I am Happy that I’m a Hindu

I find it curious that people unthinkingly claim credit where none is due. “I proud to be an Indian” and “I am proud to be a Hindu” are examples. Here’s an example from a Youtube comments’ section.

My answer to Supriya Varma went thus:

I am a Hindu. I was born a Hindu. I did not choose to be born into a Hindu family. I have respect for the philosophy and the religion of Hinduism. I have studied and understood Advaita Vedanta. But the fact is that I had no active part in being a Hindu, just like I didn’t do anything to be an Indian. I did not choose it.

Pride in being something is justified only if it could not have been achieved without effort. If, for example, I write a lovely story or paint a beautiful picture, or train to run a marathon — anything that requires effort and has positive payoffs to me and to society at large — that I can be proud of.

What’s there to be proud of if you have had nothing to do with it? How can I be proud of the fact that I am a Hindu if I was born a Hindu? Suppose I had been born a Christian and converted to Hinduism. Then I could claim “I am proud to be a Hindu.” I did something and that made me a Hindu.

I am proud to be an economist. It’s a noble profession and I worked hard to become one. I attended a very good school (which required effort), and I spent years writing a thesis (which required effort). I am proud of that, and justifiably so.

I am happy that I am a Hindu. I am  fortunate that I was born  an Indian and a Hindu. I cannot justifiably take pride in my being a Hindu. I hope you now understand why I responded to Lakshmi Kumar’s “I’m proud to be a Hindu” with “Why.” I wanted to know what she’d done to earn that credit.

Author: Atanu Dey

Economist.

4 thoughts on “I am Happy that I’m a Hindu”

      1. But then the person or creature or rock in the previous birth should be proud, not you.
        (Ramayana, Mahabharata and Gita are totally wasted on most Indians.)

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  1. (Let me repeat what I posted here and there:)
    A religion can manifest in a number of ways:
    i)Aspiration (moral, tribal, ethnical..) of the founder(s)[real or mythical]
    ii)Cultural or traditions
    iii)Being and identity (points ii&iii come in the form of symbolism like wearing a cross or burqa and rituals like attending church/mosque/temple service/prayers. It’s pyschology,pure and simple.)
    iv)As geo/internal political vehicle of tribal/racial/nationalistic interests
    …………
    If one asks a white anglos whether he/she practises the attributes of the christian religion he/she is very proud of, usually he/she can’t say much or he/she tries to muddle through or sidetrack the issue. Being said, I can actually name a very good component of christianity: christianity promotes monogamy.
    The average person just don’t give a hoot about ‘philosophy’ or worse, ‘philosophy’ became sophistry or ‘spiritual’ sugar coating on something damnable.
    Finally, let me repeat: I’m NOT an atheist for simple reason: Humans are tiny entities in the universe, so there must be entities/god(s) out there with power we can’t fathom.
    ……
    I posted the followings at the site of a ‘liberal’ indian:
    ” How you should Learn to Stop Worrying and Love Hindutva.”
    https://www.sabhlokcity.com/2019/10/my-next-centrepiece-toi-article-time-to-call-out-hindutva/#comment-1002579

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