Indians in Kerala are less religiously polarized, those in Bihar are more polarized


Because some commenters on this weblog have a lot more lived experience within India than I do, you try to bullshit me. I suspect it, but I can’t prove it.

But I realized today that World Values Survey is broken down by region within countries. This means I can at least doublecheck some of the crazy assertions some of you make.

What I did is pretty simple: I selected India as the country and then selected regions as the first variable. I crossed it with a question about how much people trust those of other religions.

One thing that jumps out of the result is that trust across religions is highest in Kerala. There isn’t a huge difference across the north, but it seems lowest in Bihar. This makes sense.

These sorts of single results need to be treated with caution. The main issue is that respondents are usually asked in their native language, but word choice can bias the outcome.

I invite readers who are interested in bullshitting less to look at the WVS themselves. Raw table below the fold (with N’s).

State N Trust completely Trust somewhat Do not trust very much Do not trust at all
Andhra Pradesh 305 11.5 50.2 34.1 4.3
Bihar 330 4.5 24.5 43.6 27.3
Chhatisgarh 98 4.1 54.1 36.7 5.1
Delhi 69 13 30.4 39.1 17.4
Gujarat 248 8.5 39.9 31 20.6
Haryana 122 29.5 32.8 19.7 18
Jharkhand 154 3.9 48.1 44.2 3.9
Karnataka 229 10.5 48.5 31.9 9.2
Kerala 184 48.9 37.5 12.5 1.1
Madhya Pradesh 239 13.4 45.2 25.1 16.3
Maharashtra 236 20.8 42.8 18.2 18.2
Orrisa 319 0.6 39.2 45.1 15
Punjab 146 11 44.5 34.9 9.6
Rajasthan 275 13.1 32.4 31.6 22.9
Uttar Pradesh 555 21.4 31.5 26.3 20.7
West Bengal 286 15 39.9 32.5 12.6
Uttarakhand 62 4.8 33.9 45.2 16.1
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88 Replies to “Indians in Kerala are less religiously polarized, those in Bihar are more polarized”

  1. Razib

    Apply your friends/acquaintances circle test to these things. The devil is in the details of what people self report and what people actually do lol

    I understand the above test data is likely not out there though. Still, the caution needs to be not about wording or language, it needs to be about matching talk with walk

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  2. The devil is in the details of what people self report and what people actually do lol

    to be frank, there is enough ‘data’ about how bihar and kerala are different. i don’t need to ask. unless there is a conspiracy in the data generation.

    i picked the above question cuz it’s clear and distinct.

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    1. I think we need a larger sample size. But large polls are expensive. But the data is interesting. Thanks for sharing.

      How granular is the data? Can we sort respondents by their religion?

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    2. As an ex-Kerala person, who has also lived in other Indian states, this survey fits 100% with my lived experience.

      Kerala is an outlier in many other aspects also- universal education, high percentage of minorities, almost no inter-religious conflict (pls. ignore the overt propaganda by RSS outfits), a truly multi-religiously diverse cultural elite in cinema, media, arts, etc. And most importantly, an organic i.e. non-Western, commonsense understanding among its masses of the merits of such diversity….this innate understanding allows the inevitable small local issues to remain small and local, and to not be inflamed into major incidents by motivated special interests.

      An interesting manifestation of this I have noticed is the many good-natured inter-religious jokes ones hears in Malayalam movies that one doesn’t hear in other languages in India (at least the 2-3 others I can follow). Also, for e.g., how “porotta-beef” is a pan-Kerala delicacy including among Hindus, and how pork is popular among certain groups even in regions that have significant Muslim presence.

      I have often wondered why this visible and genuine inter-religious harmony is so different than from other Indian states: is it because minorities here are not impoverished, like say, UP and Bihar Muslims, and/or is it because there is a high percentage of minorities who cannot be as easily other-ized and distanced away into one’s mental ghettoes? And to their credit, Kerala Hindus may be politically the most open-minded in India.

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      1. @Parallel Universe

        “is it because minorities here are not impoverished, like say, UP and Bihar Muslims, and/or is it because there is a high percentage of minorities who cannot be as easily other-ized and distanced away into one’s mental ghettoes?’

        It is a combination of both of them, and yet they are necessary but not sufficient conditions. Both Marathi and Gujrati muslims are better economically than Bihari /UP muslims , which has not resulted in any higher inter religious harmony.Both UP and Bihar have close to 20 percent Muslims, while Bengal and Kerala have around 25-30 percent. So all 4 of them have large muslim pops.

        I would like to throw a more controversial third element in the mix. The more distance you cover from Gangetic belt the less “Hindu” the region becomes. Look at West Punjab,Kashmir, Bengal, South of Vindhyas. Look at the western India for example. Gujrat–>MH–>Karnatka–>Kerala. The more distance you travel from the “Hindu Heartland” the lower the “Hindu” quotient becomes and the ethnic element picks up. Wherever ethnic elements play up religion becomes a bit of second fiddle. Think of Pakistani Punjab and Sindh. Sindh is more ethno-centric in politics while Punjab is more relegio-centric.

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        1. Interesting counter to my minority- poverty-percentage hypothesis. I guess the easy answer is “education levels”, but not quite sure.

          Less sure of your latter point- feel Keralite Hinduism is a more deeply felt and authentic Hinduism (maybe South in general). It may be a less reactive / adversarial form than that seen in the north, given their respective histories, but that is not a reduction in “Hindu quotient”.

          To the earlier point, wonder if the presence of a third party i.e. significant number of X’ians affects the mix, and maybe dull the binary-adversarial nature that could exist in an only Hindu-Muslim populace. This would be different from the other state examples you mentioned.

          Thing is, in Kerala, the socio-political melon has been sliced and diced in every-which-way possible, and not just along the Majority-minority axis. Nairs+UC/Syrian X’ians/Muslims with Congress, likely united as a reaction to “atheist Communists” in the 1950s. OBCs+Latin X’ians+ others, to whom the dangers of atheism mattered less than immediate SE issues, with the Communists. While this has permutated a bit over the years, the broad contours haven’t changed much.

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          1. Any inferences you make from looking at cultural/economic snapshots will be quite shallow.
            What was the situation like 100 years ago? What about at independence? Will this hold when Muslims actually become a majority in Kerala?

            There might have been a lot of change in the last 10 years itself.

            Also, the folk appreciation for diversity in Kerala might have mainly to do with the widespread exposure to a different civilization (Gulf). What do you think?

            “The more distance you travel from the “Hindu Heartland” the lower the “Hindu” quotient becomes and the ethnic element picks up.”

            Distance from Delhi rather than the Gangetic plain?

            It would be interesting to see sub-state level stats as well. My hunch is that religious violence is much more in western UP than in the east.
            Bihar has very high crime rates in general but I’d think it’s still not at Western UP levels.
            (Only talking about incidents of violence not this silly ‘values’ poll)

            UP and Bihar are large multi-ethnic states that were fertile ground for Delhi’s post-independence experiments with ‘national integration’. Were willing participants in some cases in exchange for power to elites and in other cases were bullied into it because of poverty.

            Interesting to think what would have been the case if UP was split into say 3-4 early on.

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          2. To Prats:
            Re: There might have been a lot of change in the last 10 years itself.

            This can be determined from the WVS database itself.

            For Question “Trust: People of another religion”: between 2005-2009 and 2010-2014, the % allIndia increases from 42%to 50% (trust completely & trust somewhat). However, for Kerala, it changes from 64.4%(59 responses) to 83% (192 responses). Interpret as you will.

            Only minor quibble with your comment is “UP and Bihar are large multi-ethnic states”. They are not multi-ethnic, even if they have two large religions. Genetically, UP Muslims are no different from UP Kurmis, Koeris, or other BCs. Chhatisgarh or Madhyapradesh may be multi-ethnic with the tribes being Dravidan and the rulers may have large dollops of R1A. Kerala is also multi-religious, but not multi-ethnic, the genetic distance between Christians and Nairs may be smaller than the distance between Namboodhris and Ezhavas.

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          3. @Vijay

            I was talking ethnicity from a culture-language perspective. I doubt genetic distance comes into picture among neighbouring ethnicities unless their is some unique physical marker.

            UP has Khari Boli in the west but also has Braj, Awadhi, and Bhojpuri regions. In fact western UP has much more in common with Rajasthan, Haryana, and northern MP. It obviously also had hilly regions for much of its history.

