In India, you are free to go to your mosques and temples

Published: April 24, 2013

This land is, after all, the birthplace of four major religions and is now a nation that people of every major world religion call home. PHOTO: BHAKTI V

India, like most developing countries, has a host of problems ranging from corruption and poverty to female foeticide. Fortunately though, religious intolerance is not on this list of issues that ail India.

While there’s no denying the fact that India has, in the past, witnessed incidents of religious rioting, it still remains a country that is home to people of various faiths whose lives remain inextricably intertwined with each other – as classmates at university, colleagues at the workplace and as neighbours living in close proximity to each other.

(A mosque next to a Church in India)

I’ve written a blog about Diwali/Hinduism for The Express Tribune.

This time around, I figured I’d do something different – give the reader a glimpse into the lives of minorities in India but I didn’t want to go down the usual route of quoting population statistics and listing names of prominent personalities from minority communities.

(Juma Masjid, Commercial street, Bangalore)

With that thought in mind, I ventured into the streets of Bangalore to capture images of minority worship places and spoke to ordinary people of different faiths about their experiences in Hindu majority India.

(Church in Chikmagalur, Karnataka ) 

Here’s what a friend of mine, Sumayya, had to say:

“Religious biases may exist in the minds of certain people belonging to both communities (Hindu, Muslim). However, the positives of being a Muslim in India outweigh the negatives. I think it would be incredibly tough for Indian Muslims to live in most of the Muslim majority countries in the world. As Indians, our freedom knows no bounds – every Muslim in India is free to practice Islam the way it suits him/her. We choose practices that we want to follow and shun the rest. There are no hard and fast rules about how we ought to live our lives – there’s no authority controlling us with an iron fist. Not only do we have the freedom to practice our faith, religious heads are also given a free reign to dictate terms on some issues. For example, a Kashmiri all-girl rock band was forced to disband following a cleric’s edict. Now, I don’t agree with the decision taken but this is an example that illustrates the power these men yield. Also, to be honest, I’d rather be a Muslim woman in India than in most other Muslim majority countries.”

(Church in Carmelaram, Bangalore)

A friend from the Christian community, Kevin, commented:

“There are so many Christian schools in India. A majority of the students in these schools are non-Christian but they participate in the morning assembly and sing Christians hymns. People of different faiths celebrate each other’s festivals. I think we’ve all grasped the fact that there are only two options available to us – coexist in harmony or be wiped out. Thankfully, we’ve chosen the wiser of the two.”

(Sacred Heart Church, Richmond road, Bangalore)

Amina said:

“I’ve lived in Bombay all my life so my experience is limited to this city alone. I interact with people of all religions on a daily basis but I’ve never been discriminated against on account of my religion. I’ve never been made to feel that I belong to a minority community. In my opinion, India is a largely tolerant and accommodating society. Issues arise in cases of interfaith marriages, but apart from that, we don’t view each other through religiously tinted glasses.”

(A man at a church in India)

This land is, after all, the birthplace of four major religions and is now a nation that people of every major world religion call home. India hasn’t seen a single incident of anti-Semitism; it’s a land that has welcomed outsiders with open arms and accepted them as its own.

(Church in Carmelaram, Bangalore)

As a Hindu from West India, I can culturally identify and have more in common with Christians, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains or Jews from my state than say, a Hindu from Kangra valley or Wayanad.

(Evening mass going on in a church)

This is the story of India; it is a diverse land with people of multiple faiths and ethnicities. India will prevail despite its heterogeneity because what sustains it is the shared commitment to champion the pluralist ideals that have bound its inhabitants together as a cohesive unit for millennia.

(Church in Commercial Street, Bangalore)

Dr Shashi Tharoor’s words, at a Technology, Entertainment and Design (TED) conference, recapitulate the idea of India very well:

“The last elections, gave the world an extraordinary phenomenon, of an election being won by a woman political leader of Italian origin and Roman Catholic faith, Sonia Gandhi, who then made way for a Sikh Manmohan Singh to be sworn in as prime minister by a Muslim, president Abdul Kalam, in a country 81% Hindu,”

(A mosque in Jayanagar, Bangalore)

He went on to state,

“When I talked about that example, it’s not propaganda because ultimately, that electoral outcome had nothing to do with the rest of the world. It was essentially, India being itself.”

