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Are We Hindus If We Live in India? The Answer to Contentious Question is Here

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hindus
Hinduism. Pixabay

Oct 06, 2017: Have you ever wondered what being a Hindu means? Or who is actually fit to be called a Hindu? Over centuries, Hindus and Indians alike have asked this question to themselves or their elders at least once in their lifetime.

In the 1995 ruling of the case, “Bramchari Sidheswar Shai and others Versus State of West Bengal” the court identified seven defining characteristics of Hinduism but people are still confused to what exactly defines being a Hindu in the 21st century. It’s staggering how uninformed individuals can be about their own religion; according to a speech by Sri Dharma Pravartaka Acharya there are various common notions we carry about who a Hindu is:

  • Anyone born in India is automatically a Hindu
  • If your parents are Hindu, you’re are also inevitably a Hindu
  • If you believe in reincarnation, you’re a Hindu
  • If you follow any religion practiced in India, you’re a Hindu
  • And lastly, if you are born in a certain caste, you’re a Hindu

After answering these statements some fail to remove their doubts on who a Hindu is. The question arises when someone is unsure on how to portray themselves in the society, many people follow a set of notions which might/might not be the essence of Hinduism and upon asked why they perform a particular ritual they are clueless. The problem is that the teachings are passed on for generations and the source has been long forgotten, for the source is exactly where the answer lies.

Religion corresponds to scriptural texts

The world is home to many religions and each religion has its own uniqueness portrayed out of the scriptures and teachings which are universally accepted. So to simplify the dilemma one can say that determining whether someone belongs to a particular religion is directly related to whether he/she follows the religious scriptures of the particular religion, and also whether they abide to live by the authority of the scriptural texts.

Christianity emerges from the guidance of the Gospels and Islam from the Quran where Christians believe Jesus died for their sins and Muslims believe there is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his prophet. Similarly, Hinduism emerges from a set of scriptures known as the Vedas and a Hindu is one who lives according to Dharma which is implicated in the divine laws in the Vedic scriptures.By default, the person who follows these set of religious texts is a Hindu.

Also Read: Christianity and Islam don’t have room for a discourse. Hindus must Stop Pleasing their former Christian or Muslim masters, says Maria Wirth 

Vedas distinguishes Hindu from a Non-Hindu

Keeping this definition in mind, all the Hindu thinkers of the traditional schools of Hindu philosophy accept and also insist on accepting the Vedas as a scriptural authority for distinguishing Hindus from Non-Hindus. Further implying the acceptance of the following of Bhagwat Gita, Ramayana, Puranas etc as a determining factor by extension principle as well.

Bottom Line

So, concluding the debate on who is a Hindu we can say that a person who believes in the authority of the Vedas and lives by the Dharmic principles of the Vedas is a Hindu. Also implying that anyone regardless of their nationality i.e. American, French or even Indian can be called a Hindu if they accept the Vedas.

– Prepared by Tanya Kathuria of Newsgram                                                                

(the article was originally written by Shubhamoy Das and published by thoughtco)

  • Shaasa

    Hindu is a historical name for people living “behind the river Indus”. So, everyone living in India is a Hindu, eventhough he might have a different faith.

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63% Indians Now Want to Replace Meat With Plant-Based Food

Ipsos, an independent market research company, carried out the survey between August 24-September 7, 2018 in 29 countries. The sample size for the survey in India was 1,000, it said

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63% Indians want to replace meat with plant-based food: Report. Pixabay

As the country grapples with health-related issues such as diabetes, healthier food choices might be the flavour of the season with a poll showing that around 63 per cent Indians (now want) eat plant-based food in place of meat.

An Ipsos report ‘Food Habits of Indians: Ipsos Study’ observed that Indians are making informed choices, experimenting and moving away from norms.

“We know that Indians love their food and would drool for specialties like tandoori chicken, mutton and fish and their various non-vegetarian avatars. But 63 per cent of Indians polled say that are willing to eat a plant-based substitute for meat,” the report said on Monday.

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Eat less meat to meet climate targets, claims study. Pixabay

As per the report, 57 per cent of the people surveyed consume organic foods.

“57 per cent Indians claim to be consuming organic food. In sharp contrast, the developed world is least likely to eat organic food — only 12 per cent of Brits and 13 per cent of Japanese, for instance,” it said.

Also Read- Apple Launches Fitness Apps on Apple Watch Series 4 For Marathon Season

Ipsos, an independent market research company, carried out the survey between August 24-September 7, 2018 in 29 countries. The sample size for the survey in India was 1,000, it said.  (IANS)