Problems with the terms INDIC and DHARMIC

By GauravL 41 Comments

With the rise of Hindutva, certain terms are gaining traction in the intellectual spheres for denoting native Indian beliefs and philosophical systems. As the word Hindu which started as a geographical term has today come to mean a specific overarching faith and philosophical system among the Indian native systems, new words need to be found to encompass all the native systems under an umbrella term. As a term, the terms Dharmic and Indic have come up to encompass all the native Indian systems – like Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, etc. The need to have a separate word for these systems appears valid, but I often cringe at the use of words Dharmic & Indic (though I hypocritically use them). The primary urge to use these terms seems to be the desire to have a broad tent for native Indian faiths against/or in contrast to western philosophical and religious systems (especially Abrahamic and Enlightenment systems).

INDIC: 

The word Indic originally appears to be used for denoting Indo-Aryan languages in the literature. However, it is being used extensively by people from Left as well as Right to denote the native Indian faiths.

Merriam Webster dictionary defines Indic as:

  • of or relating to the subcontinent of IndiaINDIAN
  • of, relating to, or constituting the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages ( Urdu the national language of Pakistan is also an Indic language, so would Pakistan by extension be Indic? )

If we take the first meaning, it simply means Indian. Unless it metamorphs into the meaning the users of the term Indic want to be mean, this will continue to be confusing in the future as well. The urge to avoid using the term Indian which has a specific meaning in the world of nation-states is understandable but Indic doesn’t seem to go around the problem enough IMO.

Another problem with the term Indic is that the word itself has no history in any of the native systems. Though after the popularization of South West Asia (or South Asia), Indic seems not so bad.

DHARMIC:

The word Dharma is a better candidate as it is the concept of Dharma that loosely binds the native Indian systems more than the mere geographical accident of origin. The meaning of Dharma in all the native faiths is similar enough to make this framing faithful. But the word Dharma has a meaning that transcends the native Indian practices and seems to point towards some basal human morality. In a way, Dharma is universal and unconstrained by the geographical boundaries of the subcontinent. Consequently using Dharmic for specific systems just because they know “of Dharma” or are “in conversation about Dharma” is wanting. The word Dharma also carries a lot of moral baggage and it would be unwise to even indirectly imply that certain systems are Dharmic.

Additionally, if we use Dharmic to denote native Indian faiths, what would we call the non-native Indian faiths? Adharmic faiths or Non-Dharmic or Un-Dharmic? Adharma like Dharma cannot be used to denote whole faith and philosophical systems – unless you are in the supremacist bubble. Similarly, other negations – Non/Un when placed on a word of deep meaning like Dharma don’t lead to desirable labels.


NEOLOGISM: 

Compare both these to the word Hindutva. For anyone who has rudimentary exposure to any Indo-Aryan (Indic) languages, the word would instantly click. There is something organic and quintessential about the word itself which is certainly lacking in Indic/Dharmic.

Though the word Hindutva was not coined by Savarkar, it certainly was popularized by him. Savarkar himself is credited with over 100 new words in Marathi. Though the aim of Savarkar behind his neologisms is often chided by liberals as fanatical, no one can deny that the result is an enhanced Marathi vocabulary.

In closing, it wouldn’t be a very bad idea to coin a new word to denote the wide tent under which a variety of native Indian cultures have flourished for millennia. Linguists and geeks – get working.

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41 Replies to “Problems with the terms INDIC and DHARMIC”

  1. Very interesting and complex task which assumes excellent knowledge of history, mythology, linguistics and politics. History – both, subcontinental and European. Linguistics – so many unresearched areas and strong prejudices (and laziness?).
    So, to repeat the last sentence – Linguists (and geeks) – get working!

    …One candidate could be – Vedic? Can this include Buddhism, too?

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  2. Been a while since I’ve stirred the pot.

    Hinduism is a “native Indian religion” like Mormonism is a native American religion.

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    1. With one difference though, Mormonism is still part of Christianity . Hinduism is more akin to Arab-Islam relationship wrt to India.

