Anti-Hindu sentiment

Anti-Hindu sentiment, also known as Hinduphobia or Anti-Hinduism, is a negative perception, sentiment or actions against the practice and practitioners of Hinduism.

Anti-Hindu sentiments

Chattalpalli Durga mandap at Deganga
The passage to the permanent Durga mandap at Chattalpalli was being dug up to prevent the Hindus from entering the area.

Individuals in the Indian diaspora have begun to protest that Western scholars "distort their religion and perpetuate negative stereotypes",[1] which began with Macaulayism in India. Historically, such stereotypes were promulgated during the British Raj by several Indophobes in South Asia as a means to aggrandize sectarian divisions in Indian society, part of the divide and rule strategy employed by the British.[1]

The Indian Caste System, a social stratification system in South Asia which has been criticized for its discriminatory problems, is often seen as a uniquely 'Hindu' issue rather than a cultural one. This is a common stereotype, as adherents of other religions such as Islam, Sikhism and Christianity have kept the practice of caste segregation in India (for details, see Caste system among South Asian Muslims).[2][3][4][5]

Christian missionaries denigrate selected features of Hindu practice—most notably image worship, sati, and child marriage (the first two were also criticized by Muslims).[6]

According to the religious dialogue activist P. N. Benjamin, some christian evangelists denigrate Hindu gods and abuse Hindu rituals as barbaric, and such attitudes have caused tensions between religious communities.[7][8]

According to the Swarajya magazine, false allegations have been made that Hindus and Hindu organisations are attacking Christians in a systemic manner in India when the perpetrators were not even Hindus.[9]

Akbaruddin Owaisi, a leader of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party in Hyderabad has been charged several times for hate speeches denigrating Hindu gods and inciting violence against Hindus.[10][11] Owaisi had mocked Hindu cremation by saying "when you (Hindus) die, you become air after burning and go astray."[12] Owaisi had talked in derogatory terms about heritage places of India including Ayodhya, Ajanta caves and Ellora caves.[12][13][14]

A Muslim preacher apologised for insulting Hinduism in 2014, after an uproar.[15]

Historical instances of anti-Hindu views

Under Muslim rulers in India

Somnath temple ruins (1869)
The Somnath temple was first attacked by Muslim Turkic invader Mahmud of Ghazni and repeatedly demolished by successive Muslim invaders, each time being rebuilt by Hindu rulers.
Sun temple martand indogreek
Ruins of the Martand Sun Temple. The temple was completely destroyed on the orders of Muslim Sultan Sikandar Butshikan in the early 15th century, with demolition lasting a year.

Under the reign of Muhammad bin Tughlaq, the Muslim cleric Ziauddin Barrani wrote several works, such as the Fatwa-i-Jahandari, which gave him a reputation as a "fanatical protagonist of Islam"[16] and wrote that there should be "an all-out struggle against Hinduism", advocating a militant and dogmatic religiosity.[17] He developed a system of religious elitism to that effect.[17]

Historian Hayavadana C. Rao wrote about Tippu in his encyclopaedic work on the History of Mysore. He asserted that Tippu's "religious fanaticism and the excesses committed in the name of religion, both in Mysore and in the provinces, stand condemned for all time. His bigotry, indeed, was so great that it precluded all ideas of toleration". He further asserts that the acts of Tippu that were constructive towards Hindus were largely political and ostentatious rather than an indication of genuine tolerance.[18]

He also corresponded with the Sringeri Shankaracharya – expressing grief and indignation at a raid by Maratha bandit horsemen (called Pindari), which killed many and plundered the monastery of its valuable possessions,[19] patronised the Melkote temple (which has gold and silver vessels with inscriptions indicating that they were presented under the Sultan), for which a Kannada decree was issued that the Shrivaishnava (Hindu sectary) invocatory verses there should be recited in the traditional form. Tipu Sultan also presented four silver cups to the Lakshmikanta Temple at Kalale[20] and probably presented the Ranganatha temple at Srirangapatana with seven silver cups and a silver camphor burner.[21] The Sringeri Sharada Peetham has in its safe possession some 24 letters written by the Sultan who also sent a silver palanquin and a pair of silver chauris to the Sarada Temple as well.[22]

Tipu sent a letter on 19 January 1790 to the Governor of Bekal, Budruz Zuman Khan. It says:

Don't you know I have achieved a great victory recently in Malabar and over four lakh Hindus were converted to Islam? I am determined to march against that cursed Rama Varma (Rajah of Travancore) very soon. Since I am overjoyed at the prospect of converting him and his subjects to Islam, I have happily abandoned the idea of going back to Srirangapatanam now.[23]

Although the attitudes of Muslim ruler Tippu Sultan have been criticized as being anti-Hindu by Indian historians, left-wing historians note that he had an egalitarian attitude towards Hindus and was harsh towards them only when politically expedient.[24] Former IAS Officer, Praxy Fernandes has mentioned in his book that Tipu Sultan displayed reverence to the head of the Hindu Shringeri Mutt, by

Irfan Habib and Mohibbul Hasan argue that these early British authors had a strong vested interest in presenting Tippu Sultan as a tyrant from whom the British had "liberated" Mysore.[25] This assessment is echoed by Brittlebank in her recent work.[26]

During the British Raj

During the British rule of the Indian subcontinent, several evangelical Christian missionaries spread anti-Hindu propaganda as a means to convert Hindus to Christianity. Examples include missionaries like Abbe J.A. Dubois, who wrote "Once the devadasis' temple duties are over, they open their cells of infamy, and frequently convert the temple itself into a stew. A religion more shameful or indecent has never existed amongst a civilized people."[27]

In Charles Grant's highly influential "Observations on the ...Asiatic subjects of Great Britain" (1796),[28] Grant criticized the Orientalists for being too respectful to Indian culture and religion. His work tried to determine the Hindu's "true place in the moral scale", and he alleged that the Hindus are "a people exceedingly depraved".

