Macaulay’s letter to his father : A Hindoo who has received English education never attach to his religion (1836)

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    • #129294

      It is my firm belief that, if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolater among the respectable classes in Bengal thirty years hence. And this will be effected without any efforts to proselytise, without the smallest interference with religious liberty, merely by the natural operation of knowledge and reglection. I heartily rejoice in this prospect

      [See the full post at: Macaulay’s letter to his father : A Hindoo who has received English education never attach to his religion (1836)]

    • #131021

      Paul Marshall

      Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom

      Paul Marshall is a senior fellow at Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. He is also the Wilson Distinguished Professor of Religious Freedom at the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University, and a research professor in political science.

      Marshall is the author and editor of more than 20 books on religion and politics, especially religious freedom, including Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians (2013, with Lela Gilbert and Nina Shea), Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes Are Choking Freedom Worldwide (2011, with Nina Shea), Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion (2009), Religious Freedom in the World (2007), Radical Islam’s Rules: The Worldwide Spread of Extreme Sharia Law (2005), The Rise of Hindu Extremism (2003), Islam at the Crossroads (2002), God and the Constitution (2002), The Talibanization of Nigeria (2002), Massacre at the Millennium (2001), Religious Freedom in the World (2000), Egypt’s Endangered Christians (1999), Just Politics (1998), Heaven Is Not My Home (1998), A Kind of Life Imposed on Man (1996), and the best-selling, award-winning survey of religious persecution worldwide Their Blood Cries Out (1997).

      He is the author of several hundred articles, and his writings have been translated into Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Farsi, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Ukrainian. He is in frequent demand for lectures and media appearances, including interviews on ABC Evening News; CNN; PBS; Fox; the British, Australian, Canadian, South African, and Japanese Broadcasting Corporations; and Al Jazeera. His work has been published in, or is the subject of, articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Christian Science Monitor, First Things, New Republic, Weekly Standard, Reader’s Digest, and many other newspapers and magazines.


      1. The Hindutva Threat outside India : Hindutva ideology can be distinguished from Hinduism itself. It demands neither a theocratic state nor Hinduism as a state ‘religion’. It is national-cultural project, rather than ‘religious’ in the strictly doctrinal sense used in the West, and self-identifies as the soul of India itself. Sangh Parivar militants maintain that religious minorities, including Muslims and secularists, could support Hindutva—and therefore if they do not, they are betraying the nation. [Dec 5, 2022]
      2. Are We Seeing a Horrific Rise in Hindu Nationalist Terrorism? [Jan 13, 2023]
      3. Hinduism and Terror-Until the nineteenth century, the word “Hindu” had no specific religious meaning and simply referred to the people who lived east of the Indus River, whatever their beliefs. (The Indian Supreme Court itself has held that “no precise meaning can be ascribed to the terms ‘Hindu’ and ‘Hinduism.'”) It was only when the census introduced by the British colonial authorities in 1871 included Hindu as a religious designation that many Indians began to think of themselves and their country as Hindu.Twentieth-century agitation against the British led to the rise not only of the secular and socialist Congress movement but also of the rival Hindu nationalist movement collectively known as the Sangh Parivar (“family of organizations”). The Parivar proclaims an ideology of “Hindutva,” aimed at ensuring the predominance of Hinduism in Indian society, politics, and culture, which it promotes through tactics that include violence and terror. Its agenda includes subjugating or driving out Muslims and Christians, who total some 17 percent of the population. It castigates them as foreign faiths, imposed by foreign conquerors–even though Christians trace their origins in India to the Apostle Thomas in the first century and Islam came to India in the seventh and eighth centuries.

        The Sangh Parivar’s central organization is the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), founded by Keshav Hedgewar in 1925. Hedgewar was influenced by V. D. Savarkar, who believed that Hindus were the descendants of the ancient Aryans and properly formed a nation with a unified geography, race, and culture. Savarkar’s 1923 book Hindutva–Who is a Hindu? declared that those who did not consider India as both fatherland and holy land were not true Indians–and that the love of Indian Christians and Muslims for India was “divided” because each group had its own holy land in the Middle East.

    • #131022

      Aparna Pande

      Research Fellow
      Defense Strategy Foreign Policy

      Aparna Pande is a research fellow at Hudson Institute. Dr. Pande wrote her PhD dissertation on Pakistan’s foreign policy. Her major field of interest is South Asia with a special focus on India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, foreign policy, and security. Aparna has contributed to the American Interest, the Hindustan Times, the Times of India, the Live Mint, Huffington Post, the Sunday Guardian, The Print, and RealClearWorld.

      A 1993 graduate of Delhi University, Dr. Pande holds a master of arts in history from St. Stephens College at Delhi University and a master of philosophy in international relations from Jawaharlal Nehru University. Dr. Pande received a doctorate in political science from Boston University in 2010.

      Dr. Pande’s book’s include Explaining Pakistan’s Foreign Policy: Escaping India (Routledge, 2011), From Chanakya to Modi: Evolution of India’s Foreign Policy (Harper Collins, 2017), Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Pakistan (Routledge, August 2017), and Making India Great: The Promise of a Reluctant Global Power (Harper Collins, 2020). 