(The magnificent Jamia Masjid, K.R. Market, Bangalore. The mosque can accommodate thousands of devotees.)

As I walked down those roads clicking away, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of immense pride at the secular ideals that India has managed to uphold.

India is not, and will never be, a country for Hindus alone.

Do you think Pakistan can ever be as secular as India is portrayed?

     View Results

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Read more by Bhakti here.


Amrita Singh

Amrita Singh

Passionate about trekking and travelling, the writer has just moved to Belfast, UK. Her obsession with the Himalayas grows every passing year and she keeps going back for more.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Zeeshan

    Bla Bla Bla ,get over it Recommend

  • Sane

    You are just trying to mild the Hindu fanaticism engulfs everywhere against Muslims and other minorities.Recommend

  • Nobody

    Pakistan was once such a place where minorities didn’t fear for their life or hide their identity. You wanna get back to that? Keep religion and politics separate. While i don’t at all believe the average Pakistani citizen would take up arms at the sight of a Hindu or a temple, I do believe there is a lot more that people ought to do to protect rights of minorities and nobody cares enough to do it. Government doesn’t give a damn about ANY Pakistani’s let alone minorities. What else can one expect…. How tragic to go from one of the most liberal Muslim majority countries to a country with a growing cancer called radicalism slowly sweeping the nation and a government that neither cares for any of it’s citizens nor bothers to put a stop to radical elements. Recommend

  • raj786

    INDIA is meant for INDIAN. Recommend

  • proud hindu indian

    india belongs to only hindus ,sikhs,christians ,buddists and jains .Recommend

  • heera

    May i ask you Madam why did you feel necessary to write all these stuffs?Its very alarming that new breed of Hindu girls r less religious and more atheistic in nature.Parents need to nurture their kids in pretty religious environment.They should compulsorily go to temple on Thursday and Saturday and do pooja. .I assume you r that brand of secularists who believe talking about Muslim,christian is secular while Hindu is communal.Let me tell you these two religion has cause more harm to India as anything else.Mean while these mosques and missionaries would be busy converting some of the Hindus in remote areas.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    Well written – captures the essence of India. I think a key factor is that for children, religion (at least from when I was a kid), has little relevance as a point of parity or point of difference; this ensures that any hardening of positions takes place very gradually with time and that too for a very small percentage of the overall population – there is no large-scale brainwashing that takes place or a common ideology that you need to subscribe to; no one seems preoccupied with finding the right road to heaven. Further, I think it makes minorities insecure if someone is out there is hoping to convert them through propaganda or coercion – this is practically non-existent in India, and the numbers speak for themselves. So for any discord that may lie simmering below the surface (and let’s not pretend that none exists), the fact is that people leave India only for economic reasons, because they are smart enough to recognize that such freedom of religion is unparalleled in the developing world.Recommend

  • abdullah

    Bibi, bus kar do. People should not have freedom to go and practise their religion, but they should have freedom to wander like a king on streets. Espacially women and kids. CheersRecommend


    True That as far as my personal experience is concern when i visited India last year.But you got to agree with me Muslims are living the poor life, Muslim population areas are not really developed as compare to other areas, just to give you an example JAMA MASJID of Delhi’s surrounding area’s are not like what rest of the Delhi is.Recommend

  • Maxwood

    It is hard to believe what ever is written above [TO Voiceless people of India]Recommend

  • doom

    There may be some fanaticism among individuals (there always is). The more important thing is intolerance is not institutionalized. They don’t have discrimination written into their very constitution and their laws
    But their luck is that their minorities are not very small. Muslims for example are a large enough group in India that their vote matters. Our bad luck is that our non-Muslim minorities are too small for their vote to matter. They don’t stand a chance. Recommend

  • Edgar Gill

    I Agree will you totally INDIA as compared to Pakistan is better in all aspects of life … Either it be Education or Progress of the country … I live in Pakistan and even though Me myself or my family was never threatened but still many Christians have been accused of many things .. Which in My point of view is wrong i have to think like a million times to say anything …. fact of the matter is i cannot speak my mind here even if iam right or wrong there are only limited amount of Educated people in the country who actually understand and talk with reason the rest are like “Maar dalo Kaat Dalo” Or the best one yet “Is nay Tauheen-e-Risalat kia hai isko Phansi day do”.

    The sad Part is that people do not get the actually point of what the other person is saying the just want to prove themselves right …And people of every religion only pick out things from there HOLY Books which are a advantage to them they do not read the before and after part which is sad .