Goa Inquisition

The Goa Inquisition was a colonial era Portuguese institution established by the Roman Catholic Holy Office between the 16th- and 19th-century to stop and punish heresy against Christianity in South Asia.[29] The institution persecuted Hindus through the colonial era Portuguese government and Jesuit clergy in Portuguese India.[29] It was established in 1560, briefly suppressed from 1774 to 1778, continued thereafter and finally abolished in 1820.[30][31] The Inquisition punished those who had converted to Catholicism, but were suspected by Jesuit clergy of practising their previous religion in secret. Predominantly, the persecuted were accused of crypto-Hinduism.[32][33][34]

In South Asia


The extremist Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which enforced strict sharia (Islamic law), announced plans in May 2001 to require Hindus (and Sikhs) to wear identifying badges in public, part of the Taliban's campaign to segregate and repress "un-Islamic and idolatrous segments" of Afghan society.[35][36] At the time, about 500 Hindus and 2,000 Sikhs remained in Afghanistan.[37]

The anti-Hindu decree was seen as reminiscent of the Nazi Germany law requiring Jews to wear an identifying yellow badge.[36][38] The order prompted international outrage, and was denounced by the Indian and U.S. governments,[37] as well as by Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League.[38] Following international pressure, the Taliban regime dropped the badge plans in June 2001.[39]


Political leaders frequently fall back on "Hindu bashing" in an attempt to appeal to extremist sentiment and to stir up communal passions.[40] In one of the most notorious utterances of a mainstream Bangladeshi figure, the then Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, while leader of the opposition in 1996, declared that the country was at risk of hearing "uludhhwani" (a Bengali Hindu custom involving women's ululation) from mosques, replacing the azaan (Muslim call to prayer).[41]

Even the supposedly secular Bangladesh Awami League is not immune from this kind of scare-mongering. The current prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, was alleged to have accused Bangladeshi Hindu leaders in New York of having divided loyalties with "one foot in India and one in Bangladesh". Successive events such as this have contributed to a feeling of tremendous insecurity among the Hindu minority.[42]

The fundamentalists and right-wing parties such as the Bangladesh Nationalist Party and Jatiya Party often portray Hindus as being sympathetic to India, making accusations of dual loyalty and allegations of transferring economic resources to India, contributing to a widespread perception that Bangladeshi Hindus are disloyal to the state. Also, the right wing parties claim the Hindus to be backing the Awami League.[43]

As widely documented in international media, Bangladesh authorities have had to increase security to enable Bangladeshi Hindus to worship freely[44] following widespread attacks on places of worship and devotees.

On 28 February 2013, the International Crimes Tribunal sentenced Delwar Hossain Sayeedi, the Vice President of the Jamaat-e-Islami to death for the war crimes committed during the 1971 Bangladesh Liberation War. Following the sentence, activists of Jamaat-e-Islami and its student wing Islami Chhatra Shibir attacked the Hindus in different parts of the country. Hindu properties were looted, Hindu houses were burnt into ashes and Hindu temples were desecrated and set on fire.[45][46] While the government has held the Jamaat-e-Islami responsible for the attacks on the minorities, the Jamaat-e-Islami leadership has denied any involvement. The minority leaders have protested the attacks and appealed for justice. The Supreme Court of Bangladesh has directed the law enforcement to start suo motu investigation into the attacks. US Ambassador to Bangladesh express concern about attack of Jamaat on Bengali Hindu community.[47][48] The violence included the looting of Hindu properties and businesses, the burning of Hindu homes, rape of Hindu women and desecration and destruction of Hindu temples.[49] According to community leaders, more than 50 Hindu temples and 1,500 Hindu homes were destroyed in 20 districts.[50] On May 5, 2014, A mob of almost 3,000 attacked Hindu households and a temple in eastern Bangladesh after two youths from the community allegedly insulted the Islamic prophet, Muhammad on Facebook.[51][52][53]


In Pakistan, anti-Hindu sentiments and beliefs are widely held among many sections of the population. There is a general stereotype against Hindus in Pakistan. Hindus are regarded as "miserly".[54] Also, Hindus are often regarded as "Kaffirs" (lit. "unbelievers") and blamed for "causing all the problems in Pakistan".[55] Islamic fundamentalist groups operating within Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan have broadcast or disseminated anti-Hindu propaganda among the masses,[56] referring to Hindus as "Hanood" ('Hindu' is singular and Hanood is plural form in Urdu) blaming them for "collaborating with the foreigners" against the people of the region.