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      1. guarav’s analogy is ahmaddiya is apt. very few other christians consider mormons Christian for following reasons

        – aren’t monotheists (they believe in infinite gods)

        – reject trinity (worship 3 separate gods, father, son, holy ghost)

        – think god has a physical body and lives on a planet in the pleides constellation

        – god has a wife, who he has sex with, and who he conceived jesus and satan in a natural fashion

        Mormon baptist are rejected by other churches and they reject the baptism of other churches

        mormons do consider themselves Christian. but they’re restorationist, so fundamentally they think they are the real Christians…

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    2. I would say Ahmadiya as native Indian religion seems a better match for Mormonism.
      Hinduism as it has come to mean would be more native than Mormonism as it goes firmly beyond RgVedic & PIE thought. As you are clearly trolling – that wouldnt matter though 😛

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  3. I’ll offer a partial defender of Indic in that it doesn’t have mean just “Indian”. The Lankan culture falls easily within the Indic umbrella but is not Indian.

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  4. In linguistics Indo-aryan is straightforward. Nobody uses Indic for that – unless one is referring to Indic branch of Indo-iranian.
    In Toynbee’s scheme Indic was the civilization which started with the Vedic period and ending aroung 5th C AD. Hindu is the civilization which came after that about 8th C AD. Jainism is a left over from Indic civ – called Fossil by Toynbee
    We can say Indic religions are Dharmic.

    Indic can be an adjective for Religion – I would include not only those who believe in Dharma (and Artha, Kama, Moksha) and also village deities in various parts of India. Worship of the village deities in also suffused with Dharmic and puranic concepts.

    ‘Indic’ has never confused me

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    1. I see that point – but why use Indic when u can use Indian is my point.
      Just to avoid the nation-state India? thus referring to the ancient Indian civilization – by calling it and its systems as Indic. My preference would be a word for native Indian faiths/systems – I don’t particularly mind the word Dharmic has it clearly has profound interplay with these systems, but my protest is purely about the moral/righteous connotations – but as I said I personally use both these words myself because I can’t think of anything better

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      1. I prefer either Indic or Indian Subcontinent to South Asia esp. in terms of topics related to regional Histories, religious histories etc.

        https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Asia
        Note – The region term ‘South Asia’ claims to denote.

        The reason i prefer Indic because it clearly does 2 things –

        1. Clarify about the region being discussed compared to South Asia {Many papers now use the term South Asia for all the regions mentioned above thus becomes difficult to get research papers abt. a particular region}.
        2. Helps one in identifying what & which period is being discussed. {As use of term Indic can be restricted to Histories of Dharmic cultural milieu}

        Point being different terms can be introduced according to divergences of regions & then regions should be mentioned clearly acc. to modern times to avoid confusion & for ease of readers for contemporary research.

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  5. The title should perhaps be “Gaurav’s problems with Indic and Dharmic”. Google has an Indic Keyboard in their app store. They and their customers know exactly what that means.

    Dharmic is fully self contained with its own universe of meaning, nuance and specificity to the Indic listener with context. It perfectly describes all the experiences in Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism.

    And yes, proselytism is adharmic, halal slaughter is adharmic. Providing succour to lepers is Dharmic, widow remarriage is Dharmic. And so on.

    You are just plugging some desi-liberal-woke agenda under the guise of semantics.

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    1. desi-liberal-woke agenda you cant just make shit up to sound smart. Who on the liberal-woke side made these points? Rather many of the left also continue using the term Indic – it is in a lot of Left authored books as well & and some lefty Hindu have no qualms over Dharmic term. Eg: Devdutt Patnaik, Shashi Tharoor, Pratap bhanu Mehta.

      My protest against Indic is like that against South Asia – and could be argued to be from a conservative position. It is just that ur blindness/bias prevents you from seeing that.
      You just seem to want to appear smart or engage in putdowns instead of making constructive points. You may be filling the Asisine/Woke vacuum left by Kabir I guess (Hindutva Woke I presume).

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      1. You have written a very bare-bones article, want us to believe that Indic and Dharmic are “problematic”, imply inadequacy and then ask us to think for new terms.
        This is how all the 64-different-genders started.

        You aren’t able to defend the crux of your argument on why its “problematic”. I have given 2 examples on how its very clear both to the speaker and the listener. I will give you a third.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2R7FqlK5BY

        In this clip, a Telugu director is talking about a Tamil movie ¨96″ released a couple of years ago. At 1:04 into the video, he says “I did something I should not have done…I saw the movie on Youtube…obviously it is pirated….not Dharma (sic)…”

        In the whole exposition, the message that video piracy is not just comes across very lucidly. If one were to put English subtitles, Dharmic is the correct fit. It has a valence that fixes the Indian ethic very accurately.

        Your articles go from hypothesis to remedy without the intervening stages of research, construction, proof and disclaimers.

