76 % Indian say “lmportant to be Hindu to be truly Indian : Pew report


By Syed Ali Mujtaba

The new Pew Research Center report has come out with startling revelation as it says that for many Hindus, national identity, religion, and language are closely connected. Nearly, 76% of Hindus say being Hindu is very important to be truly Indian. Nearly two-thirds of Hindus say it is very important to speak Hindi to be truly Indian.


The new Pew Research Center report is based on a face-to-face survey of 29,999 Indian adults fielded between late 2019 and early 2020. This was before the COVID-19 pandemic. The survey takes a closer look at religious identity, nationalism, and tolerance in Indian society. The survey was conducted by local interviewers in 17 languages and covered nearly all of India’s states and union territories.

Hindus who strongly link Hindu and Indian identities express a keen desire for religious segregation. They say they do not have much in common with members of other religious groups. Most of the 86% of India’s large Hindu population, says their close friends come mainly or entirely from their own religious community.

Hindus who strongly link Hindu and Indian identities feel it is very important to stop Hindu women from marrying into another religion. Roughly two-thirds of Hindus say it is very important to stop Hindu women (67%) and Hindu men (65%) from marrying into other religious communities. Even those who place less importance on Hinduism’s role in national identity, hold the same view about inter-religious marriages.

Among Hindus who say it is very important to be Hindu to be truly Indian, 80% of them also say it is very important to speak Hindi to be truly Indian. Most Hindus in India say being able to speak Hindi is very important to be ‘truly’ Indian. Moreover, Hindus in the Northern (69%) and Central (83%) strongly link Hindi with national identity. Together, the Northern and Central regions cover the country’s “Hindi belt,” where Hindi is most prevalent. The vast majority of Hindus in these regions strongly link Indian identity with being able to speak Hindi.

The majority of Hindus say a person who eats beef cannot be a Hindu. Dietary laws are central to Indians’ religious identity. Hindus traditionally view cows as sacred, and laws on cow slaughter have recently been a flashpoint in India. Nearly three-quarters of Hindus (72%) in India say a person cannot be Hindu if they eat beef. This is larger than the shares of Hindus, who say a person cannot be Hindu if they do not believe in God (49%) or never go to a temple (48%).

Among Hindus, views of national identity, go hand-in-hand with politics. Support for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is greater among Hindus who closely associate their religious identity and the Hindi language with being truly Indian.

In the 2019 national elections, 60% of Hindu voters who think it is very important to be Hindu and to speak Hindi to be truly Indian cast their vote for the BJP. In comparison, only 33% of Hindu voters feel less strongly about both these aspects of national identity.

These views also map onto regional support for the BJP, which tends to be much higher in the Northern and Central parts of the country than in the South.

India’s caste system, an ancient system of social hierarchy continues to dominate Indian society.  A large majority of Indians overall (70%), say that most or all of their close friends share the same caste.

Large shares of Indians (64%) say it is very important to stop women of their caste from marrying into other castes. Similarly, about the same share (62%) say it is very important to stop the men in their caste from marrying into other castes. Across the different castes, all object to interreligious marriages.

The survey finds that three-quarters of Muslims (74%) supporting having access to the existing system of Islamic courts. To this followers of other religions are less supportive and don’t concur with Muslims having access to this separate court system.

According to the Pew report, Religious conversion is not alarming as it is made out to be. Among Hindus, for instance, any conversion out of the group is matched by conversion into the group. So Hindus gain as many people as they lose.  As far as Christians are concerned there are some net gains from conversion.

These are inchoate images of changing India. India is making a decisive change from the Nehruvian era to a Hindi Hindu Hindustan identity. The new Pew Research Center report amply points to this fact. That’s ‘Post- Truth India, The Brand New Republic.’


Syed Ali Mujtaba is a journalist based in Chennai. His forthcoming book is ‘Post- Truth India, The Brand New Republic.’  He can be contacted at syedalimujtaba2007@gmail.com


  1. This proves that 76% of Hindus are anti-national traitors. These primitive, superstitious, pagan, sh1t eating rats have no idea what citizenship and civic culture is about. The Indian constitution guarantees freedom of worship and citizenship regardless of religion. This is why Ambedkar warned against India ever becoming Hindu rashtra. These same Hindus expect to be treated as equals outside of India but within the country want Hindu supremacy. That’s the sort of hypocrisy and Nazi thinking these diarrhea drinking cow worshippers espouse.

