Reading "Discovery of India" is a must if you really want to know how Asia developed and untold stories of India's culture. The word “Hindu” was never meant to be associated with any cast or creed. It was merely used by Old Persia to refer the subjects staying on the other side of river Indus, then called The Sindhu. India was then referred to as a Nobel Land (Aryadesh), Land of Aryans, in various communities.
Hinduism is a difficult word to define and definitely can’t be associated with any religion. It stands on the spirit of live and let live. Mahatma Gandhi defined it as “Search after truth through non-violent means.” This clearly shows that even a man who doesn’t believe in any form of Shiv, Vishnu, Brahma can still be a Hindu. Hindu was derived from the word “Hind”, meaning the Hindustan. So anybody who has adapted himself to stay in Hindustan could be told a Hindu, whether its Christian, Muslim or Buddhist. In old centuries, people lived to survive and not to decide the religion they would follow. It was the struggle for food and shelter. The fear of wild animals forced many number of people to stay close by and burn the fire on the boundaries. Unlike now where fires are used to burn the slum areas to clear a particular cast and get the land freed.
If British wouldn’t have started the divide and rule policy, there would had been no partition. They ripped the Golden bird and left a bird caught in a cage with torn wings. We would not have been just a developing country but a Developed and strong nation with a mix of culture, education, traditions and tehzeeb. Burqa has been associated with Muslim females, but it even existed in any Indian family. Ladies were not supposed to talk to any male member and in case they have to, then their face should be covered with dupatta. Not that I am advocating the purdah system. But I want to bring out the similarities between the two tribes which have been friends for long and now are the biggest enemies.
We all see how Americans and Europeans are adopting our culture, the Yoga Asanas, The Hare Ram Hare Krishna, Mutton Biryanis or the Indian Curries. We are dragging ourselves to enjoy festivals like Tomatino, which is just an extension of Holi. Words like Briyani, Bindi, Nose rings, Saris, Karva Chauth now don’t need an explanation to any foreigner. While travelling from Bangkok to India I met a French person. He said he has been religiously visiting Haridwar every year and has fallen in love with it. Being an Indian I have just visited the land of Haridwar only once. How many of us appreciate our parents when they ask us to take an off and go to Chardham ki Yatra? But if the travel agent will say he will be sending us for a trek to snowy mountains and a river rafting in Ganga, we all will make an attempt to go.
It is not our about religion, but the culture. We were being brought up in joint families, where every meal was a fest with a lavish menu of food. Be it the Diwali or the Ramzan, we associate any festival with new clothes and delicious food. Just like every person has different thought process, can’t every religion have its own rituals? Because of some dirty politics around the world, India has divided and people living in it will slowly grow much more apart. We need to stabilize it and fight against it. Need to search the true meaning of LIFE!