At the time of Pakistan's creation the 'hostage theory' had been espoused. According to this theory the Hindu minority in Pakistan was to be given a fair deal in Pakistan in order to ensure the protection of the Muslim minority in India.[57][58] However, Khawaja Nazimuddin, the 2nd Prime Minister of Pakistan stated: "I do not agree that religion is a private affair of the individual nor do I agree that in an Islamic state every citizen has identical rights, no matter what his caste, creed or faith be".[59]

Separate electorates for Hindus and Christians were established in 1985—a policy originally proposed by Islamist leader Abul A'la Maududi. Christian and Hindu leaders complained that they felt excluded from the county's political process, but the policy had strong support from Islamists.[60]

The Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), a coalition of Islamist political parties in Pakistan, calls for the increased Islamization of the government and society, specifically taking an anti-Hindu stance. The MMA leads the opposition in the national assembly, held a majority in the NWFP Provincial Assembly, and was part of the ruling coalition in Balochistan. However, some members of the MMA made efforts to eliminate their rhetoric against Hindus.[61]

The public school curriculum in Pakistan was Islamized during the 1980s.[62] The government of Pakistan claims to undertake a major revision to eliminate such teachings and to remove Islamic teaching from secular subjects.[61] The bias in Pakistani textbooks was also documented by Y. Rosser (2003). She wrote that

"in the past few decades, social studies textbooks in Pakistan have been used as locations to articulate the hatred that Pakistani policy makers have attempted to inculcate towards their Hindu neighbours", and that as a result "in the minds of generations of Pakistanis, indoctrinated by the 'Ideology of Pakistan' are lodged fragments of hatred and suspicion."[63]

The bias in Pakistani textbooks was studied by Rubina Saigol, K. K. Aziz, I. A. Rahman, Mubarak Ali, A. H. Nayyar, Ahmed Saleem, Y. Rosser and others.

A study by Nayyar & Salim (2003) that was conducted with 30 experts of Pakistan's education system, found that the textbooks contain statements that seek to create hate against Hindus. There was also an emphasis on Jihad, Shahadat, wars and military heroes. The study reported that the textbooks also had a lot of gender-biased stereotypes. Some of the problems in Pakistani textbooks cited in the report were:

"Insensitivity to the existing religious diversity of the nation"; "Incitement to militancy and violence, including encouragement of Jihad and Shahadat"; a "glorification of war and the use of force"; "Inaccuracies of fact and omissions that serve to substantially distort the nature and significance of actual events in our history"; "Perspectives that encourage prejudice, bigotry and discrimination towards fellow citizens, especially women and religious minorities, and other towards nations" and "Omission of concepts ... that could encourage critical self awareness among students". (Nayyar & Salim 2003). The Pakistani Curriculum document for classes K-V stated in 1995 that "at the completion of Class-V, the child should be able to "Understand Hindu-Muslim differences and the resultant need for Pakistan. [p. 154]

A more recent textbook published in Pakistan titled "A Short History of Pakistan" edited by Ishtiaq Hussain Qureshi has been heavily criticized by academic peer-reviewers for anti-Hindu biases and prejudices that are consistent with Pakistani nationalism, where Hindus are portrayed as "villains" and Muslims as "victims" living under the "disastrous Hindu rule" and "betraying the Muslims to the British", characterizations that academic reviewers fond "disquieting" and having a "warped subjectivity".[64][65][66]

Ameer Hamza, a leader of the banned terrorist group Lashkar-e-Toiba, wrote a highly derogatory book about Hinduism in 1999 called "Hindu Ki Haqeeqat" ("Reality of (a) Hindu"); he was not prosecuted by the Government.[67]

According to the Sustainable Development Policy Institute report 'Associated with the insistence on the Ideology of Pakistan has been an essential component of hate against India and the Hindus. For the upholders of the Ideology of Pakistan, the existence of Pakistan is defined only in relation to Hindus, and hence the Hindus have to be painted as negatively as possible'[68] A 2005 report by the National Commission for Justice and Peace a non profit organization in Pakistan, found that Pakistan Studies textbooks in Pakistan have been used to articulate the hatred that Pakistani policy-makers have attempted to inculcate towards the Hindus. 'Vituperative animosities legitimise military and autocratic rule, nurturing a siege mentality. Pakistan Studies textbooks are an active site to represent India as a hostile neighbour' the report stated. 'The story of Pakistan's past is intentionally written to be distinct from, and often in direct contrast with, interpretations of history found in India. From the government-issued textbooks, students are taught that Hindus are backward and superstitious.' Further the report stated 'Textbooks reflect intentional obfuscation. Today's students, citizens of Pakistan and its future leaders are the victims of these partial truths'.[69][70][71][72]

An editorial in Pakistan's oldest newspaper Dawn commenting on a report in The Guardian on Pakistani Textbooks noted 'By propagating concepts such as jihad, the inferiority of non-Muslims, India's ingrained enmity with Pakistan, etc., the textbook board publications used by all government schools promote a mindset that is bigoted and obscurantist. Since there are more children studying in these schools than in madrassahs the damage done is greater. '[73][74] According to the historian Professor Mubarak Ali, textbook reform in Pakistan began with the introduction of Pakistan Studies and Islamic studies by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in 1971 into the national curriculum as compulsory subject. Former military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq under a general drive towards Islamization, started the process of historical revisionism in earnest and exploited this initiative. 'The Pakistani establishment taught their children right from the beginning that this state was built on the basis of religion – that's why they don't have tolerance for other religions and want to wipe-out all of them.'[74][75]

Other countries


In April 2006, local authorities demolished several Hindu temples to make way for developmental projects. Their excuse was that these temples were unlicensed and squatting on government land. In April and May 2006, several Hindu temples were demolished by city hall authorities in the country, accompanied by violence against Hindus.[76] On April 21, 2006, the Malaimel Sri Selva Kaliamman Temple in Kuala Lumpur was reduced to rubble after the city hall sent in bulldozers.[77]

The president of the Consumers Association of Subang and Shah Alam in Selangor had been helping to organise efforts to stop the local authorities in the Muslim dominated city of Shah Alam from demolishing a 107-year-old Hindu temple. The growing Islamization in Malaysia is a cause for concern to many Malaysians who follow minority religions such as Hinduism.[78]