    I just Wish people get a better sense of religion is all about and learn to Co-Exist !!!!! Recommend

  • Sana

    I have been to India. It is beautiful and very tolerant. I really really really wish that someday Pakistan can become not as better but close to what India is now.Recommend

  • 80s

    Well written article! A positive message, as opposed to the usual you get to read these days.Recommend

  • anees

    What a shame on us?
    Being an independent muslim state we are not free to perform our religious duties.
    We offer prayers separate mosques with heavy security guards and still fears of blast or any other unhappy event.Recommend

  • A Pakistani

    , there is freedom of religion in India because you did not allow the mullah to spread his hate and extremism I wish we could have done the sameRecommend

  • socko

    @proud hindu indian

    Also, home to Parsis, Jews, Atheists, … Recommend

  • Umair

    and you are also free to convert Mosque into Mandir :/ Recommend

  • socko

    Would have been better if you wd have included just one Picture of a temple if not more (Atleast ONE, i am sure with lil bit of work, would find one)Recommend

  • Milind

    @Sane – Knowing your biases I understand you would be dismissive about the above article… However let me tell, biases exist everywhere – science has confirmed that we’re hardwired for bias / stereotype.

    If as you assume Hindu fundamentalism is running riot then we would have seen Hindu-Muslim, Hindu-Christian riots with sickening regularity to the scale that’s happening in Burma… However that’s not the case. In fact I cannot recall a Hindu-Christian riot happening in the last 15-20 yrs.Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    I dont agree with the point keep religious out of Politics….

    why is that in the past religion and politics could move together but now they cannot….

    The problem is that proper religious knowledge is not given to the indiviuals. In Pakistan or in India you have religious fanatics. These people will remain fanatics till you will not give them proper religious knowledge.

    The so called Article does not protrays the whole India. Its a bitter truth which you have to swallow.
    Hinduism or Islam…both teach the respect of miniorities, if the religious fanatics are not following their own religion than it makes no sense in blaming the religion itself….

    Mercedes Benz is a good car. But if some one intentionly drives it against a wall. Than you cannot blame the car… need to train the driver not to drive recklessly…..

    If you think you can kill religious fanatics through secularism than acutally you give birth to secular fanatics as well…..wht I mean is you see hate in few Atheist groups against religious people… other word when you will have more Atheist than religious people, you will have Atheist who will become fanatics e.g Right radicals in west.
    In other words dont treat the patient treat the disease…and that lack of religious knowledge.

    Does Secular India right now has religious tolerance….????? the answer is NORecommend

  • gujranwala789

    We pakistanis are not interested in india or whatever that ** is called. Recommend

  • Dajjal

    Fantastic… So can i go to Babri Mosque then? oh no wait…..Recommend

  • Parvez

    Great write up and even better pictures.
    What I read somewhere sums it up well : India is a deeply religious country with a strong secular Constitution………………….and that is its strength.

  • Ann

    Yeah!! You just pass your time by dropping a comment on an India-specific article by an Indian. I can see how unconcerned you are!!!Recommend

  • Ann

    Oh no! Don’t go to Ayodhya. That’s the birthplace of Lord Rama. Go to Mecca/Medina. that suits you better. And if you are still interested to come to india, go to Ajmer Sharif. Your politicians keep coming there.Recommend

  • Khanzada


    Raped cases ( In every 2nd hr).
    Gujrat Killings.
    Kashmir Killings.
    and list goes on and on ……Recommend

  • Ali Hassan

    and still they (INDIANS) burn houses of Christians, beat pastors and kill Muslim minorities and mascaras of Sikh … You are right they are just portraying to be secular or world’s biggest democracy otherwise truth is far beyond this … If anybody want to do a little research on how minorities live there they can use Google and Youtube and there are plenty of videos and articles how they treat their minorities. Even they have untouchables in their own country and kill them like animals … This is so bad that WE and our MEDIA only portray bad things about our country and our neighbors hide their bad face and just portray good good face (bagal mein churi munh mein ram ram) … Forget that one Muslim and Pakistani talking about India go and search internet about ” Anti-Christian violence in India ” and violence against minorities india … Our MEDIA need to be mature and show good picture as well … Pakistan is not that badRecommend

  • Asjad

    When the state does not meddle in personal beliefs and idea…IndiaRecommend

  • Sane

    @proud hindu indian:

    india belongs to only hindus ,sikhs,christians ,buddists and jains .

