Hinduism in India
|Regions with significant populations|
|Majority in all Indian states except Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep Islands, Punjab, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland. Large concentrations in Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Delhi, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Tripura. Large populations in Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand.|
|Indian languages · Indian English|
Hinduism is the largest religion in India, with 79.8% of the population identifying themselves as Hindus, that accounts for 966 million Hindus in India as of National Census of India, while 14.2% of the population follow Islam and the remaining 6% adhere to other religions (such as Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, various indigenous ethnically-bound faiths, Atheism and Irreligion). The vast majority of Hindus in India belong to Shaivite and Vaishnavite denominations. India is one of the three countries in the world (Nepal and Mauritius being the other two) where Hinduism is the majority.
History of Hinduism
The Vedic culture developed in India between 1500 BCE and 500 BC. As a consequence, Hinduism, considered to be the successor of Vedic religion, has had a profound impact on India's history, culture and philosophy. The name India itself is derived from Greek Ἰνδία for Indus, which is derived from the Old Persian word Hindu, from Sanskrit Sindhu, the historic local appellation for the Indus River. Another popular alternative name of India is Hindustān, meaning the "land of Hindus".
India saw the rule of both Hindu and Muslim rulers from c. 1200 to 1750 CE. 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.
Hindu nationalism was promoted by Hindus like:
- Vinayak Damodar Savarkar – for the formation of Akhand Bharat
- Purushottam Das Tandon – promoted Hindi as the Official language of India
- Syama Prasad Mukherjee – founder of Bharatiya Jana Sangh, a Hindu nationalist political party
- K. B. Hedgewar – founder of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, a Hindu nationalist volunteer organisation
- M.S. Golwalkar – founder of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a Hindu nationalist organisation
The 1947 Partition of India gave rise to bloody rioting and indiscriminate inter-communal killing of Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs. Around 7.5 million Muslims were forced out and left for West Pakistan and East Pakistan (now known as Bangladesh) and 7.2 million Hindus moved to India. This was a major factor in fueling Hindu-Muslim animosity. What followed over the years was the laying of secular principles in the Indian Constitution. The last 60 years have been seemingly peaceful in most parts of the country except with the notable exception of communal riots in 1992 Bombay riots following the demolition of Babri mosque by extremists and 2002 Gujarat riots.
Christian missionary groups from the West seek to convert the populace, Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu, to Christianity, often combined with external aid, education and medical care which Hindu nationalists have seen as an inducement or bribe, and thus have been at loggerheads with right wing Hindu groups.
Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, and the Northeast of India are some of the regions where conversion is prevalent. In response to the activities of Christian missionaries in India, the hardline Hindu groups like Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) have aggressively started reconversion of converted Christians as well as Muslims back to Hinduism. The Hindus still form the majority community in most states and territories of the country. Most of the northern and north-western India, especially Gujarat remains the stronghold of Hinduism. There is even reason to believe that Hinduism is growing through the incorporation of tribal belief-systems in specific areas of the northeast. However, in the Kashmir Valley, the Hindu population has plummeted as an outcome of the terrorism when more than 550,000 members of Kashmiri Pandits (Hindus) were forced to leave the valley (mass exodus) by Muslim militants. Pakistan sponsored the militants attempt to overtake Kashmir from Indian rule in line with presumably the majority Muslim population's desire for independence, which was expressed at independence but overruled by the ruling Hindu Maharaja and the British during partition. In Punjab, the Sikhs form the majority population.
The Hindu percentage has steadily decrease from 84.1% in 1951 to 79.8% in 2011 respectively. After India got independence Hindu percentage in the country stood at about 85% during 1947. India around that time had 350 million population out of which 300 million are Hindus. In 2015 India has around 1.02 billion Hindus out of 1.3 billion people.
Hindu population in India
The Hindu population of India according to the official 2011 census is given below. Most drastic decrease in 1991–2001 period is observed in Manipur, from 57% to 52%, where there has been a resurgence of the indigenous Sanamahi religion. Of the one billion Hindus in India, it is estimated that Hindu Forward caste comprises 26%, Other Backward Class comprises 43%, Hindu Scheduled Castes (Dalits) comprises 22% and Hindu Scheduled Tribes (Adivasis) comprises 9%. Except for Punjab (Sikh majority), Kashmir (Muslim majority), parts of North-East India(Christian majority) and Lakshadweep (UT), the other 24 Indian states and 6 union territories have an overwhelming majority of Hindus. Out of the 8 states of Northeast India, Tripura, Sikkim, Assam, Manipur are Hindu majority while the rest four have Hindus in minority. For more detailed figures from 2011 census, see this table.
|Dadra and Nagar Haveli||322,857||343,709||93.93%|
|Daman and Diu||220,150||243,247||90.50%|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||264,296||380,581||69.45%|
|Jammu and Kashmir||3,566,674||12,541,302||28.43%|
- Other Backward Class
- Caste system in India
- Hinduism by country
- Hindus by district in India
- Religion in India
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- Ram Swarup, On Hinduism : reviews and reflections (2000)
- Ram Swarup, Hinduism and monotheistic religions (2015)
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- Rajiv Malhotra (2011), Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism (Publisher: HarperCollins India; ISBN 978-9-350-29190-0)
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- Neusner, Jacob (7 October 2009). World Religions in America, Fourth Edition. Westminster John Knox Press. p. 189. ISBN 9781611640472.
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- Ganesha on the Dashboard p. 176, V. Raghunathan, M. A. Eswaran, Penguin
- Population by religious communities Census of India, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of India
- "Indian Census". Censusindia.gov.in. 14 May 2012. Archived from the original on 12 May 2008. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- Sachar, Rajinder (2006). "Sachar Committee Report (2004–2005)" (PDF). Government of India. p. 6. Retrieved 27 September 2008.
- "C-1 Population By Religious Community". Census of India. Retrieved 23 June 2016.