What can rest of the world learn from India?

In 1947, Almost 60% of the population was below the poverty line. The life expectancy was 32 years. We had one of the highest infant mortality rate in the world- 50 deaths for every 1000 births and a literacy rate of mere 12%.

Comparing this with the present situation, we have definitely come a long way. Our poverty rate is around 20%. The literacy rate is over 74% and is expected to cross 80 by 2020. We also stand third in the world in terms of GDP [PPP], after China and the USA.

And this is a commendable achievement for a country which such a big population and we have achieved this not by looting other countries or by selling oil. And moreover we are a great example of democracy.

Look at the following graph

[ TO BE NOTED: While first unit on X-axis represents 1000 years, the second represents 500 years and the last few represent only 1 year.]

As you can see, India and China comprised of 50-60% of the world GDP for the first three-quarters of this millennium.

Between 1800- 1950, India was colonised and we suffered badly. We were looted, our economic, social, cultural and political conditions were at a very pitiable condition by 1947.

Let me quote some statistics.

India share of the world economy when Britain arrived on its shares was 23 per cent, by the time the British left it was down to below 4 per cent.

In World War I, One-sixth of all the British forces that fought in the war were Indian – 54 000 Indians actually lost their lives in that war, 65 000 were wounded and another 4000 remained missing or in prison.

Indian taxpayers had to cough up a 100 million pounds in that time’s money. India supplied 17 million rounds of ammunition, 6,00,000 rifles and machine guns, 42 million garments were stitched and sent out of India and 1.3 million Indian personnel served in this war. I know all this because the commemoration of the centenary has just taken place. But not just that, India had to supply 173,000 animals 370 million tonnes of supplies and in the end the total value of everything that was taken out of India and India by the way was suffering from recession at that time and poverty and hunger, was in today’s money 8 billion pounds

World War II, it was even worse – 2.5 million Indians in uniform. I won’t believe it to the point but Britain’s total war debt of 3 billion pounds in 1945 money, 1.25 billion was owed to India and never actually paid.

The railways and roads were really built to serve British interests and not those of the local people and many countries have built railways and roads without having had to be colonised in order to do so.

They were designed to carry raw materials from the hinterland into the ports to be shipped to Britain. And in fact, one mile of Indian railway costing twice what it cost to build the same mile in Canada or Australia because there was so much money being paid in extravagant returns.

Not only economically were we impoverished but also our country got divided in the name of religions and castes. Many were stuck with the feeling of inferiority. These effects are felt till today in our country.

When you search for life in India, you see this-

But let the world know that we also live here-

(Mumbai is all set to feature in the top 5 skylines of the world in a few years.)

||Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinaha||

May everyone be happy.

Source for the quoted text:

Read: Shashi Tharoor's full speech asking UK to pay India for 200 years of its colonial rule

Originally written in:


Edit: For those of you comparing with China-

India is a democracy while China is not. This is very important-

  • Decisions like introducing bullet trains had a lot more debating and opposition in India. Every policy is opposed and debated and this is a sign of healthy democracy. This opposition will be good in the long run.
  • Policies like one-child policy cannot be easily enforced in India. We will have people on the streets the next day. A democracy keeps in mind, the personal interests of the citizens too.
  • People cannot run free in China if they say something like “Kitne Afzal Guru maroge, har ghar me paida hoga ek Afzal Kashmir ki azadi tak jung chalegi, Bharat ki barbadi tak jung chalegi” <I think this freedom of speech must be regulated in India as well
  • And finally, only the economic conditions of India and China were same in 1950. Do remember that India was shattered socially too. This has an effect on economy too. The partition led to civil war and thousands of refugees. The foundation of casteism and communalism were laid by the British government in India.
  • And yes, China opened its economy in 1970s while we did it only in 1990s

But yes one could say that India adopted Democracy too early.

19 Replies to “What can rest of the world learn from India?”

  1. I would like to share an incident.

    I was working in bundelakhand area of UP. During panchayat election (3 tier local self government) time I was nominated for election duty as a presiding officer in one of the remotest village of most backward district in the region. It was my first such duty. I had never seen or participated in panchayat election before.

    I was skeptical about responsibility to conduct fair and peaceful polling in such remote and sensitive area. I even talked to district magistrate to cancel my duty. I just wanted to run away. Finally Day of polling came.

    As instructed I reached polling station with team a day before to make necessary arrangements so that polling could be started timely the very next day. It was a class room of a primary school with literally no resources, not even chairs and bedding to sleep. To my surprise local people like panchayat members, school teachers and villagers helped me through by arranging enough things to make that empty room function like a polling booth. I was still terrified to think of any possible disturbances during polls.

    Beauty of my country unveiled the next morning. Hundreds of villagers started gathering from 7 AM. I was shocked to see the discipline of voters. Men and women voluntarily formed separate queues and started entering in room one by one.

    Second surprise was that unlike urban elections more women voted than men. The participation of voters was enormous crossing more than 80% turnout. Even specially abled and old participated with full enthusiasm.

    To my surprise election was completely peaceful, not a smallest disturbance. Now imagine a remote village in a remote block of a least developed district of a underdeveloped state. That's the uniqueness of our country, beauty of our democracy. I was literally astonished to see people's belief in democratic process at such a grassroot level.

    No wonder how we survived post independence turmoil when western pandits predicted India to fall without British administration. We survived because we believed in democratic ethos. Because Our leaders peacefully transferred the power to his/her opponent after loosing election. Because we respected our holy constitution above all.

  2. You can learn How NOT to divide yourselves based on caste, religion, region and language. It has hampered growth of our country and corrupt politicians have misused these divisions for their own good for years and still counting.
    Caste system in India
    Religion in India
    Languages of India

    Caste-related violence in India

    Our reservation system is based on this divisions of society because of the caste system in our country for thousands of years.
    As a result, everyone suffers on a whole. The opportunities of upper castes are taken up by lower castes and again a feeling of hatred towards lower caste keeps continuing, and they feel prejudiced.

    Till date, atrocities are taking place in the name of caste and religion.
    Khairlanji massacre
    Religious violence in India
    Anti-Christian violence in India
    Anti-Muslim violence in India
    2008 attacks on Uttar Pradeshi and Bihari migrants in Maharashtra
    1997 Ramabai Ambedkar Incident

    Watch these documentaries:

    India Untouched:

    and a more recent one,
    Jai Bhim Comrade

    Not only the politicians, but we can see these traits even in the educated sections of our society here.
    Even the students of prestigious institution like IIT, can't refrain themselves from this: Anonymous' answer to What are some things you dislike about the IITs?

    You'll find us all saying "we are patriotic, we love our country, all Indians are my brothers and sisters".
    Yet we all know, it's easier said than done.

  3. JUGAAD (hindi term)- ( Hack/Kludge)

    The most innovative, economical and quality method to accomplish the desired task by unusual/unimaginable means and ways.
    Wiki Link: Jugaad

    Edit :Here's a clear explanation of what jugaad is Sarthak Pranit's answer to What do people in India do very easily which can't be done by people of other nations?

  4. 1. How to maintain unity and integrity
    India is the most diverse country with 6 major religions, 1600+ languages, and numerous dance forms.

    2. How to remain happy
    Indians are exceptionally happy even though most of the people are really poor. They provide an example of how money is not everything in life.

    3. Yoga
    Yoga is the physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines which originated in ancient India with a view to attain a state of permanent peace of mind in order to experience one's true self.

  5. 1) Eating with hands, sitting down on the floor when eating

    Mostly, Indians prefer to eat with their hands. The west perceives it as dirty. But, Indians believe that there is nothing wrong in it. God has given us hands to work, eat, cook and play. So we are using a part of God’s gift to eat. Also, it makes you more mindful and aware of the food, its texture, taste and color. Just think of all the plastic and steel spoons and forks which will not be used if people all over the world started to eat with their hands. These days most of the plastic spoons are thrown away after using them just once or twice. The amount of plastic waste generated from spoons alone is mind-boggling. Also, earlier Indians used to sit down on floors to eat their food. My father still does that. Even I try to sit on the floors to eat when at home. It makes you really humble, kills your ego and makes your feet flexible. Just think of the amount of raw materials required to make a dining table which we would not need if we sit on floors to eat.

    2) Using old worn-out clothes to clean kitchen, utensils, bathroom.

    Indians do not use paper rolls to clean their kitchens, utensils and bathrooms. The amount of paper the Westerners are using just to clean their hands after washing them is staggering. It rips my heart apart when I see rolls of paper just being used once and thrown away. Just think about the enormous amount of trees which could be saved if we just use cotton clothes for cleaning and use cotton handkerchiefs to wipe our hands instead of tissue papers.

    3) Washing and drying clothes inside the house.

    Mostly, people in India wash their own clothes and dry them by hanging them on ropes out in the sun or inside the house if the sun isn’t out. Do we really need dryers to dry our clothes? I mean it makes sense when you use them in winters in cold climates. But why throughout the year?

    4) Using a bucket to have a bath.

    We Indians do not use bath tub and shower to have a bath. It has been scientifically proven time and again that you consume less water if you use a bucket instead of a shower. Just think of all the water which can be saved in this world if every person on this planet adopts this practice.

    5) Using Indian style toilets without a flush as opposed to Western style toilets

    Westerners do not like Indian style toilets not because they are dirty but because they just cannot sit in that position. Their knees have become extremely stiff. Again it has been scientifically proven that there are multiple benefits of an Indian-style toilet. When you sit on an Indian-style toilet, that is the natural way of passing your stool. It prevents blockage and ensures smooth passage, completely cleaning the intestines. When you sit on a western-style toilet, that is not a natural position. It’s just a lazy way of sitting designed for convenience as you do not want to give pain to your knees. Secondly, Indians are naturally saving millions of gallons of water every day by using a bucket instead of a flush.

    6) Vegetarian Diet

    Many Indians try to follow a strictly vegetarian diet. What difference does it make? Watch the movie before the flood by Leonadro di Caprio in which he explains how America”s obsession with beef is contributing to massive global warming. It was a big eye opener for me.

