ‘जो इन तत्त्वों को स्वीकार नहीं करता, उसे भगवान नरक में धकेलते हैं‘ इत्यादि

भारतीयों के हिन्दू शब्दसे जुडने के प्रति अनिच्छा या कठिनाई को न समझ पाने का  दूसरा कारण यह है कि, अब्राहामी धर्मों से हिन्दू धर्म की एक अलग ही श्रेणी है। इतिहास हमें यही बताता है कि, ख्रिश्चानिटी और इस्लाम की तुलना में हिन्दू धर्म ने अपने प्रसार और प्रचार के लिये प्राचीन काल में शास्त्रार्थ और तर्क-वितर्क का अक्सर उपयोग किया था, ना कि बल का. इस धर्म की परंपराएँ कभी भी रूढीओं में अंध विश्वास रखने की और अपनी बुद्धि के किवाड बंद रखने की मांग नहीं करती थी। उल्टा हिन्दू धर्म में अपनी बुद्धि और तर्क की कसौटी करने की चुनौती पायी जाती है। सत्य की यह ऐसी शोध है, जिस का आधार होते है शुद्ध चारित्र्य और बुद्धि । (जिसे पाने की विधि भी बताई गई है।) इस में केवल धर्म या तत्त्वज्ञान ही नहीं, बल्कि संगीत, वास्तु कला, नृत्य, विज्ञान, अर्थ शास्त्र, ज्योतिष, राजनीती इत्यादि कई सारे विषयों के बारे में महान और प्राचीन साहित्यक रचनाएँ समाविष्ट हैं।

यदि जर्मनी अथवा कोई भी अन्य पश्चिमी देश के पास इस प्रकार का साहित्य भंडार होता, तो निश्चित रूप से वह इस पर गर्व महसूस करते और उस की महानता का बारबार जिक्र करते। जब पहली बार मुझे उपनिषद पढने का सौभाग्य प्राप्त हुआ, तब मैं अवाक हो गई थी। यहाँ सहजज्ञान संबंधित ऐसी बाते इतनी स्पष्टता से कही थी, जो मैं अंदर ही अंदर जानती तो थी, लेकिन उनकी अभिव्यक्ति करना मेरे लिये असंभव था। ब्रह्मन् अपूर्ण नहीं है, वह सब के अंदर का अदृश्य, अविभाज्य मूलतत्तव है। अंतिम सत्य को पाने का मौका हर व्यक्ति को बार बार मिलता है और उसे अपनी राह चुनने की स्वतंत्रता है। उस की सहायताके लिये मार्गदर्शी सूचनाएँ बताई गयी हैं, लेकिन कहीं भी थोपी या लादी गयी नहीं है।

भारत में बसने के प्रारंभिक दिनों में मुझे ऐसा लगता था कि, सभी भारतीयों को अपनी इस महान परंपराओं का ज्ञान होगा और इसके प्रति अभिमान होगा। धीरे धीरे यह स्पष्ट होता गया कि, मैं गलत थी। ब्रिटिश सत्ता के शासकों ने भारतीय समाज के अभिजात वर्ग को प्राचीन परंपराओं से ना ही केवल अलग करने में कामयाबी पायी थी, बल्कि उन के मन में उसके प्रति घृणा भी पैदा की थी। नवशिक्षित नागरिकों के पास संस्कृत का ज्ञान नहीं था, यह बात भी ब्रिटिशों के पक्ष में थी और इसके परिणामस्वरूप ब्रिटिश अपनी कोई भी बात उनकी दिमाग़ में आसानी से डाल पाये। अपनी परंपराओं के प्रति अज्ञान और ब्रिटिशों ने किया हुवा मनोमार्जन, यही शायद आधुनिक भारतीयों के कुछ भी हिन्दू होने के प्रति दिखाई देनेवाली घृणा का कारण है। उन्हे इस फ़र्क का पता नहीं है कि, पश्चिमी धर्मों में केवल अंधश्रद्धा रखनी (कमसे कम दिखानी) होती है, और उस में अनुयायीओं को सोचने की स्वतंत्रता निषिद्ध मानी जाती है, तथा बहुपरत हिन्दू धर्म में स्वतंत्रता और अपनी बुद्धि का उपयोग करना यह दोनों चीजे संभव है।

