Hinduism in India

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Indian Hindus
Om symbol.svg
Akshardham Temple.jpg
Total population
966.3 million[1] (2011)
79.8% of population Decrease
Regions with significant populations
Uttar Pradesh159,312,654
Maharashtra89,703,056
Bihar86,078,686
Madhya Pradesh66,007,121
West Bengal64,385,546
Tamil Nadu63,188,168
Rajasthan60,657,103
Religions
Hinduism (majority)
Tribal religion and Sarna (minority)
Scriptures
Bhagavad Gita, Vedas and others
Languages
Sanskrit (sacred)
Indian languages (according to the region)

Hinduism is the largest religion in India.[2][3] According to the 2011 Census of India, 966.3 million people identify as Hindu,[1] representing 79.8% of the country's population. India contains 94% of the global Hindu population, the world's largest Hindu population.[4] The Indian subcontinent is the birthplace of four of the world's major religions: namely Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, and Sikhism—collectively known as Indian religions that believe Moksha is the most supreme state of the Ātman (soul).[5] The vast majority of Indian Hindus belong to Shaivite and Vaishnavite denominations.[6] India is one of the three countries in the world (Nepal and Mauritius being the other two) where Hinduism is the dominant religion.

History of Hinduism[edit]

The Vedic culture developed in India in 1500 BCE and 500 BCE.[7] After this period, the Vedic religion merged with local traditions and the renouncer traditions, resulting in the emergence of Hinduism,[8] which has had a profound impact on India's history, culture and philosophy. The name India itself is derived from Sanskrit Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the Indus River.[9] Another popular alternative name of India is Hindustān, meaning the "land of Hindus".[10] India saw the rule of both Hindu and Muslim rulers from c. 1200 CE to 1750 CE.[11] The fall of Vijayanagar Empire to Muslim sultans had marked the end of Hindu dominance in the Deccan. Hinduism once again rose to political prestige, under the Maratha Empire.[12][13]

The Partition of British India was based on religion. (as shown in map)

Partition of India[edit]

The 1947 Partition of India gave rise to bloody rioting and indiscriminate inter-communal killing of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs across the Indian subcontinent. As a result, around 7.2 million Hindus and Sikhs moved to India and 7.5 million Muslims moved to Pakistan permanently, leading to demographic change of both the nations to a certain extent.[14]

I find no parallel in history for a body of converts and their descendants claiming to be a nation apart from the parent stock.

— Mahatma Gandhi, opposing the division of India on the basis of religion in 1944.[15]

Demographics[edit]

Population trends for major religious groups in India (1951–2011)
Religious
group
Population
% 1951
Population
% 1961
Population
% 1971
Population
% 1981
Population
% 1991
Population
% 2001
Population
% 2011[16]
Hinduism 84.1% 83.45% 82.73% 82.30% 81.53% 80.46% 79.80%
Islam 9.8% 10.69% 11.21% 11.75% 12.61% 13.43% 14.23%
Christianity 2.30% 2.44% 2.60% 2.44% 2.32% 2.34% 2.30%
Sikhism 1.79% 1.79% 1.89% 1.92% 1.94% 1.87% 1.72%
Buddhism 0.74% 0.74% 0.70% 0.70% 0.77% 0.77% 0.70%
Jainism 0.46% 0.46% 0.48% 0.47% 0.40% 0.41% 0.37%
Zoroastrianism 0.13% 0.09% 0.09% 0.09% 0.08% 0.06% not counted
Others/Religion not specified 0.43% 0.43% 0.41% 0.42% 0.44% 0.72% 0.88%

Hindu population by States and Territories[edit]