    I salute your truth and courage. India is not for Muslims definitely, so they are killed en-mass. Be proud being a noble citizen of ‘biggest’ democracy.Recommend

  • afza siddiqui

    well miss bukhti your love for india is fully appreciated but there is no point comparing indian secularism to pakistan’s state.the very act of publishing this pro-indian article is a sheer example of tolerance open heartedness and secularism(if u call it ) of Pakistani media and people .but there are always 2 faces of the is the same state u are talking about where babri masjid was demolished and gujrat violence saw hundreds of muslims loose their lives.also as much as i know the muslims of india are not enjoying the same previlleges as a common hindu citizen .they do suffer from discriminatrion and it has been voiced by none other than sharukh khan just a few months offence but could i ask why the muslim community is depicted as villains in most of indian movies if they are thought of as equal citizens???
    i dont have any high claims about pakistan but i believe in the future to be bright . pakistan’s main problem is terrorism and we all are suffering at it it muslims or non-muslims .we as a nation are fighting with all odds. its not all lost and we will come through the tunnel .even in these times of crisis our provinces are densely populated with hindus and cristians .this would never have been the case if it was as dark as depicted. Recommend

  • Sane


    There may be some fanaticism among individuals (there always is). The more important thing is intolerance is not institutionalized

    What would you say about Gujarat massacre of Muslims which was fully supported rather planned by Narindra Modi being Chief Minister of the state.Recommend

  • Khanzada

    Indians.. dont even know how to defend themself.
    claiming themselves better than others doesnt mean that you guys are better from all others..
    The way muslim students killed by shiv sena.. the way thousands of muslims were killed in Gujrat..

    Pathetic country where in every second hr .. women got raped Recommend

  • Sane


    In fact I cannot recall a Hindu-Christian riot happening in the last 15-20 yrs.

    This means you are not aware of recent history of your country or you are pretending so. There are no. of incidents where Christian community was massacred in last 20 years. Definitely such incidents are less as Muslims have a very large population comparing Christians.Recommend

  • Khanzada

    Babri Masjid .. Remember this masjid.. and change your statement Recommend

  • afza siddiqui

    ET this is my humble request please publish good things about pakistan as well .always whining about how bad we are.Recommend

  • Sane


    INDIA is meant for INDIAN.

    Simple translation of INDIAN is HINDU.Recommend

  • Stranger

    Bhakti U said the correct thing. Indians are more tolerant about other religions and communities than many so called secualar countries. And NO , India and Hindu are totally two different things . They are not synonymus with each other. When I say Indians are tolerent I dont mean ALL Hindus are tolerent. Majority of Indians are tolerent. Well done girl U do US proud.Recommend

  • BlackJack

    @afza siddiqui:
    i dont have any high claims about pakistan but i believe in the future to be bright . pakistan’s main problem is terrorism and we all are suffering at it hands.
    Yawn. Pakistan’s main problem is the increasing population of ostriches. Recommend

  • Naveen

    Bhakti, I think we should not brag about it, instead one needs to see it as something ‘Normal’.

    I remember that When I was a little kid, I didn’t even know Christians and Muslims in my neighborhood were of some distinct ‘religion’. I tended to view them as just another community like my own tiny Community. It was only later as I grew up, that I came to know that my tiny community was usually clubbed under a much broader group of communities called ‘Hinduism’ as distinct from Christianity and Islam. Recommend

  • Babablacksheep

    you telling me that no one killed 2000 Muslims in Gujarat they just committed suicide for the FUNRecommend

  • GhostRider

    After reading a simple thought came to my mind >>> “to Hum kia karen?????”Recommend

  • Jasbir Singh

    Society is corrupt to the core, most people are Hindus or muslims or of any other religion only by name. They might be performing various rituals but inside of them is rotten. A man can be seen asking for bribe just before going to prayer. India may be little bit less corrupt than Pakistan but a society where corruption is part of daily life , brothers are cheating sisters, sons are cheating parents, rioting can be caused with a small political support. People are innocent because they are victms of cunningness. May waheguru enlighten us to understand true religion and service of humanity with zeal. Hopefully public of these countries will understand that borders are not more important than human values and human right. Once we get rid of ego, anger, greed etc. light of Him will make our souls very beautiful. May God bless you all.Recommend

  • mindcontrol


    **What would you say about Gujarat massacre of Muslims which was fully supported rather planned by Narindra Modi being Chief Minister of the state.**

    Let me see, When did this happen?