इस शिक्षित वर्ग के ज्यादातर व्यक्तिओं के ध्यान में यह नहीं आता कि, एक तरफ़ अपने खुद के धरम की आलोचना करने के लिये पश्चिमी शक्तियाँ, खास करके वह जो अपना धर्म इस बडे देश में फैलाने के सपने देखते हैं, उन की पीठ थपथपायेगी क्यों कि उस से पश्चिमी युनिव्हर्सलिझम भारत में फैलेगा। दूसरी तरफ चर्च सहित कई अन्य पश्चिमी लोग भारतीय ज्ञान का मूल्य अंदर से पूरी तरह समझते हैं, और या तो मौका मिलते ही मूल स्रोत को छोड कर उसे अपने नाम से प्रस्तुत करने की चेष्टा में लगे हैं, अथवा उसे ऐसे पेश करना चाहते है, जैसे कि यह सत्य और ज्ञान मूलतः पश्चिम में ही पैदा हुए थे।

यदि केवल मिशनरीयों ने हिन्दू धर्म की निन्दा की होती, तो इतना बुरा नहीं होता, क्यों कि उनके पास यही लक्ष्य था और वह चतुर भारतीयों के समझ में आ भी सकता था। बुरा तो इस बात का है कि, हिन्दू नाम धारण करनेवाले भारतीय इस काम में उनकी मदद करते हैं, क्यों कि उन्हें यह गलतफ़हमी है कि, उनका धर्म पश्चिमी धर्मों से नीचले दर्जे का है। जो कुछ भी हिन्दू है, उस का पूरा ज्ञान न पाते हुए ही वह उस को घटिया मानते हैं। अपनी परंपराओं के बारे में उन्हे सिर्फ उतना पता होता है, जितना ब्रिटिशों ने उनको बताया हो। उदाहरण के लिये, धर्म की महत्त्वपूर्ण बाते मूर्तिपूजा और जातिव्यवस्था हैं, इत्यादि। उन्हे यह बात समझ में नहीं आती कि, सर्वसमावेशक और गाढी हिन्दू परंपराओं का पूरे दिल से समर्थन करने में भारत का नुकसान नहीं है, बल्कि फायदा ही है। कुछ दिनों पहले दलाई लामा ने कहा था कि, जब वह ल्हासा में युवा अवस्था में थे तभी से वह भारतीय विचारों की महानता से प्रभावित थे। उन्हों ने आगे कहाः “भारत में विश्व की मदद करने की क्षमता है।”

 पश्चिम-प्रभावित अभिजात वर्ग के भारतीयों को यह सच कब समझ में आयेगा?

मारिया विर्थ

सुभाष फडके, अनुवादक


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  • In North India, Sanskrit is nowadays taught from Class 3 onwards.

    In my time, 20 years ago, it was taught from Class 6th onwards.

    But the method of teaching was very boring & exam oriented.

    Plus the syllabus was very large.

    And so people did not take an interest in remembering what they learnt.

    They just learnt it for passing exams that’s all.

  • Indians especially the Hindus suffer from inferiority complex. The education system which they undergo just teaches them how to fill the stomach and nothing else. Hindu values are neither taught at school as parents feel it is the job of schools to do so. In the processes we end up in a society where everyone holds professional degrees with no knowledge of his past, present and how to frame a future for himself and his nation. Hindus end up in blindly aping the west and would admit follies only if west gives them a sanction.

  • People think Westernization is a large issue in India but this to me is a larger issue. You are only as good as your grassroots and particularly when it comes to religion it’s engraved in your DNA. You might act as if it is not, but Hinduism is engraved far deep within a Hindu than one can imagine and when you look yourself in the mirror you know that you are only cheating yourself thinking low of your religion.

    I think it’s high time people are retaught about Hindu values and how superior it is than any other religion. Like Maria rightly mentioned in her article, Hinduism have vedic treasures that no other religion any where in the world has – we should be proud of that. You don’t choose to be born as a Hindu but if you are, you should consider yourself gifted. It’s surprising how we undermine our own religion and one that is far superior than anything else that exists today. Be proud to be a Hindu!

  • Wonderful article. Atleast Maria Wirth knew about the true essence of our dharma. Its absolutely true, what she has told about the “educated” Hindus. i was educated in a convent school (one reason being there were only one or 2 schools that weren’t under the christian missionary in my hometown and second, the other schools had not so qualified teachers and the school standards were also not up to the mark). i remember clearly, how many teachers who taught us used to mock our Gods, their symbolism,their number, caste system which had prevailed in our society, our scriptures like the Ramayana and Mahabharata. One teacher also mocked at how Panchali could afford to handle her five husbands. The class would burst into laughter and i would be left alone to brood over why that’s absurd and why the heck did the teacher make fun of our “mythological” (i still believe them to be factual) characters!! Imagine, what would have happened if at all, she questioned about the sanctity of the characters mentioned in the bible or worse still the quran? Anyways, what i am saying is that, we definitely need to be educated about our scriptures, customs and traditions and at least let the young generation value it without trashing it saying its unreasonable.

