Hinduism in India
India is the birthplace of Hinduism. Hinduism is seen by many non-Hindus a set of practices of the people of India. The word Hindu is derived from the word Sindhu and signifies a person coming from the land of the river Sindhu (i.e., India). The name Sindhu is what the Hindus called the Indus River. India is the home to the largest number of Hindus. Hinduism has origins of around 2500 BCE. Presently there are around 800 million Hindus living in India and several million Hindus of Indian origin living abroad (notably the USA and South Africa).
Because of the alarming rate of conversions during the British Raj, 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.
Hindu nationalism The cause of revivalist Indian nationalism, as well as Hindu nationalism fuelled these reforms. Hindu nationalism was aggressively promoted by freedom fighters like:
- Vinayak Damodar Savarkar - for the formation of a Hindu nation.
- Bal Gangadhar Tilak - promoted hindu festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali.
- Purushottam Das Tandon - promoted Hindi as the national language of India.
- Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - one of the main people who struggled for Political integration of India.
- S. Srinivasa Iyengar - worked hard to deliver a resolution upholding Hindu-Muslim unity, bringing about a temporary political agreement between the political leaders of the two communities.
- Rabindranath Tagore - wrote the national anthem of India.
Others include: Lala Lajpat Rai, Sarojini Naidu, Syama Prasad Mookerjee, K.B. Hedgewar.
The 1947 Partition of India gave rise to bloody rioting and indiscriminate killing of Hindus and Muslims. This was a major factor in fuelling Hindu-Muslim animosity. What followed over the years was the laying of secular principles in the Indian Constitution. The last 60 years have been relatively peaceful in most parts of the country except with the notable exception of communal riots in 1991 and 2002.
Today, Hinduism and Islam play pivotal roles in politics, with political parties siding with one community, often at the expense of the other through votebank politics. However, radical Islamic and Hindu elements are still evident in some sensitive areas like Godhra, Mathura, Ayodhya, Mumbai, etc. There are 900 million Hindus living in India right now, which is the majority of the world's Hindu population.
Diwali in India
Diwali in India is celebrated much more vigorously than anywhere else. They do most of the things other countries do to celebrate Diwali, and more. In India they often stay up for most of the night singing and watching plays about the victory of light over dark, good over evil. On the day of Diwali,In India many wear new clothes, share sweets and snacks, and light firecrackers to celebrate this festival.
Census of 2001
The Hindu population of India according to the official 2001 census is given below. Most drastic decrease in 1991-2001 period is observed in Manipur, from 57% to 46%.
|DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI||206203||220490||93.52%|
|DAMAN & DIU||141901||158204||89.69%|