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Post  Admin on Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:23 am

India is also home to a large and diverse population that has added to its vibrant character since ages. There are about 3,000 communities in India. So wide and complex is the mix of the Indian population that two-thirds of her communities are found in the geographical boundaries of each of her states. They are a mingling of the Caucasoid, the Negrito, the Proto-Austroloids, the Mongoloid and the Mediterranean races. The tribals constitute eight percent of the total population of India.
Based on their physical type and language, we can easily divide Indian people into four broad classes. First, a majority of high class Hindus, who live in North India and whose language is derived from Sanskrit. Secondly, those who live in that part of India that is south of the Vindhyas and whose languages - Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam - are entirely different from Sanskrit. These are known by the generic name of “Dravidians”. Thirdly, primitive tribes living in hills and jungles of India, who as mentioned above constitute eight percent of the total population in India. The Kols,Bhils and Mundas belong to this class. Fourthly, there are a people with strong Mongolian features inhabiting within India the slopes of the Himalayas and the northeastern states.

To add all this, India is perhaps the only place in the world where twenty religious streams flow together. If that sounds clichéd, here is a surprising piece of information. About 500 communities of India say they follow two religions at the same time! India has a population of over 1 billion people, the majority of whom are Hindus.
No wonder then that India is today known all over the world as the “Land of several Religions”. Ancient India witnessed the birth of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism; but all these cultures and religions intermingled and acted and reacted upon one another in such a manner that though people speak different languages, practice different religions, and observe different social customs, they follow certain common styles of life throughout the country. India therefore shows a deep underlying unity inspite of its great diversities.
The term Hinduism has emanated from the name given to the people who lived on the banks of the river Sindhu or Indus as it was denominated by the foreign invaders who came from the North West into India many, many centuries ago.
However, Hinduism is not really a religion, it is a philosophy and a way of life that has evolved over the millennia in the Indian subcontinent. Although there are many texts from the Vedic times, which enunciate the basic truths and lay down certain doctrines, Hinduism is not a doctrinaire religion but a catholic one with tolerance as its corner stone. Hence, the myriads of people of different racial, linguistic and religious faiths who have come in from the east and from the west, through the mountain passes and along the sea coast, bringing with them their own ideology their customs and their languages into India, have continued to live their lives according to their own traditions.


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