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Houston's growing Hindu community
July 10th, 2011
01:00 AM ET

In Texas, young Hindus want to Americanize ancient faith

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Houston, Texas (CNN) - In many ways, 29-year-old Rishi Bhutada is a traditional Hindu, not so different from his Indian-born parents.

An officer at his dad’s pipefitting company, Texas-born Bhutada had an arranged marriage in India three years ago and then brought his wife back to his hometown, where they recently welcomed a son.

Bhutada is a strict vegetarian and avoids alcohol, as do many observant Hindus.

Complete coverage: Defining America

And the dashboard of his Toyota Prius is adorned with a small metal statue of Ganesh, an elephant-headed Hindu god known as the remover of obstacles. Bhutada prays to it each morning before leaving his driveway.

And yet Bhutada is a different kind of Hindu than his mom and dad.

His parents were part of a major wave of Indians who arrived in the U.S. in the 1960s and ’70s and focused their religious lives on building a community of believers and temples around Houston, which was then a Hindu wilderness.

Bhutada, by contrast, wants his religion to step out from that now-well-established Hindu hive to engage the broader culture.

Surprising origins of "Don't Mess with Texas"

Driving to lunch recently at a strip mall Indian buffet, he spoke of trying to forge a distinctly American Hindu identity that’s more tightly woven into the national fabric.

“The immigrant generation is focused on India, on the home country,” he said, noting that the TV in his parents’ house is often turned to a Hindi-language channel beamed in from the subcontinent. “I’m focused on the United States, which is my home country.”

That helps explain why a national group he’s involved with, the Hindu American Foundation, recently launched a Take Back Yoga campaign, aimed at raising awareness about the practice’s Hindu roots and values among non-Hindus.

And it's why Bhutada testified at the Capitol in Austin last year against a statewide school curriculum that calls Hinduism a polytheistic religion, a characterization many Hindus reject.

And it's why one area temple has begun placing copies of the Bhagavad Gita, a Hindu scripture, in thousands of Texas hotel rooms, right next to the Gideon Bible.

The developments speak to a new, publicly assertive stance that’s shared by many first-generation American Hindus across Houston, home to one of the country’s largest and fastest growing Indian enclaves, and by many young Hindus across the nation.

“Our parents had to build everything from scratch to make a united Hindu community in this country,” said Tejas N. Dave, 17, a high school junior who volunteers with a project bringing yoga to unprivileged Americans.

“Now we’re trying to reintegrate it back into society,” he said, “to make people realize that Hinduism is a religion and a way of life and a philosophy that’s not too different from what a lot of others believe. We’re all trying to make a better society.”

Some young Hindus are envious of the attention that American Muslims and Mormons have received in recent years – even if not all of the attention has been positive – and are trying to raise Hinduism’s national profile.

The impulse is not about winning converts. Hinduism, the world’s third-largest religion, doesn’t proselytize.

Rather, many young Hindus say, it’s about making their faith less exotic to others while making it more meaningful to their own modern American lives.

When their parents arrived from India a few decades ago, it was hard enough just being Hindu.

The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965, which overhauled the U.S. immigration system by eliminating biases toward European immigrants, among other things, opened American doors to millions of Asian immigrants, including Indians.

Those first arrivals struggled to recreate ethnic and religious networks from back home. When Bhutada’s father, Ramesh Bhutada, arrived in the U.S. in 1968, Houston played host to a single Hindu temple, which had opened earlier that year.

It was a stark change from India, where Hindus can stop into seemingly ubiquitous temples every day for brief visits, helping explain why so many Indians say “Hinduism is a way of life.”

There were more prosaic struggles, too. Many Hindus believe that vegetarianism denotes religious purity and a commitment to nonviolence, but they struggled to maintain that tradition in what was then a very meat-centric American diet.

“There was not even anything like a vegetable burger in those days,” Ramesh Bhutada said.

In those early years, new Hindu arrivals turned their homes into makeshift temples, holding religious education classes for their American-born children.

“There would be kids’ activities in one bedroom and adults in another,” said Dhruval Amin, 28, a Houston-based project manager at an international consulting firm, recalling childhood visits to such homes.