On May 11, 2006, armed city hall officers from Kuala Lumpur forcefully demolished part of a 60-year-old suburban temple that serves more than 1,000 Hindus. The "Hindu Rights Action Force", a coalition of several NGO's, have protested these demolitions by lodging complaints with the Malaysian Prime Minister.[79] Many Hindu advocacy groups have protested what they allege is a systematic plan of temple cleansing in Malaysia. The official reason given by the Malaysian government has been that the temples were built "illegally". However, several of the temples are centuries old.[79] According to a lawyer for the Hindu Rights Action Task Force, a Hindu temple is demolished in Malaysia once every three weeks.[80]

Malaysian Muslims have also grown more anti-Hindu over the years. In response to the proposed construction of a temple in Selangor, Muslims chopped off the head of a cow to protest, with leaders saying there would be blood if a temple was constructed in Shah Alam.[81]

Laws in the country, especially those concerning religious identity, are generally slanted towards compulsion into converting to Islam[82]

South Africa

In 2006, the son of an Islamic cleric named Ahmed Deedat circulated a DVD that denounced South African Hindus. The elder Deedat, former head of the Arab funded "Islamic Propagation Centre International" (IPCI), had previously circulated an anti-Hindu video in the 1980s where he said that Indian Muslims were 'fortunate' that their Hindu forefathers 'saw the light' and converted to Islam when Muslim rulers dominated some areas of India. His video was widely criticized. While Hindus in South Africa have largely ignored the new anti-Hindu DVD circulated by Deedat Junior, he has been severely criticized by local Muslims, including other members of the IPCI. The IPCI said in a statement that Yusuf Deedat did not represent the organisation in any way. Deedat Junior, undeterred by the opposition from his own brethren, continues to circulate the material.He has placed advertisements in newspapers inviting anyone to collect a free copy from his residence to see for themselves "what the controversy is about".[83]

Trinidad and Tobago

The first Hindus arrived in British-ruled Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean aboard the Fatel Razack on May 31, 1845 as indentured laborers who were brought by the British after the abolition of slavery; they were followed by thousands more who came between 1845 to 1917. They worked on the sugarcane, rice, cocoa, and coffee estates. The indentured laborers primarily came from the Bhojpuri region and the Awadhi region of the Hindi Belt in North India. A significant minority also came from South India and very few came from the Punjab, Maharashtra, Kumaon, Garhwal, Jammu, Kashmir, Gujarat, Kutch, Odisha, and Bengal regions. A majority of the laborers were Hindu. Unlike the African slaves who they succeeded, the Indians were able to keep their culture and traditions. This led to many Hindu immigrants passing on the faith and despite efforts by Christian missionaries to convert them many continued to practice Hinduism. Today, Hinduism is the second largest religion in Trinidad and Tobago and the largest religion of the Indian population in Trinidad and Tobago. Although they were allowed to continue their religion they were met with contempt or indifference by the non-Hindu residents of the country. The Hindu and Muslim clashes that occurred in South Asia continued to occur in Trinidad and Tobago during the days of indentureship and especially while in the Partition of India was going on back in South Asia. During indentureship and even in the beginning after independence from the British, Hindus were treated as second class citizens. The Hindus in Trinidad and Tobago struggled during the early days after independence and even before during British colonial times over the granting of adult franchise, a Hindu marriage act, Hindu schools, cremation ordinance, the right to Diwali as a public holiday, and others. Many of these rights were later granted, due to the efforts of Adrian Cola Rienzi (Krishna Deonarine Tiwari) and the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha, the major Hindu organization in Trinidad and Tobago led by Bhadase Sagan Maraj. The Temple in the Sea, an iconic Hindu temple in Trinidad and Tobago has its history rooted in the prejudices of Hinduism. It was originally built by an indentured laborer from British India named Sewdass Sadhu, who actually had built the first temple on property belonging to the estate owners and the temple had to be torn down and he was jailed. After that, he built a second temple out into the sea which became known as the Temple in the Sea. During the Black Power movement after independence in the 1960s-1970s many Hindu were targeted and attack and riots had broken out. These attacks, the poverty that affected many Hindus, and the status of being treated as second-class citizens led to many Hindu Trinidadians to migrate to the United Kingdom, United States, and Canada. After independence the Hindus were marginalized by the African-based People's National Movement (PNM) and the opposing party, the People's Democratic Party (PDP) led by Bhadase Sagan Maraj, later turning into the Democratic Labour Party (DLP) led by Rudranath Capildeo, then finally turning into the present-day United National Congress (UNC) party led by Basdeo Panday and Kamla Persad-Bissessar, was portrayed as a Hindu party and an Indian party and tactics were used against them. Hindus were described as a "recalcitrant and hostile minority", by Prime Minister Eric Williams. Hindus were alienated by such communal groups. The support of the PNM government to Christian Afro-Trinidadian and Tobagonian and Creole art forms such as Carnival and Christmas, while their public rejection and ridicule of Hindu art forms, was a particular source of contention for the Hindus. The displacement of PNM from power in 1985 would improve the circumstances. There has been persistent discontent among the Hindus with their marginalization. Many groups portray Hindus as "clannish, backward and miserly". During the General Elections of 1986, the absence of the Bhagavad Gita and the Quran at polling stations for required oath-taking was interpreted as a gross insult to Hindus and Muslims. The absence of any Hindu religious texts at the official residence of the President of Trinidad and Tobago during the swearing in of the new Government in 1986 was perceived as another insult to the minority communities since they were represented in the government. The national education system and curriculum have been repeatedly accused of such majority-oriented symbolism. The use of discernibly oriented prayers at Government schools, the non-representation of Hinduism in approved school textbooks, and the lack of emphasis on Hindu religious observance evoked deep resentment from the Hindu community. Intensified protests over the course of the 1980s led to an improvement in the state's attitudes towards Hindus.[84] [85]