      1. Modi Must Clarify His Position on Hindu Nationalism-The origins of Hindutva, or militant and revivalist Hindu chauvinism, can be traced back to early 20th century British rule in India. Hinduism witnessed reform movements of two kinds: the Westernizing one named Brahmo Samaj, founded in 1828 by Raja Rammohan Roy; and the conservative Arya Samaj, launched in April 1875 by Swami Dayanand Saraswati. While Brahmo Samaj and its sympathizers sought to modernize and Westernize Hinduism, Arya Samaj sought to take Hinduism back to a pre-imagined ancient era of its own creation. A conservative backlash within Hinduism began, leading to the creation of various organizations promoting Hindutva ideas — some educational and cultural, and others political. ….. Hindutva calls for an entirely different definition of Indian citizenship. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the leading ideologue of Hindutva, wrote a 1923 pamphlet called Essentials of Hindutva, which argues that a true citizen must be a male whose faith originates from from the Himalayas or the Indus to the Indian Ocean as his Fatherland and Holy Land. This meant that only followers of Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism could be true citizens, since the holy lands of other religions are located outside of the Indian subcontinent. When Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, a member of the Indian parliament for Fatehpur, contrasted the “sons of Ram” with “illegitimates” during a speech in New Delhi on December 2, 2014, she was referring to Savarkar’s definition of a true citizen.[Feb 17, 2015]
      2. Secular India vs. Hindu Nationalism-The origins of Hindutva or militant and revivalist Hindu chauvinism can be traced back to the early 20th century British rule in India. Hinduism is a religion unlike others, especially the Abrahamic faiths, in that you are born a Hindu but you cannot be converted into one through any ceremony. There is also no fundamental creed or any book or books which every Hindu should know or recite. The basis for the spread of Hinduism across the Indian subcontinent was its pluralism, its acceptance of differences and its catholicity……..Hindutva, or Hindu chauvinism and revivalism, instead defined citizenship differently. Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, the leading ideologue of Hindutva, wrote a pamphlet in 1923 titled ‘Who is a Hindu’ /’Essentials of Hindutva’ where he defines what he refers to as citizenship for any Hindu or person who lives in the Indian subcontinent. Savarkar states that a Hindu is he who considered the land from the Himalayas or the Indus to the Indian Ocean as his Fatherland (pitrubhumi) and Holy land (punyabhumi). This meant that only followers of these religions Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism can be true citizens. Since all the other faiths in India — Zoroastrian, Christianity, Islam and Judaism — have their holy lands outside of the Indian subcontinent their followers cannot be seen as true citizens. When Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, minister in Mr Modi’s cabinet, in a speech in Delhi on December 2, 104 differentiated between ‘Ramzadon’ (Progeny of Ram) and ‘Haramzadon’ (illegitimate offspring) she was harking back to Savarkar’s definition of who is a true citizen and who is not.
      3. Islam in the National Story of Pakistan-In 1956, Pakistan was officially renamed the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan,” and since then the evolution of Islamic politics and an Islamic national identity within the country has been consistently encouraged and enforced by state policy. This is especially apparent in how modern Pakistani leaders have sought to use religion to unify the nation. A key challenge facing the country’s founders was that each one of Pakistan’s principal ethnic groups overlapped national borders and extended into neighboring countries. Without a common national identity, there was little reason why the country’s inhabitants should prefer to be Pakistanis and why the country as a whole should cohere…………….The official history of Pakistan reinforces the popular belief that the country wasn’t created in 1947, but rather twelve centuries earlier when Islam was first introduced to India as a result of the annexation of Sindh in 712 CE by the Arab-Muslim Umayyad Empire. The shared history of the peoples of South Asia has been rewritten in Pakistan’s school curricula to stress the fundamental difference and divergence between Hindus and Muslims. The thirteen centuries since the conquest of Sindh are described in Pakistani school textbooks as the struggle of Muslims to maintain their distinctiveness, and the creation of an independent Pakistan is seen as the culmination of that struggle. This ideology-based narrative has been championed both by secular as well as religious elements in Pakistan, and the ‘Pakistan Studies’ curriculum that is based on this narrative is taught in secular schools as well as religious establishments……..Pakistan’s early generation undertook to establish their new state and nation on the basis of Islamic ideology. This ideology-based national identity soon became the defining force of Pakistani politics, and it was accepted by both secular and Islamist parts of Pakistani society. As a Pakistani scholar, Waheed-uz-Zaman, noted in 1973:the wish to see the kingdom of God established in a Muslim territory…was the moving idea behind the demand for Pakistan, the corner-stone of the movement, the ideology of the people, and the raison d’etre of the new nation-state…. If we let go the ideology of Islam, we cannot hold together as a nation by any other means…. If the Arabs, the Turks, the Iranians, God forbid, give up Islam, the Arabs yet remain Arabs, the Turks remain Turks, the Iranians remain Iranians, but what do we remain if we give up Islam? [Oct 14, 2011]
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