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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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Indians Spending Over 10 Hours on Their Devices Daily, Adobe Survey Reveals

Online news sources emerged as the second-best method to source and share information for the mobile-friendly Indians

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The headquarters of Adobe Systems in San Jose, California
The headquarters of Adobe Systems in San Jose, California. Wikimedia

Seeking more personalised experiences, Indians are spending over 10 hours on their devices daily, representing the changing content consumption habits, a new Adobe survey revealed on Wednesday.

As part of its “2019 Brand Content Survey”, the software major found that two-third of those surveyed were using two devices at the same time constantly or frequently.

Over 400 million millennials in India choose trustworthy brands that respect their privacy primarily, the findings showed.

“Brands that can strike the right level of personalisation will forge stronger connections with their customers, resulting in brand loyalty and growth,” said Sunder Madakshira, Head, Marketing, Adobe India.

According to the survey, two-thirds of India’s digital users, especially between the 23-49 age group, are comfortable making unplanned purchases from a brand.

Nearly 69 per cent shoppers in the country prefer online marketplaces for purchasing products.

phones
India made the biggest contribution to the demand for smart feature phones in 2018. Pixabay

While 49 per cent people visit a brand’s website to buy products, 31 per cent people still make purchases via physical stores and 28 per cent Indians use smart speakers and voice assistants to make purchases, the survey noted.

“It is not surprising that online review sites, social media networking sites and video channels were voted as critical cogs of pre and post purchase interactions, especially in the younger age groups,” added Madakshira.

Nearly 95 per cent of the people between the 18-34 age group trust Google-owned YouTube the most, while middle-aged and elderly people rely more on Facebook.

Also Read- Snapchat Adds 4 Million New Users in the First Quarter

India has nearly 300 million Facebook users and over 265 million YouTube users.

Online news sources emerged as the second-best method to source and share information for the mobile-friendly Indians. (IANS)