  • Sanskrit language is the base for many of the Indian languages and it is so rich every letter in a word describes many things. In English language teaching ,analyse a sentence is a practice in grammar to understand the language. In Sanskrit “anvaya” is about the same but it can be done in many ways to get many meanings. We find many meanings to the same Verse of the Bhagavath Geetha etc. it is a very rich language . Yes it has to be learned without the pressure of exams and learning system made easier

  • Very well described..One of the reasons for this condition of Hindu dharma is of course undoubtedly because of the westernisation or the britishers inclusion..but another most important and a valid reason which is very rarely discussed is about the suppression and some brutal atrocities that some sort of downtrodden castes have undergone in the name and shade of Hindu Dharma..Great things about Hindu Dharma were being discussed very often in the recent times only when they realised the ‘danger’..All these ages ‘Hinduism’ has been very busy struggling within.. mainly because of some of its prominent caste groups who were desperate for power and supremacy..I believe that the great Hindu ancestors have created an amazing system of life with the knowledge they’ve obtained by that time and the facts they knew by that period..That system definitely have some great eminent values,some scientific benefits and also some sort of rules..Those who believe in that system are ‘Hindus’..and those whose strictly practise those rules and values were considered as ‘Brahmins’..Who are of course undoubtedly a great asset for Hindu Dharma..and i think these Brahmins are like social scientists whose tendency must be mostly upon the transformation of Hindu Dharma by maintaining its very root Structure and imbibing new things in accordance with the ever evolving society..But, the very theme and beauty of this culture has been manipulated from ages due to some stupid supremacy crisis..Which of course created a vacuum that others can take advantage of..

  • Hinduism is a way of life. It is more concerned with life rather than living . Thousands of years back Hindus had the knowledge of life and after life. They understood the evolution of beings on this planet differently. They knew that every living being is an expression of energy in a time and space based on Karma.they never had hero worship. They believed every one on this planet can actually discover a path to understand and realise their purpose of existence. They discovered the blinding curtain of words called thinking mind actually prevents them from seeing rightly.They knew if one can transend this curtain, the intuition, spirit and universe takes over leading them to a great bliss.This was termed as spiritual life.

  • Personally, I do not believe in god. I belong to a growing group that you have not accounted for.
    When you take the case of Germany, you disregard two main things:
    1. By its historical background, the country has largely been a homogenous christian population for a large period of time, with only a small influx of immigrants who follow other religions.
    2. 30+ percent (unfamiliar with the exact statistics but it shouldn’t be hard to find on the internet) has declared itself unaffiliated with any church or religious body.

    I think everybody in India needs to try and acknowledge our history for what it is, rather than trying to alter and antagonize people. There was a Hindu culture, and then there was a Muslim culture, and then there was the British Empire. We are too diverse a country and too varied a populace to uphold or have to bear one single label.

    Ultimately though, it saddens me to think that few people emphasize that before the Indus Valley Civilization or the Mughal Empire, we were all just children of the earth. Can we not just live and let live, and not try to police our neighbours?

    • And your point is? To me it looks like you are pushing for India remaining enslaved to the minority from the 2 invading religions who have been engaged in slow Hindu genocide right from the time they first set foot in here… And, it appears like you too are a member of one of those groups.. Why is it that we Hindus MUST BE DENIED ALL RIGHTS & FREEDOMS IN OUR OWN HOMELAND & quietly & “humbly” hand over the control & ownership of our lives, land, property & identity to the muslims, christians, marxists, atheists… whatever & who ever, as long as it is not us? And all that in the name of freedom/progress/secularism & whatever else you can come up with?

  • Good article.
    However what you have to understand is few things –
    a. 250 years of brainwashing, diversion are nothing but a drop in the bucket of what is a long history
    b. The colonial period (like many before it) damaged the psyche of the indian populace the impacts of which have lasted up to as recent as 2000s – talk to indian kids born after 1990s and notice the confidence they exude about themselves, their culture and their country (while outwardly they may appear westernized). So that mindset and inferiority complex will not last long.
    c. The elites whose opinion that you count of are from a generation (if not two) ago. They are a minority. Wait till you see the massive rural populace come into the mainstream. This population, thankfully is still insulated from the self-deprecating inferiority complex present elsewhere

    I’m very optimistic about HInduism and its way of life. It is a matter of time when it will assimilate what is outside like it has been doing for thousands of years.