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        1. In the whole exposition, the message that video piracy is not just comes across very lucidly. If one were to put English subtitles, Dharmic is the correct fit.
          You aren’t able to defend the crux of your argument on why its “problematic”

          That is precisely my point wrt use of Dharmic – its not exclusive to systems from Indian geography – or do you claim being Dharmic is exclusively an Indian property ? It begins with moral connotations that better be avoided in US versus THEM discussions. It also assumes that nativist faiths are completely Dharmic when even you would find many things A-Dharmic in Indian faiths. Difference – Is a system “Dharmic” or is a system “interacting with Dharma”

          Additionally, if we use Dharmic to denote native Indian faiths, what would we call the non-native Indian faiths? Adharmic faiths or Non-Dharmic or Un-Dharmic?
          To this point I presume you would concur – with your point of proselytization and halal that Abrahamic faiths are A-Dharmic – besides ur point of widow remarriage being Dharmic is just your 20th century take on Dharma & no doubt some will even today find it A-Dharmic. On that note – millions today find widows taking part in Hindu rituals A-dharmic.

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          1. “On that note – millions today find widows taking part in Hindu rituals A-dharmic”

            Dharmic does not imply universality.

            This is the key difference between Indian value systems (context-heavy) and Western injunctions like “Do not kill”. Arjuna’s act of killing his own uncles and brothers – that was Dharma.

            I personally find a higher dimension to Mayawati’s corruption. They were meant as a equalizing statement in power-distance that Dalits can also wield pelf indiscriminately. Perhaps it was even Dharmic! Chanakya said “Whatever that is required, that is Dharmic”.

            There is no English word that approaches the power and context-rich valence of the word “Dharmic”. Replacing it with some one-dimensional English word is the apogee of deracination.

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          2. I agree with ur entire point here – especially
            There is no English word that approaches the power and context-rich valence of the word “Dharmic”. Replacing it with some one-dimensional English word is the apogee of deracination.
            I just protest to use it as an adjective for faith systems that are aware of Dharma and actively shaped by it – but wouldn’t be “Dharmic” as per my understanding of the word. Where did I imply replacing it with an English word – The example Hindutva and number words coined by Savarkar are all Sanskritik words.
            I am not good at Sanskrit grammar – but something to mean – aware of / inspired by Dharma – like Dharma-distit (I dont know if this is a valid Skt word but it sounds ok to my ignorant ears) – or just vanilla word bharatiya

            except Dharmic does not imply universality.
            I mean what is defined by the dharmic need not be exclusive of the subcontinent. wrt Abrahamic faiths the difference is stark but not that much with eastern faiths. But most wouldn’t call them dharmic as well. Its the implication of other systems as Adharmic or non-Dharmic concerns me.

            But all this is subtext

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  6. This text nicely fits in our undergoing linguistics discussion…

    Adolphe Pictet (1799-1875) wrote about the Vedic language in his:

    “Les origins indo-europeennes ou les Ariyas primitifs. Essai de pale ontologie linguistique, par Adolphe Pictet, Paris, 1877., 2-eme edition le vue et augmentee.”

    (Google translated)

    “It was a language (the language of the Vedas) very rich in monosyllabic verb roots from which it created an abundance of derivatives of all kinds with suffixes. His phonic (voice sound) system was simple and harmonious. Distinguishing the three genders, this language gave a kind of symbolic life to all objects of inanimate nature. With the help of three numbers and seven cases of his declination, it precisely marked grammatical relations. The structure of its verbs in particular showed wonderful perfection. Pronominal (pronoun) suffixes for three persons and three numbers, as well as different inflections … in combination with changes of the basic vowel (vowel), made it possible to distinguish the finest nuances of time and manner. If we add to this the great ease of creating compounds of all kinds, it will be seen that this language was united at a high level of quality, the complete set of which is not found anywhere else. ”

    Everything that Pictet said about the language of the Vedas refers 100% to the modern Serbian language. Speaking of Vedic, Pictet presented the characteristics of Serbian language to such extent that there is no need to change a single word of his.

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  7. so much over a word, abrahamic are adharmic because their view is to be obedient to a tyrannical diety. As to others, you can give them the freedom to decide for themselves. No need to take umbrage on their behalf when they themselves have no interest in any of this and might themselves not want to identify as dharmic. I see it as straman argument at most . This is a view, you can consider .