    There are few foolish Indians who are ignorant and blindly copy the west. They are ashamed of many of the above mentioned habits which even the West is now realizing that it is environmentally friendly. It also saddens my heart when few foreigners who are ignorant of hygienic habits of Indians come here and lecture us on hygiene and environmental friendly practices. Indians have been living in harmony with nature since the ancient Vedic times. We worship nature and animals. Still, in many climate summits countries which produce the maximum amount of greenhouse gases lecture India for reducing its carbon footprint. Let’s hope Indians do not give up these practices just to look more western.

    8 Reasons Why Eating With Hands is Awesome

    Why my parents made me shower with a bucket when I went home for the holidays

    Indian 'bucket bath' a better way to save water

    10 Reasons Why The Indian Way Of Sitting On The Floor And Eating Is Good For Health

    Dry clothes in the open, it's green

  6. Rest of the world is already learning many things from India and Indians.

    Look at these pictures:

    They are providers of leaf made packagings and serving plates. A German company focuses on producing leaf plates, like rural India uses.

    According to them they are using new technology that is recyclable and energy efficient. They got accolades and funds for their new venture.

    Now look at this picture :

    This is the standard Pattal- Dona made of leaves which was used by traditional Indian households for serving food to the guests. Born in eastern UP, my entire childhood was filled with Pattal- Dona parties : Most Cost effective and Quickly biodegradable serving and packaging product.

    • Leaf organisation Germany added one more layer to the traditional Indian Pattals. A bio degradable Water proof layer is coated so that it would be more leakage proof. These packages and serving plates are getting very popular in Europe due to the low cost and nature friendly appeal.
    • Sad part of the story is, the original makers of Dona Pattal are drifting towards the plastic disposables and plastic packagings. But Others are shifting their focus to our methods.

    There are thousands other native Indian methods and technologies which are given by our ancestors. They are very cost effective and nature friendly but getting faded due to the lack of care and preservation.

    Most popular street stalls and most iconic canteens and eateries in Allahabad, Faizabaad and Varanasi serving pav bhajis, poori sabjis and samosas in donas made out of dried leaves. Every citizen there would note the economic aspect of such a practice, not to mention the fact that leaves are highly bio-degradable and therefore favourable for environmental sustainability.

    Source :

    German Company Leverages Indian Wisdom Of Leaf Plates, Produces Tableware Made Of Leaves

  7. The western world has a very distorted viewpoint of India. This is a depiction from an episode of Family Guy based in India:

    Another episode where Peter Griffin’s dialogue goes like this:

    Quagmire loaned me this book called the Kamasutra. It’s Indian. And who has better sex than people who don’t use toilet paper…. Bombay is Sperm City. Slumdog Millionaire? More like “Scumdog Put-it-there”.

    Well then, if they feel that we are a population thriving in filth, please allow me to introduce…..

    The Health Faucet (AKA The Bidet Shower)

    While the Western primitives still use wafer-thin paper to wipe their butts, we use this. A non-contact pipe giving out light jets of water.

    And want to know something even more amazing? Its first use was in Islamic nations.

    You want to learn one thing from us… Let it be this.

  8. India has produced some notable atheist politicians and social reformers.

    Irreligion in India explained

    Atheism and agnosticism have a long history in India. Indian religions like Buddhism, Jainism and some schools of Hinduism consider atheism to be acceptable. India has produced some notable atheist politicians and social reformers.

    According to the 2012 WIN-Gallup Global Index of Religion and Atheism
     report, 81% of Indians were religious, 13% were not religious, 3% were
    convinced atheists, and 3% were unsure or did not respond.



    Ancient India

    Schools of Philosophy

    See also: Indian philosophy. In Hinduism, the religion of majority of Indians, atheism is considered to be a valid path to spirituality,
     as it can be argued that God can manifest in several forms with "no
    form" being one of them. But, the path is considered difficult to
    follow. The belief in a personal creator God is not required in Jainism and Buddhism, both of which also originated in the Indian subcontinent. Atheistic schools are also found in Hinduism.


    Hindu philosophy is divided into schools (darśanam). These schools can be categorized as āstika (orthodox), schools which conforms to the Vedas, and nāstika (heterodox), schools reject the Vedas. The six schools, Sāṃkhya, Yoga, Nyāya, Vaiśeṣika, Mimāṃsā, and Vedānta, are considered āstika schools. But, Cārvāka, Jainism and Buddhism are considered nāstika.



    See main article: Cārvāka.

    The Cārvāka school originated in India around the 6th century BCE.


    It is classified as a nāstika school. It is noteworthy as evidence of a materialistic movement in ancient India.


    Followers of this school only accepted pratyakşa (perception) as a valid pramāna (evidence). They considered other pramāna like sabda (testimony), upamāna (analogy), and anumāna (inference) as unreliable.


    Thus, the existence of a soul (ātman) and God were rejected, because they could not be proved by perception. They also considered everything to be made of four elements:
     earth, water, air and fire. The Cārvāka pursued elimination of physical
     pain and enjoyment of life. So, they can be considered hedonistic.


    All of the original Cārvāka texts are considered lost.


    A much quoted sūtra (Barhaspatya sutras) by Brhaspati, who is considered the founder of the school, is thought to be lost.


    The Tattvopaplavasimha by Jayarāśi Bhaṭṭa (8th century CE) and the Sarvadarśanasaṅ̇graha by Madhavacarya (14th century) are considered important secondary Cārvāka texts.



    See main article: Sāṃkhya. Sāṃkhya is an āstika school, but has some atheistic elements. Sāṃkhya is a radically dualist philosophy.


    They believed that the two ontological principles, puruṣa (consciousness) and prakriti (matter), to be the underlying foundation of the universe.



    The objective of life is considered the achievement of separation of pure consciousness from matter (kaivalya).


    The reasoning within this system led to the Nir-isvara Sāṃkhya (Sāṃkhya without God) philosophy, which deemed the existence of God as unnecessary.


    There is the opposing reasoning which accepts God, called Sesvara Sankhya (Sāṃkhya with God).


    Samkhya Karika (c. 350 CE) is the earliest known systematic text of this philosophy.



    See main article: Mīmāṃsā. Mīmāṃsā (meaning exegesis)


    is also an astika
     school. They believed the Vedas to be author-less and
    self-authenticating. They did not accept the Vedas as being composed by
    any ṛṣi (saint), they considered them to not be authored by anyone (apauruṣeya).
     They accepted the minor deities of the Vedas but resisted any notion of
     a Supreme Creator. They only concentrated on upholding the ṛta (order) by following the duties of the Vedas. The foundational text of this school is the Mīmāṃsā Sutra by Jaimini (c. 200 BCE – 200 CE).


    Buddhism and Jainism

    See also: God in Buddhism and God in Jainism. Gautama Buddha rejected the existence of a creator deity,



    refused to endorse many views on creation


    and stated that questions on the origin of the world are not ultimately useful for ending suffering.



    Buddhism instead emphasizes the system of causal relationships underlying the universe, pratītyasamutpāda, which constitute the dharma
     and source of enlightenment. No dependence of phenomena on a
    supernatural reality is asserted in order to explain the behaviour of

    Jainism rejects the idea of a creator deity
     responsible for the manifestation, creation, or maintenance of this
    universe. According to Jain doctrine, the universe and its constituents
    (soul, matter, space, time, and principles of motion) have always existed.
     All the constituents and actions are governed by universal natural laws
     and an immaterial entity like God cannot create a material entity like
    the universe. Jainism offers an elaborate cosmology,
     including heavenly beings (devas), but these beings are not viewed as
    creators; they are subject to suffering and change like all other living
     beings, and must eventually die. Jains define godliness as the inherent
     quality of any soul characterizing infinite bliss, infinite power, Kevala Jnana (pure infinite knowledge) and Perfect peace. However, these qualities of a soul are subdued due to karmas of the soul. One who achieves this state of soul through right belief, right knowledge and right conduct can be termed a god. This perfection of soul is called kevalin or bodhi.
     A god thus becomes a liberated soul – liberated of miseries, cycles of
    rebirth, world, karmas and finally liberated of body as well. This is
    called moksha.

    Philosophers and ancient texts

    Ajita Kesakambali was a materialist philosopher. He is mentioned in the Samaññaphala Sutta. He rejected gods, an afterlife and karma.


    Payasi is a character, referred to as a prince, who appears in the Buddhist text Digha Nikaya in the Payasi Sutta. He didn't believe in rebirth or karma. He debated Kassapa, a disciple of Buddha, and lost, then converted to Buddhism.


    Jabali's speech from the Ramayana

    See also: Jabali.

    In the Hindu epic Ramayana (Ayodhya Khanda), when Bharata goes to the forest to convince Rama to return home, he was accompanied by a sophist


    called Jabali ("Sanskrit: जाबालिः"). Jabali uses nihilistic
     reasoning to convince Rama. He also says that rituals are a waste of
    food and scriptures were written by smart men so that people will give
    alms. But Rama calls him a deviant from the path of dharma ("Sanskrit: धर्मपथात्"), refuses to accept his "nastika" views and blame his own father for taking Jabali into service.


    He also equates the Buddha to a thief.


    On hearing Rama's retort, Jabali retracts his statements, saying that he was merely arguing like a nihilist.


    However, these verses referring to the Buddha


    are considered a later interpolation, as those verses use a different metre.



    The Carvaka incident in the Mahabharata

    A character described as a Carvaka briefly appears in the Mahabharata (in the Shanti Parva). As Yudhishthira enters the city of Hastinapur, a brahmin,
     referred to as Carvaka, accuses him of killing his own kinsmen and says
     that he would suffer for it. The accuser is revealed to a rakshasa in disguise, who was a friend of Duryodhana. He had existed since the Krita Yuga by virtue of a boon from the god Brahma,
     that he could only be killed when he is showing contempt towards
    brahmins. He was promptly killed by other brahmins by the chanting of
    sacred hymns and Yudhishthira was assured that his actions were the
    within the kshatriya code.


    This event may be a possible denigration of the Carvaka philosophy.


    Medieval India

    In the 9th century CE, Jain philosopher Jinasena wrote the Mahapurana. The book contains the following often quoted words,


    This quote was also featured later in Carl Sagan's book, Cosmos.


