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The Effect of Hinduism on Modern India

Please give a short overview of what effect has Hindusim had on modern India. This will give me a head start on the comparisons.

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Muslims began taking over parts of India in the eighth century CE, and by the 16th and 17th centuries they controlled a large part of what is modern-day India. This was part of what is called the Muslim Mogul Empire. When it fell, Britain moved in and in 1857 India became a colony of the British Empire. This set up, what would be an important part for Hinduism and ultimately reclaiming the land of India for the Hindu people. Mahatma Gandhi came on the scene and he used the religious ideals of Hinduism and the devotion of India's ordinary citizens to reclaim India's independence. One of the main components of Gandhi's nonviolent resistance was the ancient Hindu and Jain ideal of nonviolence called ahimsa. During this time there were Christian missionaries as well as Gandhi and other Hindu reformers like Ram Roy who were trying to change some of the negative things about Hinduism, like sati (widow-burning) and the negative aspects of the caste system. In 1947 Britain officially gave the land of India back to its people and India became a democratic nation. It had to partition its land and restructure a new government, which led to some new problems. Although the majority of Indians are Hindus, there was a very large minority population of Muslims numbering in the millions. Most of the Hindus and Muslims wanted to live in separate territories with separate governments. Gandhi believed that Hinduism was a universal religion and was tolerant of all other religions including Islam and Christianity, and he really wanted all of the religions in India to live in harmony and to share power in the government. He was eventually assassinated by a right-wing Hindu fundamentalist who did not want to share power with the Muslims. Millions of Muslims were located in the northwest area which is now modern-day Pakistan. Hindus and Muslims both fight over the territory between them called Kashmir and this dispute is still going on today. In this sense, the ideals of Gandhi's Hinduism have failed, giving way to social and political realities and military threats. Both Pakistan and India have nuclear weapons and missiles and they are each others' prime enemy.

There are some positive aspects that carried over from India's independence to life there today. At the lowest end of the caste system there was a caste called the Untouchables who did the nastiest work in India and could not improve their jobs or their income in any way. Gandhi renamed them God's children, and today the modern, democratic India has outlawed oppressive treatment of its poorest citizens. It has also allowed for other citizens to change jobs and improve their economic circumstances, although so surely, the caste system is still partly in effect and there are still ...

Solution Summary

This solution details the effect of Hinduism on modern India through ancient practices, like the caste system, and stages of life, to the ahimsa movement of Gandhi for Indian independence from the British, through non-violent resistance. It also discusses the positive ideal of religious tolerance in Hinduism as promoting democracy and increasing diversity.

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