            Similarly, Magadh, Bhojpur, and Mithila are very culturally distinct. Till a few decades ago, crossing the Ganga was a big deal. So north and south Bihar were relatively isolated from each other. And there was again obviously the tribal and Bengali influenced regions of Jharkhand till 2000.

            There has been a lot of flattening of culture post-independence in these states. That’s where Saurav’s idea of inverse relationship between ethnicity and religion comes in.

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          4. @Prats
            Yes, snapshots can be misleading, but believe – extrapolating from my lived experience and news events of last few decades – this has been a consistent pattern for a century or more at least.

            “Also, the folk appreciation for diversity in Kerala might have mainly to do with the widespread exposure to a different civilization (Gulf). What do you think?”

            Not a scholar on the issue, but personal experience tells me this is not a convincing argument. In fact, the opposite argument is more plausible: Muslims form highest % of Gulf immigrants from KL, and many get influenced by orthodox Islam there and bring it back to Kerala resulting in a visible neo-conservatism in last 3-4 decades. If this had any effect, it should be to reduce inter-community cohesion. Besides, the non-Muslim experience in Gulf – esp. Saudi – is not exactly an edifying one!

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        2. Some may contest the hinduism of the deep south is different but not diluted, however I lean towards what you have outlined. If I ask myself, in the absence of classical hinduism, how would kannadigas or keralites recontsruct their identity, it seems a challenge but not insurmountable, because there is a great deal of folk culture that can be mined for the project. These societies would lose a great deal of valuable heritage but it wouldn’t be a complete destruction of identity. There are tribal communities that are reminders of what we may have been. In the case of gangetic culture, others may weigh in with more understanding, but if you take the hindu classical and devotional traditions out of it, there may be a sparse foundation left over if not replaced with another like the islamo-persianate one.

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  3. If I read it right, Haryana with its 29.5 seems to be significantly outlying as well [highlighting this since you mentioned its pretty much the same through the North]

    I am guessing here, but the state-wise dynamics of the “other religions” [and people would marginalize over them when asked a general question, but the distribution in that state would affect the marginalizing] is one thing that would be quite difficult to control for across states.

    For instance, in general, on average, I would expect Hindu trust about Sikhs [and vice-versa] to be much higher than [their respective trust of] Muslims [arguably due to greater co-habitation, inter-dining, marital relations, collaboration blah-blah, and also lesser occurrence of civil strife, but not to get lost in the reasons] which could be significantly affecting the Haryana results alone [5% Sikh minority while in the other places its barely in the 0.1-1 range]

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  4. Assuming incidents of religious violence demonstrate revealed preference, you might want to check this from India’s Home Ministry:
    http://164.100.47.190/loksabhaquestions/annex/14/AU590.pdf

    Kerala is definitely good.
    Bihar is bad but better than some of the other big states, especially considering the high crime rates there in general.

    A hidden variable might be the percentage of population in a state that is Muslim. States with higher numbers would be expected to have more violence. Should control for that.

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    1. “A hidden variable might be the percentage of population in a state that is Muslim. States with higher numbers would be expected to have more violence. ”

      Not sure this holds. Kerala is an obvious discordant example.
      Using “persons killed” as a cleaner indicator of sectarian issues in that LS Question chart you link, many states with high % Muslims (~ 10% or more), including Telengana, AP, J&K, Delhi besides Lakshwadeep* (*caveats) have much lower “persons killed” #s than states with lower percentage of Muslims in that chart.

      Would argue a better correlate to “persons killed” #s on that chart is this: a “Yes” answer to “Is BJP the #1 or #2 political party in the state?” This answer better explains the data in there than % Muslims.

      More likely, we are each letting our own biases into play.

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      1. “Not sure this holds.”
        This was an assumption. Not an explanation for the persons killed data. If states with high % Muslims have lower “persons killed” then it indicates there are other things going on. In any case, I don’t think it’s fair to compare with the states you mention.

        Delhi is urban, J&K has clean separation of communities (though the score might be 50 for 2019 if you could Pulwama), Telangana Muslims are concentrated around Hyderabad?

        “Would argue a better correlate to “persons killed” #s on that chart is this: a “Yes” answer to “Is BJP the #1 or #2 political party in the state?””

        Which way does the causality flow, though?
        Bihar had about 15 or 20 incidents till 2013. That’s more than a 4 fold jump since then.
        But it has also had an NDA government for 15 years.
        We should look at longer term data.

        “More likely, we are each letting our own biases into play.”
        I do not have any political axe to grind. I just feel like all these debates ultimately devolve into general explanations like ‘it is inherent in the culture there’ while the reasons might be much more specific.
        For example – rapid change in demographics in certain districts (Western UP, northern Bihar)

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  5. The trouble with this and similar surveys is that responders LIE when asked such questions. Pre-election surveys about support for Trump are an example.

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  6. Indian Hindus generally consider Sikhism to a be the equivalent of another Darshana inside Hinduism. Although some Indian Sikhs self identify otherwise.

    Hindus consider Sikhs to be their “Kshatriya” defenders. I have had many conversations with Indians about terrorism. Many Indians say that India does not need to worry about it because the Sikhs will protect them. Indians area also sure they will win any future wars because of the Sikhs.

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    1. Anan, i get the broader point you are making, but you have a tendency to make generalisations as well as very specific claims. Your definitions of who is hindu tend to be very broad for example, in which case it might make sense to qualify statements like “hindus consider sikhs as X”. You would probably call my people hindus, but we have no tradition of considering sikhs as our saviours or protectors. In fact we were only marginally aware of them. The whole myth-making around their valour belongs to another context and seems of somewhat recent vintage. Not contesting that there is amity between hindus and sikhs, although I wouldn’t underestimate a certain circumspection that exists amongst sikhs regarding brahmins and mercantile communities.

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      1. “You would probably call my people hindus, but we have no tradition of considering sikhs as our saviours or protectors. In fact we were only marginally aware of them. The whole myth-making around their valour belongs to another context and seems of somewhat recent vintage. Not contesting that there is amity between hindus and sikhs, although I wouldn’t underestimate a certain circumspection that exists amongst sikhs regarding brahmins and mercantile communities.”

        On my most recent two trips to India I was taught a lot about the Sikh interwoven set of parampara. Sikhs have many paramparas or sampradaya.

        Many of my close relatives and friends go to gurudwaras (as do I). But I did not know that these were gurudwara from specific Sikh sects that tended to incorporate Hindus more.

        I had thought of writing a detailed post about this. But I want it edited by Sikh scholars who know a heck of a lot more than I do. [Only a small fraction of Sikhs are great scholars of Sikhism and their various sects.]

        92% of Sikhs are in India. And in India the distinction between Sikh and Hindu blurs a lot. I use to think that most of the people in Gurudhwaras were non Sikhs [because of the surface this might appear to be the case]. But now I think many of these are really Sikh Hindus (such as Nanak Panthis, Udasi, and many other sects . . . I can’t remember the name of the sect of Sikhs whose Gurudwara I like to visit right now). And while a lot of non Sikhs (not including Hinduized Sikhs or Sanathani Sikhs in this grouping of non Sikhs) visit large and small Gurudhwaras, they aren’t as many as I previously thought.

        There are Gurudwaras in India (not ones I have been too) that cater to specific kinds of Sikhs (and not to other Sikhs or non Sikhs) too. But this is something I know little about.

        Having said this, Sikhs and Hindus appear to be far more separate in Canada. My response to this would be to say that 92% of Sikhs live in India.

        Girmit, you are completely right about circumspection about brahmin and mercantile communities. But this is widespread among Hindus too. Hindus have very different sects within themselves. And the tension and differences between Hindu sects seems a lot larger than the differences between the six Shaitive sects and the Udasi Sikh sect (they are aligned).

        In India everything blurs together.

        There is no clear distinction between Shiite and Sufi in India either. Some great Pirs (past away) are both. Some mosques are both.

        I have asked the people who operate these Sufi/Shiite shrines many questions . . . and I cannot understand their answers. They are tied to both traditions in many different ways.

        And while it is true that most of the religious people who visit a specific Sufi shrine are non muslim . . . this is only for certain Sufi sects.

        “The whole myth-making around their valour belongs to another context and seems of somewhat recent vintage.”

