India is the birthplace of Hinduism.
The word Hindu is derived from the word Sindhu and signifies a person coming from the land of the river Sindhu (i.e., India). The name Sindhu is what the Hindus called the Indus River. Presently there are around 930 million Hindus living in India(2008) and several million Hindus of Indian origin living abroad (notably the USA and South Africa).
Because of the alarming rate of conversions during the British Raj, Hinduism in India and abroad underwent a series of reforms. The spearheading organisations being Brahmo Samaj, Arya Samaj. Religious leaders and political leaders like Gandhi called for reform and complete turnover of the social structuring.
The cause of revivalist Indian nationalism, as well as Hindu nationalism fuelled these reforms. Hindu nationalism was aggressively promoted by freedom fighters.
The 1947 Partition of India gave rise to bloody rioting and indiscriminate killing of Hindus and Muslims. This was a major factor in fuelling Hindu-Muslim animosity. What followed over the years was the laying of secular principles in the Indian Constitution. The last 60 years have been relatively peaceful in most parts of the country except with the notable exception of communal riots in 1991 and 2002.
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).|