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  8. Not sure where the problem is? Bangladeshis or Nepalis or Pakistanis could just as well say that they are Indic countries because India doesn’t have a monopoly on being “Indic”. Or they may reject the label “Indic” completely. How does it matter either way?

    The only people I have heard who bother about dharmic etc are Hindus. Maybe I am judging too harshly but it comes across as a little needy. But then so much of Indian political expression is characterised by neediness, so who cares…

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    1. Pakistan etc can reject Indic. But india does have a monopoly on Indic.

      Perhaps divided regions like Punjab , Kashmir , Bengal think otherwise but they don’t form the bulk of india population (thankfully)

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    2. I think certain sections of the Hindu right *were* quite needy wrt including Sikhs in the umbrella..Given the unbridled hostility they have received from the vocal Sikh far right, they have now flipped to paying back in the same coin..
      I think the Hindu right needs to chill on this question and treat Sikhs/Sikhism as part of Dharmic umbrella/Sikh people etc with Samta bhaav / a bit of detachment – not veer towards either extreme. Extreme appeasement / sucking up just inflates the heads of the Sikh right (and regular Sikhs) unjustifiably, and paying back in the same coin results in more propaganda points for the extreme Sikh right + Islamists etc..
      Treat them with respect, go halfway but no more, don’t overemphasize brotherhood – let Sikhs decide where and who they want to be..Be more secure, self assured.

      Would love people’s take on this – especially Saurav, Bhimrao, Gaurav etc

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      1. yeah – Sikhs seem to be the primary targets of this appeasement (not that I believe this framing is all about neediness & appeasing – many folks genuinely want to own the word & I see the fair points behind the use myself) – but this would also make sense for Neo-Buddhists who had disenchanted with Anti-Hindutva politics.

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        1. To be clear, I think using Dharmic is no big deal – Jains don’t object to it, Neo Buddhists will not mind if they see commensurate social changes to include them with the upper castes..The holdout is Sikhs and they can choose not to buy into the Dharmic terminology but that can’t prevent other Indic faiths from using it (and including Sikhism under the term – which makes sense historically and philosophically)..

          As to your point about NeoBuddhists they wouldn’t mind the term at all – after all Buddhism is simply called Dharma in their own records..But they would want upper castes/middle castes to walk the talk with social inclusion.

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      2. Just leave sikhs out of all this Indic-Vindic mumbo jumbo, and let them be. They have been shouting that from roof tops. But we can’t/don’t

        They are neither as closely related with Hindus as Hindu right wants/thinks, nor as distant as Khalistanis/Islamists would like to be. They have their own equilibrium. Actually if u give them their own space, they gravitate naturally towards Indian state/Hindus as their partner, notwistanding how we treated them in 84 and all.

        I have met sikhs who are more “Indic” than me, practice more “Hindu” rituals (which they say has been in their family for years), and more nationalist/patriot then i can ever be. Dont know what else should one be expecting here.

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        1. Saurav- JustanotherLurker is saying its aimed at Sikhs – would be tough leaving them out.
          I agree with you though – it seems may be seen as unnecessarily churlish if pushed down hard.

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          1. I am saying that the term Dharmic is the right term for Indic faiths (used both of these in one sentence :)) and that includes Sikhism..But if Sikhs want a separate non-Dharmic/non-Abrahamic identity, let them be (here I agree with Saurav and you). Hindu right needs to stop swinging on the pendulum from appeasement (sword arm of Hindus, lol) to ridicule/mockery etc (notwithstanding the provocations from the Sikh right). Let Sikhs be – they will naturally gravitate towards Indicness as that’s what they are (and also Dharmic :))

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          2. BTW, question for Gaurav, Saurav, Srikanth K (if he is reading) among others:
            What % of Hindu trads actively ridicule other Dharmic faiths like manasataramgini does? He has called Buddha all sorts of name, he has frequently referred to Mahavira as “nagna” (definitely not an epithet that has been used by Jains or others)..He actively denigrates other Indic faiths and personalities but I think he is an extreme fringe element.. He is a very intelligent guy but I find his obsession with random Vedic/Hindu mythology and glorifying of if quite tedious and ridiculous (but I would not ridicule these things)..Where does he get off glorifying random myths/superstitions (this ashwin and that yaksha) while at the same time mocking other Dharmic faiths (which in many ways can be more rational)?
            Also, I find his obsession with varna quite odious..He has ranked varnas from v1, v2, v3, v4,.Here Srikanth K also agrees mostly when he talks about practices and beliefs percolating **down** from V1/Brahmins to others.. As someone who is part of a group that doesn’t take its cues from “V1”, and has infact influenced what V1s practice (which is very different from what they originally did in some ways), employs “V1s” as petty temple administrators but with no religious/priestly authority (because these are low paying cleaning/maintenance jobs that none of the group will do), from an area where “v1″s have no prominence in anything (economy, culture, politics, religion) etc I find these claims ridiculous..But I wonder if the goal is forge Hindu unity (and here I mean Sanatanis not other Indics) how does this V1 /V4 nonsense help?