        This is part of the intended blog post. It would take a lot of time to explain this. But it is fair to say that Guru Gobindh Singh was a hero for Hindus across SAARC. If not for Guru Gobindh Singh and the other Sikh Gurus . . . there may not have been any Hinduism/Budhism/Jainism left in SAARC. I have long openly said this among Hindus. No one ever disputes this or disagrees.

        The Sikhs are the protectors of Kashi. Kashi brahmins performed a puja to the divine feminine where Hindus believe that Devi appointed him as the protector of Sanathana Dharma. Of Course many Canadian Khalsa sect Sikhs dispute this story. But Heck, many Indian Sikhs believe it! And Hindus believe it.

        Until 1905 the divine mother and many other Hindu deities were worshiped inside the Golden Temples. In 1905 Sikhs had an internal rupture that has not yet healed.

        Remember that the Sikhs (tiny in numbers though they were) won the civil war after Aurangzeb died and put the Sufi Bahadur Shah I in power.

        I believe Sikhs to be among the best fighters in the entire world. From the 1600s to the present.

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      2. “You would probably call my people hindus, but we have no tradition of considering sikhs as our saviours or protectors. In fact we were only marginally aware of them.”

        Interesting. I use to spend a lot of time in South India. Many South Indians did not seem to know much about the Sikhs. To the degree they did, they generally thought they were just another Hindu sect. [Hinduism has a lot of different sects.]

        Among Indians interested in the Indian Army . . . Sikhs are heroes. But most Indians neither know about the Indian Army nor are particularly interested in the Indian Army.

        I use to understand India a lot better before 2002 or so. I increasingly feel that I do not understand the new India. India has changed so rapidly. The internet has changed everything. Going to India now is like going to the twilight zone.

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  7. Loving this. Never heard of WVS before. Thanks for wasting my time for the rest of the snow-ridden night.

    V154.- The only acceptable religion is my religion
    Bihar: Strongly agree or agree = 76.5%; strongly disagree or disagree = 23.5%
    AP: Strongly agree or agree = 18.5%; strongly disagree or disagree = 79.1%

    V57: marital status
    12.1% of people living together unmarried in Chhattisgarh; I do not know who chhatisgarhis are, but they rock.

    V66.- Willingness to fight for your country
    Almost every state, people seem to want to fight, but in Delhi 75% are no, or unsure.

    V71.- Schwartz: It is important to this person to be rich; to have a lot of money and expensive things
    Bihar and UP, people want to be rich, but not in kerala.

    V73.- Schwartz: It is important to this person to have a good time; to “spoil” oneself
    Haryana and Uttarakand, YES. Kerala and Karnataka, a resounding no.

    V52.- A university education is more important for a boy than for a girl
    UP Yes; Kerala, Karnataka and AP, Resounding Nop.

    Kerala is an outlier in many questions; Trust for police is 77%! Trust in courts is 94%. Trust in the government is 94%. Confidence i political parties is 72%.

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  8. More funny stuff:
    The home of communism, the socialist paradises of kerala and West Bengal confidence in companies was 73% and 69%; Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan hate companies, and confidenceis at about 16% and 20%. This may just reflect the lack of companies.

    Confidence in (Government owned ) banks is 80-95% everywhere, except Delhi where less than 45% like the banks.

    People of Delhi are really cynical or cruel; the confidence in charitable/humanitarian organizations is 35% and environmental organizations is 45%; in Kerala, these numbers are like 95%.
    Delhi has also the highest % of population saying avoiding fare in public transport is justifiable. Claiming benefits to what you are not entitled is close to 50% never or close to never; most of the other states is between 70-95%. Justifiable: Stealing property, is a big NO like 90% in more states except Delhi; only 31% say it is NO. Accepting a bribe is never justifiable like 66-90% in most states; in Delhi, it is like 26%. Just based on the answers V190 and beyond, I would not like to live in Delhi.

    razib talked about religion earlier; bizarrely acceptance of homosexuality is better in North including Delhi, UP and so on. In Kerala, 96% say Homosexuality is absolutely not justifiable, one of the highest percentages. Based on the jolly Chhatisgarhis living together before marriage, I expected some support, but NO! 98% said absolutely unacceptable. same with prostitution, Keralites (and Chhattisgarhis) were absolutely against prostitution, but not in delhi, UP and Bihar. Similarly, people did not consider divorce absolutely immoral in these states, but what is wrong with you AP, Gujarat and Maharashtra? The bizarre moralistic streak continues, with people of AP, maharashta, and Kerala being absolutely against sex before marriage, but the people of Bimaru being more flexible.

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    1. The state level sample sizes are small! Can’t draw too many observations. The India wide data is more interesting:

      “V154.- The only acceptable religion is my religion
      Bihar: Strongly agree or agree = 76.5%; strongly disagree or disagree = 23.5%
      AP: Strongly agree or agree = 18.5%; strongly disagree or disagree = 79.1%”
      This is shocking!
      Did they understand the question in their local dialect? Do they understand the concept of religion? I find that many/most Indians don’t understand what religion means.

      If they were asked if their Dharma is the only acceptable religion, they would answer yes. But that would be meaningless.

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      1. “The state level sample sizes are small! Can’t draw too many observations. The India wide data is more interesting.”

        this is fair…but these sample sizes are used in polling all the time. so they aren’t small.

        and the baseline is people making bullshit generalizations.

        i think super weird results are likely to be a translation artifact or a coding error (there are a few instances where i’m 95% sure they flipped the result categories)

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      2. I’d imagine they’d have used “sampradaya” and not “dharma” because dharma is literally a common noun that means duty and one has “matridharma” or duty of a mother, “pitridharma” or duty of father, “sheekshak dharma” or duty of teacher etc etc

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        1. As you say Dharma is used in many contexts in India.

          In Bengali, people will sometimes say that (translating the Bengali):

          I saw a saint from Isha (Jesus) Dharma walking down the street two weeks ago. [Meaning they felt something from them]

          Or:

          I met an “Atma” from other Dharma or mushalman Dharma. I really liked it.

          “Atma” means spiritually evolved person or saint in many languages, including Hindi and Bengali.

          Sometimes it is used in Telegu and Kannada too. But they usually say “purush” or “mahapurush”.

          I believe Tamilians use all the above.

          In spiritual circles a ton of Sanskrit type words are used. So maybe mother tongues don’t matter.

          Most Hindus, Buddhists, Jains know almost zero about Christianity or Islam. So their terminology while talking about Christians and Muslims is odd. For example they don’t understand that many Christians and Muslims do not consider themselves Indic or Hindu or eastern philosophy interwoven. Christian and Muslim places welcome others. So they come thinking it is just another mandir or something.

          I saw a major Sufi public meeting in Bangladesh (several thousand people in the crowd) featuring the visiting head of the Chistie order where the muslim spiritual leaders (many spoke) were using many Sanskrit words, including Dharma.

          For them Dharma meant both “muslim” and . . . . honestly these were Bengali Sufis . . . I am not sure there is a “halal” equivalent Koranic word. Heck, I was shocked that they were publicly and openly saying such universalist (similar to eastern philosophy) stuff.

          I know people say Bangladeshi muslims are a lot more extremist than before 1947. And while this is true for many Arab influenced young bengali conservative Sunnis; Bengali muslims are really different from most other muslims. They are heavily Bengali cultured, Hindu tilted and semi universalist.

          ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

          Forget about Hinduism in the form of the 10 Darshanas. Even Uttara Mimamsa Darshana has something like a hundred paramparas and sampradayas. [Not estimating. Don’t know how many. Just that there are like . . . a lot.]

          “Sampradaya” is a terrible translation of “religion.”

          Honestly Sanskrit and many SAARC languages have no word for “religion.” Forget about word. They have no concept of “religion.”

          Suspect this is true of Malaysia and Indonesia too. The kinds of open conversations that can be had with them on religion is stunning. Especially compared with Arabs!!!!!!! :LOL:

          I call them Hindu muslims. I mean Bengali muslims might be Hindu tilted and all. But even Bengali muslims aren’t as Hindu Buddhist influenced as Indonesian and Malaysian muslims.

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          1. Dhormo is used by Deobandi and Salafi discourse in Bengali language as well although. They use it interchangeably with deen which is Arabic..