    A. Was it 13th Jan, 2009

    B. May be 28th May, 20210

    C. 10th January, 2013?

    D. 17th Frbruary, 2013?

    E. 3rd March,2013 perhaps?

    OK, I give up. You tell me.Recommend

  • http://na deep

    It is all very well to be self-congratulatory about this – but a certain degree of complacency has set in and upwardly mobile hindus tend to be more radical.

    Also more muslims are wearing their religion on their sleeves in india.

    Where I grew up was purely a hindu neighbourhood – I grew up with no muslim friends – so I am happy in the newer areas, this ghettoism is breaking down.

    We need to interact more with each other – and we need to visit our narration of history where the hindu kings like shivaji are distinctly treated as a hero over the muslim invaders – and not as a small time ruler playing his own brand of politics.

    There is a lot to be proud of – but secularism is not about being indiffernt to others but actively engaging with others.Recommend

  • Pro

    @Milind: The article itself is much positively biased in support of India (given the many persecutions of minorities which are just ignored).Recommend

  • Sane


    Bhakti U said the correct thing. Indians are more tolerant about other religions and communities than many so called secualar countries. And NO , India and Hindu are totally two different things . They are not synonymus with each other. When I say Indians are tolerent I dont mean ALL Hindus are tolerent. Majority of Indians are tolerent. Well done girl U do US proud.

    Would she be conferred any National award? This would definitely add in pride of Hindu religious fanatics.Recommend

  • Milind

    @Sane – “There are no. of incidents where Christian community was massacred in last 20 years.”

    Huh…. What have you been smoking???Recommend

  • Yuri Kondratyuk

    FWIW, there are many a few mosques that were built on demolished temples and they are still intact in India.Recommend

  • socko

    @ Hey Hicefaa Sodakey (Afza Siddiqui) …. Oops…

    Bukhti is to “Bhakti”
    like SodaKey is to “Siddiqui”Recommend

  • socko

    @Afsa Siddiqui

    “our provinces are densely populated
    with hindus and cristians”

    Pl define:”Dense”Recommend

  • Ahmad

    Blatant lying. Has every one forgotten the Muslm-hndu riots, in which even the police didnt even come to the aid of the Muslims.

    Its called hindustan, the land of the hindus; for a reason. Recommend

  • SAK

    Keep your advice for the rapist in your country.Recommend

  • opler

    and what about BJP, RSS and Shiv sena and their extremeist activites? And these pics, o come on I can show you hundered of pics of churchs/ temples just in islamabad/pindiRecommend

  • Sane
  • p r sharma

    @Umair: “and you are also free to convert Mosque into Mandir :/”

    Mr. Umair- Sorry exclusive right of such privilege rests at your end. Muslim emperors and their Mullahs had the expertise on it and their legacy is percolated in the minds. Recommend

  • Mehdi

    You cannot fix stupidity and irrational thoughts. No matter how much proof you provide, many in Pakistan are delusional about these atrocities that is happening in their country.Recommend

  • suliamani

    Also enforcing the label of being a hindu upon jains, budhists and sikhs is unjustified … budhist and Jains are aethiest and sikhs are non idolaters and stanch monotheists. who are hindus to judge these religions as the bans in the constitution is the better judge of hinduism itself and more over portraying guru nanak and lord buddha as vishnu avatars is unjustified as guru nanak never beilieved in avatars and lord buddha was an aethiest … just out of the sake of infoiority complex of anti social setup of hindu society (abuse of widows, and abuse of dalits alike which resulted in the creation of a weak state) they keep on claiming the medivial era bhakti movement’s ideology as hindu ideology … which is totally unfustified …. shame that the army of 20,000 arab men trampeled and and looted and created genocide to lakhs of solideir of raja dhir …and only shivaji maratha chelleged them as none of the hindu kings gave him any support… what do you call as a thousands of years of heritage produced nothingh but a weakest ever social science and you guys only celebrate the mathematics , medicein system etc etc,, developed as u are ina habbit of picking up tit bits from here and there to over come your inferiority complexes and ree to operate withthnaks for those values that sikhs and christians along with some muslims have started to follow the cast system and have hinduized themselves somethingh wihc is not their tradition …..such a shame rot can only creat another rott … and its proven that people from UP and bihar were attached by hindu fasciest shiv sena to leaved mumbai even forgetting that bhagwat geeta and purans were written in north india only … where did the “ram bhakti” vanished when attacked the originators of the hindu religion in a city … how civilized is that to blame pakistan for shia genocides … if indian constitution is a secular nation then how come such fascist organizations are active and free to do whatever they want to??? the mumbai north indian attacks do proove that hindus are not a monolithic so ciety hence animists….Recommend