    In the 14th century, philosopher Madhavacarya wrote the Sarvadarśanasaṅ̇graha, which is a compilation of all Indian philosophies, including Carvaka, which is described in the first chapter.

    Modern India

    19th century

    Between 1882 and 1888, the Madras Secular Society published a magazine called The Thinker (Tattuvavivesini in Tamil) from Madras.
     The magazine carried articles written by anonymous writers and
    republished articles from the journal of the London Secular Society,
    which the Madras Secular Society considered itself affiliated to.


    20th century

    Periyar E. V. Ramasamy (1879–1973) started his Self-respect movement in 1929. He was an atheist and criticised the caste system, religious rituals and superstitions.

    Jawaharlal Nehru (1889–1964), India's first Prime Minister was agnostic.


    He wrote in his autobiography, Toward Freedom (1936), about his views on religion and superstition.


    Goparaju Ramachandra Rao (1902-1975), better known by his nickname "Gora", was a social reformer, anti-caste activist and atheist. He and his wife, Saraswathi Gora (1912-2007) who was also an atheist and social reformer, founded the Atheist Centre in 1940.


    The Atheist Centre is an institute working for social change.


    Gora expounded his philosophy of positive atheism as a way of life.


    He later wrote more about positive atheism in his 1972 book, "Positive Atheism".


     Gora also organized the first World Atheist Conference in 1972.
    Subsequently, the Atheist Centre has organised several World Atheist
    Conferences in Vijayawada and other locations.


    In 1997, the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations was founded.


    21st century

    In 2008, the website Nirmukta was founded. It later became an organisation aiming to promote free thought and secular humanism in India.

    In 2009, historian Meera Nanda published a book entitled the "The God Market". It examines how Hindu religiosity is gaining more popularity in the rising middle class, as India is liberalizing the economy and adopting globalization.


    In March 2009, in Kerala, a pastoral letter addressing the laity was issued by the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council urging the members to not vote for political parties which advocate atheism.



    In July 2010, another similar letter was issued.


    On 10 March 2012, Sanal Edamaruku investigated a so-called miracle in Vile Parle, where a Jesus
     statue had started weeping and concluded that the problem was caused by
     faulty drainage. Later that day, during a TV discussion with some
    church members, Edamaruku accused the Catholic Church
     of miracle-mongering. On 10 April, Angelo Fernandes, President of the
    Maharashtra Christian Youth Forum, filed a police complaint against
    Edamaruku under the Indian Penal Code Section 295A.


    In July while on a tour in Finland, Edamaruku was informed by a friend that his house was visited by the police. Since the offence is not bailable, Edamaruku stayed in Finland.


    On Friday 7 July 2013, the first "Hug an Atheist Day" was organized
    in India by Nirmukta. The event aimed to spread awareness and reduce the
     stigma associated with being an atheist.



    On 20 August 2013, Narendra Dabholkar, a rationalist and anti-superstition campaigner, was shot dead by two unknown assailants, while he was out on a morning walk.


    Legal status, rights and laws

    Atheism and irreligion are not officially recognized in India. Apostasy is allowed under the right to freedom of religion in the Constitution, and the Special Marriage Act, 1954
     allows the marriage of people with no religious beliefs, as well as
    non-religious and non-ritualistic marriages. However, there are no
    specific laws catering to atheists and they are considered as belonging
    to the religion of their birth for administrative purposes.


    Hate speech laws and irreligion

    See main article: Hate speech laws in India.

    Notable verdicts

    On 29 October 2013, the Bombay High Court judged in favour of an atheist school teacher from Nashik.


     Sanjay Salve had been employed by the state-funded Savitribai Phule
    Secondary School since 1996. In June 2007, during a prayer session,
    Salve didn't fold his hands during the pledge or prayer. The school
    management called this indiscipline and refused him a higher pay grade
    in 2008 when Salve became eligible for it. Salve sought legal recourse
    citing the Section 28 (a) of the Constitution which states "no person
    attending any educational institution recognised by the State or
    receiving aid out of State funds shall be required to take part in any
    religious instruction that may be imparted in such institution or to
    attend any religious worship that may be conducted in such institution".



    The court ruled in Salve's favour and directed the school to release his dues by 31 January 2013.


    On 23 September 2014, the Bombay High Court
     declared that the government cannot force a person to state a religion
    on any document or form. The court also stated any citizen has the right
     to declare that he/she doesn't belong to any religion. The decision
    came in response to a Public Interest Litigation
     (PIL) filed by Ranjit Mohite, Kishore Nazare and Subhash Ranware,
    representing an organisation called Full Gospel Church of God, after the
     Maharashtra state printing press refused to issued them a gazette
    notification stating that they belonged to no religion. The petitioners
    stated that the organisation had 4000 members, and that they believe in Jesus Christ but they do not follow Christianity
     or any religion. Responding to the petition, the Maharashtra and the
    central governments had stated that "no religion" cannot be treated as a
     religion on official forms. The court cited the Article 25 of the
    Constitution, which guarantees right to freedom of conscience, while
    passing the verdict.



    Persecution and attacks

    Narendra Nayak
     has claimed to have been attacked thrice and twice had his scooter
    damaged, one of the attacks leaving him with head injuries. This
    compelled him to take self-defence lessons and carry a nunchaku.


    Megh Raj Mitter's house was surrounded a mob after he debunked the Hindu milk miracle, forcing him to call the police.


    On 15 March 2007, a bounty of lakh was announced on atheist


    Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasrin, while living in India, by a Muslim cleric named Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan for allegedly writing derogatory statements about Mohammad in her work.


    In December 2013, a FIR was filed against Nasrin in Bareilly by a cleric named Hasan Raza Khan, for hurting religious sentiments. Nasrin had allegedly tweeted on Twitter that "In India, criminals who issue fatwas
     against women don't get punished." Raza Khan said that by accusing
    clerics of being criminals, Nasrin had hurt religious sentiments.


    On 2 July 2011, the house of U. Kalanathan, secretary of the Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham, was attacked in Vallikunnu after he suggested on television that the temple treasures of Padmanabhaswamy Temple should be used for public welfare.


    On 20 August 2013, Narendra Dabholkar, a rationalist and anti-superstition campaigner, was assassinated.


    On 16 February 2015, rationalist Govind Pansare and his wife were attacked by unknown gunmen. He later died from the wounds on 20 February.


    On 30 August 2015, M. M. Kalburgi, a scholar and rationalist, was shot dead at his home. He was known for his criticism of superstition and idol worship.



    Soon afterwards, another rationalist and author, K. S. Bhagwan, received a threatening letter. He had offended religious groups by criticizing the Gita.





    The Indian census does not explicitly count atheists.


    In the 2011 Census of India,
     the response form required the respondent to choose from six options
    under religion. The "Others" option was meant for minor or tribal
    religions as well as atheists and agnostics.


    The religion data from 2011 Census of India
     was released in August 2015. It revealed that about 2,870,000 people
    had stated no religion in their response, about 0.27% of the nation's
    population. However, the number included atheists, rationalists and also
     those who believed in a higher power. K. Veeramani, a Dravidar Kazhagam
     leader, said that it was the first time the number of non-religious
    people was recorded in the census. However, he added that he believed
    that the number of atheists in India was actually higher as many people
    don't reveal their atheism out of fear.



    World Values Survey (2006)

    According to the 2006 World Values Survey,
     conducted by the Dentsu Communication Institute Inc, Japan Research
    Center (2006), 6.6% of Indians stated that they had no religion.


    WIN-Gallup Global Index of Religion and Atheism

    According to the 2005 Global Index of Religion and Atheism report
    from WIN-Gallup, 87% of Indians were religious and 4% called themselves


     According to the 2012 report by the same organization, 81% of Indians
    were religious, 13% were not religious, 3% were convinced atheists and
    3% were unsure or did not respond.


    Worldviews and Opinions of Scientists in India (2007)

    In 2007, a survey was conducted by the Institute for the Study of Secularism in Society and Culture of the Trinity College with the help of Center for Inquiry
     (India) called Worldviews and Opinions of Scientists in India. 1100
    scientists surveyed from 130 institutes. Most of them identified
    themselves as secular (59%) or somewhat secular (16%) but refused to be labelled irreligious.
     83% defined secularism, as it appears in the Indian constitutions, as
    the separation of state and religion. But, 93% also defined it as
    tolerance of other religious philosophies. 20% equated secularism to
    atheism. Only 11% called themselves completely not spiritual. However,
    only 8% reportedly said they would refuse to do stem cell research based on religious or moral convictions.


    Y. S. Rajan commented on this saying that most Indians don't feel there is a conflict between science and religion.


    Other the hand, Innaiah Narisetti, chairman of Center for Inquiry (India) and Pushpa Bhargava, the former director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, pointed out the lack of scientific temper among Indian scientists.


    Rationalism and atheism by region


    There is a sub-group of atheists in Kerala who are members of the Communist Party of India (Marxist). There are others who support atheism because of rationalist ideals: these include supporters of the Indian Rationalist Association. The Kerala Yukthivadi Sangham is an organization that supports atheism and rationalism in the Malayali community throughout Kerala. The Yukthivadi was the first atheist/rationalist magazine published in Malayalam.

    Some notable atheists from Kerala include Sahodaran Ayyappan, V. S. Achuthanandan, A.K. Antony, Sreeni Pattathanam, Abu Abraham, A. K. Gopalan, Mookencheril Cherian Joseph, Joseph Edamaruku, Sanal Edamaruku and others. Sanal Edamaruku is the founder-president of Rationalist International and the president of the Indian Rationalist Association.

    Notable irreligious Indians





    A. K. Antony


    Former Defence Minister and former Chief Minister of Kerala

    John Abraham



     consider myself a spiritual person but I don’t follow any particular
    religion. From the age of four, my father always told me that 'to be a
    good man, you don't need to go to a temple, church or a mosque. You just
     need to do good'. This is very true. So, while I believe in the
    presence of a supreme being, I am agnostic."


    Anurag Kashyap


    Director, Producer and Screenwriter

    "I am an atheist. Cinema is the only religion I believe in."