            A Deobandi Bangladeshi maulana giving speech, Delawar Hussain Saeedi. He was convicted of raping a 11 year old Hindu girl in the 1971 war in 2012 war crimes tribunal held by the Bangladeshi govt of Sheikh Haseena. Decide for yourself if a selected Muslim’s usage of Hindu terminology makes any correlation to their bigotry from the speech below and the information above.
            https://youtu.be/S8i7xm3J–4

            Sampradaya is more similar to technique, but sampradayikata is used as translation from and to the English term (Indian English only?) of communalism.

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          2. I have never heard any non Sufi Irfan muslim discourse in Bengali language. But I believe you.

            For those who didn’t get it:

            ” sampradayi” = technique or order . . . . “kata” = “kaata” = cut as in tear apart

            Excellent translation of marxism. Marxism is not atheist but anti theist. The aim of marxism is to tear about all theisms and religions other than marxism.

            That is a long speech. At what point of the speech do you want me to listen in.

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    2. I think that a lot of Indians generally don’t tend to understand what homosexuality is and more often than not mix up homosexuality and transgender identity together and think every non-heterosexual variation is non-cisgendered, i.e. transgenderism. And I remember reading somewhere a while ago that Kerala society is extremely transgender-phobic so that is not a lot surprising to me. Do they explain these terms in a bit of a detail to the survey participants or do they just throw out translations/English words? (the translations also people don’t tend to understand a lot because they tend to be not much in use; only some native popular terms exist that can be easily understood and mainly referring to transgender people or whatever the exact category the Hijras fall under according to the Western-origin scheme of classification.)

      The Delhi people seem quite too cynical from the above survey. Does anyone know why that may be?

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      1. “I think that a lot of Indians generally don’t tend to understand what homosexuality is and more often than not mix up homosexuality and transgender identity together and think every non-heterosexual variation is non-cisgendered, i.e. transgenderism. ”

        Very true. My parents did not understand what homosexuality decades after moving to the US. The same use to be true of many Indians who moved to the US.

        When I was a little kid, most of the relatives, friends and other people I met likely did not know what homosexuality meant.

        People forget what the world was like before the internet.

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        1. Yeah. And apparently even I don’t know a lot about Hijras myself: many of them apparently prefer to be categorised as a third gender as opposed to a transgender person, according to Wikipedia. So the lack of basic exposure (and of course any compassion and friendliness) is very reasonable indeed; the default state and likely lifelong condition of all such beings is wretchedness and there is really no hope for reduction of this kind of suffering.

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          1. Santosh, I got hold of an 12 volume translation of the Mahabharata when I was 11 years old. And tons of Puranas and other ancient texts.

            I read all sorts of stuff on gender fluidity and non binary genders. Doubt many adults at the time new almost anything about it.

            I would be careful about drawing too many conclusions about Hijra. There are great Hijra rishis, saints and religious leaders too. They have highly respected orders. Hijra are allowed close intimate contact with both females and males.

            Many religious Hindus have gone to Hijras for blessings and advise for thousands of years.

            Hijras are tied up with the various different classifications of beings (Yakshas and so forth). And are involved with many rituals.

            A good analogy would be that many Hijra orders are similar to the “Jedi order” of Star Wars. They are respected, loved, feared and considered a little dangerous.

            0
    3. I wonder if the skew in the responses is also a reflection of the exposure and changing conditions in different states. For example, if sex before marriage is not a very common occurrence (due to restriction of female freedom or other restrictions on separation of young people by gender) then it may not really come across as a strong ‘no-no’ for most common people, even if they are nominally thinking “we would never do it, of course”. (say conditions in Andhra Pradesh around late 80s)

      But if the exposure to this is more common, which seems like a recent (i.e., past two decades) occurrence in Andhra Pradesh (only based on how many of my cousins are openly with their boy-friends, as well as guys on Andhra forums being philosophical about the rarity of getting a virgin wife), then I guess there could be a much stronger reaction due to remembering its personal effect. Also, there is a growing belief (if you listen to local language TV news + youtube talking heads) that the recent increase in divorces is a direct result of having sexual relationships before marriage, then it kind of gets people to link those two in their heads.

      Just a guess.

      Also, I am not sure if the lived experience can be dismissed so easily. Despite so much of world saturated with US media and so many ‘WEIRD’ data sets/psychology studies, I am not sure many people understand the lived experience of US. So, why shouldn’t there be apriori expectation of symmetrical ignorance about other nations?

      0
      1. Hello Violet,

        The suggestion you provided seems like a good possibility though it sounds quite strange. Do you have any examples in mind where this sort of thing took place already in the world someplace sometime and was observed by researchers?

        (Now that I come to think about it, it seems that it is actually quite difficult to explain comparatively lower percentages leaning towards the conservative position in some states, when it comes to questions pertaining to premarital sexual activity, homosexuality (activity I assume since they don’t seem to have distinguished between activity and orientation and surveyed about both), etc. I would expect that most Indian states were close to the Kerala-, Andhra-level conservatism in these matters. Are there any other explanations to explain these strange findings in addition to yours above?)

        0
  9. There are lies, damn lies, and statistics 🙂

    Surveys like this are meaningless. They are not scientific. Also, people’s attitudes are very subjective and can’t be measured and captured in metrics. Also, timing of the poll can heavily influence the results. During some communal strife or in the aftermath of some terrorist attack originating from Pakistan, people will heavily swing towards the non-trusting pole.

    Lot’s of discrepancies stand out. Apparently Orissa folks are least trusting of people of other religions. I can’t think of any good reason for that. Orissa doesn’t have a history of communal tensions. Kerala and W Bengal have similar population composition (high Muslim percentage), and they both have a strong left wing political tradition. Yet their numbers differ significantly. Just doesn’t add up.

    I won’t waste my time over these numbers.

    0
    1. They are not scientific.

      what the FUCK does that mean? when people throw out stuff like “they are not scientific” my first thought is “does this asshole know what science is?”

      so what is science?

      1+
      1. “They are not scientific.”

        Exactly what part of sentence is not clear?

        How about getting some education in statistics to understand these “surveys” better.

        And by the way motherfucker, if you have guts, print this expletive and this post verbatim. If you can’t do that, shut the fuck up because you are not worthy of my time.

        0
        1. How about getting some education in statistics to understand these “surveys” better.

          i’m a statistical geneticist asshole.

          don’t leave any more comments on my posts. i’ll delete them.

          1+
          1. Razib, I liked my answer better :LOL:

            I got a rude shock during my first job. I thought most people understood statistics and econometrics. I was shocked when my colleagues told me this was not so. I said they must at least know the meaning of “standard deviation.” Colleagues said that most folks didn’t even know that.

            One of my favorite undergraduate professors use to tell me:

            “the more stupid you assume people are, the more successful you will be in life”

            I didn’t like his criticism of me. And how I used far too many big words, statistics and complex concepts in communication. But I appreciate his words more now.

            ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
            Scorpion Eater,

            If you read Razib’s academic articles or even his articles aimed at the broader public, it is obvious Razib has a graduate level understanding of statistics.

            If you want to make your case for why the standard error is larger than the sample size might imply, why their is endogeneity, or bias . . . you can do it politely.

            There is no edge to not having excellent manners. We can’t always agree. But we can disagree agreeably.

            One of my favorite definitions of Sanathana Dharma is:

            Manusmriti 4.138:
            सत्यं ब्रूयात् प्रियं ब्रूयान्न ब्रूयात् सत्यमप्रियम् ।
            प्रियं च नानृतं ब्रूयादेष धर्मः सनातनः ॥ १३८ ॥

            satyaṃ bruuyaat priyaṃ bruuyaat na bruuyaat satyamapriyam |

            Truthfully (satyam) speak (bruuyaat); Sweetly (priyam) speak (bruuyaat); Don’t (na) speak (bruuyaat) truth in a way that is not sweet (satyam a priyam)

            priyaṃ cha naanṛtaṃ bruuyaat esha dharmaḥ sanaatanaḥ ||

            Sweet (priyam) untruth do not (cha naanrtam) speak (bruuyaat);

            this (esha) is Dharmah Sanaatanah (Sanathana Dharma or eternal Dharma)

            0
      2. Razib, I think the question is what words did they use for translation.

        “religion” has no Sanskrit translation equivalent. No Hindi or south Indian language or Bengali or Marathi equivalent either.