  • Mehdi


    This troll should be banned from commenting in ET. His comments are pure hatred.Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Dajjal: You need to go back in history and see what Muslim invaders did to India. Since Babri Masjid incidence hundreds of temples have been destroyed in Pakistan. Recommend

  • p r sharma

    @Sane: Can you name / cite one example of Hindu christian riots. i say riots ,not even in last 50 years Recommend

  • truth

    What about Gujrat Killings ? and Babri Mosque ? Show me one any single such incident in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Pritam

    @Sane: A minister of Gujrat government has been punished to 21 years of jail and the Gujrat government is seeking death penalty for her in the higher court. If this is not the example of secular core of Indian administration, then what is? Having said that, India has definitely not reached where her founding fathers had envisioned to and the journey is still continuing through arduous path. Recommend

  • what?

    Why are indians/particularly hindus from india so obsessed about Pakistan and about it being secular? I don’t get it. it’s none of their damn business. They should better yet, care for “hindustan” what’s already hindu too much.Recommend

  • http://Karachi Farhan Zaheer

    I have been to many northern Indian cities. The writer just wanted to tell that minorities are free in India she did not even refer Pakistan. So why are we comparing the two. Both countries have their positives and negatives that we need to look at in right perspective. Recommend

  • Anoop


    Hindu fanaticism that engulfs everywhere?

    Let me remind you something, there are 1.4 Billion Muslims, 1.3 Billion Indians in the world. Similar number, yet you can’t name a single Terror attack in India, in say 2012, by those Hindu Radicals you believe exist in plenty, can you. Such incidences are only limited to the former, not latter, isn’t it.

    Then how on Earth can you claim that such a peaceful community is full of fanaticism?

    Have some perspective man. India is 7 times bigger than Pakistan in every way, yet infinitely more peaceful.Recommend

  • antony

    Being an Indian Tamil christian , I am appalled by the fact that how hate fills most pakistani eyes when they hear Indians and how life in India generally is for minorities. All the references shown by pakistanis are some articles /youtube videos which only captures certain incidents interpreted by the editors ..High time Indian government let good pakistani citizens to visit mosques and good landmarks of India on friendship tour which will clear this misconception..Also in reverse I too feel I consider pakistan as a place where bomb blast happens every day and people are generally intolerant towards non muslims which I read through News sites /youtube and I dont know any other way to find how pakistan is like for minorities..Recommend

  • Anoop


    “but they should have freedom to wander like a king on streets. “

    Can you call yourself an Ahmadi Muslim and wander the streets of Pakistan? I can in India, if I want to. Nobody will give a damn.. Recommend

  • Anoop

    The obvious Pakistani response to this article would be “Godhra… Whoooo!”. Never mind that incident took place more than a decade ago. By the same logic, every time Godra is brought up, 1971 massacre of 3 Million people by Pakistanis should also be brought up. After all in scale and brutality, 3 MIllion is much barbarous than 1000 dead.

    In India tolerance reigns supreme. There have been cases of Hindus asserting their rights and vent their anger, like in Godhra, but those incidents have been few and far in between.


  • Ali tanoli

    I wish congress would have agreed in 1935 and we stays the one country.
    and Bibi god bless u.Recommend

  • Ilsa

    I have been to Bangalore a couple of times and I strongly agree with the author. People there are free to follow their religion and beliefs. Thumbs up to you for putting the cultural diversity of India into words and pictures. Recommend

  • Shah (Berlin)

    The best part in this discussion is Indian here are trying to prove they are tolerant alhough the world human watch has a different opinion.

    Pakistanis on the other hand are challenging them….

    Rather than fighting you need to spread around tolerance….
    nothing to do with Hinduism or Islam…..its simply intorelance to other religion…and both the religion preach peace …Recommend

  • Insaan

    @Nobody: Pakistan was once such a place where minorities didn’t fear for their life or hide their identity.

