The Tenacity and Resilience of the Hindu
A Blog Post
In my conversations outside India, people told me several
times that they met many Indians and found them to be "nice
and gentle," but never rude. Some even said that it was
not the case with the people from neighboring countries.
They found them to be different in behavior and temperament
and wondered why it was so, since they too came from the
same roots and had the same history.
It is true that a majority of Indians who live abroad
are well behaved, agreeable and gentle. They avoid attracting
attention to themselves and live their lives, limiting their
attention to their careers, children, friends and family.
They are also tolerant and different in thinking and attitude
from people of other countries and cultures.
However, beneath that soft demeanor they are also tough
and resilient. Their gentle behavior should never be mistaken
for weakness. Politically, India might have been invaded
by numerous foreign powers, but the people of the native
faiths (Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism) remained
mentally and spiritually invincible. They might have been
defeated in wars by foreign powers in the past, but most
of them descended from ancient spiritual communities and
warrior groups who knew how to deal with suffering and live
The history of India stands testimony to this. It validates
their tolerance, courage, strength and commitment to their
gods and their culture. India was ruled by Muslim kings
and emperors for about 900 years and by the British for
nearly 350 years. During this long period, Hindus withstood
persecutions by Muslim rulers, and religious and racial
bias and discrimination by the British.
It is a wonder that although Hindus had no centralized
religious authority like the Church and although they were
subjected to innumerable hardships and discrimination for
nearly a millennium, a majority of them remained loyal to
their ancestral faith and their ancient gods. The Muslim
rulers of both the North and the South killed millions of
Hindus in wars and conducted systematic persecutions, forcing
many to convert under the lure of political or economic
privileges or the fear of death.
Despite such harsh measures, they could not shake the
faith of the natives. Most of them remained rooted to their
culture and ancestral faiths. The British outwardly remained
secular but allowed missionaries, the Vatican and European
organizations to engage in religious propagation and conversions.
However, neither of those efforts were successful in converting
the native Indians (who were known as Hindus in those days).
Until this day, a majority of them (80%-85%) practice their
faiths with pride and conviction.
India is the only country where its ancient culture and
native faiths survived centuries of foreign oppression,
colonialism, imperialism, the Industrial revolution, two
World Wars, scientific rationalism, and an organized onslaught
by well-funded foreign institutions to undermine and degrade
them. India is also the only country that gave birth to
at least four major world religions and innumerable religious
and spiritual movements.
Hinduism survives and continues its long journey because
of its dedicated guardians like this writer, the ascetics
and the gurus, who volunteer as a service and sacrifice
to God to protect and preserve its knowledge, traditions
and practices for posterity. They ensure that from generation
to generation Hinduism emerges with increased strength,
knowledge and wisdom to meet the needs, expectations and
aspirations of its religiously vibrant and diverse community.
This has been going on for centuries and will continue in
I have no doubt that the people in the West who are now
part of the Hindu global community will enrich it further
and ensure its future continuity.