        I don’t know a word for religion in Urdu either. I tried to look it up. All the words seem to be some permutation of “good muslim”.

        Does anyone know the Urdu or Punjabi translation for “religion”?

        This said the poll has very interesting answers to many other questions unrelated to religion.

        It is possible that the questioners said:
        “Do you trust other Dharma/sampradaya/parampara” etc. The gal or guy looked confused. And they followed up with saying “do you trust mushalman?”. Or they did not. I don’t know.

        If I were running to poll, I would ask about muslims straight out. And avoid all the confusion. There is only one religion with a public relations challenge.

        I would also specifically ask about “Sufis” and “Shiites”. They might not know what those words mean which makes the question moot.

        I would also ask about places such as Ajmer and Shirdi (most Indians appear to know about these two places . . . most Hindus seem to think Gareeb Nawaz and Shirdi Sai Baba help more than other deities.)

        I would ask muslims about specifically:
        —Shiites
        —Sufis
        —Christians
        —Jews
        —Hindus
        [Not sure they would know about Buddhists, Jains, Sikhs . . . or maybe they would just consider them Hindus.]

        I don’t think India can be polled about the abstract concept of “religion.”

        0
          1. Kabir,

            I saw the word “deen” when researching yesterday. Is Deen the equivalent of good people of the book? Or of the law or of judgement or of being good?

            Is “religion” really a precise translation?

            I thought Mazhab is the equivalent of parampara or sampradaya or panthi as in “Nanak panthi” [kind of like a Hindu devotee of Nanaka]?

            Please elaborate on these words in a Hebrew, Arabic, Farsi and Urdu context.

            0
          2. I’m not a linguist. All I know is that these two words are used in Urdu to refer to religion. “Mazhab” is sometimes translated as “sect”. “Deen” refers to Islam as a way of life. Both words are from the Arabic as far as I know.

            0
  10. Awesome data Razib, I didn’t realize they had sub-country data.

    Regarding people bullshitting you, you’re right. Here are a few examples I’ve seen:

    “Buddhists and Sikhs are considered to be honorary Hindus due to their Dharmic roots”.
    No Buddhist or Sikh believes this, and would laugh in your face if you said it. Most Hindus don’t believe it either, though its given lip service by a nasty few, similar to how a few edgy Muslims imply that all religions other than Islam are just bastardized corruptions of some Prophet’s original monotheistic teachings that devolved into paganism, until Muhammad arrived to set it right.

    “Hindus visit Muslim holy places and participate in various Islamic rituals/celebrations”.
    The only Hindus who do this in any capacity are a tiny minority of liberal Hindus. 90%+ of Hindus virtually never engage with Islam in any meaningful way.

    “Shias/Sufis are nice liberal Hindu-influenced Muslims, Sunnis are radical Wahabist Arabist Muslims”

    The average Shia is more conservative than the average Sunni, whether in India or globally. Sufis come in all flavors. This is just a way to attack Muslims in a palatable way by saying “Sunnis” (who are 80%+ of Indic-Muslims). If Shias happened to be 80% of the Muslims in India, you would see posts decrying Shia Arabism, and lamenting why they couldn’t be more like the (imaginary) syncretic Sunnis.

    3+
    1. Yes, I think these attempts to stoke the Shia Sunni divide are ridiculous. Though I’m not sure how you determined that the average Shia is more conservative than the average Sunni. Members of both sects can be found everywhere on the conservative-liberal spectrum.

      0
      1. The Shia Sunni divide in India is less than outside India.

        The difference between Shia and Sunni is very fuzzy inside India. Plenty of Sunnis join Shiite observances and festivals.

        “Though I’m not sure how you determined that the average Shia is more conservative than the average Sunni. Members of both sects can be found everywhere on the conservative-liberal spectrum.”

        I don’t know what “conservative” or “liberal” mean.

        In India Shiites are perceived to be generally politically aligned with the BJP. Although I am sure that Shiites will do what they need to . . . and flip to Congress if Congress does what they want.

        The BJP does not fit neatly into left, conservative, liberal or right.

        Most Sufis are Sunni. Why do you think Sunni are being attacked?

        0
        1. The BJP can hardly be said to be on the left. It is clearly a nationalist party. Nationalist parties across the world tend to be right-wing. Liberal parties don’t worry about what people are eating or if they are practicing the right religion.

          I think this tendency to single out Sunnis as opposed to other Muslim sects or “minority Muslims” is problematic. There are conservative Sunnis and liberal Sunnis just as there are conservative Shia and liberal Shia. Those people who accuse Muslims of “love jihad” or lynch them for eating beef don’t stop to first determine who is Sunni or Shia.

          0
          1. You should listen to Kushal Mehra and many others. They think BJP is left.

            How do you define “nationalist”?

            Why do you think India let the Tibetans and Dalai Lama into India (1959)? At that time it was all Chine Bharat Bhai Bhai. It was not in India’s national interest narrowly defined because China was “UPSET.”

            Nehru had to let the Tibetan Mahayana in because of their close ties with the rest of Hinduism. Do you consider this nationalism or not?

            ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
            Why do you think Sunnis are singled out? Minority muslims includes a heck of a lot of Sunnis:
            —Sufis
            —atheists
            —moderates and liberals
            —Kurds
            —Tajiks
            —Uzbeks
            —Baloch
            —Nuristani
            —Pashtuns
            —Sindhis
            —non Salafi non conservative Bengali muslims

            Collectively minority muslims represent a majority of muslims. The reason for this terminology is to emphasize that the vast majority of the victims of Islamism are muslim. And that the vast majority of the resistance against Islamism is also muslim.

            I suspect even INDTHINGS may be in this category (of muslims who resist Islamists). [Apologies if I am wrong.]

            Today I was discussing the subject of high fashion hijab with a Turkish friend. Muslim girls and woman wearing fashionable hijab (many call it “sexy hijab”) are also resisting Islamism.

            Muslims who party and drink are also resisting Islamism.

            Maajid Nawaz, Quilliam, Tariq Fatah, Irshad Manji, etc. are within the global muslim mainstream.

            ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

            In a country 1.37 billion people only something like 16 people die a year because of beef. Statistically it is completely irrelevant. By some estimates about 4 million cows are stolen from their owners and killed.

            In a very small number of cases poor people flip out because a member of their family as they see it was murdered. Indians are trying to stop this phenomenon. This has always happened. This was a problem during Aurangzeb too.

            The Mughals also tried to stop crooks from stealing and killing cows; and stop poor people from freaking out.

            ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

            How many people do you know who have accused Shah Rukh Khan of “love Jihad” for marrying a Hindu? I don’t know the answer to this question. Anyone who is complaining is an idiot and should shut up.

            +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

            “Mazhab”and “Deen” are from Arabic. as you say. And in the case of “Deen”, Hebrew as well.

            It is hard to translate “religion” into eastern languages.

            Another question:
            What is the word for good person of the book?
            What is the word for good muslim?

            ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

            Razib, I am trying to engage politely and respectfully with Kabir. Kabir gets bashed a bunch by many others. I don’t see the edge in bashing people.

            0
          2. No leftist party would consider only the members of the religious majority to be first-class citizens. Leftist parties don’t disparage secularism and advocate for Hindu rashtras. Congress is the party that represented secularism. BJP represents “Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan”.

            I don’t care how much someone loves their cow, there is never any excuse to lynch other people. I have nothing further to say to those who would make excuses for such behavior.

            0
    2. @INDTHINGS
      “”
      “Hindus visit Muslim holy places and participate in various Islamic rituals/celebrations”.
      The only Hindus who do this in any capacity are a tiny minority of liberal Hindus. 90%+ of Hindus virtually never engage with Islam in any meaningful way.””

      I doubt Hindus visit mosques other than the historical ones but plenty of Hindus visit Sufi dargahs and tie threads of mannat and other such things. There’s also an interesting book by Anand Vivek Taneja titled ‘Jinnealogy: Time, Islam and Ecological Thought in the Medieval Ruins of Delhi’ where the author describes ‘petitions’ being filed in the court of the Djinns in the ruins of the Feroze Shah Kotla in Delhi. Most of these ‘petitioners’ are in fact Hindus. In grassroots Bengal, especially in the Sundarbans area, there are numerous shrines that are jointly worshipped by Hindus and Muslims. In Delhi, there’s a monumental ruin known as Sultangarhi, actually the tomb of Iltutmish’s eldest son, where Hindus come to worship because it is considered to be a dargah.

