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Hinduism in India

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Hinduism in India
Sri Krishna Balaram Mandir, Vrindavan, Uttar Pradesh
Total population
1.16 billionIncrease[1] (2024)
80% of population
Regions with significant populations
Uttar Pradesh192,000,000
Bihar107,000,000
Maharashtra101,000,000
Madhya Pradesh78,000,000
Rajasthan71,500,000
West Bengal70,500,000
Tamil Nadu68,000,000
Scriptures
Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, Mahabharata (incl. Bhagavad Gita), Ramayana, 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,[4] representing 79.8% of the country's population. India contains 94% of the global Hindu population.[5][6] The vast majority of Indian Hindus belong to Shaivite and Vaishnavite denominations.[7] 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

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The Vedic culture developed in India in 1500 BCE and 500 BCE.[8] After this period, the Vedic religion merged with local traditions and the renouncer traditions, resulting in the emergence of Hinduism,[9] 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.[10]

India saw the rule of both Hindu and Muslim rulers from c. 1200 CE to 1750 CE.[11] The fall of Vijayanagara 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]

Partition of India

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The 1947 Partition of India gave rise to bloody rioting and indiscriminate inter-communal killing of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs across the Indian subcontinent, specially in Punjab region. An estimated 7.3 million Hindus and Sikhs moved to India and 7.2 million Muslims moved to Pakistan permanently, leading to demographic change of both the nations to a certain extent. As a result of this, India's Hindu population have increased exponentially from 74.8% in 1941 to 84.1% in 1951 Census respectively.[14][15]

"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.[16]

Hindu population decline in South Asia

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Hinduism dropped from 72% in British Raj of 1891[17] to 69% in 1921.[18] In 1941 British census, Hindus comprised 69.5% of Undivided India.[19] It further declined to just 66% in Undivided India since Muslims would make up 32% of Undivided India's population in 2024, if not patritioned respectively.[20]

Demographics

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The Hindu population has tripled from 303,675,084 in 1951 to 966,257,353 in 2011, but the Hindu percentage share of total population has declined from 84.1% in 1951 to 79.8% in 2011.[21][22][23] When India achieved independence in 1947, Hindus formed roughly 85% of the total population and pre-Partition British India had about 73% of Hindus.[24]

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

Projections

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According to a report by the Pew Research Center (PRC), the Hindu population in India is projected to reach almost 1.3 billion by 2050, within a total population nearing 1.7 billion. Despite this growth, the community proportion within the nation's population is anticipated to decrease by 2.8 percent, declining from 79.5 percent in 2010 to 76.7 percent in 2050, owing to low fertility rate, high mortality rate and emigration respectively.[25]

Fertility rates

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The latest round of the National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5), conducted from 2019-2021, has shown a notable change in fertility trends in India. The Total Fertility Rate (TFR), which measures the average number of children per woman, has dropped below the replacement level of 2.1 respectively. Specifically, among Hindus, the TFR stands at 1.9, indicating that on average, each Hindu woman is having fewer than two children in her reproductive lifespan. This trend suggests a significant shift towards smaller family sizes within the Hindu community, reflecting broader demographic changes in the country.[26]

Emigration

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A report published in a major Pakistani newspaper indicates that over 5,000 Pakistani Hindus migrate to India annually as refugees.[27] Dr. Abul Barkat, a highly esteemed academic figure affiliated with Dhaka University, has provided insights indicating that an estimated 230,000 Bangladeshi Hindus undertake migration to India annually, with the primary motive of seeking asylum and ensuring personal safety. This migration pattern underscores a notable trend contributing to a substantial influx of refugees from Bangladesh to India.[28]

Population by state and territory

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Percentage of Hindus in each district. Data derived from 2011 census.
Hindu population by state / UT, according to the 2011 census
Region Hindus Total % Hindus
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
90.89%
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 401,876 1,383,727
29.04%
Jammu and Kashmir 3,566,674 12,541,302
28.44%
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%
All of India 966,257,353 1,210,854,977
79.80%

Hindu ethnicities

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Hinduism in states

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Law and politics

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Demand for Hindu state

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Although the Constitution of India has declared the nation as a secular state with no state religion, it has been argued several times that the Indian state privileges Hinduism as state sponsored religion constitutionally, legislatively and culturally.[29][30]

  • The original copy of the Indian constitution has an illustration of Rama, Sita, and Lakshmana in Part III on Fundamental Rights and Rama has been considered as the true guardian of people's rights.[31]
  • Article 343 (1) of the Indian Constitution also states that, "The official language of the Union shall be Hindi in Devanagari script".[32]