United Kingdom

Shaun Bailey

In October 2018, it was reported that Conservative Party London mayoral candidate Shaun Bailey had written a pamphlet, entitled No Man’s Land, for the Centre for Policy Studies. In it, Bailey argued that accommodating Hindus "[robs] Britain of its community" and is turning the country into a "crime riddled cess pool". He also claimed that South Asians "bring their culture, their country and any problems they might have, with them" and that this was not a problem within the black community "because we’ve shared a religion and in many cases a language". [86]

In the pamphlet, Bailey had confused the Hindu religion and the Hindi language: "You don’t know what to do. You bring your children to school and they learn far more about Diwali than Christmas. I speak to the people who are from Brent and they’ve been having Hindi (sic) days off."[87]

The Conservative Party Deputy Chairman, James Cleverly, defended Bailey and insisted he was misunderstood, and that he was implying black boys were drifting into crime as a result of learning more about other faiths rather than "their own Christian culture".[88] However, the anti-racism Hope Not Hate campaign group called Bailey's comments "grotesque".[89] The comments were condemned by the Hindu Council of the United Kingdom who expressed "disappointment at the misrepresentation of our faith" by Bailey. [90]

United States

By the late 19th century, fear had already begun in North America over Chinese immigration supplying cheap labor to lay railroad tracks, mostly in California and elsewhere in the West Coast. In xenophobic jargon common in the day, ordinary workers, newspapers, and politicians uniformly opposed this "Yellow Peril". The common cause to eradicate Asians from the workforce gave rise to the Asiatic Exclusion League. When the fledgling Indian community of mostly Punjabi Sikhs settled in California, the xenophobia expanded to combat not only the East Asian Yellow Peril, but now the immigrants from British India, the Turban Tide, equally referred to as the Hindoo Invasion (sic).[91][92][93]

The rise of the Indian American community in the United States has brought about some isolated incidences of attacks on them, as has been the case with many minority groups in the United States. Attacks specific to Hindus in the United States stem from what is often referred to as the "racialization of religion" among Americans, a process that begins when certain phenotypical features associated with a group and attached to race in popular discourse become associated with a particular religion or religions.The racialization of Hinduism in American perception has led to perceiving Hindus as a separate group and contributes to prejudices against them.[94]

In 2019, Swaminarayan Temple in Kentucky was Vandalised by miscreants.They sprayed black paint on the deity and sprayed 'Jesus is the only God’ on the walls.The Christian cross was also spray pointed on various walls.[95][96]In April 2015, a Hindu temple in north Texas has been vandalised with nasty images spray-painted on its walls.In February 2015, Hindu temples in Kent and the Seattle Metropolitan area were also vandalised.[97][98]

Pat Robertson

In addition, there have been anti-Hindu views that are specific to the religion of Hinduism as well as mistaken racial perceptions. Pat Robertson in the United States has made remarks denouncing Hinduism as "demonic," believing that when Hindus "feel any sort of inspiration, whether it's by a river or under a tree, on top of a hill, they figure that some God or spirit is responsible for that. And so they'll worship that tree, they'll worship that hill or they'll worship anything."[99] These remarks were widely condemned and disputed by Indian Americans and many non-partisan advocacy groups.[100] Evangelical leader Albert Mohler defended Robertson's remarks, saying "any belief system, any world view, whether it's Zen Buddhism or Hinduism or dialectical materialism for that matter, Marxism, that keeps persons captive and keeps them from coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, yes, is a demonstration of satanic power."[101]

U.S. Congress

In July, 2007, The United States Senate conducted its morning prayer services with a Hindu prayer,[102] a historical first. During the service, three disruptors, named Ante Nedlko Pavkovic, Katherine Lynn Pavkovic and Christen Renee Sugar, from the Fundamentalist Christian activist group Operation Save America[103] protested that the Hindu prayer was "an abomination", and that they were "Christians and Patriots". They were swiftly arrested and charged with disrupting Congress.[104][105]

The event generated a storm of protest from Christian right groups in the country, with the American Family Association (AFA) opposing the prayer and carrying out a campaign to lobby senators to protest it.[106][107] Their representative attacked the proceedings as "gross idolatry".[103] The AFA sent out an "Action Alert" to its members to e-mail, write letters, or call their Senators to oppose the Hindu prayer, stating it is "seeking the invocation of a non-monotheistic god."[108][109][110] The "alert" stated that "since Hindus worship multiple gods, the prayer will be completely outside the American paradigm, flying in the face of the American motto One Nation Under God."[111] The convocation by Zed was in fact disrupted by three protesters in the gallery reportedly shouting "this is an abomination" and other complaints.[108]

Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, said the protest "shows the intolerance of many religious right activists. They say they want more religion in the public square, but it's clear they mean only their religion."[103]

California Textbook Controversy

A controversy in the US state of California concerning the portrayal of Hinduism in history textbooks began in 2005. The protest was led by Vedic Foundation (VF) and the American Hindu Education Foundation (HEF) by complaining to the California's Curriculum Commission, saying the coverage in sixth grade history textbooks of Indian history and Hinduism was biased against Hinduism; and points of contention includes a textbook's portrayal of the caste system, the Indo-Aryan migration theory, and the status of women in Indian society as the main features of Hinduism.

