Saturday, January 30, 2016

India is not Hindu, and Hindu is not India

Dear Intelligentsia,

Let's take a 5 minute lesson in vocabulary.

India: A LAND, a place which has unbroken history for over 4000 years at least. Needless to add, the cultural tradition is deep, chequered and rich.

Hinduism: A RELIGION which, according to the popular history still taught in Indian schools, is not native to India and was brought from Central Asia by an invading population called the Aryans.

The known history of India predates the invaders by at least 1500 years and since 400 BC - The Rise of Buddhism, and 790 AD, the first Arab Invasion of Sindh, this history is multicultural and owes its evolution to practitioners of many religions.

Everything that is Indian is not Hindu. Let's take a minute to understand the following common mistakes of identification:

Classical Dance: Indian

Ganesha Stuti: Hindu

Classical Music - both Carnatic and Hindustani - Indian

Saraswati Vandana: Hindu

Yoga: Indian

Gayatri Mantra: Hindu

Sanskrit: Indian

Vishnu: Hindu

Vande Mataram: National Song of India

Om Jai Jagdish Hare: Hindu

Arithmetic: Indian

Vishnu Sahastranama: Hindu

Ayurveda: Indian

Mahamrityunjay Mantra: Hindu

Arthashastra: Indian

Suprabhatams: Hindu

When in doubt, ask yourself, "Does it pertain to Hinduism?" If the answer is no, it is not Hindu.

And now, if you will please stop labelling everything Indian as the Charge of the Saffron Brigade, I will be very grateful. And happy to note that you definitely passed your Class 6 History exam. Thank you.

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