Hinduism and Colonialism. Was: Rajaram's bull/Hindutva (response to BhG)

Yashwant Malaiya malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU
Tue Aug 15 21:44:16 UTC 2000

Vidyasankar Sundaresan wrote:

>After all, Jains
>were never absent from the regions where Kabir and Nanak lived.

Both of them have mentioned Jains explicitly.

I am not aware of any example of the usage of the word "Hindu"
before the British rule, where Jains are excluded.

As far as I know the definition of the word "Hindu" requiring
a acceptance of the Vedas is from the British period. It looks
like an attempt to define Hinduism along the lines of people-
of-the-book like Christians and Muslims. Bal Gangadhar Tilak
gave one such definition, however in a lecture that he presented
at a Jain meeting, he used the term "Brahman dharma" for
"Brahmanical Hinduism" and not Hinduism, which he used inclusively.

There are some communities that are partially "Vaishnav" and partly
Jain. In some of them, like Agrawals, very close social connection
existed and still exists, between them. This was true for several
communities in the past, even some which have no Jain members today like
the Maheshwaris (Birlas etc). Similar conditions exists in some
communites in South India, like the Arasu of Karnataka (Maharaja of


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