Religion : Approximate 80% of teh indian population follow Hindu
religion. Hinduism is the only major religion which cannot
be tracked back to onw single founder or prophet. It is extremely diversified
in its philosophical
premises and in its practical expressions. The Hindu religion
is a mixture of Aryans and Dravidians elements. The Aryan's major contribution
has been the
Vedas, the most Holy of the religious texts of India. The Dravidians
contribution is most evident in all the iconographic elements
of Hindu Polytheism sects of India, the shaiva and the vaishnava. Hinduism
validity of many paths leading to the same goal, and is willing
to recognize the divinity of other religions. The pluaristic approach,
homogeniety, gives Hinduism its amazing popular apepal and
makes the Hindu tradition rich and colourful. The hindu temples serves
as the nucleus of the
religions, social and aesthetic life of the community.
Sikh Religion : Nanak (1469-1539), the founder of the
Sikh faith, belonged to Punjab(now in Pakistan) region where Hindus and Muslims
had come in close contact more than in any other part of India. A Hindu by
birth an education, his close companion was a muslim musician. Inspired by his
discovery that the essential teaching of both religion was the same, Nanak
began to preach his message of the unity and brotherhood. The term Sikh is
derived from the Sanskrit word Shishya (disciple).
The spread of the
Sikh faith alarmed orthodox Muslims. The Hindus were persecuted. guru Arjun,
the fifth guru of Sikhs an the author of holy book "Guru Granth Sahib", was put
to death on a charge of sedition in 1606. Arjun's martyrdom convinced his
successors that Sikhs must have military training amongst Hindus to defend
themselves. The 10th guru, Guru Govind Singh, transformed the pacifist Sikh
sect into martial community. He introduced rites of initiation into a well
organized Sikh army known as Khalsa. Sikhism is strongly monotheistic. It is
opposed to the caste and creed system. Although they constitute less that 2
percent of India's population, the Sikhs have distinguished themselves in
various spheres such as Armed forces, industy etc.
Islam Community : Arab traders came to India as early a
the 7th Century AD after that, Muslim invaders made sporatic raids into India
from time to time until, at the end of the 12th Century,the first Muslim
kingdom was established at Delhi. The Muslims gradually extended their
eastwards and southwards. In the region of Allauddin Khilji only the southern
tip of India temained outside the sphere of Muslim power.
In its first
phase, Islamic in India was aggresive. But the mystics of Islam, known as
Sufis, played an important role in spreading the message of universal love and
softening the aggresive trends in Islam.
This process of bringing
Hinduism and Islam close to each other was continued by two remarkable men:
Kabir and Nanak.
Islam's Spirit brotherhood helped loosening the
rigidity of the caste system. The simplicity and directness of Islam led marry
Hindus to question the value of conventional rituals. The interaction of the
two faiths found aesthetic expression in poetry, music and
Christian Community :
Christianity in India is as ols as Saint Thomas one of teh Apostles of Jesus
Christ. Other accounts describe Saint Bartholomew as the first christian
missionary actively can be said to have received momentum with the arrival of
Saint Francis Xavies in 1542. His tomb in Goa is still visited by thousands of
Catholics every year.