      1+
      1. SDutta, are all Sufi dargah’s adjacent to a mosques?

        I think the reason people go to holy places is because of what they feel in their brain and nervous systems when they visit.

        A common comment among Hindus is that Sufi Pirs “work”. Or answer their prayers and solve their problems.

        0
        1. @AnAn
          “SDutta, are all Sufi dargah’s adjacent to a mosques?”

          I really don’t know, but considering most of them are located in Muslim majority neighborhoods, I’m sure there’d be a mosque somewhere nearby. However, the Sultangarhi example I gave does not have a mosque in its vicinity.

          “I think the reason people go to holy places is because of what they feel in their brain and nervous systems when they visit.”

          Don’t know about that either. I certainly didn’t feel anything in my brain or nervous system other than appreciating the historical and architectural importance of the site.

          “A common comment among Hindus is that Sufi Pirs “work”. Or answer their prayers and solve their problems.”

          That was exactly the point of my comment.

          1+
    3. INDTHINGS:

      —I have asked many Hindu leaders and Hindus in academia what “liberal Hindu” means. They have no idea.
      —Can you please define the term?

      —Can you also define what you mean by “conservative” or “liberal”?

      “90%+ of Hindus virtually never engage with Islam in any meaningful way.”

      —Do you consider Shirdi Sai Baba, Gareeb Nawaz, Nund Rishi, Janardan Swami to be related to Islam?
      —The Shaivite lineages are intertwined with Sufis. People who belong to Shaivite lineages are indirectly tied to Sufis.
      —Similarly Marathi spiritual traditions are indirectly tied to Sufism through Janardan Swami (Guru of Eknath).
      —Sufi sites are part of the Tirtha guides of holy places.
      —Chaitanya Maha prabhu use to worship and sing in and next to mosques.

      Most Sufis are Sunni rather than Shia.

      —Have you heard the Dalai Lama speak on the connections between Buddhism and Hinduism? The Tibetan Buddhists (Mahayana) have been part of the Akhara for over a thousand years.
      —Buddha said that he was teaching “Sanathana Dharma”. Buddha also said he was Kapila muni (founder of Samkhya Darshana) reborn.
      —FYI, my understanding is that all Teravada Buddhist sources are part of the Mahayana Cannon. The Mahayana have some additional material that is not part of the Teravada Cannon. These sayings of Buddha that are accepted by both branches.

      Traditional Hindu scholars study the 10 darshanas before specializing in their particular parampara. Buddhism and Jainism are Nastika darshanas within Sanathana Dharma. Some Astika paramparas might dispute that Nastika darshanas are part of Sanathana Dharma. But I don’t agree with them. Neither do (I would argue) most who belong to the six Astika Darshanas.

      Kapila also appears in Jain texts. Some believe that Buddha reformed Jainism. [I am not in this camp per say.]

      We will have a scholar of the 10 darshanas up for Brown Cast soon. Do you have any questions for them?

      You appear to find studying the 10 darshanas boring. You are free to interpret the 10 darshanas as you choose of course. Could you elaborate on why do you regard the Buddhist Darshana to not be one of the 10 darshanas of Sanathana Dharma?

      0
        1. You found the two citations for Sanathana Dharma that I know about in your link.

          The Jaataka tales which mention Kapila being Buddha’s previous incarnation are cannon for Teravada and Mahayana.

          https://books.google.com/books?id=K7VGDwAAQBAJ&pg=PA296&lpg=PA296&dq=kapila+buddha+jataka&source=bl&ots=gv40BH6Eey&sig=ACfU3U1hk787oX8rMorhaThGzDoCXTP1iQ&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiPgaD9us3gAhXTJTQIHeKABAoQ6AEwAHoECAoQAQ#v=onepage&q=kapila%20buddha%20jataka&f=false

          I don’t know off hand where and if it is mentioned in other Buddhist texts. Mahayana Buddhists often mention Buddha’s connection with Kapila.

          Vajrapani Mahayana Buddhists (Tibetans) talk about Samkhya a lot. Having said this the cosmology and terms can have altered meanings and mapping them isn’t always easy.

          The questions that I am deeply interested in are the 31 heavens (Samadhis) and their connection to other descriptions of them from other traditions such as the 7 chambers of the heart described by Theresa of Avila.

          And the connection between Atma, Anatma, Shunyata, Brahman, Purna, Nirvikalpa Nirbija Asamprajnata Samadhi, Nirvana, Brahma Nirvana (Krishna uses this term), moksha, kaivalya, satori, Tao, five Trika Rudra tattvas, 7 levels of liberation among Sufis, 8 darshanas, etc.

          I am very interested in mappings of terms and concepts between different traditions.

          0
    4. \No Buddhist or Sikh believes this, and would laugh in your face if you said it. Most Hindus don’t believe it either, though its given lip service by a nasty few\

      For Hindus, there is no tight compartments between Indic religions. There is an ideological porousness in Hindu mind . If not why should representatives of Sikhs and Buddhists were invited and be present for the opening of the Vishva Hindu Parishad , now the bogeyman of the leftists forces

      http://vhp.org/organization/org-inception-of-vhp/

      “While mentioning the pitiable and diseased condition of Hindu society at
      this juncture, Master Tara Singh in his spirited speech,stressed the fact that the Sikhs and Hindus are not two separate communities. Prosperity of Sikhs is possible only so long as the Hindu Dharma is alive. Today in Punjab, they think as though Hindus and Sikhs are two separate communities. Sikhs are an inalienable
      part of great Hindu society. Guru Govind Sing had elaborated the knowledge
      and philosophy in Gurumukhi only by profusely drawing from the Hindu
      scriptures and Puranas. Are we to forsake these traditions passed on to us
      from generation to generation? ”

      ” While delivering his speech, Jnani Bhupinder Sing, President of Shiromani
      Akali Dal said, “For over last 50 years, I am considering myself as a
      student of religion. Since there is an imperative need to organize the
      Hindus, I totally support the idea of convening such a Conference.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishva_Hindu_Parishad

      Several representatives from the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain faiths were present in the meeting, as well as the Dalai Lama.

      http://vhp.org/hindus-abroad-old/hinduism-and-buddhism/
      Different International thinkers like Dr. Chirapat Prapand Vudya from Thailand,
      Dr. Thing Thig Log from Myanmar, Acharya Gese Navang Samten, Shri Ramkrishna
      Maharaj, Dr. K. Vimal Dhamma Thero, Bhante Mahajagat Mahasthavir also presented
      their thoughts in the Sangam.

      AnAn’s statement can’t be dismissed as ‘nasty few’.
      Denying Hindu ideological openness to Jain/Buddhist/Sikh dharmas – and vice versa- can be as bad as denying Muslim hatred for Ahmediyas.

      1+
      1. Excellent comment VijayVan. Do you think I should write a detailed description of the similarities between Buddhism and the other Darshanas?
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iLJ8ueOTQ8
        In this clip the Dalai Lama [my hero!] says that Buddhists and Hindus are closer than twin sisters and brother. Mostly common. There is the issue of Atma and Anatma, but that is “PRIVATE BUSINESS”.

        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        In my opinion Anatma is consistent with at least eight other Darshanas (only inconsistent with Caarvaaka since Caarvaaka rejects Apta Shabda Pramana—word testimony from great spiritual masters). These are the different levels of Nirvikapa Nirbija Asamprajnata Samadhi or the different levels of liberation described in many other Darshanas. Buddhists have done an exceptional job in explaining the “Alokic realms” beyond Brahma Lokha.

        One of the highlights of my early childhood was reading a Buddhist book (from the Guiyang school subset of the five schools of Chan, which is itself a subset of Mahayana Buddhism, which is itself a subset of Buddhism). Among other things I loved the detailed descriptions of the 31 heavens, including how they correlate to physiological symptoms of the body.

        Note that the detailed descriptions of the 31 heavens are cannon for both Mahayana and Teravada.

        ++++++++++++++++++++++++++

        We find something that has nothing (or no thing) and absorb into that. We then find an infinity within this nothing. Within this new more subtle infinity we find a new even more subtle nothing and absorb into that; until we find an infinity within that. And so on and so forth in regress. This is a partial description of my understanding of the different levels of meditation, samadhi, heavens, liberation and so forth.