    Minorities have always lived in fear in Pakistan. Now Pakistani media has started taking some interest in Blasphemy charges against Christians and forced conversions of Hindus a bit more, so more people are knowing about treatment of minorities. Pakistanis have become more aware of terrorism when it hit home.
    More Shias are being targeted now. If Afghanistan can some way stop, Pakistan from playing a proxy war in Afghanistan, Shias and Ahmadis will become the next big targets of terrorists.

  • mokh

    Beautiful pictures and interesting writeup-thanks for sharingRecommend

  • suliamani

    @p r sharma: orissaRecommend

  • Critical

    India is a secular country,which itself means that the religion can co-exist peacefully without interfering with the state

    I know some Pakistanis would get hyperactive and talk about the Gujarat,Babri etc…But as a Hindu born atheist,let me tell why India is better in secularism than Pakistan

    Because in India,you are free NOT to go to a temple or a mosque

    Being an atheist,in the last 10 yrs,I’ve gone to temple only when its an architectural marvel or a family function is held in a temple..All my relatives know I’m an atheist and nowhere do they discrimate me because of my “lack of belief”

    Can Pakistan give such freedom to their citizens???

    P.S. Usually my posts on atheism are blocked my Mods.Anyway i’ll try once againRecommend

  • Singh

    Can you show one picture of Temple in Islamabad or Pindi?

  • Shouvik Mukherjee

    you telling me 30000 Muslims did not get killed by Muslims in Pakistan since Gujrat happened in 2002 ?Recommend

  • Stranger

    @Sane :Jaan I am repeatedly saying Hindus and India are totally different things. When I said US I mean Indians and not mere Hindus. what should she have said to make you happy . Recommend

  • someone

    Thats the difference between a Pakistani and an Indian. The Indians don’t have a slogan like , Pakistan ka Matlab kya….bla bla bla. The Indian constitution is pretty much clear what defines an Indian no matter what religion he/she follows.Recommend

  • Grammarian

    “Fortunately though, religious intolerance is not on this list of issues that ail India.”
    ‘Nuff said.
    Bharat indeed mahaan.Recommend

  • someone

    @afza siddiqui:
    Well then of course uou have not heard about Hamid Ansari, Azim Premji, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam, Khwaja Abdul Hamid, M.J Akbar, Javed Akhtar, Kaifi Ajmi, Amjad Ali Khan, Zakir Hussain, etc. They are all Muslims and they are successful in India. If they were not enjoying the same privileges as other Indians, they would not be as successful as they are now. Now, Could you please tell him how many prominent Hindu, Sikh , Christian personalities are there in Pakistan who have been as successful as these Indian Muslims or have hold the highest post in the government? Also as showing Muslim community as villain, well most of the under world in India is being operated by Muslims so pictures are just showing what the reality is.Recommend

  • Zeeshan

    Wow. This sounded more like an Indian trying to imagine India for the rest of us. Thanks Recommend

  • Chanakyathecynic

    @doom: “But their luck is that their minorities are not very small….Our bad luck is that our non-Muslim minorities are too small for their vote to matter.”

    What percentage of Pakistan’s population are Shias?Recommend

  • Enlightened

    Proud to be an Indian living in a secular state where Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs and Christians are living under one roof with complete harmony, peace and free to perform their religious rituals. My Pakistani friends never forget to mention Gujarat and Babri Masjid which I agree were a few aberrations that happened decades back but never repeated speaks volumes of our strong secular society and national character. Sincerely hope that Pakistan would become secular one day and peace returns to our neighbour. Recommend

  • rangacharya kulkarni

    It may sound incredulous. Upto to the age of twenty, I did not know that I am a Hindu and other religions are different from us. I remember participating Mosque prayer with my friends and eating food after Ramzan.. I am always surprised that I was never stopped by my mother who is a devout Hindu. I am always eagerly awaited by Ammi of my close friend.They loved me so much. My friend is equally loved by my mother and family.I also went to Church payers along with my friends. I love the decor of the churches and pure white clothes people wear and melodies chorus.

    From my childhood, I am exposed to so much diversity, I thought that both Islam and Christianity are different ways of worshipping Gods but not as different religion.