    Anand Gandhi


    Director, Producer and Screenwriter

     13, I had a serious moment of epiphany. On a walk to school one day, a
    lot of things suddenly occurred to me. It suddenly occurred to me that
    religions are made by people. And that the principle of a creator
    suffers from an infinite regress problem. I turned atheist overnight. I
    had discovered logic. It was so pure and pristine and clear that it
    shines in your mind. That was one of the biggest paradigm shifts of my


    Amartya Sen


    Economist and Nobel laureate

     you ask me whether I believe in god, my answer is No. But that does not
     compromise the profundity of my respect for the self-sacrifice of those
     who do so for the people as a result of their faith like Mother


    Amol Palekar


    Bollywood and Marathi film actor

    "Personally, I am an atheist and have no faith or belief in supernatural forces."


    Ajita Kesakambali

    6th century BCE

    Ancient Indian materialist philosopher

    "Fools and wise alike, on the dissolution of the body, are off, annihilated, and after death they are not."


    Ashok Vajpeyi


    Hindi poet and recipient of Sahitya Akademi Award

     am a non-believer; I don’t have the gift of belief. But I read the two
    epics (Ramayana and Mahabharata) as great literary epics. I am not
    concerned with the divinity of it, and there are many others who aren’t


    Baba Amte


    Social activist


    Baichung Bhutia


    Football player

     am neither religious nor spiritual. But my being an atheist is more a
    matter of chance. I have been away from my family ever since I was a
    child and never really got a chance to imbibe the religious values of my
     parents. Usually, it is the family that teaches a child about


    Bhagat Singh


    A well-known figure in the Indian independence movement

     regard the origin of God, my thought is that man created God in his
    imagination when he realized his weaknesses, limitations and


    C. P. Joshi


    Former minister of Road Transport and Highways and former Railway Minister

    E. M. S. Namboodiripad


    First Chief Minister of Kerala

    E. K. Nayanar


    Former Chief Minister of Kerala

    Goparaju Ramachandra Rao


    Atheist activist, participant in the Indian independence movement and founder of Atheist Centre

     belief prevented the growth of a sense of realism. But atheism at once
    makes man realistic and alive to the needs of morality."


    Har Dayal


    Indian nationalist revolutionary, polymath and founder of the Ghadar Party

    "If God loves virtue, why has he not made Man wholly virtuous?"


    Innaiah Narisetti


    Journalist, translator, president of Center for Inquiry, India and author of the book "Forced into Faith"

     temper demands proof and evidence. The god proposition came from
    religious persons. The burden of proof lies with the proposer."


    Irfan Habib


    Marxist historian

     I have not found any reasonable argument for the existence of any
    supernatural power. I came to this conscious realisation in my student
    days in the late 1940s, through the influence of Marxist literature."


    J. B. S. Haldane


    British born biologist who took Indian citizenship

     practice as a scientist is atheistic. That is to say, when I set up an
    experiment I assume that no god, angel, or devil is going to interfere
    with its course; and this assumption has been justified by such success
    as I have achieved in my professional career. I should therefore be
    intellectually dishonest if I were not also atheistic in the affairs of
    the world."


    Jagadish Shettar


    Bharatiya Janata Party politician, 21st Chief Minister of Karnataka


    James Michael Lyngdoh


    Former Chief Election Commissioner of India

    "I have no religion, I am an atheist.”


    Javed Akhtar


    Poet, lyricist and scriptwriter

     is based on faith – you aren't allowed to question or discuss it, and
    there is no logic or reason behind it. What is the difference between
    faith and stupidity?"


    Jawaharlal Nehru


    First Prime Minister of India

    "What the mysterious is I do not know. I do not call it God because God has come to mean much that I do not believe in."


    Jyoti Basu


    Former Chief Minister of West Bengal


    K. Siddaramaiah


    Current Chief Minister of Karnataka


    K. Shivaram Karanth


    Jnanpith awardee Kannada novelist, considered himself a nontheist


    K. Veeramani


     is the President of the Dravidar Kazhagam, an Indian organization
    centered in Tamil Nadu, opposed to the caste system and dedicated to the
     welfare of socially disadvantaged. He is the third President of the
    Dravidar Kazhagam and Chancellor of Periyar Maniammai University


    Kamal Haasan


    Filmmaker and actor, known for making films having themes of both atheism and Brahminical Hinduism.

    "Every religion has a podium, atheists do not have one. My films are my podium."


    Khushwant Singh


    Journalist and author of books such as Train to Pakistan, considers himself an agnostic

    "I gave up religion nearly 40 years ago. I studied religion and realised it is all trash."


    Lavanam Gora


    Social reformer

    "To be good and to do good, God is not necessary."


    M. Karunanidhi


    Former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu




    M. N. Roy


    Indian nationalist revolutionary, radical activist and political theorist


    Mani Shankar Aiyar


    Diplomat and politician

    "I am an atheist. A somewhat reluctant one because I have seen the comfort that religious conviction brings to many."


    Meera Nanda


    Writer and historian


    Meghnad Saha




    Motilal Nehru


    an activist of the Indian National Movement, father of Jawaharlal Nehru


    Narendra Dabholkar


    Rationalist, anti-superstition activist, founder and president of Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti


    Narendra Nayak


    President of Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations


    P. Chidambaram


    Politician and former Finance Minister

    Dr. P. M. Bhargava


    Biotechnologist and founder of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology

     scientist can say without any feeling of guilt or shame, "I don’t
    know." Religious leaders would not be leaders if they did not claim to
    know everything and have answers to every question."



    c. 4th century BCE

    Materialist philosopher

     is there any other world, nor are there beings reborn otherwise than
    from parents, nor is there fruit or results of deeds, well done or ill


    Periyar E. V. Ramasamy


    Businessman, politician, Indian independence and social activist, started the Self respect movement and founder of the socio-cultural organisation, Dravidar Kazhagam.

     is no god, there is no god, there is no god at all. He who invented god
     is a fool. He who propagates god is a scoundrel. He who worships god is
     a barbarian."


    Prabir Ghosh


    President of Science and Rationalists' Association Of India


    R. P. Paranjpe


    Founding president of Indian Rationalist Association, and later High Commissioner of India in Australia and vice-chancellor of Bombay University



    Rajat Kapoor


    Actor, writer and director

     think God is a totally man-made concept that has been more harmful than
     beneficial to mankind. Man has waged war and hurt and killed each other
     for thousands of years in the name of a God he created. I believe there
     is no God, no heaven and no hell."


    Rajeev Khandelwal



     love to call myself an atheist. By atheist, I don't mean i would stand
    up and start delivering speeches on the non-existence of God. I am the
    kind of person who doesn't like wasting time on visiting religious
    places or performing rituals."


    Rahul Bose



    "I am an atheist, but being so doesn't stop me from respecting those who believe in religion."


    Ram Gopal Varma


    Film director

     have always been an atheist ever since I can remember. Being an
    atheist, I believe there is a rational and scientific explanation to


    Ram Manohar Lohia


    participant in the Indian independence movement

    S. Nijalingappa


    Former Chief Minister of Karnataka

    Sadanand Dhume

    Journalist and writer


    Salman Rushdie


    Indian-born British Booker prize-winning novelist and knighted by Queen Elizabeth II

    "I'm a hard-line atheist I have to say."






    Satish Gujral


    Painter, writer and recipient of Padma Vibhushan award


    Satyajit Ray


    Filmmaker and author


    Sreeni Pattathanam


    Rationalist and atheist activist

    Shriram Lagoo


    Actor and rationalist activist

     existence of the God is itself a kind of superstition. Young people
    should not waste power of reasoning and thinking under such belief."




    Chief Minister of Karnataka (elected in 2013)

     have not totally rejected God, I do visit temples but I have not made
    it a habit. My conscience is God to me. I believe in truth. I believe in
     the power of people. I don’t believe in superstition."


    Sitaram Yechury


    Member of the politburo of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


    Subhash Kapoor


    Film director, producer and screenwriter


    Subhashini Ali


    Politician, member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and President of the All India Democratic Women's Association

     have always been an atheist. My parents were atheists. It doesn't
    bother me if somebody is religious. My problem is when religion is used
    to institutionalise other things."


    Subramanyan Chandrasekhar


    Indian-American astrophysicist who, with William A. Fowler, won the 1983 Nobel Prize for Physics


    Suhasini Maniratnam



     don't believe in God, in prayer, in going to temples begging God to
    give me and my family happiness. I am not asking everyone to be an
    atheist, but good thoughts are not spent in a temple."


    Sushilkumar Shinde


    Former Union Home Minister

    Teesta Setalvad


    Civil rights activist and journalist

     agnostic. You can insult a man's wife, his mother, and get away with
    it. But you can't insult his God without repercussions."




    Malayalam film actor

    “As an atheist, I feel I am better off than the believers. At least I act and speak according to my conscience.”



    V. S. Achuthanandan


    Former Chief Minister of Kerala

    Verghese Kurien


    Father of the White Revolution


    Vijay Tendulkar


    Marathi writer and dramatist


    See also

    • Religion in India
    • Superstition in India
    • Atheism in Hinduism
    • Freedom of religion in India
    • Hate speech laws in India
    • Secularism in India



    • Book: Sangave, Vilas Adinath. harv. Aspects of Jaina religion. 2006. Bharatiya Jnanpith. 978-81-263-1273-3.

    Further reading

    • Book: Johannes Quack.
       Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in
       India. 22 November 2011. Oxford University Press. 978-0-19-981260-8.