Some right-wing Hindu organisations like Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, Hindu Mahasabha, Bajrang Dal, Vishwa Hindu Parishad etc. have demanded that India should be declared a Hindu nation by constitution to safeguard the rights and life of Hindus in this largest democracy.[35][36][37] As of 28 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.[38] As far as citizens are concerned, only 7 out of 20 Indian Hindus are in favor of making India a Hindu Nation.[39] Nearly two-thirds of Indian Hindus, constituting 64% of the population, believe that it is very important to be Hindu to be considered truly Indian or a citizen of India respectively.[40]

Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019

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The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 is a law passed in India in December 2019. Under the Citizenship (Amendment) Rules, 2024, it provides a fast-track to Indian citizenship for undocumented immigrants from neighbouring countries, namely Hindus and five other specific communities: Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, and Jains, who arrived in India before December 31, 2014. The law has reduced the residency requirement for undocumented immigrants from select religious minorities, including Hindus, from 11 years to 5 years for acquiring Indian citizenship through naturalization. This provision aims to expedite the citizenship process for these specific persecuted minority groups of neighbouring nations of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.[41]

See also

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References

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  1. ^ "Can Hindutva be dismantled?". The Statesman. May 2022.
  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. ^ "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.
  5. ^ "Hindus". 18 December 2012.
  6. ^ "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.
  7. ^ "Major Branches of Religions". www.adherents.com. Archived from the original on 19 August 1999. Retrieved 13 August 2017.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  8. ^ N. Siegel, Paul (1986). The meek and the militant: religion and power across the world. Zed Books, 1987. ISBN 9780862323493.
  9. ^ Hoiberg, Dale (2000). Students' Britannica India. Popular Prakashan, 2000. ISBN 9780852297605.
  10. ^ "India", Oxford English Dictionary, second edition, 2100a.d. Oxford University Press.
  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. ^ Population Redistribution and Development in South Asia. Springer Science & Business Media. 2012. p. 6. ISBN 978-9400953093. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Commissioner., India. Census (1 January 1893). "General report on the census of India, 1891: Census Reports - 1891". JSTOR saoa.crl.25352825.
  18. ^ "Daily Consular and Trade Reports". Department of Commerce and Labor, Bureau of Manufactures. 1924.
  19. ^ Ispahani, Farahnaz (30 January 2020). "Modi critics decry India mistreating minorities but mustn't whitewash Pakistan's Islamisation". ThePrint.
  20. ^ Service, Statesman News (9 September 2019). "Partition & Hindus". The Statesman.
  21. ^ https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/share-of-hindu-population-down-by-7-82-in-india-highlights-from-eac-pm-report/articleshow/109974212.cms
  22. ^ "Key findings about the religious composition of India".
  23. ^ "Census: Hindu share dips below 80%, Muslim share grows but slower". 24 January 2015.
  24. ^ "Census: Hindu share dips below 80%, Muslim share grows but slower". 24 January 2015.
  25. ^ https://www.business-standard.com/article/news-ians/by-2050-hindus-share-of-india-s-population-to-fall-by-2-8-percent-study-115040300567_1.html
  26. ^ "Hindu-Muslim fertility differentials in India: An update". Ideas For India. Retrieved 11 April 2024.
  27. ^ Haider, Irfan (13 May 2014). "5,000 Hindus migrating to India every year, NA told". DAWN.COM. Retrieved 11 April 2024.
  28. ^ https://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/10113/%E2%80%98no-hindus-will-be-left-after-30-years%E2%80%99
  29. ^ "Why India is Not a Secular State". 3 February 2022.
  30. ^ "Is there a Hindu bias in India's secular Constitution? A 2005 academic paper suggests as much". 2 February 2020.
  31. ^ "Why painting of Ram in India's Constitution matters". 26 January 2021.
  32. ^ "Article 343(1) in the Constitution of India 1949".
  33. ^ "Cow protection was a sensitive subject in India even when the Constitution was being framed". 7 July 2021.
  34. ^ "Article 48 in the Constitution of India 1949".
  35. ^ "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.
  36. ^ "'Hindu Rashtra' draft proposes Varanasi as capital instead of Delhi". 13 August 2022.
  37. ^ "India to become Hindu Rashtra by 2025, hints organiser of All India Hindu conference". 12 June 2022.
  38. ^ "Plea in SC seeks to remove words 'socialist', 'secular' from Constitution's preamble". Firstpost. 29 July 2020. Archived from the original on 10 June 2021. Retrieved 2 September 2021.
  39. ^ "Does India belong to only Hindus? Nearly 75% of Hindus say 'No', finds CSDS survey". 14 June 2019.
  40. ^ "Key findings about religion in India".
  41. ^ https://www.business-standard.com/india-news/citizenship-amendment-rules-2024-rules-explained-what-you-need-to-know-124031200146_1.html
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