India’s Bigotry Against Minority Groups

Rubina Ratnakar

Though India has one of the most tolerant people in the world, there are still serious cases of bigotry that end up undermining the overall image of India to the world says Rubina Ratnakar. Generally, this bigotry is directed at minority groups whose views are overshadowed and voices muffled in their bid to get more equality.

Bigotry against atheist and religious minorities

The religious tolerance in India is perhaps one of the highest in the world when it is considered on a large scale. However, when you look at it in smaller scales, a pattern of hatred emerges that reveals the problems faced by religious and atheist minorities. From social media accounts, the atheist society in India faces the greatest problem with rejection and hatred. Religion, particularly Hinduism, is a huge epicenter of the Indian community, which defines the culture, influences the politics and way of life of the people. However, this same religion and the lack of awareness influences bigotry and subsequent violence, most especially, against the atheists who do not subscribe to any religion. That said, there is also a certain amount of intolerance toward other minority religious groups including minority denominations in Hinduism.

Bigotry against women

In the recent past, there was shock around the world as a growing rape and violence culture was propagated against women in India. The amount of hatred, slander, violence and disregard was truly appalling and shocking and went on to damage a huge part of India’s positive image. Though various theories and philosophies tried to explain the why, they all pointed to the same thing; bigotry. Although through various awareness campaigns, changes in policies and strict law enforcement, the outlook on women has changed, it is still not as great as it should be for a country such as India with her positive economic growth rate.

Bigotry against the LGBT community

India is a country that boasts a great sense of tradition. That is why it is not so shocking that the LGBT community in India faces such harsh rejection, hatred, and conflict. The LGBT community is one of the greatest targets for bigotry around the world and India is no different. Things such as from repercussions, religious persecution and even rejection by the family are what the Indian LGBT community has to deal with.

Bigotry against ethnic and political minorities

Though there is significant progress that has been made in ensuring ethnic and political equality, there are still instances of intolerance, especially propagated by the class system.

Conclusion

To experience growth and promote a truly metropolitan society that is respectful of everyone’s contribution to the growth of the country, India has to stop discriminating against people based on their sexuality, religion or lack thereof, gender, ethnicity, political affiliation, class and other descriptive factional statements.

Rubina Ratnakar

Medical Tourism In India And What Makes It Ideal

Rubina Ratnakar

Medical tourism is a fast growing industry in India, drawing billions of dollars in revenue. Statistics show that India is among the leading destinations to go for medical treatment, especially for chronic illnesses, in the world says Rubina Ratnakar. But what makes India so ideal?

Ease of travel

The Indian government has ensured that there are few restrictions on foreign travel into the country for medical treatment. This enables patients to get quick visas when necessary for travel to India for treatment. Unlike other nations with heavy restrictions and high wait times before getting visas, the ease of travel into India makes it one of the best destinations for medical tourism.

High-quality medical facilities

The top-notch medical facilities and high quality of medicine in India are also a contributory factor to the growing medical tourism industry. India’s brilliant and expert knowledge of medicine as well as its use of modern technology has seen it become one of the most sought after medical destinations in the world. India is one of the best destinations to seek treatment for chronic and terminal illnesses such as cancer. Its high-quality medical facilities are at par with, if they haven’t surpassed, those of first world nations.

Affordability

Even with the high quality of treatment, India’s medical industry is one of the most affordable in the world. The affordable cost of treatment has seen it go on to become one of the leading destinations for medical tourism.

Quality care

Aside from the high quality and modern treatment, the quality of care for patients in India is one of the best in the world. Everything from the accommodation of patients to the transport arrangements and so on is impressive. The patients and those accompanying them receive the best care possible, which is very supportive and a factor that makes people more drawn to India as a medical tourism destination.

English speaking

The majority of Indians understand and communicate using English. That makes it easier for the patients and those accompanying them to move around the country, where necessary. More so, even when the patients and those accompanying them can only speak at a basic level, there is still great understanding between the people.

Worldwide recognition and subsidies

A number of organizations, especially those offering medical aid, recognize India as one of the best destinations for medical treatment in the world. That means that they offer subsidies on the cost of travel and treatment for most of their patients to visit India for treatment.

Conclusion

India’s emphasis on offering affordable quality medical treatment, the hospitable nature of the local people and making itself a well recognized medical destination are what have made it a world renown and ideal destination for medical tourism.

Rubina Ratnakar

India’s Religious Tolerance And Diversity

 

According to the 2011 census in India, close to 80% of the total population subscribe to the Hindu religion. With such high numbers, the expectation is that the rates and levels of religious intolerance would be through the roof, as seen in other countries with such a high dominance of a single religion. However, the reality is very different says Rubina Ratnakar. The level of religious diversity and tolerance in India is astonishing. So much so that it warrants further investigation. Why is it there is such a high religious tolerance? What sets India apart from other religious intolerance nations whose greatest percentage of the population belongs to the dominant religion?

Appreciating the magnitude and influence of the religious tolerance and diversity

Hinduism has over 10 known denominations. Islam has about 5 known denominations. Yet, predominantly Muslim nations have been shown to have the highest rates and severity in religious intolerance, going so far as being intolerant towards other denominations. That India shows such a high religious tolerance in the face of such great religious diversity, even just within its dominant religion is a feat that requires mention and notice. Moving past the diversity shown in Hinduism, let us take into account the numbers. According to the census, 79.8% of the total population is Hindu, which is over 966 million people. Yet, the rest of the religions, which constitute a minority in great proportions, are free to live and worship as they please without persecution or such intolerance. As an example, there is a particularly high rise of secularism in India and although there might be some reserved views, there is little intolerance towards secularists.