    Notes and References

    1. Web site: Global Index Of Religion And Atheism. WIN-Gallup. 3 September 2013.
    2. Joshi. L.R.. 1966. A New Interpretation of
      Indian Atheism. Philosophy East and West. 16. 3/4. 189–206.
      10.2307/1397540. University of Hawai'i Press. 1397540.
    3. Book: Y. Masih. A Comparative Study of Religions. 7 September 2013. 1 January 2000. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. 978-81-208-0815-7. 157.
    4. Web site: Not scared of God, but man.
    5. Book: Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan. Charles A.
      Moore. A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy. Princeton University Press.
      1957. Twelfth Princeton Paperback printing 1989. 227–249. 0-691-01958-4.
    6. Book: Deepak Sarma. Classical Indian Philosophy: A Reader. 7 September 2013. 2011. Columbia University Press. 978-0-231-13399-9. 4–.
    7. Book: Eugene F. Bales. A Ready Reference to Philosophy East and West. 7 September 2013. 1987. University Press of America. 978-0-8191-6640-1. 211–.
    8. Book: William M. Indich. Consciousness in Advaita Vedanta. 7 September 2013. 1 January 2000. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. 978-81-208-1251-2. 35–.
    9. Book: Eugene F. Bales. A Ready Reference to Philosophy East and West. 7 September 2013. 1987. University Press of America. 978-0-8191-6640-1. 211.
    10. Book: Richard King. Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Hindu and Buddhist Thought. 7 September 2013. 1999. Edinburgh University Press. 978-0-7486-0954-3. 52, 63.
    11. Book: Surendranath Dasgupta. A History of Indian Philosophy. 7 September 2013. 1992. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. 978-81-208-0412-8. 238.
    12. Book: Dale Maurice Riepe. Naturalistic Tradition in Indian Thought. 7 September 2013. 1 December 1996. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. 978-81-208-1293-2. 210.
    13. Book: Andrew J. Nicholson. . Columbia University Press. 978-0-231-52642-5. 118–.
    14. Web site: Thera. Nyanaponika. Buddhism and the God-idea.
       The Vision of the Dhamma. Buddhist Publication Society. Kandy, Sri
      Lanka. In Buddhist literature, the belief in a creator god
      (issara-nimmana-vada) is frequently mentioned and rejected, along with
      other causes wrongly adduced to explain the origin of the world; as, for
       instance, world-soul, time, nature, etc. God-belief, however, is placed
       in the same category as those morally destructive wrong views which
      deny the kammic results of action, assume a fortuitous origin of man and
       nature, or teach absolute determinism. These views are said to be
      altogether pernicious, having definite bad results due to their effect
      on ethical conduct..
    15. Approaching the Dhamma: Buddhist Texts and Practices in South and Southeast Asia by Anne M. Blackburn (editor), Jeffrey Samuels (editor). Pariyatti Publishing: 2003 ISBN 1-928706-19-3 pg 129
    16. Book: The All Embracing Net of Views: Brahmajala Sutta. 2007. Buddhist Publication Society. Bhikku Bodhi. Access To Insight. Kandy, Sri Lanka. III.1, III.2, III.5.
    17. Web site: Acintita Sutta: Unconjecturable.
       AN 4.77. Access To Insight. Thanissaro Bhikku. translated from Pali
      into English. 1997. Conjecture about [the origin, etc., of] the world is
       an unconjecturable that is not to be conjectured about, that would
      bring madness & vexation to anyone who conjectured about it..
    18. Web site: Cula-Malunkyovada Sutta: The Shorter Instructions to Malunkya.
       Access To Insight. Thanissaro Bhikku. translated from Pali into
      English. 1998. It's just as if a man were wounded with an arrow thickly
      smeared with poison. His friends & companions, kinsmen &
      relatives would provide him with a surgeon, and the man would say, 'I
      won't have this arrow removed until I know whether the man who wounded
      me was a noble warrior, a priest, a merchant, or a worker.' He would
      say, 'I won't have this arrow removed until I know the given name &
      clan name of the man who wounded me… until I know whether he was tall,
       medium, or short… The man would die and those things would still
      remain unknown to him. In the same way, if anyone were to say, 'I won't
      live the holy life under the Blessed One as long as he does not declare
      to me that 'The cosmos is eternal,'… or that 'After death a Tathagata
      neither exists nor does not exist,' the man would die and those things
      would still remain undeclared by the Tathagata..
    19. Book: David J. Kalupahana. Ethics in Early Buddhism. 9 September 2013. 1 January 2008. Motilal Banarsidass Publishe. 978-81-208-3280-0. 16–17.
    20. Book: K. R. Norman. Pāli Literature: Including the Canonical Literature in Prakrit and Sanskrit of All the Hīnayāna Schools of Buddhism. 9 September 2013. 1983. Otto Harrassowitz Verlag. 978-3-447-02285-9. 40.
    21. Book: A Comparative History of Ideas. 9 September 2013. 1992. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. 978-81-208-1004-4. 152.
    22. Book: Valmiki. Ramayana. Sarga 108–109. Valmiki. Valmiki. Ayodhya Kanda.
    23. Book: Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland. 9 September 2013. 1862. Cambridge University Press for the Royal Asiatic Society. 307.
    24. Book: Mahadev Moreshwar Kunte. The
       Vicissitudes of Âryan Civilization in India: An Essay, which Treats of
      the History of the Vedic and Buddhistic Polities, Explaining Their
      Origin, Prosperity, and Decline. 9 September 2013. 1880. printed at the Oriental Printing Press by N. W. Ghumre. 449.
    25. Book: Sanujit Ghose. Legend of Ram: Antiquity to Janmabhumi Debate. 9 September 2013. 1 January 2004. Bibliophile South Asia. 978-81-85002-33-0. 140.
    26. Book: James L. Fitzgerald. The Mahabharata, Volume 7: Book 11: The Book of the Women Book 12: The Book of Peace. 9 September 2013. 15 February 2003. University of Chicago Press. 978-0-226-25250-6. 255–258.
    27. Book: Arvind Sharma. Essays on the Mahābhārata. 9 September 2013. 1 January 2007. Motilal Banarsidass Publishe. 978-81-208-2738-7. 309–.
    28. Book: Warren Matthews. World Religions, 7th ed.. 8 September 2013. 22 December 2011. Cengage Learning. 978-1-111-83472-2. 156.
    29. Book: Carl Sagan. Carl Sagan. Carl Sagan. Cosmos. 1985. Ballantine Books. 978-0-345-33135-9. Chapter 10.
    30. News: Tracing the history of an unknown radical group. 7 October 2013. The Hindu. 5 October 2013.
    31. Book: Sankar Ghose. Jawaharlal Nehru, a Biography. 30 September 2013. 1993. Allied Publishers. 978-81-7023-369-5. 332.
    32. Book: Dale McGowan. Voices of Unbelief: Documents from Atheists and Agnostics. 8 September 2013. 7 September 2012. ABC-CLIO. 978-1-59884-978-3. 139.
    33. Book: Wiel Veugelers. Education and Humanism: Linking Autonomy and Humanity. 8 September 2013. 16 November 2011. Springer. 978-94-6091-577-2. 114.
    34. Book: Johannes Quack. Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India. 12 August 2013. 22 November 2011. Oxford University Press. 978-0-19-981260-8. 89, 338.
    35. Book: Robyn E. Lebron. Searching for Spiritual Unity…Can There Be Common Ground?. 8 September 2013. January 2012. CrossBooks. 978-1-4627-1262-5. 532.
    36. Book: Johannes Quack. Disenchanting India: Organized Rationalism and Criticism of Religion in India. 12 August 2013. 22 November 2011. Oxford University Press. 978-0-19-981260-8. 89, 338.
    37. News: In India, atheism finds its voice. 5 September 2013. DNA India. 13 October 2008.
    38. News: The Glitter In The Godliness. 6 September 2013. Outlook India. William Dalrymple. William Dalrymple (historian). 18 January 2010.
    39. News: Don’t vote for those who preach atheism: Kerala church body. 2 October 2013. The Indian Express. 24 March 2009.
    40. News: Kerala Church makes a poll sermon. 2 October 2013. The Hindu Business Line. 12 April 2009.
    41. News: Church blow to ‘atheist’ parties. 2 October 2013. The Telegraph (India). 26 July 2010.
    42. News: FIR against rationalist for questioning ‘miracle’.
       17 April 2012. Mumbai Mirror.
      FIR against rationalist for questioning ‘miracle’.
       15 June 2012. 5 September 2012.
    43. News: Jesus wept … oh, it's bad plumbing. Indian rationalist targets 'miracles'. 6 September 2013. The Guardian. 23 November 2012.
    44. News: Think free and hug an atheist this Friday. 8 September 2013. DNA India. 6 June 2013.
    45. News: Give the atheist closest to you a hug. 8 September 2013. The New Indian Express. 6 June 2013.
    46. News: Rationalist Dabholkar shot dead. 6 September 2013. The Hindu. 20 August 2013.
    47. News: Indian atheists seek recognition in the land of a million gods. 5 September 2013. The Times of India. 30 June 2012.
    48. News: Teacher cannot be forced to fold hands in school prayers: Bombay high court. 4 November 2013. The Times of India. 2 November 2013.
    49. Constitution of India, Section 28 (a). 1950.
    50. News: Pray, what wrong did I do, asks atheist teacher. 4 November 2013. The Hindu. 20 September 2013.
    51. News: Bombay High Court answers atheist teacher's prayer; asks school to pay dues. 4 November 2013. DNA India. 31 October 2013.
    52. News: Citizen can declare that he does not belong to any religion: Bombay High Court. 26 November 2014. India Today. 26 Sep 2014.
    53. News: Citizen can declare that he does not belong to any religion: Bombay High Court. 26 November 2014. The Indian Express. 24 Sep 2014.
    54. News: Rationalists fight superstition with dignity and nunchakus. 6 September 2013. The Times of India. 22 August 2013.
    55. News: Confrontation in the Twilight zone. 5 September 2013. Business Standard. 30 August 2013.
    56. News: Taslima on IBNLive chat: 'India is not a theocracy'. 15 December 2014. IBNLive. 18 January 2008.
    57. News: Muslim body announces Rs 5 lakh for Taslima's head. 15 December 2014. DNA India. 15 March 2007.
    58. News: Cleric files FIR against Taslima Nasreen's anti-fatwa tweet. 15 December 2014. The Times of India. 6 December 2013.
    59. News: Rationalist leader's house attacked. 23 October 2013. The Hindu. 4 July 2011.
    60. News: Rationalist Pansare is dead. 5 October 2015. Deccan Herald. 21 February 2015.
    61. News: Rationalist Kalburgi Shot Dead in Dharwad. 5 October 2015. The New Indian Express. 31 August 2015.