    Hinduism is a m inhuman wicked hate filled terrorist cult built on Brahmin supremacy and inequality. India can NEVER progress as long as Hinduism is around.

    • Ambedkar about muslims ;
      “Hinduism is said to divide people and in contrast Islam is said to bind people together. This is only a half-truth. For Islam divides as inexorably as it binds. Islam is a close corporation and the distinction that it makes between Muslims and non-Muslims is a very real, very positive and very alienating distinction. The brotherhood of Islam is not the universal brotherhood of man. It is brotherhood of Muslims for Muslims only. There is a fraternity, but its benefit is confined to those within that corporation. For those who are outside the corporation, there is nothing but contempt and enmity. The second defect of Islam is that it is a system of social self-government and is incompatible with local self-government, because the allegiance of a Muslim does not rest on his domicile in the country which is his but on the faith to which he belongs. To the Muslim ibi bene ibi patria [Where it is well with me, there is my country] is unthinkable. Wherever there is the rule of Islam, there is his own country. In other words, Islam can never allow a true Muslim to adopt India as his motherland and regard a Hindu as his kith and kin.”

      “The social evils which characterize the Hindu Society, have been well known. The publication of ‘Mother India’ by Miss Mayo gave these evils the widest publicity. But while ‘Mother India’ served the purpose of exposing the evils and calling their authors at the bar of the world to answer for their sins, it created the unfortunate impression throughout the world that while the Hindus were grovelling in the mud of these social evils and were conservative, the Muslims in India were free from them, and as compared to the Hindus, were a progressive people. That, such an impression should prevail, is surprising to those who know the Muslim Society in India at close quarters.”

      Ambedkar then proceeds to talk in scathing terms of child-marriage, intolerance, fanatical adherence to faith, the position of women, polygamy, and other such practices prevalent among believers of Islam. On the subject of caste, Ambedkar goes into great detail, and no punches are pulled.

      “Take the caste system. Islam speaks of brotherhood. Everybody infers that Islam must be free from slavery and caste. Regarding slavery nothing needs to be said. It stands abolished now by law. But while it existed much of its support was derived from Islam and Islamic countries. But if slavery has gone, caste among Musalmans has remained. There can thus be no manner of doubt that the Muslim Society in India is afflicted by the same social evils as afflict the Hindu Society. Indeed, the Muslims have all the social evils of the Hindus and something more. That something more is the compulsory system of purdah for Muslim women.”

      Those who rightly commend Ambedkar for leaving the fold of Hinduism, never ask why he converted to Buddhism and not Islam. It is because he viewed Islam as no better than Hinduism. And keeping the political and cultural aspects in mind, he had this to say:

      “Conversion to Islam or Christianity will denationalise the Depressed Classes. If they go to Islam the number of Muslims will be doubled and the danger of Muslim domination also becomes real.”

      Ambedkar’s views on Islam – in a book with fourteen chapters that deal almost entirely with Muslims, the Muslim psyche, and the Muslim Condition – are stand-alone statements robustly supported with quotes and teachings of scholars, Muslim leaders, and academics. To him these are maxims. He isn’t writing fiction. The context is superfluous; in fact, it is non-existent. Read the following statements.

      The one thing Ambedkar was not, was an apologist. He spares no one, not even Mahatma Gandhi, who he blasts for giving into the selective bias, of the type one finds ubiquitous today.

      “He [Gandhi] has never called the Muslims to account even when they have been guilty of gross crimes against Hindus.”
      Ambedkar then goes on to list a few Hindu leaders who were killed by Muslims, one among them being Rajpal, the publisher of Rangeela Rasool, the ‘Satanic Verses’ equivalent of pre-Independence India. We all know what happened to Rushdie. As for Rajpal, he met a fate worse than Rushdie. Rajpal was brutally stabbed in broad daylight. Again, not many know the assassination of Rajpal by Ilm-ud-din was celebrated by all prominent Muslims leaders of the day.Ilm-ud-din was defended in the court by none other than Jinnah.

      • Marquis de kalia urf Hindu gutter rat spamming his failed anti-Muslim copy/paste talking points straight out of the RSS playbook, ignoring the real topic. Ambedkar didn’t become a Muslim because he was playing politics(he was bhangi and retained his ingrained Hindu prejudice against Muslims) and wanted to play it safe…doesn’t matter as backward superstitious violent terrorist mobs of Hindu lunatics don’t believe in the Indian Constitution anyway.


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