The California Department of Education (CDE) initially sought to resolve the controversy by appointing Shiva Bajpai, Professor Emeritus at California State University Northridge, as a one-man committee to review revisions proposed by the groups.[112] Micheal Witzel and others revisited the proposed changed on behalf of the State Board of Education and suggested reverting some of the approved changes.[113] In early 2006, the Hindu American Foundation sued the State Board over matters of process;[113] the case was settled in 2009.


The Dotbusters was a hate group in Jersey City, New Jersey that attacked and threatened South Asians in the fall of 1987. The name originates from the bindi traditionally worn by Hindu women and girls on their forehead. In July 1987, they had a letter published in the Jersey Journal[114] stating that they would take any means necessary to drive the Indians out of Jersey City:

I'm writing about your article during july [sic] about the abuse of Indian People. Well I'm here to state the other side. I hate them, if you had to live near them you would also. We are an organization called dot busters. We have been around for 2 years. We will go to any extreme to get Indians to move out of Jersey City. If I'm walking down the street and I see a Hindu and the setting is right, I will hit him or her. We plan some of our most extreme attacks such as breaking windows, breaking car windows, and crashing family parties. We use the phone books and look up the name Patel. Have you seen how many of them there are? Do you even live in Jersey City? Do you walk down Central avenue and experience what its [sic] like to be near them: we have and we just don't want it anymore. You said that they will have to start protecting themselves because the police cannot always be there. They will never do anything. They are a weak [sic] race physically and mentally. We are going to continue our way. We will never be stopped.[115]


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Further reading

  • Balagangadhara, S.N.; Claerhout, Sarah (Spring 2008). "Are Dialogues Antidotes to Violence? Two Recent Examples From Hinduism Studies" (PDF). Journal for the Study of Religions and Ideologies. 7 (19): 118–143. Archived from the original (PDF) on 20 August 2009. Retrieved 17 January 2009.
  • Benkin, Richard L. (2014). A quiet case of ethnic cleansing: The murder of Bangladesh's Hindus. New Delhi: Akshaya Prakashan.
  • Kamra, A. J. (2000). The prolonged partition and its pogroms: Testimonies on violence against Hindus in East Bengal 1946-64.
  • Rosser, Yvette Claire (2003). Islamization of Pakistani Social Studies Textbooks. New Delhi: Rupa & Co. ISBN 81-291-0221-8.

External links

1971 Bangladesh genocide

The genocide in Bangladesh began on 26 March 1971 with the launch of Operation Searchlight, as West Pakistan began a military crackdown on the Eastern wing of the nation to suppress Bengali calls for self-determination rights. During the nine-month-long Bangladesh War for Liberation, members of the Pakistani military and supporting Islamist militias from Jamaat-e-Islami killed between 300,000 and 3,000,000 people and raped between 200,000 and 400,000 Bangladeshi women, according to Bangladeshi and Indian sources, in a systematic campaign of genocidal rape. In December 2011, a BBC News report cited unnamed "independent researchers" as claiming that between 300,000 and 500,000 people were killed. The actions against women were supported by Jamaat-e-Islami religious leaders, who declared that Bengali women were gonimoter maal (Bengali for "public property"). As a result of the conflict, a further eight to ten million people, mostly Hindus, fled the country at the time to seek refuge in neighbouring India. It is estimated that up to 30 million civilians became internally displaced. During the war, there was also ethnic violence between Bengalis and Urdu-speaking Biharis. Biharis faced reprisals from Bengali mobs and militias and from 1,000 to 150,000 were killed. Other sources claim it was up to 500,000.There is an academic consensus that the events which took place during the Bangladesh Liberation War constituted a genocide, and warrant judicial accountability. However, some scholars deny it was a genocide.

Akali movement

The Akali movement , also called the Gurdwara Reform Movement, was a campaign to bring reform in the gurdwaras (the Sikh places of worship) in India during the early 1920s. The movement led to the introduction of the Sikh Gurdwara Bill in 1925, which placed all the historical Sikh shrines in India under the control of Shiromani Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee (SGPC).

The Akalis also participated in the Indian independence movement against the British Government, and supported the non-cooperation movement against them.

Indo-Canadians in British Columbia

The Indo-Canadian community in British Columbia was first established in 1897. The first immigrants originated from Punjab, British India, a northern region and state in modern-day India and Pakistan. Punjabis originally settled in rural British Columbia at the turn of the twentieth century, working in the forestry and agricultural industries.

As their numbers grew, anti-"Hindu" sentiment increased among the Europeans living in the province thus preventing them from voting in 1908. Originally, Indian settlement was predominately male; large numbers of women and children began arriving in the mid 20th century. In 1947, South Asians were given the right to vote, therefore permitting their entry into British Columbian political life.

In the late 20th Century many Indo-Canadians transitioned from living in rural areas of the province into living in urban areas as the economic vitality of the forestry industry declined.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (often abbreviated KP; Urdu: خیبر پختونخوا‎; Pashto: خیبر پښتونخوا‎), formerly known as North-West Frontier Province, is one of the four administrative provinces of Pakistan, located in the northwestern region of the country along the international border with Afghanistan.