Percentage of Hindus in each district. Data derived from 2011 census.
Hindu in India population by States and Territories, according to the 2011 census.[citation needed]
Region Hindus Total % Hindus
India 966,257,353 1,210,854,977 79.80%
Himachal Pradesh 6,532,765 6,864,602 95.17%
Dadra and Nagar Haveli 322,857 343,709 93.93%
Odisha 39,300,341 41,974,218 93.63%
Chhattisgarh 23,819,789 25,545,198 93.25%
Madhya Pradesh 66,007,121 72,626,809 90.89%
Daman and Diu 220,150 243,247 90.50%
Gujarat 53,533,988 60,439,692 88.57%
Rajasthan 60,657,103 68,548,437 88.49%
Andhra Pradesh 74,824,149 84,580,777 88.46%
Tamil Nadu 63,188,168 72,147,030 87.58%
Haryana 22,171,128 25,351,462 87.46%
Puducherry 1,089,409 1,247,953 87.30%
Karnataka 51,317,472 61,095,297 84.00%
Tripura 3,063,903 3,673,917 83.40%
Uttarakhand 8,368,636 10,086,292 82.97%
Bihar 86,078,686 104,099,452 82.69%
Delhi 13,712,100 16,787,941 81.68%
Chandigarh 852,574 1,055,450 80.78%
Maharashtra 89,703,056 112,374,333 79.83%
Uttar Pradesh 159,312,654 199,812,341 79.73%
West Bengal 64,385,546 91,276,115 70.54%
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 264,296 380,581 69.45%
Jharkhand 22,376,051 32,988,134 67.83%
Goa 963,877 1,458,545 66.08%
Assam 19,180,759 31,205,576 61.47%
Sikkim 352,662 610,577 57.76%
Kerala 18,282,492 33,406,061 54.73%
Manipur 1,181,876 2,855,794 41.39%
Punjab 10,678,138 27,743,338 38.49%
Arunachal Pradesh 445,876 1,383,727 30.04%
Jammu and Kashmir 3,566,674 12,541,302 28.43%
Meghalaya 342,078 2,966,889 11.53%
Nagaland 173,054 1,978,502 8.75%
Lakshadweep 1,788 64,473 2.77%
Mizoram 30,136 1,097,206 2.75%

Hindu majority State/Union Territory in India[edit]

List of most Hindu majority states with more than 80% of population of Hindus.[17]

  1. Himachal Pradesh – (95.17%)
  2. Dadra and Nagar Haveli – (93.93%)
  3. Orissa – (93.63%)
  4. Chhattisgarh – (93.25%)
  5. Madhya Pradesh – (90.89%)
  6. Daman and Diu – (90.50%)
  7. Gujarat – (88.57%)
  8. Rajasthan – (88.49%)
  9. Andhra Pradesh – (88.46%)
  10. Tamil Nadu – (87.58%)
  11. Haryana – (87.46%)
  12. Puducherry – (87.30%)
  13. Karnataka – (84.00%)
  14. Tripura – (83.40%)
  15. Uttarakhand – (82.97%)
  16. Bihar – (82.69%)
  17. Delhi – (81.68%)
  18. Chandigarh – (80.78%)

Apart from this, there are 10 States/Union Territory of Hindu majorities. With Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal having more than 70 percent of population.[17]

Historical Hindu Population
YearPop.±%
1951 303,675,084—    
1961 366,541,417+20.7%
1971 453,492,481+23.7%
1981 562,379,847+24.0%
1991 690,091,965+22.7%
2001 827,722,142+19.9%
2011 966,257,353+16.7%
Source: census of India

The Hindu population has increased more than three times from 303,675,084 in 1951 to 966,257,353 in 2011, but the hindu percentage share of total population have declined from 84.1% in 1951 to 79.8% in 2011 census.[18][19] When India achieved independence in 1947, Hindus formed 85% of the total population, though pre-Partition British India had 73% of Hindus and 24% of Muslims.

Among the community, it is estimated that Forward castes comprise 26 per cent, Other Backward Classes comprise 43%, Scheduled Castes (Dalits) comprises 22% and Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis) comprise 9%.[20]

West Bengal[edit]

Two districts in West Bengal, Malda and North Dinajpur, had a Hindu majority in 2001 census which, by the time of the 2011 census, had become a Hindu minority or plurality.[21] The percentage of Hindu population in the state has decreased from 78.45% in 1951 to 70.54% in 2011. Another district, Murshidabad, is a Muslim majority district where the Muslim population steadily increased from 55.24% in 1951 to 66.27% in 2011.[22]

Uttar Pradesh[edit]

