Thursday, September 27, 2012

Setting the record straight...

...Retrieving a History
But it does seem important to draw attention to the fact that there are approximately 850 million Hindus in India; that the constitutionally mandated official name of this country is “India” or “Bharat”, not “Hindustan”; that “Hindustan” is a usage attested for centuries, and precedes the name “Pakistan” by several hundred years, long before “Hinduism” constituted itself as a modern religious identity; that 350 million people living in India are not Hindus—they are Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Jews, Parsis, tribals, atheists and others—and this does not make them in the slightest way disadvantaged before the law when it comes to their fundamental rights as citizens; and that a discussion of religion, politics and society in contemporary India which does not proceed from a basic comprehension of the difference between “Hinduism” and “Hindutva” cannot really be taken seriously.

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