It was previously known as the North-West Frontier Province until 2010 when the name was changed to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by the 18th Amendment to Pakistan's Constitution, and is known colloquially by various other names. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the third-largest province of Pakistan by the size of both population and economy, though it is geographically the smallest of four. Within Pakistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa shares a border with Punjab, Balochistan, Azad Kashmir, Gilgit-Baltistan, and Islamabad. It is home to 17.9% of Pakistan's total population, with the majority of the province's inhabitants being Pashtuns. The province is the site of the ancient kingdom Gandhara, including the ruins of its capital Pushkalavati near modern-day Charsadda. Originally a stronghold of Buddhism, the history of the region was characterized by frequent invasions under various Empires due to its geographical proximity to the Khyber Pass.Since the 9/11 attacks in the United States in 2001, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has been a major theatre of militancy and terrorism which intensified when the Taliban began an unsuccessful attempt to seize the control of the province in 2004. With the launch of Operation Zarb-e-Azb against the Taliban insurgency, the casualty and crime rates in the country as a whole dropped by 40.0% as compared to 2011–13, with even greater drops noted in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas. As of July 2014, about 929,859 people were reported to be internally displaced from North Waziristan to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as a result of Operation Zarb-e-Azb.On March 2, 2017, the Government of Pakistan considered a proposal to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and to repeal the Frontier Crimes Regulations, which are currently applicable to the tribal areas. However, some political parties have opposed the merger, and called for the tribal areas to instead become a separate province of Pakistan. On 24 May 2018, the National Assembly of Pakistan voted in favour of an amendment to the Constitution of Pakistan to merge the Federally Administered Tribal Areas with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly then approved the historic FATA-KP merger bill on 28 May 2018 making FATA officially part of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, which was then signed by President Mamnoon Hussain, completing the process of this historic merger.

Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma

The Methodist Church of Fiji and Rotuma is the largest Christian denomination in Fiji, with 36.2 percent of the total population (including 66.6 percent of indigenous Fijians) at the 1996 census. Of the 280,628 persons identifying themselves as Methodists, 261,972 were indigenous Fijians, 5,432 were Indo-Fijians (1.6 percent of all ethnic Indians), and 13,224 were from other ethnic communities.

Along with the chiefly system and the Fijian government, the Methodist Church forms a key part of Fiji's social power structure. The President of the Church, who must have been an ordained Minister for at least ten years, is elected at the annual conference for a term not exceeding three years. Tevita Nawadra Banivanua was elected President of the Church at the 2014 annual conference, and took office on 1 January 2015. He succeeded Tuikilakila Waqairatu.

PK (film)

PK (transl. Tipsy; Hindi pronunciation: [piakar]) is a 2014 Indian satirical comedy-drama film directed by Rajkumar Hirani and written by Hirani and Abhijat Joshi. It was jointly produced by Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra under the banners Rajkumar Hirani Films and Vinod Chopra Films respectively. The film follows an alien who comes to Earth on a research mission, but loses his remote to a thief, who later sells it to a godman. He befriends a television journalist and in his quest to retrieve the remote, questions religious dogmas and superstitions. The film stars Aamir Khan in the titular role with Anushka Sharma, Sushant Singh Rajput, Boman Irani, Saurabh Shukla and Sanjay Dutt in pivotal roles.

After the success of 3 Idiots (2009), Hirani and Joshi's began scripting their next project; finding similarities with the plot of Inception (2010), they scrapped the film. It was later rewritten with a different angle and tone. During production, the film was first titled Talli and later Ek Tha Talli before being changed to PK as the latter title was found too similar to Ek Tha Tiger (2012). The film's soundtrack was composed by Shantanu Moitra, Ajay−Atul and Ankit Tiwari with lyrics written by Swanand Kirkire, Amitabh Varma and Manoj Muntashir. UTV Motion Pictures acquired the distribution rights of the film.

PK was released on 19 December 2014. It received generally positive reviews from critics, with praise directed towards the performances, particularly Khan, and its portrayal of superstitions. Criticism was focused on the Anti-Hindu sentiment. The film received eight nominations at the 60th Filmfare Awards, winning two. Additionally, it won five Producers Guild Film Awards, and two Screen Awards. PK garnered the Telstra People's Choice Award at the Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.

Produced on a budget of ₹850 million (approx. $12 million), PK was the first Indian film to gross more than ₹7 billion and US$100 million worldwide. At the time, it emerged as the highest-grossing Indian film of all time, and ranks as the 70th highest-grossing film of 2014 worldwide. The film's final worldwide gross was ₹854 crore (US$140 million). It currently stands as the 5th highest grossing Indian film worldwide and 5th highest-grossing film in India.

Pakistan Movement

The Pakistan Movement or Tehrik-e-Pakistan (Bengali: পাকিস্তান আন্দোলন, Pakistan Andolon; Urdu: تحریک پاکستان‎ – Taḥrīk-i Pākistān) was a religious political movement in the 1940s that aimed for and succeeded in the creation of Dominion of Pakistan from the Muslim-majority areas of the British Indian Empire.

The leadership of the movement was mostly educated at Aligarh Muslim University. From the Aligarh Movement, the Indian Muslim community developed a secular political identity. The Pakistan Movement progressed within India alongside the Indian independence movement, but the Pakistan Movement sought to establish a new nation-state that protected the religious identity and political interests of Muslims in Indian subcontinent.Urdu poets such as Iqbal and Faiz used literature, poetry and speech as a powerful tool for political awareness.The driving force behind the Pakistan Movement was the Muslim community of the Muslim minority provinces, United Provinces and Bombay Presidency, rather than that of the Muslim majority provinces.

Persecution of Hindus

Hindus have experienced historical and current religious persecution and systematic violence. These occurred in the form of forced conversions, documented massacres, demolition and desecrations of temples, as well as the destruction of educational centres.

Rohingya genocide

The Rohingya genocide or the Rohingya refugee crisis is a series of ongoing persecutions by the Myanmar government against the Muslim Rohingya people. It has forced over half a million Rohingyas to flee to neighboring countries such as Bangladesh and India. This article presents the ongoing crisis in two phases, the 2016 persecution and the 2017-present genocide.