    62. News: Indian Scholar Who Spoke Out Against Idol Worship Is Shot Dead. 5 October 2015. Time (magazine). 31 August 2015.
    63. News: Writer Bhagwan receives threat letter. 5 October 2015. The Hindu. 10 September 2015.
    64. News: In Karnataka, Another Writer Gets Threat Letter After Scholar MM Kalburgi's Murder. 5 October 2015. NDTV. 10 September 2015.
    65. Book: Phil Zuckerman. Atheism and Secularity. 7 September 2013. 21 December 2009. ABC-CLIO. 978-0-313-35182-2. Chapeter 7: Atheism and Secularity in India.
    66. News: 2.87 million Indians have no faith, census reveals for first time. 10 September 2015. The Times of India. 27 August 2015.
    67. Web site: World Values Survey (2006) English source requested. 5 September 2013. Japanese.
    68. News: More Indians have stopped believing in God: Survey. 5 September 2013. The Times of India. 27 May 2013.
    69. Web site: Global Index Of Religion And Atheism. WIN-Gallup. 3 September 2013.
    70. News: Indian scientists are secular, but religious: Survey. 15 December 2014. MSN.
       16 May 2008.
      Indian scientists are secular, but religious: Survey.
       6 October 2013.
    71. Web site: Worldviews and Opinions of Scientists India 2007-08. Trinity College. 5 September 2013.
    72. News: God save Indian science. 8 September 2013. Telegraph India. 10 June 2008.
    73. News: Indian scientists significantly more religious than UK scientists. 15 December 2014. (e)Science News. 25 September 2014.
    74. Web site: John Abraham. John Abraham – FAQs. 15 December 2014.
    75. Web site: Anurag Kashyap. Anurag Kashyap – FAQs. 5 October 2015. Reddit.
    76. News: Pronoti Datta. Naval Gazing. 5 October 2015. Mumbai Boss. 15 July 2013.
    77. News: I don't believe in God: Amartya. 5 November 2013. The Indian Express. 27 December 2007.
    78. News: Supernatural syndrome is catching up. 6 September 2013. The Times of India. 22 January 2008.
    79. Book: Geerpuram Nadadur Srinivasa Raghavan. Discovering the Rigveda. 6 September 2013. 2009. Gyan Publishing House. 978-81-7835-778-2. 118.
    80. News: Elements In Each Religion Nourish Violence’. 6 September 2013. Tehelka. 16 February 2013.
    81. News: Murlidhar Devidas ("Baba") Amte, champion of India's lepers and outcastes, died on February 9th, aged 93.
       6 September 2013. The Economist. 28 February 2008. Atheist though he
      was, he saw the Narmada as a goddess whose beauty should be decorated
      only with micro-dams on a human scale..
    82. News: I Am: Baichung Bhutia. 6 September 2013. The Times of India. 10 June 2008.
    83. Book: Bhagat Singh. Bhupendra Hooja. Bhagat Singh, on the Path of Liberation. 6 September 2013. 2007. Bharathi Puthakalayam. 978-81-89909-05-5. 127.
    84. Book: Goparaju Ramachandra Rao. Atheism: Questions and Answers. Vijayawada. Goparaju Ramachandra Rao. Goparaju Ramachandra Rao. 6 September 2013.
    85. Book: Lala Har Dayal. Hints For Self Culture. 7 September 2013. 1 January 1977. Jaico Publishing House. 978-81-7224-283-1. 135–.
    86. News: Parents impose their belief system on children. 6 September 2013. 29 July 2009.
    87. News: Great values come from secular thought: Irfan Habib. 6 September 2013. The Times of India. 25 June 2010.
    88. Book: John Burdon Sanderson Haldane. Fact and Faith. 7 September 2013. 1934. Watts & Company.
    89. News: Atheist Shettar to be sworn in minister today. 29 November 2013. DNA India. 17 November 2009.
    90. News: Cast In A Completely Different Mould. 30 May 2014. The Indian Express. 29 December 2002.
    91. News: Panel charts our religious journey. 6 September 2013. DNA India. 12 August 2008.
    92. Book: S. P. Agrawal. J. C. Aggarwal. Nehru on Social Issues. 6 September 2013. 1 January 1989. Concept Publishing Company. 978-81-7022-207-1. 12.
    93. News: An unusual friendship. 6 September 2013. The Hindu.
       During the course of writing a biography on Mother Teresa, I asked
      Chief Minister Jyoti Basu what he, a Communist and atheist, could
      possibly have in common with Mother Teresa for whom God was everything.
      With a smile that reached his eyes, he said: 'We both share a love for
      the poor.'.
    94. News: Atheist Siddaramaiah and God's changing role in politics. 6 September 2013. Online Shopping, Rediffmail, Latest India News, Business, Bollywood, Sports, Stock, Live Cricket Score, Money, Movie Reviews. 13 May 2013.
    95. Book: Si. En Rāmacandran. K. Shivarama Karanth. 8 September 2013. 2001. Sahitya Akademi. 978-81-260-1071-4. 27.
    96. PMU
    97. News: Don’t let mediocrity be the standard:Kamal. 8 September 2013. The Times of India. 10 March 2010.
    98. News: He has made history by writing it. 8 September 2013. Indian Express. 7 May 1999.
    99. News: Lavanam Address Indian Secularism. The Harvard Crimson. 8 November 2010. 7 November 2013.
    100. News: Anti-Hindu rhetoric nothing new for atheist DMK chief. Indian Express. 4 September 2013. 12 July 2007.
    101. News: Atheist Karunanidhi visits temple. IBNLive. 2 September 2013. 16 February 2008.
    102. News: Act in a manner acceptable to God: Karunanidhi. Online Shopping, Rediffmail, Latest India News, Business, Bollywood, Sports, Stock, Live Cricket Score, Money, Movie Reviews. 4 July 2008. 5 September 2013.
    103. Book: Bayly, Christopher Alan. Christopher Bayly. Christopher Bayly. Recovering Liberties: Indian Thought in the Age of Liberalism and Empire. 7 September 2013. 10 November 2011. Cambridge University Press. 978-1-139-50518-5. 317.
    104. News: I Am: Mani Shankar Aiyar. 6 September 2013. The Times of India. 7 January 2006.
    105. News: This Meera’s raga.
       6 September 2013. Indian Express. 3 May 2005.
      This Meera’s raga.
       16 May 2005.
    106. Book: Meghnad Saha, scientist with a vision.
      1984. National Book Trust, India. Santimay Chatterjee, Enakshi
      Chatterjee. 5. Even though he later came to be known as an atheist, Saha
       was well-versed in all religious texts— though his interest in them was
       purely academic..
    107. Book: Shashi Tharoor. Nehru: The Invention of India. 9 September 2013. 16 October 2007. Penguin Books Limited. 978-93-5118-018-0. 1899, 1902, 1895.
    108. News: Narendra Dabholkar: A rationalist to the core. 8 September 2013. DNA India. 20 August 2013.
    109. Web site: Swearing by God: An Atheist’s Experiences In Indian Courts. Nirmukta. 8 September 2013. Narendra Nayak. Narendra Nayak. 10 October 2010.
    110. News: Why am I an atheist?. 5 November 2013. International Humanist and Ethical Union. 4 February 2008. Pushpa Mittra Bhargava.
    111. Book: Surendranath Dasgupta. A History of Indian Philosophy. 7 September 2013. 1992. Motilal Banarsidass Publ.. 978-81-208-0412-8. 106.
    112. Book: Gail Omvedt. Dalit Visions: The Anti-caste Movement and the Construction of an Indian Identity. 9 September 2013. 1 January 2006. Orient Blackswan. 978-81-250-2895-6. 56.
    113. Web site: About: Prabir Ghosh. Science and Rationalists' Association. 8 September 2013.
    114. Book: Aroon Tikekar. Aruṇa Ṭikekara. The Cloister's Pale: A Biography of the University of Mumbai. 9 September 2013. 1 January 2006. Popular Prakashan. 978-81-7991-293-5. 107.
    115. Web site: Rationalist International Bulletin 21. 21 October 1999. 5 September 2013.
    116. News: I Am: Rajat Kapoor. 6 September 2013. The Times of India. 6 May 2007.
    117. News: I Am: Rajeev Khandelwal. 6 September 2013. The Times of India. 10 June 2008.
    118. News: I Am Rahul Bose. 6 September 2013. The Times of India. 17 September 2006. Rahul Bose. Rahul Bose.
    119. News: RGV in Chennai to promote Phoonk.
       Track Indian politics, sports, cricket, movie news and reviews. 18 April 2008. I have always been an atheist ever since I can
       remember. Being an atheist, I believe there is a rational and
      scientific explanation to everything.. 6 August 2008.
    120. News: An Indian atheist takes on the Islamist world in Indonesia. 5 September 2013. The Jakarta Post. 10 August 2008.
    121. Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason,. Salman Rushdie. 23 June 2006. http://www.pbs.org/moyers/faitha…. PBS.
    122. Web site: Periyar survives controversies, censor cuts. The Indian Express. 8 September 2013.
    123. News: Partition Prodigy. 6 September 2013. Tehelka.
       19 April 2009. “I saw widespread rape and murder on both sides. It went
       on for six months. So when I sat down to paint, the inhumanity of man
      to man became my first theme,” says Gujral, an atheist who hates all
      organised religion..
    124. Book: Satyajit Ray. Satyajit Ray: Interviews. 17 March 2014. 2007. Univ. Press of Mississippi. 978-1-57806-937-8. 217.
    125. News: Belief in God is superstition: Lagoo.
       7 September 2013. Sakaal Times. 2 January 2010.
      Sakaal Times.
       2 January 2010.
    126. News: Siddaramaiah: My conscience is my God. 23 October 2013. Deccan Chronicle. 16 October 2013.
    127. News: 'Kashmiris speak of azadi passionately even in hospitals'. 6 September 2013. The Times of India. 26 September 2010. We are atheists but we have full respect for people's faith..
    128. News: I still fly kites even though I lost my arm flying one: Subhash Kapoor. 6 September 2013. The Times of India. 6 March 2013.
    129. News: Patriarchal societies have always felt the need to control and curb women. 6 September 2013. Rediff.com. 8 August 2001.
    130. Book: Henry F. Schaefer. Science and Christianity: Conflict Or Coherence?. 7 September 2013. 2003. The Apollos Trust. 978-0-9742975-0-7. 9.
    131. News: Getting to know Suhasini Maniratnam. 6 September 2013. Online Shopping, Rediffmail, Latest India News, Business, Bollywood, Sports, Stock, Live Cricket Score, Money, Movie Reviews. 14 July 2006.
    132. News: Meet Mumbai's Piper at the gates of truth. 8 September 2013. DNA India. 4 October 2008.
    133. News: Thilakan suspended; says Mammootty’s statement is eyewash. 23 October 2013. UK Malayalee. 1 March 2010.
    134. News: God does not exist, says Thilakan. 8 September 2013. The New Indian Express. 16 May 2012.
    135. News: Verghese Kurien, father of India’s "white revolution", died on September 9th, aged 90. 24 September 2013. The Economist. 22 September 2012.
    136. News: Noted playwright Vijay Tendulkar dead. 27 January 2014. Rediff. 19 May 2008.