  • I am a Westerner and I want to let you know that it is the same in the West. Leftist intellectual elites are ashamed of what they are because they are taught so in schools and universities. This paved the way for the dictatorship of islam and is orchestrated. islam is only a tool here so you will renounce your liberty for security. Behind are the corporations which want to get rid of democracies and markets regulations. The same evil master plan is at work in North America and Europe, even in Germany despite what you wrote in your article. For example, muslims took control of 25 schools in Hamburg. The problem existe not only in India.

  • The basis for this lies in what is called “vote bank politics” practised by the Congree Government over the years. Again stems from the dynastic politics. Dynasties tend to keep poor and uneducated by doling out free food thus retaining their hold on the population and thus ensuring their powers are not questioned.
    The british policy of divide and rule was adopted to the last letter, only that the majority was being divided on the basis of caste, creed and sub sects. And over time , people tended to the extreme of being either too maximist or completely meek. This worked well for the ruling class who started calling the pro-hindus as rightist and the not so sure meek ones as secular. 2014 is a new beginning and India will rise to be a economic power with religion playing a minimal role

  • I guess people in india are misinformed that europeans are christians… Before world war II, it was the case. But after the World War II, europeans generations do not go to church since they believe that religion is a tool to bring all evils in the society and creates more war… You can see for youself what is happening in other religions be it Hindu or muslims or budhist… there are division and divisions within themselves. Its like Jurrasic park dinosaurs trying to kill each other.

  • Dear All,

    to boost the Confidence & proudness abt our Tradition & values are so so so easy..

    just the pass on the essence of Vedas & Upanishaths in Simple Language.

    am planned on that way !!

    Om Shanthi !!

  • Hope one day Hindu Priests can give sermons at worship places of religious minorities for integration of India – hope the idea is sensible ………

  • When I was young I may have felt some complex that was created by the
    people around me. Especially with Christians with their outward appearance with
    their clothing etc and English and perhaps due to my family’s somewhat low income background.
    The issue is that they were groomed to project themselves as superior and act likewise.
    These are Indians who converted to Christianity. As we all know speaking in English is a tactic
    used by many of the converts as a means to show that they are superior and so on. Because of their
    affilication with the Church, convent schools etc they had a bit more information about the western countries which was thought of as a superior product….but as I grew older and received education on par with the convent schools this complex has rapidly vanished and in fact has resulted in a realization on what the mission of these convent schools in India. It’s a mad rush to these convents by parents who wanted good education for their kids….despite the fact that these convents actually denigrate Hinduism…Hindus have learnt ignore the insult to move forward….and some submit to their attacks and convert …..

    In the end it’s a state linked to the economic status to a great extent. Once this is achieved we feel even more passionate about Hinduism not just because we are Hindus but because of a superior faith.

    But at the same time my thinking is that we should not simply continue to depend on the practices created centuries ago. We need to shed some of the not so good practices and add good practices. I think we all do
    that to a great extent. For example many people quote Manu when trying to taint Hindus…but how many of us have actually read Manu’s text?? no we don’t follow these texts….they are simply a reference to how it was set up centuries ago. We should take only the good things and discard the rest.

  • Problem is that Hinduism is very huge and people today like shortcuts. They don’t understand that it is not only vast but very open! There is space for every one, every thought, every belief! You may either worship nature, Gods & Goddesses, The Supreme God, The Unseen, Formless God (who can’t be seen), The Eternal Truth or just believe in Worldly Karmas with Dharma. No Other Culture in the World shows such openness.

  • The problem with all such intellectuals is that they don’t even know that they have been mentally conditioned to think poorly about their own identity and culture. While the leaders are on the Western payrolls, the larger bulk of the urban, public school educated people do genuinely believe that their education has been superior. Plus, there is this need to be one-up than others (which by the way has also been the indirect result of the colonial era), which means that it will take tremendous self-control and maturity to unlearn and un-condition themselves in their adulthood and change their point of view. This is something very difficult for most people. Had true and complete history of Indian civilization been part of the school curriculum, all of these debates or doubts would not have arisen in the first place. Ironically and interestingly, out of my experience I have seen that these very people, suddenly start defending their Indian roots once they start living abroad in the country of their dreams – that is, once they start receiving differential treatment from the local population there. The air of superiority disappears immediately and preserving Indian customs and traditions (which are in essence, Hindu) becomes very important to them.

  • Most pathetic post I have seen in reason times. You are indeed insulting the great indian culture “Hinduism” by posting these misleading stuffs. “Hinduism” is not a religion by the way if you don’t know,its a way of life,its a culture.