Hinduism in India

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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).



History of Hinduism

Reform movements

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

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:

  1. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar - for the formation of a Hindu nation.
  2. Bal Gangadhar Tilak - promoted hindu festivals like Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali.
  3. Purushottam Das Tandon - promoted Hindi as the national language of India.
  4. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel - one of the main people who struggled for Political integration of India.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.

Present state

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%.

REGION Hindus Total % Hindus
INDIA 827578868 1,028,610,328 80.46%
HIMACHAL PRADESH 5800222 6077900 95.43%
CHHATTISGARH 19729670 20833803 94.70%
ORISSA 34726129 36804660 94.35%
DADRA & NAGAR HAVELI 206203 220490 93.52%
MADHYA PRADESH 55004675 60348023 91.15%
DAMAN & DIU 141901 158204 89.69%
GUJARAT 45143074 50671017 89.09%
ANDHRA PRADESH 67836651 76210007 89.01%
RAJASTHAN 50151452 56507188 88.75%
HARYANA 18655925 21144564 88.23%
TAMIL NADU 54985079 62405679 88.11%
PONDICHERRY 845449 974345 86.77%
TRIPURA 2739310 3199203 85.62%
UTTARANCHAL 7212260 8489349 84.96%
KARNATAKA 44321279 52850562 83.86%
BIHAR 69076919 82998509 83.23%
DELHI 11358049 13850507 82.00%
UTTAR PRADESH 133979263 166197921 80.61%
MAHARASHTRA 77859385 96878627 80.37%
CHANDIGARH 707978 900635 78.61%
WEST BENGAL 58104835 80176197 72.47%
A&N 246589 356152 69.24%
JHARKHAND 18475681 26945829 68.57%
GOA 886551 1347668 65.78%
ASSAM 17296455 26655528 64.89%
SIKKIM 329548 540851 60.93%
KERALA 17883449 31841374 56.16%
MANIPUR 996894 2166788 46.01%
PUNJAB 8997942 24358999 36.94%
ARUNACHAL PRADESH 379935 1097968 34.60%
J&K 3005349 10143700 29.63%
MEGHALAYA 307822 2318822 13.27%
NAGALAND 153162 1990036 7.70%
LAKSHADWEEP 2221 60650 3.66%
MIZORAM 31562 888573 3.55%