The 2016 Rohingya persecution in Myanmar occurred in late 2016 when Myanmar's armed forces and police started a major crackdown on Rohingya people in Rakhine State in the country's northwestern region. The Burmese military have been accused of ethnic cleansing and genocide by various United Nations agencies, International Criminal Court officials, human rights groups, journalists, and governments including the United States. The UN has found evidence of wide-scale human rights violations, including extrajudicial killings, gang rapes, arson and infanticides, which the Burmese government dismisses as "exaggerations".The 2016 military crackdown on the Rohingya people has drawn criticism from the UN (which cited possible "crimes against humanity"), the human rights group Amnesty International, the U.S. Department of State, the government of neighboring Bangladesh, and the government of Malaysia (where many Rohingya refugees have fled). The Myanmar leader and State Counsellor (de facto head of government) and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi has particularly been criticized for her inaction and silence over the issue and for doing little to prevent military abuses.

The 2017–present Rohingya genocide began on 25 August 2017 when the Myanmar military forces and local Buddhist extremists started attacking the Rohingya people and committing atrocities against them in the country's north-west Rakhine state. The atrocities included attacks on Rohingya people and locations, looting and burning down Rohingya villages, mass killing of Rohingya civilians, gang rapes, and other sexual violence.

Using statistical extrapolations (based on six pooled surveys conducted with a total of 2,434 Rohingya refugee households in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh), Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) estimated in December 2017 that during the genocide, the military and the local Buddhists killed at least 10,000 Rohingya people. At least 392 Rohingya villages in Rakhine state were reported as burned down and destroyed, as well as the looting of many Rohingya houses, and widespread gang rapes and other forms of sexual violence against the Rohingya Muslim women and girls.The military drive also displaced a large number of Rohingya people, spurring a refugee crisis. According to UN reports, as of September 2018, over 700,000 Rohingya people had fled or had been driven out of Rakhine state who then took shelter in the neighboring Bangladesh as refugees. In December 2017, two Reuters journalists who had been covering the Inn Din massacre event were arrested and imprisoned. Foreign Secretary Myint Thu told reporters Myanmar is prepared to accept 2,000 Rohingya refugees from camps in Bangladesh in November 2018.The 2017 persecution against the Rohingya Muslims and non-Muslims has also been termed as ethnic cleansing and genocide by various UN agencies, ICC officials, human rights groups, and governments. British Prime Minister Theresa May and former United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called it "ethnic cleansing" while the French President Emmanuel Macron described the situation as "genocide".The UN described the persecution as "a textbook example of ethnic cleansing". In late September that year, a seven-member panel of the Permanent Peoples' Tribunal found the Myanmar military and the Myanmar authority guilty of the crime of genocide against the Rohingya and the Kachin minority groups. Suu Kyi was again criticized for her silence over the issue and for supporting the military actions.Subsequently, in November 2017, the governments of Bangladesh and Myanmar signed a deal to facilitate the return of Rohingya refugees to their native Rakhine state within two months, drawing a mixed response from international onlookers.In August 2018, the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, reporting the findings of their investigation into the August–September 2017 events, declared that the Myanmar military generals should be tried for genocide. On 24 September 2018, Jeremy Hunt, the British Foreign Secretary, held a meeting with some other foreign ministers on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly to discuss the crisis in Rohingya.On 27 September 2018 members of the Canadian Parliament voted unanimously to dispossess Suu Kyi of her honorary Canadian citizenship for the atrocities against Rohingya Muslims.

Violence against Indians in Australia controversy

In 2009, the media of Australia, mostly in Melbourne, Sydney, and India publicised reports of crimes and robberies against Indians in Australia that were described as racially motivated. There were accusations of intense Hinduphobia along with the racist hate crimes.

Rallies were organised in Melbourne and Sydney, and intense media coverage of the perceived hate crimes commenced in India, which were mostly critical of Australian and Victorian Police. The Australian government initially called for calm as it began an investigation into the crimes. In June 2009, the Victoria Police Chief Commissioner, Simon Overland, stated that some of the crimes were racist and hinduphobic in nature, and others were opportunistic. A subsequent Indian Government investigation concluded that, of 152 reported assaults against Indian students in Australia that year, 23 involved racial overtones.

Wagon tragedy

The wagon tragedy was the death of 67 prisoners on 20 November 1921 in the Malabar region of Kerala state of India. The prisoners had been taken into custody following the Mappila Rebellion against British Colonial rule. Their deaths through apparent negligence discredited the British Raj and generated sympathy for the Indian independence movement.

In order to attract more Muslim support to the Indian National Movement, Mahatma Gandhi and the national leaders of India initially supported the Khilafat movement and merged it to the famous Non Co-operation Movement. This succeeded in bringing almost all sections of Indians under one flag for a Pan-Indian movement for the first time. The southern Malabar district welcomed this movement in a great spirit. However, in Eranad and Walluvanad taluks it took the form of an armed rebellion by the Muslim Mappila community, who were largely tenants being exploited by British and certain high caste Hindu landlords. After a series of events that culminated in violent clashes between police and protesters, martial law was introduced and the rebellion was mostly crushed.On 10 November 1921, when the uprising was near its end, almost 90 detained Muslim rebels were sent by train from Tirur to the Central Prison in Podanur (near Coimbatore district). They were bundled into a freight wagon and the train set off. Pothanur jail was found to be full to maximum capacity, so orders were given to take the prisoners back. During the return journey, 67 of the 90 rebels suffocated to death in the closed iron wagon. Historian Sumit Sarkar referred to it as the "Black Hole of Podanur". A monument to this notorious tragedy can be seen at Tirur.

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