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          3. First of all u need to get out of all this ‘trad’ groups. You take them too seriously.

            These groups like SJW;s have an overblown presence on the net with absolutely no presence/importance in India. These trads much like their SJW bros have latched onto international solidarity with other trads and all in US/UK which inflates their importance, and they start believing their hype. Reading some of them makes me feel that they have never been to India, or live in some cocoons.

            You are a Jain. In India your folks are treated as some random UCs. You intermarry with them, dine with them , pray with them, in the same professions as them. Your folks even head bonafide “Hindu” groups like Hindu Vahini, VHP etc. LOL.
            Nothing else like Varnas etc matter.

            In ways you folks are considered more Hindu/Indic/Dharmic (whatever) than a dalit would ever be. So let those trads keep on doing what they think they are doing.

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          4. What % of Hindu trads actively ridicule other Dharmic faiths like manasataramgini does? He has called Buddha all sorts of name, he has frequently referred to Mahavira as “nagna” (definitely not an epithet that has been used by Jains or others)..He actively denigrates other Indic faiths and personalities but I think he is an extreme fringe element..

            Does he ? I don’t follow him closely “manasataramgini i mean” & I haven’t seen Srikant make those comments.
            If they do then i strongly feel its in bad taste.


            Also, I find his obsession with varna quite odious. He has ranked varnas from v1, v2, v3, v4,.Here Srikanth K also agrees mostly when he talks about practices and beliefs percolating **down** from V1/Brahmins to others.. But I wonder if the goal is forge Hindu unity (and here I mean Sanatanis not other Indics) how does this V1 /V4 nonsense help?

            It does appear patronizing but often i feel tweeter leads to such simplifications! Shrikant is conservative about benefits of Varna/Jati while giving away the “problems” with these systems – i dont want to be putting words in his mouth – but I don’t think that is the intention – of course Srikanth can clarify

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        2. saurav:
          yes, I agree with most of what you said. Sorry it came across as me complaining as a non-Sanatani Indic although that was not my intent. I was trying to make the point that the varna hierarchy nonsense with v1 at top (and things percolating **down** from them) doesn’t affect me much personally because of my non-Sanatani background in which we don’t take / have not taken cues from **v1**. However, I started empathizing more with lower caste Hindus/Dalits after reading the likes of manasatarmgini and Srikanth K(in some instances) and their superiority complex vs. other Hindus. If I was part of one of those former groups I would be interested in countering them politically and religiously – where does someone get off telling me that they are my superiors? 🙂 In the past people were more tolerant and status quoist but now with education and empowerment, they will not want to take it lying down nor should they 🙂

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      3. I never met any Khalistani in India therefore I appease Sikhs. A few Sikhs I have been around were:
        1) Cloth merchant, prays and makes offerings to to Lakshmi-Ganesh idols twice every day.
        2) Heavy machinery workshop owner in Punjab. Very devoted bhakt of Durga Ji, donates generously to local shakti peeth(Devi Talav) and has gone on multiple pilgrimages to Vaishno devi.
        3) My younger sibling’s tutor’s family. Very nice and industrious people, markedly better at treating womenfolk, even in grave poverty always carried themselves with poise and self respect and celebrated all major Hindu festivals.
        4) School teachers, classmates in school and college… I have seen a lot of Sikhs but none were hostile or exclusionary (some were assholes but nothing that stands out).

        The super religious ones in India are calm and giving, spending all their time and energy at keeping Gurudwara functional. Sikh women folks are very composed and kind. I don’t know where did the weirdos that make up Khalistanis in the west come from, perhaps this outlier group has got something to do with the just OK-ish smartness of Sikhs(Jats). Intermarriages between Sikhs and Hindus are very common (with more noise made if it is a Sikh girl because at the end of the day Sikhs are all Jats).