    My whole notion of faith went for a toss when I am exposed to Ayodhya movement. For many years, I refuse to believe that we as friends are different in relation to religion. I remember that we (all my friends together) went to nearby college ground and took oaths that no religions should separate us. We should stick together until we die. Until this moment, we are sticking to each other come what may.


  • Prany

    Why were the muslims killed in Gujrat? You never talk about it. It was because 58 hindus including children and women were burnt alive! I live in Gulf and have many Pakistani muslim friends. I asked one of them during a discussion, what would have happened if Hindus in Pakistan would have burnt 58 Muslims alive. Without blinking an eye instantly he replied, “Ek bhi zinda nahin bachta.” And you talk always of Muslims being killed in riot. Do you know in Gujrat riots nearly one third who died were Hindus? You never talk about it. How can you?Recommend

  • Shahid

    Sorry Sana, cannot become or let Pakistan become therapecountryoftheworld like them. If you want it, go back to india -pls do. It is rampant and everywhere, so you may not take more time to be done with. By the way, The life you saw is artificial. I have been there 5 times recruiting indian labor for company I work for. You really feel embarrassed and shamed when you see poverty at such levels. Thank God Pakistan isnt that bad. Recommend


    @BILAL: Everyone see’s poor old Jama Masjid or Turkman Gate or Mori Gate or Chitli Qabar… no one would see the Muslims of Okhla and Jamia Nagar, No one would see the Muslims of Nizamuddin (apparently the Circle Rate of property there is approx INR. 65,000 per sq mt – Do the math). No one would see the Muslims Land Owners of Mewat (Gurgaon – apparently 3 Crores per acre)

    Muslims have only to blame themselves!Recommend


    @A Pakistani: Ever heard of the Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid? Recommend

  • nayab

    Your are refuting biases
    Wt is the point of comparing Indian secularism with Pakistan?

    Pakistan never stated that its a secular state…
    Its an Islamic Republic with rights for minorities.

    Minority communities are living in peace.
    There are few incidents of tensions between muslims and non-muslims due to some religious fanatics which are also present in India rather in every part of the world.

    We should try to come out of nationalism to internationalism and globalism.Recommend

  • American Desi

    Sorry to say your statement is twist of fact which is pretty common on people who looks at everything with religious perspectiveRecommend

  • Naresh

    you telling me that no one killed 2000 Muslims in Gujarat they just committed suicide for the FUN
    The Response (the EFFECT) by the Aggrieved occurred when an ATROCITY was committed in a Railway Passenger Carriage with 50 to 60 Hindus returning from Pilgrimage had been set on Fire and the victims were BURNT TO DEATH (The CAUSE)
    Always remember :
    1. To every EFFECT there is a CAUSE.
    2. The EFFECT is nothing but another Manifestation of the CAUSE.
    3. If from the EFFECT the CAUSE be REMOVED then NOTING REMAINS!

  • Nobody

    @proud hindu indian:
    My my, you’re a shining example of the oh so secular approach India supposedly has. India ought to be proud!Recommend

  • Someone

    This is a Pakistani newspaper dear. Indians comment on blog after blog claiming to ‘not care’.Recommend

  • Insaan


    What about Gujrat Killings ? and Babri Mosque ? Show me one any single such incident in Pakistan.


  • Tareen

    Bhakti, nice images. I was in Bombay in January 1997 during Ramzan. And one of the most disturbing things I noticed was that Shiv Sena had banned the Aazan (call to prayer). That would never happen in a Muslim majority country. Certainly, we should refrain from generalized statements like “being Muslim is horrible in India” or “being Muslim is great in India”. Things are obviously more complicated. But the anxieties of being a minority cannot be completely covered up by the statement “Intolerance is not a problem in India”. That is a very skewed statement. And also, think for a minute about the contradiction involved in saying “We tolerate minorities” Does not this statement imply that “minorities” are something to be “tolerated”? If you say I “tolerate” X, it implies that there must be something wrong with X such that she is to be “tolerated”. I would urge you to think more critically about the irresolvable contradictions embedded in the very liberal secular idea of tolerance. I am by no means valorizing the conditions of Muslims in say Pakistan over those in India.Recommend

  • Milestogo

    I like west Pakistan better.Recommend

  • Loki

    @gujranwala789: We say that but still we pakistanis are interested in their films and IPL!Recommend

  • True Indian

    temples are built on pious lands and not where there are graves….Recommend