A recent survey by Pew research center has led to the revelation that Hindus are more likely than members of other religious groups to link Indian and Hindu identities.
The survey of nearly 30,000 Indian adults conducted after the BJP’s victory in the 2019 parliamentary elections and before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic sought to measure the dimensions of Hindu nationalism by asking people how important certain attributes or behaviors are to ‘true’ Indian identity.
As per findings of the report, nearly two-thirds of Hindus accounting for about 64% say it is important to be Hindu to be truly Indian as opposed to 27% of Muslims who say being Hindu is very important to be truly Indian.
Hindus who link their religion with national identity also tend to link the Hindi language with being authentically Indian, the research found. As a result, a majority of Hindus (59%) feel that being able to speak Hindi is very important to be truly Indian.
In all the study found that 51% of Hindus and 36% of Jains say being Hindu and speaking Hindi are both very important to be truly Indian. While, 25% of Buddhists, 23% of Muslims, 18% of Sikha, and 15% of Christians do not conform to the above view.
Even among Hindus residing in different parts of the country, there exists a difference in thought processes. Hindus in the Northern (69%) and Central (83%) regions are most likely to say being a Hindu is very important to be truly Indian, while Hindus in the South (42%) and Northeast (39%) express the weakest association between national and religious identities. Similarly, Hindus in the Northern (71%) and Central (87%) regions are most likely to say it is very important to be able to speak Hindi to be truly Indian.