ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Jakob De RooverSubscribe to Jakob De Roover

Courting Con in the West

The sustained efforts by certain Hindu groups in the west to redefine and "correct" long existing Hindu traditions are perhaps reflective of their desire to put in place a cogent and structured religious system that is able to hold its own against other scripture-based religions. Concomitantly, American identity politics and European political correctness is also "forcing" minority communities to assert their separate "churches", as a way of emphasising their own distinct religious or ethnic identity.

The Question of Conversion in India

The Indian debate on religious conversion has been an ongoing one for a few centuries now. However, the mutual understanding between the advocates and the adversaries of conversion has not advanced much. This paper suggests that this is due to the fact that Hindus and Christians refer to two different objects when they discuss 'religion'. The traits which the Christians ascribe to religion account for the premium they put on the right to convert, while the traits of the Hindu view of religion explain the opposition to conversion. As the two parties attribute mutually exclusive properties to religion, they encounter difficulties while seeking to make sense of each other's claims about religion and conversion.

The Vacuity of Secularism

The rise of Hindutva has often been interpreted as a threat to the secular state. Similarly, the recent outbursts of Hindu-Muslim conflict are said to be related to the decay of secularism. The author argues that the concept of secularism is fundamentally obscure, since it is founded upon an arbitrary distinction between the religious and the secular. The belief that religion should be separated from politics is a normative dogma that precedes all theoretical analysis of the Indian situation. Therefore, this concept of secularism prevents us from understanding the problems of pluralism in contemporary India, instead of helping us to solve them.
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