    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Irreligion in India".

    Everything.Explained.Today is © Copyright 2009-2016, A B Cr

    Irreligion in India explained


    India, this cultural grandeur, has a common soul that does not resort to any religion, language, race or rituals but to its cultural foundation which knits such infinite versatility altogether.

    Aroma of which, could not be suppressed by demographic partitions and communal disputes; it echoes in the air weather Ustad Amzad Ali Khan or Pundit Hari Prasad Chaurasia in India touch the same chords that somewhere in Pakistan Nusrat Fateh Ali or Amanat Ali carries, which echo in Indonesia in their Ram Lila or in Thailand in their temples.

    Unlike the Odins and Thors, Greeks, Egyptians or Roman gods, that have vanished with new cultures overwriting their scripts, here stays this aroma all alive. All over the ancient land on which it spread, whenever a musician holds his instrument and touches those chords.

    Be it Kumar Gandharv

    or Mehndi Hasan

    A huge fan of Bob Dillon, David Gilmour, Beatles, Mozart and Tchaikovsky, I can brag that world has yet learned next to nothing from the greatest tradition of music in world history, as I see, INDIAN CLASSICAL MUSIC. Vast like a Banyan tree, it consists of so many branches, it includes Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Buddhist cultures all inherited in it and has produced an unimaginable variety of soul touching music. There are those gems are around.

    India is about its multifaceted all-inheriting culture that manifests itself best in its music. It has so much to give to the world, while unfortunately, popular movies in India are depending for half a decade on stealing music from western masters. A SADDENING IRONY!

  10. What India Can Teach The Rest Of The World About Living Well

    India has been described by some traditional texts as Sa Prathama Sanskrati Vishvavara, the first and supreme culture in the world. To this day, the South Asian country remains a hotspring of ancient wisdom on mind-body health and spirituality.

    Here are the reasons others should look to India as an example of what it means to live well.

    It’s the birthplace of yoga.

    India’s most popular export, yoga (Sanskrit for “divine union”) has been passed down from guru to student for many centuries. Traditionally, yoga is practiced with the goal of stilling the thoughts of the unruly mind so that the individual can eventually achieve moksha(liberation). Aside from yoga’s spiritual aims, the physical and mental health benefits practices are extensive, from decreased anxiety to reduced neck and lower back pain to increased sexual function.Arguably

    We view health from a holistic perspective.

    The ancient Indian wisdom system ofayurveda is founded on two guiding principles: 1) that the mind and body are inextricably linked, and 2) that the mind has more power than anything else to heal and transform the body, according to The Chopra Center.

    This Indian “science of life” has used natural remedies to treat a wide variety of physical ailments for centuries, and modern science is just beginning to catch on to its wisdom. Through dietary and lifestyle changes, ayurvedic principles are used to prevent and treat illnesses, and to help individuals achieve optimal health and well-being.

    We embrace vegetarianism.

    An estimated 80 percent of India’s population identifies as Hindu, and the traditional Hindu diet is vegetarian. In the traditional yogic text the Mahabharata, a vegetarian diet is said to be sattvic — meaning that it is linked with purity, goodness, and enlightenment.

    “The practitioner of yoga has to adopt a vegetarian diet in order to attain one-pointed evolution and spiritual evolution,” master practitioner B.K.S. Iyengar writes in “Light On Yoga.”

    Additionally, a vegetarian diet has been linked with major health benefits, including increased longevity and a lower risk of diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

    We have strong family values.

    In Indian culture, there is a strong emphasis on family as the primary social unit, and families tend to be large, providing a strong social support system and network of community ties (a key factor in longevity). Indian families often live together in multi-generational “joint family” units.

    “Through a multitude of kinship ties, each person is linked with kin in villages and towns near and far,” according to the Asia Society. “Almost everywhere a person goes, he can find a relative from whom he can expect moral and practical support.”

    We cook with turmeric.

    Turmeric is a popular spice in Indian cooking, and it’s a superfood that can boost longevity and ward off illness. The spice has long been used medicinally in the Chinese and Indian traditions, and for good reason: Turmeric is packed with anti-inflammatory properties, and is also anti-carcinogenic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial. Plus, it makes a delicious (and colorful) curry.

    We are making low-cost health innovations.

    Although the Indian health care system is often criticized (and is certainly an overburdened system), some Indian institutions have succeed in creating a model for good-quality health care at a low cost.

    “U.S. hospitals would do well to take a leaf or two from the book of Indian doctors and hospitals that are treating problems of the eye, heart, and kidney all the way to maternity care, orthopedics, and cancer for less than 5% to 10% of U.S. costs,” Vijay Govindarajan and Ravi Ramamurti write in a recent Harvard Business Review blog, explaining that the Indian hospitals they studied still met international care standards.

    Low cost, in this case, doesn’t mean low quality — Govindarajan and Ramamurti argue that because patients pay 60-70 percent of health care costs out of pocket, Indian hospitals have had to cut costs while also improving their standard of care, doing so through task shifting, frugality, and a “hub-and-spoke” model of dispersement. More and more Indian corporations are also joining the fight to provide good quality, affordable health care.

    We live in color.

    Every year, India celebrates the arrival of spring with Holi, the Hindu Festival of Colors, which ushers in the season with singing, dancing, and bright colors.

    Many visitors to India (sometimes called the “land of color”) are taken with the bright, beautiful colors everywhere. Many of these colors are symbolic in the culture and in the Hindu tradition — and according to some color experts, these bright hues may have a positive effect on mood.

    We have a culture that prizes compassion.

    Compassion is a traditional Indian value, and also central to Buddhism, which espouses a philosophy of compassion balanced by wisdom.

    In Indian culture today, there is also a belief in karma. According to the law of karma, every action must have a reaction, and every individual reaps what he sows. In the yoga tradition, karma yoga, the path of selfless action and selfless ervice, is one path to liberation.

    “Once you become selfless you are free from attachments,” wrote Swami Rama, explaining that one can achieve freedom from both the laws of karma and from mental confusion.

    We know that breathing is crucial to good health.

    Breathing is a critical aspect of good health that’s frequently overlooked in Western cultures, where they tend to focus more on the role of food and diet in preventative health care.

    For thousands of years, the yogic practice of pranayama (Sanskrit for “extension of the life-force”) has been used as a method for reducing stress and healing the body and mind through targeted breathing exercises. In Kundalini yoga, a traditional method of yoga popularized in the West by Yogi Bhajan, the breath is thought to be an individual’s connection to the divine within, and breathing exercises are used to connect us more deeply with our own life force.

    We celebrate the power of music.

    The birth country of the legendary Ravi Shankar — and the place that“transformed” George Harrison’s life — has produced some of the world’s greatest music. In India, music is often a spiritual pursuit. Devotional chanting, also known as kirtan, is thought to be a healing practice.

    When the reknowned Indian guru Paramhansa Yogananda performed a kirtan at Carnegie Hall in New York City in 1926, the event had a strong impact on the audience.

    “For one hour and twenty-five minutes, the thousands of voices of the entire audience chanted…in a divine atmosphere of joyous praise,”Yogananda later recalled. “The next day many men and women testified to the God-perception and the healing of body, mind, and soul that had taken place during the sacred chanting.”

    We know how to do a memorable tribute.

    We value inner wisdom.

    Indian spirituality, stemming from the teachings of the Vedas, the source of ancient yoga philosophy and the early foundation texts of Hindu and Buddhist faiths, stresses the truth of inwardness. Within the Indian belief system, divinity is to be found by accessing the divine Self (atman) within the self. Liberation can be attained through realizing the unity ofatman and brahman (the whole of the universe)

    Source: Huffington post

    1. To welcome people visiting us with a glass of water.Don't find the custom anywhere else.In most countries, there is no free water, you go to a restaurant, you have to pay for the water you drink.
    2. Jugad, we have innovative and cost effective solutions to every problem.
    3. We use and reuse everything possible. We hate to throw away things.We find innovative ways to reuse things.
    4. We address even strangers with familiar terms like uncle , aunty, behenji(sister) etc.
  11. Here are my thoughts that other countries will learn from India

    1.How to treat guests
    Although touts and cheats have given us quite a bad name, real Indian hospitality and warmth towards tourists and guests is legendary across the world.

    2.India Elections 2014
    With 814m voters, 29 languages spoken by at least 1m people, and 447 mother tongues, We celebrate our festival of democracy with full passion and dedication.

    3.Adjustment:Although jugaad is on top priority but still we have maintain our rank.The best examples you see while travelling in India or sitting in restaruants

    4.Medical Care
    Twice I’ve had to seek the advice of a physician while traveling in India; twice the bill was less than $10 USD for an office visit, x rays and prescription drugs. The usual layers and layers of Indian regulation red tape is either non-existent or a small percentage of cost for out-of-pocket patients. The health care systems of the western world are severely broken for many reasons. Somehow both sides need to connect to offer simple access to medical professionals at affordable rates with or without insurance. In India, a few dollars out of pocket gets you in to see a private doctor without an appointment and with little waiting.