        Anatma is a new more subtle Shunya within the grosser Shunya of Atma.

        In particular the Mahayana Buddhists describe Shunya as not “nothing” but no thing that can be described. For this reason I do not understand why the Mahayana conception of Shunya or Nirvana is different from conceptions in eight other Darshanas.

        I have read that some Teravada sects have a different conception of Shunya than Mahayana. But I don’t understand their conceptions well enough to intelligently comment.

        A major them of Teravada Buddhist books I have read is that the emphasis is on breaking on concepts, theisms, philosophies, assumptions . . . atma, anatma, nirvana and shunya included. [Satori comes from the Zen school of the Chan school of the Mahayana School; and I have never seen Teravada use it.]

        These incredible technologies and systems of eastern philosophy could greatly socio-economically benefit the world. Many of the world’s rich and upper middle class benefit from them. Too bad they are less applied by poor, lower middle class and middle class people around the world.

        0
    5. \No Buddhist or Sikh believes this, and would laugh in your face if you said it. Most Hindus don’t believe it either, though its given lip service by a nasty few\

      For Hindus, there is no tight compartments between Indic religions. There is an ideological porousness in Hindu mind . If not why should representatives of Sikhs and Buddhists were invited and be present for the opening of the Vishva Hindu Parishad , now the bogeyman of the leftists forces

      http://vhp.org/organization/org-inception-of-vhp/

      “While mentioning the pitiable and diseased condition of Hindu society at
      this juncture, Master Tara Singh in his spirited speech,stressed the fact that the Sikhs and Hindus are not two separate communities. Prosperity of Sikhs is possible only so long as the Hindu Dharma is alive. Today in Punjab, they think as though Hindus and Sikhs are two separate communities. Sikhs are an inalienable
      part of great Hindu society. Guru Govind Sing had elaborated the knowledge
      and philosophy in Gurumukhi only by profusely drawing from the Hindu
      scriptures and Puranas. Are we to forsake these traditions passed on to us
      from generation to generation? ”

      ” While delivering his speech, Jnani Bhupinder Sing, President of Shiromani
      Akali Dal said, “For over last 50 years, I am considering myself as a
      student of religion. Since there is an imperative need to organize the
      Hindus, I totally support the idea of convening such a Conference.”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vishva_Hindu_Parishad

      Several representatives from the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain faiths were present in the meeting, as well as the Dalai Lama.

      http://vhp.org/hindus-abroad-old/hinduism-and-buddhism/
      Different International thinkers like Dr. Chirapat Prapand Vudya from Thailand,
      Dr. Thing Thig Log from Myanmar, Acharya Gese Navang Samten, Shri Ramkrishna
      Maharaj, Dr. K. Vimal Dhamma Thero, Bhante Mahajagat Mahasthavir also presented
      their thoughts in the Sangam.

      AnAn’s statement can’t be dismissed as ‘nasty few’.
      Denying Hindu ideological openness to Jain/Buddhist/Sikh dharmas – and vice versa- can be as bad as denying Muslim hatred for Ahmediyas

      0
  11. “No Buddhist or Sikh believes this, and would laugh in your face if you said it. ”

    I would say its a bit more nuanced for Buddhist. Even for dalit Buddhist , their relationship with hindus is more closer than Buddhist side would like to let on. It has to with lack of distinct Buddhist festivals and rituals. Apart from the NE which has a sort of continuous Buddhist rituals and traditions, mainland India Buddhism is more like Dalit-ism for a lack of a better word. Almost all of them celebrate the same local festivals and follow similar customs as the other hindus do. Their is no sort of big “Buddhist” custom which pan-Indian Buddhist dalits follow (apart from usual one like buddha jayanti etc), and they partake in local festivals which 90 percent of them derive from hindu mythos only. The sikhs i would say are on stronger footing than Buddhist in terms of “non-hindu” , in my view.

    2+
  12. “Because some commenters on this weblog have a lot more lived experience within India than I do, you try to bullshit me”

    As more than one person on this website has remarked, India is closer to EU than a nation. Few people who have lived in India their entire lives can boast of any knowledge beyond their immediate neighborhood, caste, town and religion. Often this is reflected as putting down of the other, the other can be Muslim, backward classes, the Dravidans, the people of BIMARU, or even simply people who have no interest in what they believe to be a national consensus. This is primarily owing to the lack of interactions between interest groups in India. Even in this commentary section, you can see the casting of Muslims as anti-national versus Hindu as the “national”, Hindi, Aryan and FC as the “national” versus BC/SC/ST, non-Hindi-speaking, atheist and Dravidian as something not national (unless the OBCs come into the Hindu fold).

    Lived experience in India is the bullshit, as it often leads to prejudice that is reflected in writings in the commentary section here. Examples are throughout the comments of this post such as “Indian people lie in response to questions”, “Hindu Muslims are good muslims who go Dargas” and so forth. Some people lie; some people go to Darghas; making prejudiced assumptions based on a few people and ascribing it to everyone, is a common Indian conceit.

    I have less concern about people’s answers to the questions, but more concern as how the nationalistic current interprets answers.

    4+
    1. Nicely said Vijay.

      This is also true of people who live in many other diverse countries such as Brazil, America and Iraq.

      Why would someone put down BIMARU?

      Why do so many Indians put down Bihar? [Better than it use to be though.]

      In many of the organizations I have seen up close . . . there is tension between Andhras and Tamilians? I usually crack up for 10 minutes plus while watching it. Why does it happen so much?

      There are a lot of intra Andha issues too. And intra Tamil issues.

      I get Andras and Tamils better. The intra Malayali issues . . . Allah almight! What are those about? I don’t understand Malayali and find it hard to understand what Keralites say to each other. They don’t know great Hindi either. So I am stuck communicating with them in english.

      Kashmiri Pundits fight among themselves too. But I love lotus root so much, I don’t much care. I am busy eating lotus root. [I don’t like the incessant Pakistan bashing though. Some still have not forgiven the Sufis and Shiites (who they thought were their allies) for not protecting them when they were ethnically cleansed from the valley. I tell them, forget about it. The Shiites and Sufis were attacked after the Pundits fled; and most of them had to flee themselves later on. It is time for the Kashmiri Pundits, Shiites, Sufis, Christians and Buddhists to unite. And then I eat more lotus root. My main beef to be honest is how much most of them have forgotten Trika Kashmiri Shaivism and Laskhman Joo. Which is my main interest.]

      Is this just the way of homo sapiens? For thousands of years Arya Varsha has seemed to deal with it by letting everyone spew (freedom of art and thought) . . . and this keeps tensions from building up too much.

      This is one of the biggest reasons I favor full freedom of art and thought, including hate speech.

      0
    2. Examples are throughout the comments of this post such as “Indian people lie in response to questions”,

      the fundamental problem with this sort of comment is that ppl lie on surveys…but 100 people is better than 1 liar, which quite common on this blog. 100 ppl have a harder time lying in concert, and when they do, that’s actually interesting.

      1+
  13. anan & kabir, you need a special forum from what i can tell to have your discussion since half of the stuff u contribute to this site is related to interaxns u have with each other.

    4+
    1. I agree! No offense to AnAn, but I find their spammy , long-winded, frequent responses on every post quite irritating to parse through and get to other comments. A lot of their writing seems to add little value to the topic of the post. Could AnAn (if you’re reading this) please restrict yourself to 2-3 long comments per post? If not, could authors of the posts please do it? Thanks!

      2+
  14. ““Indian people lie in response to questions””

    I didn’t say *Indian* people lie. Please read for content one more time.

    About surveys being systematically (as opposed to randomly) skewed by misreporting when asked direct questions about themselves, check out Seth Stephens-Davidowitz’s “Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are” for an actually informed opinion.

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    1. Arjun, I think lying on opinion surveys in the absence of security threats (polling muslims on LBGTQ for example) is overstated.

      In safe diverse free democracies such as America, India, Europe, Canada; lying is overstated.

      The bigger issue is to make sure the sample of interviewed people is statistically randomly distributed. This is a growing challenge because so many people don’t want to be polled.

      Another big issue is that interviewed people do not understand the questions. Many are embarrassed that they don’t understand and randomly generate an answer to appear intelligent.