The proportion of Hindus in the Saharanpur district was 59.49% in 2001. This had declined to 56.74% by 2011 – a drop of 2.74%age points. At the same time the Muslim population increased from 39.11% in 2001 to 41.95 per cent in 2011.[23]

Assam[edit]

A study on population composition of Assam reveals that the Hindu population in Assam has declined from 70.78% in 1951 to 61.47% in 2011. Whereas in 1891, the Muslim population in Assam was only about 5%, by the 2001 census it had risen to above 30% and by 2011 to above 34% of the total Assam population.[24][verification needed] According to the 2001 census, there were six Muslim-majority districts in Assam, increasing to nine by the time of the 2011 census.[25]

Kerala[edit]

The population of Hindus in Kerala has more than doubled from 8,344,351 in 1951 to 18,282,492 in 2011 census.[26]

Hindu population of Kerala (1901–2011)[27][26]
Census

Year

Hindus Decadal Growth rate (%)
1901 4,378,305 68.5% N/A
1911 4,762,393 66.8% +8.77
1921 5,052,039 64.9% +6.08
1931 6,021,982 63.4% +19.20
1941 6,699,600 61.8% +11.25
1951 8,344,351 61.6% +24.55
1961 10,282,568 60.9% +23.23
1971 12,683,277 59.4% +23.35
1981 14,801,347 58.2% +16.70
1991 16,668,587 57.3% +12.62
2001 17,920,105 56.3% +7.51
2011 18,282,492 54.9% +2.02

Hindu minority State/Union Territory in India[edit]

Of the 28 states in India, Hindus form majority in 22 states except for Punjab (Sikh majority), Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, and Mizoram (Christian majority). In Manipur, Hinduism is a plurality religion, where Hinduism is practised by 41.39% and Christianity is followed by 41.29%.[17] Out of the eight Union territories, Hindus form majority in five.[17][28]

Hindus are minority in six states and three union territories of India namely—[29][30]

  1. Mizoram – (2.75%),
  2. Lakshadweep – (2.77%),
  3. Nagaland – (8.74%),
  4. Meghalaya – (11.52%),
  5. Ladakh – (12.11%),
  6. Jammu and Kashmir – (28.8%),
  7. Arunachal Pradesh – (29.04%),
  8. Punjab – (38.49%) and
  9. Manipur – (41.39%)

Out of the eight states of northeast India, Tripura, Sikkim, and Assam are Hindu majority while four have Hindus as a minority, and one as a plurality.[31]

Manipur[edit]

A decrease in the 1991–2001 period is observed in Manipur, from 57% to 52% population share, where there has been a resurgence of the indigenous Sanamahi religion. The Hindu Population share in Manipur decreased also in 2001–2011 from 52% to 41.4%. The religious conversion of Hindus to Christianity and migration of Christians from Nagaland are considered as the reason for this decrease in Hindu population.[32]

Law & politics[edit]

Some right wing Hindu organisations have demanded that India should be declared a "Hindu state".[33] As of 28th July 2020, there were pleas going on Supreme court of India to remove the words secular and socialist from the Preamble to the Constitution of India.[34]

See also[edit]

Reference[edit]