Probable reason behind the high religious tolerance

It is hard to pinpoint an exact reason behind why the Indian people are so harmonious with each other when it comes to religion. However, if I had to venture a guess, it would be the influence of Hinduism. Hinduism is not just a religion, but a culture as well. As both a religion and culture, it promotes diversity, freedom, harmonious living, peace and other great qualities that no doubt, have an impact on the mindset of the people. Evidenced by its many denominations it practices what it preaches and is there truly a better way to learn than by direct action? Another equally influential reason is the evolution of Hinduism as a religion. This has no doubt made the people more aware of change and diversity, knowledge that has no doubt been passed down over the years.

Conclusion

That there is high religious diversity and tolerance does not mean that there aren’t cases of religious intolerance. However, the bad apples exist at too little a magnitude or scale to affect the general consensus.

Rubina Ratnakar

The Influence Of Hinduism On Modern Day India

Rubina Ratnakar

Unlike with most modern nations, India has not lost a sense of who she is as can be evidenced by the subtle and not-so-subtle traces of Hinduism in almost all facets of life. Whether just in the dress code or in the ethics of the people, Hinduism has played a vital role in shaping modern day India to what can be seen today, says Rubina Ratnakar.

Religious tolerance and diversity

The high levels of religious tolerance and diversity can be attributed to Hinduism as both a culture and religion. Hinduism is a diverse religion in itself, and a culture that promotes difference, which has no doubt influenced the view that the people of India take on other religions or lack thereof says Rubina Ratnakar.

The class system

This, unfortunately, is a negative influence of Hinduism on the modern day Indian. The caste system, as it is more commonly known, is a segregative system that has been a thorn in India’s side for as long as anyone can remember. Though ample measures are being taken to reduce the impact that the class system has on development and distribution of resources, the problem is too deeply rooted to effect any immediate and visible change.

A society with a cultural heritage

Modernization has been associated with the loss of culture and identity. For India however, many of the people still have a deep cultural heritage to look to. Is this of any import? Personally, I feel that if you lose your core identity, then you lose all sense of purpose. That is why I view the fact that Indians still retain a great deal of cultural heritage as something of critical importance. Especially, in this day and age when it so easy to lose yourself in the marvels of technology and in particular the internet. The fact that the society has a deep-seated cultural heritage can be attributed solely to Hinduism.

Ethics

It is easy for people to lose their ethical code, especially if they believe in nothing. Fortunately for India, the majority of people are Hindu, which is a great influence in what they believe in. Most of the beliefs of Hinduism have an ethical aspect to them. It is these ethics that act as moral guidance for the people so that we can all live harmoniously, respectfully and peacefully with each other.

Conclusion

Some of the influences of Hinduism on the modern day India are positive while others are negative. That, however, does not change the fact that Hinduism has played a vital role in shaping and producing modern day India. At the end of the day, it is up to the people to pick up the positive attributes and drop the negative ones.

 

Rubina Ratnakar

India – An introduction

A brief introduction to India

Located in the south of Asia, India is the 7th largest country in the world by area. It is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. It is currently the 7th largest economy in the world and is projected to become the 3rd largest economy behind the US and China in about a decade. Finally, India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world, says Rubina Ratnakar.

A few main features of this beautiful country are listed below:

  • India is bigger than what appears on the map: India is a really big country and its image on the world map does not depict the reality of its sheer size. It may be noted that the aerial distance between Srinagar, the capital city of Jammu and Kashmir, and Kanyakumari, the southernmost tip of continental India, is about 2900 km. This is more than the distance between London and Moscow.
  • Geography and Seasons in India: India is a peninsula that is guarded by the Himalayas in the north and protected by the Indian Ocean in the south. The Arabian Sea is towards the west and the Bay of Bengal to the east. In between, the country is home to many rivers, hills, and some smaller mountains all across the landmass. The Thar desert is present in the west in the state of Rajasthan.
    • The country has a federal structure and has 29 states and 7 union territories. Each of these states have people with somewhat different or starkly varied cultures, traditions, languages, and even ethnicity.
    • India has a dense forest cover and is listed in the top 10 forest abundant nations in the world. Nearly 25 percent of the Indian landmass is covered by forests. These forests are home to some of the most diverse species of avian and wildlife.
    • The weather in India is generally warm. The southern part of India is warmer than the northern areas. It can get very cold in the hills of Shimla, in the plains of UP or Punjab, or in the mountainous areas of Uttarakhand or Jammu & Kashmir. Only the far northern region near the Himalayas usually receive snowfall.
    • There are 3 seasons in India. The summer season lasts from March to June, the monsoon from June to September/October, and winter from October/November to February. Rainfall is very important as India is still largely an agrarian society.
  • Culture, Religion, People, and Languages: With over a billion people India is the second most populous country in the world. The fertile lands and the tradition of non-violence, peace, and harmony as the basic tenet of its culture has ensured that life thrived and flourished.
    • There are around 1600 languages and dialects in India with 122 main languages and 22 officially recognized ones. Over 1 million citizens speak 30 of these languages. The official language of the country is Hindi and English; the states may have other official languages.
    • Indians are deeply religious and a majority of the population follows Hinduism. Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Jainism, Buddhism, etc., are some of the other religions followed in India. The country is also home to atheists and rationalists. Most festivals in India and there are many, have a religious meaning to them.
  • The Taj Mahal is not the only tourist attraction: Besides the Taj Mahal, India has many ancient structures and monuments that attract tourists from all over the world every year. For example, the Ajanta and Ellora caves.

Rubina Ratnakar