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    1. Some people do lie of course.

      Are you implying that people are lying for moral posturing virtue signaling purposes?

      Other than virtue signaling and for security, why would people lie?

      Let me quote from a blog post one example of people lying on a poll:

      http://www.brownpundits.com/2018/02/26/why-do-english-nonmuslims-treat-english-muslims-so-badly/

      “”UK muslims have little freedom of art, music, dance, poetry, speech, thought, intuition or feeling. I think this is why many UK muslims–I believe–didn’t share their actual opinions in a recent national UK opinion survey:

      For example 52% of UK muslims said they believed homosexuality should be illegal. Large percentages of UK muslims expressed their support of many other extreme sentiments on jews, polygamy and many other issues. Note that in many cases young UK muslims were as extreme or more extreme than elder UK muslims.

      I believe this poll is fake. UK muslims were virtually signaling; saying what the they believed Islamists wanted them to say for fear politically incorrect answers could result in Islamists attacking them. As we all know many or most non muslim English people tacitly and quietly condone islamist attacks against UK muslims as part of a general anti muslim bigotry. Not openly but wink, wink, nod, nod. Muslims who complain about Islamist threats against them are laughed at or called racist by UK police. Non UK muslims generally blame the UK muslim victims of Islamist crime for “provoking” Islamists.”

      ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

      But why would people lie in an Indian poll on these questions en mass?

      Do you think muslims lied because they were afraid of Islamist violence? Maybe. But why would nonmuslim Indians lie en mass?

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      1. “Are you implying that people are lying for moral posturing virtue signaling purposes?”

        I am not – or better still, I don’t know.

        You have to understand the word “lie” here. It just means that the person’s speech and actions are not consistent. For example, when asked whether one is a racist, an overwhelming number of people say they are not. But objective metrics – from banking, law enforcement, the justice system, and a whole bunch of other sources – show this cannot possibly be true. So people must be lying. Whether they do this consciously or unconsciously, why they do it, when they are more likely to do it – these are questions for more study. But not for idle opinion-mongering.

        This is why – at the risk of further angering various people – I have to declare myself sceptical of surveys that query people directly on morally loaded topics (as opposed, say, to observing how they behave).

        2+
        1. Understand your point Arjun.

          There is a field of economics on this. Preferences expressed through what people do (most of which people are not consciously aware of):

          https://samharris.org/podcasts/119-hidden-motives/

          Eastern philosophy is “HUGE” on this point. Chitta Shuddhi or mental health is about getting rid of all subconscious/brain preferences, habits, patterns, auto responses so that we become truly free.

          Polling does not try to measure subconscious revealed preferences through action. Polling only tries to measure what people think they believe (which is usually very different from what they actually believe).

          Is there any reason why someone would not reveal what they think they believe in polling for reasons other than fear of retaliation or virtue signaling?

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  15. “No leftist party would consider only the members of the religious majority to be first-class citizens. Leftist parties don’t disparage secularism and advocate for Hindu rashtras. Congress is the party that represented secularism. BJP represents “Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan”.”

    Who do you think does not regard muslims (you appear to only refer to one religion) as first class citizens?

    You may not like their terminology for describing why they feel muslims have first class citizenship status (calling Islam another Darshana of Sanathana Dharma, calling Indian muslims “Swadeshi muslims”, “bharatiya muslims” etc.], but terminology does not mean that they are not authentically expressing their love and respect for their fellow muslim Indian citizens. Inartful terminology is less important that the feelings, sentiments and intent behind them.

    We need to stop policing speech so much.

    “Leftist parties don’t disparage secularism”
    “Leftism” as a word means nothing anymore. Many self described leftists to disparage secularism. Many leftists are anti theists and have bigotry, prejudice and sectarianism towards all other theologies, philosophies, ways of understanding, ways of thinking, and religions. On the other hand many leftists are also very good intelligent people too.

    The world “left” means “NOTHING’!

    “and advocate for Hindu rashtras.”
    What does Hindu rashtra mean? I don’t know. But perhaps it means an open source open ecosystem with freedom of art and thought and equally applied rule of law.

    “Congress is the party that represented secularism.”
    Are you joking?

    “BJP represents “Hindi-Hindu-Hindustan”.”
    This is new. Where did you hear this? New York Times?

    Why do you think approximately 40% of Gujarati muslims voted for Modi’s party in the last election?

    0
    1. The word “left” may mean nothing to you, but most people have a clear idea about what left-wing parties stand for and what the right-wing stands for.

      If you think “love” and “respect” for Muslims is expressed by standing by and saying nothing while they are lynched, you live in some bizarro world. The current ruling party believes India belongs only to Hindus. One can only hope that this regime is voted out before the country becomes a majoritarian hellhole.

      I’m done with this topic. Feeble justifications for Hindutva are not going to change my mind.

      1+
      1. “The word “left” may mean nothing to you, but most people have a clear idea about what left-wing parties stand for and what the right-wing stands for.”

        Maybe we should do a poll on this. Because I am pretty sure that most people are pretty confused on “right” and “left”. I certainly am.

        0
  16. Don’t understand what are we even arguing about. The chart more or less only affirms commonly held views about different regions in India. I don’t find anything overtly controversial.

    0
  17. By the way, Chattisgarh has a significant percentage of Gonds (upto 34% according to Wikipedia), who are an ST group speaking various dialects of the Gondi language which is a South Dravidian-II (Telugu-Kui group) language. I remember reading that their marriage customs and mores vary a bit compared to their neighbours and this source which I landed on after superficial googling does say, “Premarital sex is not a concern among most Gond, but once a couple’s union is recognized by the community as a marriage, fidelity is extremely important…” (https://books.google.com/books?id=pCiNqFj3MQsC&pg=PA244&lpg=PA244&dq=gonds+premarital+sex&source=bl&ots=Z5pQA11EL5&sig=ACfU3U2pBHwEAeYgzw3aZ-Y1R7IE99f6Nw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwj61Pe2_8_gAhXsUd8KHW4EDn0Q6AEwBXoECAQQAQ#v=onepage&q=gonds%20premarital%20sex&f=false).

    I don’t know if this is the right explanation for the Chattisgarh observation though.

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    1. Yes, I completely forgot about Gonds who I assumed had lived in old MP, which I should have realized and remembered being very interested in older Dravidian and Indo-Asiatic tribals. The gond marriage customs are so far off from the Hindu. The classic text by Risly, “Tribes of Bengal”, talk about various forms of marriage and living together, including:
      Ostasana Marmi (Regular),
      Lamsena or Lamhade Marmi (by Service),
      Kotavalda or Ata sata (by Exchange),
      Poyse Ottur or Kals Ottur (by capture),
      Arwitana/Harvititur or Haiwar Marmi (by Elopement),
      Haiwark wat/Paitu or Odiyattur Marmi (by Intrusion),
      Pat or Tiks Tasana Marmi (Adult or Widow Marriage).

      Another unique non-hindu feature was bride price. Widow marriage was allowed in the Gond society. Remarriage, divorce systems are simple and easy to follow. Such Gondian traditions re: marriage are reflected in a number of other Dravidian tribals.

      2+
  18. BTW, nobody in this small group of readers has wasted time on the WVS database, and now, I have dumped all the data out using a small Python script, for all India, for all years.

    Some bizarre conclusions:

    “V117.- Private ownership of business” While, all of India is lukewarm on the question of public ownership, Kerala continues to sound the gong of more Govt, ownership with 52.5% wanting even more govt ownership.

    “V62.- University is more important for a boy” This question, as many commenters have pointed out, got lies as answers. In TN, where girls outnumber boys in school, and non-engineering colleges, people (I am proud to say) supported this idea (64%), while all other states opposed the idea.

    “V63.- Men make better business executives than women do” While all of India disagreed or responded dont know, the bastions of south responded with resounding yes, with Kerala, Karnataka, and TN 80%, 66% and 73%. Way to go, Liberal south India!

    “V129.- Trust: People of another religion 2005-2009” People of Bihar were trashed in these comments for being not trusting; but, the 2005-2008 showed that 60% of Biharis and 64% of Rajasthanis were supportive of this statement and only slightly less than Kerala (64%), and much better than the bastions of tolerance in Karanataka, AP, and TN.

    I have more data but lack the time to type.

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