  1. ^ a b "India's religions by numbers". The Hindu. 26 August 2015. Archived from the original on 15 November 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2021 – via www.thehindu.com.
  2. ^ "The Major Religions In India". WorldAtlas. 20 September 2020. Archived from the original on 24 February 2021. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  3. ^ "Indian Culture – Religion". Cultural Atlas. Archived from the original on 19 July 2021. Retrieved 28 July 2021.
  4. ^ "By 2050, India to have world's largest populations of Hindus and Muslims". Pew Research Center. Archived from the original on 22 April 2015. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  5. ^ Olivelle, Patrick. "Moksha | Indian religion". Encyclopedia Britannica. Archived from the original on 1 January 2021. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  6. ^ "Major Branches of Religions". www.adherents.com. Archived from the original on 19 August 1999. Retrieved 13 August 2017.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  7. ^ N. Siegel, Paul (1986). The meek and the militant: religion and power across the world. Zed Books, 1987. ISBN 9780862323493.
  8. ^ Hoiberg, Dale. Students' Britannica India. Popular Prakashan, 2000. ISBN 9780852297605.
  9. ^ "India", Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 2100a.d. Oxford University Press.
  10. ^ "Hindustan definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary". www.collinsdictionary.com. Archived from the original on 6 January 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2017.
  11. ^ Neusner, Jacob (7 October 2009). World Religions in America, Fourth Edition. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 189. ISBN 9781611640472. Archived from the original on 24 August 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  12. ^ Tinker, Hugh (1966). South Asia: A Short History. University of Hawaii Press. p. 18. ISBN 9780824812874. Archived from the original on 24 August 2021. Retrieved 11 October 2017.
  13. ^ Ganesha on the Dashboard Archived 15 December 2019 at the Wayback Machine p. 176, V. Raghunathan, M. A. Eswaran, Penguin
  14. ^ Talbot, Ian; Singh, Gurharpal (23 July 2009). The Partition of India. Cambridge University Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0-521-85661-4. Archived from the original on 13 December 2016. Retrieved 3 September 2021.
  15. ^ Prof. Prasoon (1 January 2010). My Letters.... M.K.Gandhi. Pustak Mahal. p. 120. ISBN 978-81-223-1109-9. Archived from the original on 6 December 2019. Retrieved 28 December 2019.
  16. ^ "Population by religious community - 2011". 2011 Census of India. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner. Archived from the original on 25 August 2015. Retrieved 25 August 2015. Percentages are calculated from population figures for individual religions in this word document by dividing them from total population of India.
  17. ^ a b c d "C-1 Population By Religious Community". Census of India. Archived from the original on 13 September 2015. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  18. ^ "Key findings about the religious composition of India".
  19. ^ "Census: Hindu share dips below 80%, Muslim share grows but slower". 24 January 2015.
  20. ^ Sachar, Rajinder (2006). "Sachar Committee Report (2004–2005)" (PDF). Government of India. p. 6. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 April 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
  21. ^ "Bengal beats India in Muslim growth rate". Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  22. ^ "Report taking shape amid infiltration buzz". www.telegraphindia.com. Archived from the original on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  23. ^ "Assembly elections: Minorities on majority route in Uttar Pradesh". Archived from the original on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 16 March 2020.
  24. ^ "Citizenship Amendment Act: BJP chasing ghosts in Assam; Census data shows number of Hindu immigrants may have been exaggerated – India News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 18 December 2019. Archived from the original on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  25. ^ Jain, Bharti (26 August 2015). "Muslim majority districts in Assam up | India News – Times of India". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 8 November 2020. Retrieved 17 November 2020.
  26. ^ a b "Kerala population Demographics" (PDF). Bitscan. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  27. ^ Raghunath, Arjun (16 March 2016). "Kerala: Muslims will be double the number of Christians by 2051". Deccan Chronicle. Archived from the original on 12 November 2020. Retrieved 19 July 2021.
  28. ^ ""Religion Must Be Viewed Pan-India": Top Court On Hindus-As-Minorities Plea". City: Thiruvananthapuram. The Times of India. TNN. 2 August 2017. Archived from the original on 17 December 2019. Retrieved 31 December 2019.
  29. ^ "SC quashes plea on minority status for Hindus in 8 states". Hindustan Times. 18 December 2019. Archived from the original on 5 June 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
  30. ^ "'Minority' plea on Hindus in 9 states". www.telegraphindia.com. Archived from the original on 25 August 2021. Retrieved 7 June 2021.
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  32. ^ "Christian population on the rise in Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur". City: New Delhi. Hindustan Times. TNN. 9 March 2017. Archived from the original on 20 October 2021. Retrieved 1 January 2020.
  33. ^ "Declare India a 'Hindu Rashtra': Hindu convention resolution". Hindustan Times. 17 June 2017. Archived from the original on 1 May 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  34. ^ "Plea in SC seeks to remove words 'socialist', 'secular' from Constitution's preamble-India News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 29 July 2020. Archived from the original on 10 June 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.

External links[edit]