Religion and Language Stats • Religions: Hindu 80.5%, Muslim 13.4%, Christian 2.3%, Sikh 1.8%, Buddhists 0.8%, Jains 0.4%, others 0.7%, unspecified 0.1% (2001 Census). • Languages: 216 languages with more than 10,000 native speakers in India. The largest of these is Hindi with some 337 million (the second largest being Bengali with some 207 million). 22 languages are recognized as official languages. In India, there are 1,652 languages and dialects in total.
What is Hinduism? • Polytheistic • Caste system • Reincarnation • Vegetarianism? • Rituals of purification • The Rig Veda tells the Hindu origin story • Hinduism is a diverse religion found primarily in India. There is variation in local practices and the worship of particular deities. However, there are central tenants that unify it as one religion. The core of Hinduism is the belief in Brahman, the underlying universal life force that encompasses and embodies existence. According to Hindu scriptures, one's ignorance of the true nature of the self (atman) as one with Brahman is what traps one in the cycle of endless death and reincarnation (samsara). Thus, the highest goal of Hinduism is liberation (moksha) from the karmic cycle of death and rebirth.
Ghats are mountains east and west of the Deccan Plateau, but ghats are also steps that go down to rivers, such as the Ganges.
Jainism • Followers of the Dharma as taught by the Jinas, ~500 BC • Contemplative to the extreme • Offshoot of Hinduism (Dharma & Karma) • Extreme vegetarianism • Gujurat in NW India, near the Ran of Kutch, Sind, Thar Desert • Rigorous lifestyle=small number, ~4 million
Sikhism • Sikhs web page • 1500s synthesis of Islam and Hindi, no castes, egalitarian, Punjab at Amritsar. • Every Sikh's last name is Singh • 15th century Guru Nanak. • Sikhs assassinated Indira Gandhi. • Speak Punjabi, never cut their hair or beard, must carry a dagger. • They're great farmers and own a lot of land in the Sacramento valley. • During floods last year, warnings were broadcast in English, Spanish, and Punjabi.
Indira Gandhi, Neru’s daughter, who, in her second term as prime minister of India, was assassinated by the Sikhs for her suppression of a Sikh rebellion, which desecrated the Golden Temple. In 1988, her son, Rajiv was assassinated by a Tamil suicide bomber.His widow, Sonia, an Italian by birth, now wields considerable power in Indian politics.