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India: A Laboratory Of Inter-Religious Experiment

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Chapter Summary

The Indian subcontinent, repository of nearly one-fifth of humanity, is peopled with followers of nearly all known world religions. Jews had arrived around 70 AD when Titus demolished the Temple in Jerusalem. They settled down in Cochin and in Mumbai and Pune. A fractious relationship between various South Asian neighbors, principally between India and Pakistan, is often interpreted in terms of historical animosity between Hindus and Muslims which naturally leads to Hinduism and Islam being perceived at opposite poles. This is far from being true. Hindus and Muslims did not live like frozen cubes all through the span of 650 years of Muslim rule in India. On a larger plane, even Sikhism represents this inter-religious trend. Sikhisms founder Guru Nanaks preachings came in the backdrop of brahminical domination, on one hand, and the spread of teachings of Sufi and Bhakti saints, on the other.

Keywords: Hinduism; India; inter-religious experiment; Islam; Sikhism

10.1163/ej.9789004183803.i-504.108
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