    5.Bargain for Goods
    How many times have you heard people say “Oh that’s too much!” What choice do we have in the western world? There are very few places where one can haggle for basic daily needs or services. Fixed prices aren’t civilized business, it’s profit control for corporations.

    6.Our digestive system is made of steel :You dont believe it Taste our food.

    7.Patience lives in our blood :Our grandfather can see whole five series test match without a single break.

    8. Community and society relationships are important
     we learned about the importance of community relationships. People heavily rely on their families and other community members for support. We noticed this starts at a young age as we watched children work alongside their parents, and older brothers and sisters take care of their younger siblings. Because there are so many daytime chores required for subsistence, children are unable to attend school during the day. Night schools that run from 6-9 p.m. allow students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend school learn how to read and write. People are very self sufficient, but also form a strong connection within their families and neighborhoods.

    9.God is love
    In India, I discovered a vision of spirituality that makes more sense to me than anything else I’ve come across — the advaita (or non-dual) idea that all life is part of one god-consciousness; that duality only exists in the field of time and space, and is illusory.
    I agree with Mahatma Gandhi, who said, “I used to believe that god is truth; now I believe that truth is god.” I agree with Joseph Campbell who said, “People are not looking for meaning in life; they are looking for an experience of life.” I agree with Carl Jung who said that, “The purpose of human existence is to light a candle in the darkness of mere being.” And I understand why Buddha gave a teaching in which he simply held up a flower and said nothing.

    10. Indian newspapers are fascinating to read and we die for quora
    India, the world’s largest democracy, is a paradox. It is a country that is rapidly modernizing, a world leader in business and technology. They have built a nuclear bomb and put rockets into space. And if you call tech support someone in Bangalore might be the one who helps you.
    But reading the newspapers illustrates the issues facing the country as it moves forward. Stories of gang rape, child marriage, people detained over Facebook posts, and environmental catastrophe share space with stories about big business, the U.S. presidential election and the national obsession of cricket. I loved reading newspapers on long train rides or in cafes and every time I finished I felt like I knew India better and somehow less at the same time. I am sure I will continue to follow news of India the rest of my life.

    For more details please visit

  12. Live in the same country, enjoy the same rights and follow the same duties (Fundamental duties) despite
    – 5 major religions – Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism
    – and numerous ethical religions like Bathouism (Traditional Bodo religion),Sarnaism (Adivasis of central east India like Munda, Ho, Santali, Khuruk), Donyi – Polo (indigenous religions of animistic and shamanic type, of the Tani and other Tibeto-Burman peoples), Sanamahism (originated in Manipur and it is mainly practiced by the Meitei, Zeliangrong and other communities who inhabit in Manipur, Assam,  Tripura,  Myanmar and Bangladesh) etc.
    -With more than 1600 languages as people's mother tongues
    -Numerous castes, subcastes, sects, subsects, gotras, etc.
    -Amazingly different dance forms, music, food, etc.
    To name a few

    It happens only in INDIA! & If you want you can learn it from us 🙂 Don't show hatred towards Blacks or Migrants, etc.

  13. Polytheism: This is pretty much the only positive aspect of Indian culture that I can think of. Polytheism is by nature mellow and tolerant of all kinds of beliefs, and hence it is not remarkable that despite having thousands of different Gods, there are still minimal internal clashes between the followers, and no particular subgroup manages to subvert laws and exert undue influence. Hinduism is unique in this characteristic where the religion dynamically absorbed disagreements into itself and influenced (and was influenced by) all kinds of religious belief systems it encountered in its growth, including Zoroastrianism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and several fringe cults and local beliefs. This led to the flowering and coexistence of several syncretic traditions under the umbrella of Hinduism, allowing groups to follow their own teachings and traditions but still connecting all of them with ad-hoc mythologies so as to maintain harmony. It is essentially a free-market democracy of religious belief as opposed to monotheism which results in dogma, insularity and violence. It is a pity that Islam and Christianity tried to rigidly undermine this elegant way of assimilating religions and lending them a context and connection with the whole, instead choosing to stay aloof and assert superiority, resulting in needless violence, mistrust and ugly politics.
    Note that I mention the notion of polytheism, and not Hinduism in particular, since Hinduism does have its own share of problems like the caste system. But the aspect of polytheism inherent in Hinduism is definitely something which is worth admiring and emulating.

  14. The Habit of Reading.

    Indians are the world's biggest bookworms, reading on average 10.7 hours a week, twice as long as Americans, according to a survey. 

    Analysts say much of the Indian reading is educational.

    Ironically, one-third of rural Indians and about 15% of the urban population is still illiterate according to the National Readership Survey.

    Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south

  15. Rest of the world can learn from India that expansionism is not necessary for survival!

    I am referring to religious and territorial expansionism. Religious expansionism means “religious conversion”, that is converting a person from one religion to another.

    There truly is only one thing that makes India what it is, its ancient Hindu roots. Indian civilization is the oldest surviving major civilization. Hindu religion is the oldest surviving major religion. If Hindus can survive for thousands of (known) years without indulging in religious conversions and without annexation of territories, so can rest of the world.

    This world will be a peaceful place if its two major religions stop their mission of painting the entire human race in their respective religious shades. Hindus did not covert, yet they survived, so will you. Why spend resources in unproductive and “conflict prone” things like “religious conversion”? This is what SN Goenka said, which pretty much summarizes the attitude of Indians and what we think about religious conversion:

    I am not against conversion. I am for conversion, but not from one organized religion to another, but from misery to happiness, from bondage to liberation.

    • SN Goenka

    Imagine a world where countries are not interested in annexing new territory, and world’s major religions are not interested in “religious conversions” or religion based governments. If that happens, there will be no conflicts and fear amongst people of different religions. There will be no conflict or fear between world leaders. There will be no cross border tensions amongst nations. Governments of the world will not be wasting trillions of dollars every year in building their nation’s defense and or fighting unproductive wars. Instead, there will be surplus of resources that will eradicate poverty from the face of earth, and peace will prevail in human race.

  16. We have a habit of calling people outside our family, even strangers, using names of relations, e.g. uncle, aunty, brother (bhaiyya, in Hindi).


    • All the adults in my locality who are around my parents' age or older are uncles and aunties for me. So, someone who would be Mr. Khan in America for the kids of his friends, would be Khan Chacha or Khan Uncle in India.
    • The rickshaw puller or the street hawker is bhaiyya (elder brother). So is every shopkeeper.
    • My mother is didi (elder sister) for the lady who runs a boutique in the local market.
    • I call any of Khan Uncle's kids who are older than I am, bhaiyya and didi.
    • And so on…

    It is very endearing, though not always ideal.

    Thanks for the A2A, Mark M. Whelan FRSA.

  17. 1. How to recycle absolutely anything

    Indians are the masters of reusing and recycling all forms of paper products, metals, and plastics. As an American living in India, I threw out soda bottles, empty paper towel rolls, used plastic bags, and a plethora of other articles that would promptly be plucked from my garbage bags and sold in the streets.

    It is said that there are four or five layers of recycling in India. Someone would go through my trash and read my old newspapers, take my empty bottles, and whatever else they found to be of value. Then three or four other people would follow them, doing precisely the same thing.

    Plastic bags and bottles became containers for screws, while nails and fabrics were made into decorative ribbons for auto rickshaws.

    2. How to street eat

    India has some of the best street food in the world, from vegetarian chickpea dishes to tandoori shish kabobs to pani puri — one of the most famous street meals, made up of a small wheat shell filled with a mixture of potato, peas, and spices. The shell is then dipped in spicy water and eaten 8 to 15 at a time. For breakfast or an afternoon snack, jalebi is fried to the point of looking like an American funnel cake.

    3. How to wear the same outfit in both 120-degree and 40-degree weather

    North India is mostly desert, so the temperatures range drastically from hot to cold. Women wear saris throughout the warm months of March to October, while men wear light clothing and turban-like headwear. Saris look deceiving — three layers of clothing and a head wrap — but they are the coolest thing you could wear because of all the air flow you get. Winter calls for heavy blankets and scarves made from pashmina.

    4. How to celebrate a holiday every day of the year

    India celebrates multiple holidays throughout the year and each one is celebrated profusely. Throwing colors and drinking bhang (a drink made from milk, marijuana, and Indian spices) goes with Holi. Lighting up the cities goes with Diwali. And sweets like barfi (made from sugar and milk) are always given on birthdays.

    Because Hindus worship gods of fertility, wealth, heroism and seasons, there are literally holidays almost every day of the year. The people take these times to visit their neighbors, make food, and enjoy life together.

    5. How to turn pretty much anything into juice

    There are men on every street corner in India with carts brimming over with fresh pomegranates, oranges, bananas, and pineapples. They use little blenders for juicing the fruit and serve it in flimsy plastic cups. When in season, fruit can be bought by the kilo for under the equivalent of one US dollar. Stopping by for a mango smoothie or some pomegranate juice is an everyday occurrence for many. Lassi stands are also prevalent, serving up a delicious drink of blended yogurt and spices in clay cups.

    6. How to build with so much color

    From the Taj Mahal to the many forts and palaces of cities like Jaipur, India is well known for its architectural masterpieces. Marble is used in many buildings, adding an air of dignity even to regular homes. Brilliant blue and green colors are abundant and different cities are known by names such as the Pink City (Jaipur) or the Blue City (Jodhpur).

    7. How to respect family and elders, and work to make them proud

    Family and elders are the most important people in India. Once educated and married, the children will start taking care of their parents. The oldest son will marry and move his new family into his parents’ home in order to take care of the entire family. Family pride is so important that the children will study as hard as possible in order to make their parents happy. In India, family relationships are the only relationships that will last a lifetime.

    8. How to roast meat in a clay oven

    Indians are famous for many dishes: tikka masala with a tomato sauce base,madras curry with chili powder, biryani with rice, meats, and vegetables, and of course tandoori. One of the few foods not eaten in a broth or sauce base,tandoori chicken, goat, and lamb gets roasted in a large clay oven that gives the food an unforgettable Indian flavor. India is famous for these beautiful ovens, and rarely are they seen anywhere else in the world.

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