        My father is a Punjab-o-phile, loves their food, cleanliness, self-reliance (no begging/swindling), open-heartedness (and less caste nonsense) and general honesty in business. We always went to the prabhat-feri/shobha-yatra and Lohri celebrations. We visited and in general paid respect at the gurdwara quite often. In short, I never felt any ill-will towards them plus all Sikh stories are about Sikhs defending Hindus against Mughals, they themselves use words like Karma, Dharam, Omkar, Ram-nam…. It is quite clear to me that they are a Dharmic religion.

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        1. The simplest test of taking sides in ‘us vs them’ is the degree of acceptance of out-marrying daughters. The hostility between Muslims vs all others can be seen easily by the willingness of Muslims to let their daughter marry a Hindu/Sikh/Jain/Buddhist (and vice versa although Muslims are better at implementing their diktats) vs the willingness of Dharmic to let their daughter marry another Dharmic.

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      4. justanotherlurker, does it really matter whether they accept the categorization? This isn’t really a policy conversation that needs to take feelings and consequences into consideration. Its like if an american insisted they were not part of western civilization..sure whatever.

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        1. girmit:
          I agree. All I’m saying is that a section of the Hindu right is too keen to include or even subsume Sikhs under the Dharmic category which creates resentment even among moderate Sikhs as they have a certain amount insecurity vis-a-vis their identity (and separation from Hinduism). Given this, it is best to be respectful of their wishes and not force the issue. To make it more concrete, the Indian government should amend laws to not include Sikhs under the Hindu umbrella (like the Hindu marriage act) – either rename them to Dharmic or something, or create separate laws for the Sikhs.

          Bhimrao:
          Thanks! Do you know if these Sikh acquaintances of yours were non-Jatt? I think in the 2×2 of Place of residence (Punjab vs. Rest of India) and caste (Jatt vs. non-Jatt), it’s only the top right(Jatt + Punjab residence) that is most against being included with anything Hindu / Hinduism (and of course not all of them)..

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          1. Random train of thought:
            I never bothered inquiring but machining workshop guy is a tall, pot-bellied, jovial-thoroughbred jatt Sikh living in Jullandhar-Punjab, most others were Jatt Sikhs but living in UP, I have only ever been friends with one Mazhabi Sikh. Some might have been Baniya converts as I have heard giving one son to Sikhism used to be a thing. Many big (100 acre+) landowners in UP especially in Tarain i.e. northern parts of Awadh and Rohillkhand are Jatt Sikhs from Pakistan who were settled in swamps that were drained by Pt. Nehru’s dams. We once went to picnic/pilgrimage to a beautiful, giant Gurdwara the Sikh refugees had built on our way to Nainital. During the prime of Khalistan movement some took up arms and gross atrocities were committed against them by Naga Regiment people. Lots of Sikh properties were destroyed and lives were lost after Indira’s assassination. My mother recalls one of her neighbor’s turban was set on fire and his cold storage burnt to the ground, my father recalls a Sikh’s auto was set on fire (but this being 1980s built sturdy auto only the tarpaulin seats and shade were destroyed!).

            I have read in newspapers about weirdo Sikhs usually the ones who are from the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhan Committee and the fact that Sikhs never elect Hindu CMs is for everyone to see but I think Buddhists would have been like that too, that’s just human nature, just look at our Sri Lankan commenters(no offence to anyone).

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    3. Slapstik –
      problem might be a harsher word I tend to use more liberally than warranted (now i see).
      my issue (or pet peeve) with Indic is the vagueness of what it is meant to imply – of subcontinent or India (nation-state) or something more abstract. Maybe it is just wanting to avoid the use of “Indian” – which has different connotations in a nation-state focused world.

      The only people I have heard who bother about dharmic etc are Hindus. Maybe I am judging too harshly but it comes across as a little needy.

      Maybe need too – I implied the “dharmic” use by Hindus a bit self-righteous/braggadocio- owing to the +ve moral baggage of the word.

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  9. If we replace Dharmic with Karmic would that work ?

    Jains, Buddhists, Hindus, and Sikhs all believe in Karma.

    It isn’t derogatory towards non-Karmic religions. A-dharmic is bad, but a-karmic is meaningless.

    Karma is basically cause / effect so it also helps religious Indians be more open to western scientific advances as more detailed understandings of Karma.

    Alternatively just call them all “Indian traditions” or something (but that may be a little close to Hindu lol).

    I don’t think Karmic works in Hindi / Sanskrit, not sure what the correct suffix to use would be.

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