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


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.)


  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.”


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