Today, Amin worships at the BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir, a sprawling, snow-white temple carved from Italian marble and Turkish limestone that sits on 22 manicured acres in Stafford, just south of Houston.

Opened in 2004, the temple is a proud symbol of the local Hindu community’s growth and prosperity, though it’s a story that’s hardly confined to Houston.

The U.S. Census does not track the number of Hindu Americans; the Census doesn’t ask about religion, period. But data from the 2010 Census show that Texas’ Asian Indian population nearly doubled in size in the past decade, to around 250,000.

Now, for the first time, Indians represent the largest Asian community in the state. Many were drawn by lucrative jobs in Texas’s booming oil, technology and medical sectors.

“A lot of the doctors in small metro markets across Texas are first- or second-generation Indians,” said Ray Perryman, who heads an economic research firm in Waco, Texas. “And the top two or three students in every high school tend to be from some part of Asia.”

Similar trends have emerged in other parts of the country. Nationally, Indian growth has surged by 60% in the past 10 years, according to the Census, with 2.8 million Asian Indians living in the U.S. today.

Indians now represent the country’s second-largest Asian group, after the Chinese.

They’re also among the nation’s most successful ethnic groups, with 71% of Asian Indians earning bachelor’s degrees or higher, compared with 28% of all Americans, according to data from the U.S. Census’s 2009 American Community Survey.

The survey reported that Asian Indians have median household incomes of more than $90,000, compared with $50,000 for all Americans.

Not everyone from that community is Hindu. India’s Christian, Muslim, Sikh and Jain minorities are also represented in the United States.

At a recent yoga class at Houston’s India House, a community center, the instructor was Hindu, and most participants were Indian, but half were Catholic, Methodist or another kind of Christian.

When the instructor, Sarika Phalak, leads open and closing prayers that reference God, she invites participants to speak the name of their own deity. Many say “Jesus.”

Still, Hindu growth around Houston has exploded in recent years, with 19 temples now scattered across the sprawling metropolitan area, most built just in the past decade.

Temple-based Hindu youth camps long ago replaced home-based classes. And several national Hindu organizations now call Houston home.

The city’s Hindu onslaught put Charu Krishna Thammavaram, 28, in closer touch with her religion when she relocated from Lafayette, Louisiana, three years ago.

“I feel like a born-again Hindu now,” said Thammavaram, who works for an India-focused humanitarian group called Ekal Vidyalaya, which is headquartered in Houston.

In Louisiana, the lone “nearby” temple was an hour’s drive from Thammavaram’s home. Here, she had her choice of temples and settled on a Hare Krishna temple after shopping around, just as many Americans of other faiths do.

For many young Hindus, tweaking their religious heritage to make it more relevant has become an important project.

“My parents were just immersed in Hinduism, starting every day with prayer and accepting it without question,” said Kavita Pallod, a native Houstonian and first-generation American who recently graduated college. “But I don’t start my days with prayer. And Hinduism is something I’ve questioned and debated with friends.”

Yet Pallod, 23, has spent a good deal of time thinking about how to apply her faith to her life. “I believe that karma is the principal that guides the universe,” she said, referring to the Hindu concept of cosmic justice. “It’s one of the reasons I joined Teach for America.”

Pallod, who’s training for the teaching program this summer, was speaking at Star Pipe Products, the pipefitting distributor where Rishi Bhutada works and that his father, Ramesh, founded in 1982.

Situated at the end of a bland industrial drive on the city’s west end, the company doubles as a meeting place for local Hindus.

Among its warren of warehouse and offices spaces is a community center where a mural of Swami Vivekananda, a famous 19th-century spiritual leader who introduced the faith to the United States, fills the back wall.

But like the younger Bhutada, Pallod is intent on taking her religion outside officially Hindu spaces. As the president of the Hindus Student Association at the University of Texas at Austin until her graduation in May, she focused on introducing Hinduism to non-Hindu students.

Last spring, her group went all out to get non-Hindus to participate in Holi, a Hindu festival that involves throwing colored powder and water – often at other people – in a playful, rainbow-like spectacle.

“We wanted them to actually experience it themselves as opposed to just sitting there passively,” Pallod said of the event. “We wanted to teach that the colors are all about eliminating differences by making everyone look the same.”

The festival drew about 2,000 people, with many enthusiastically throwing colored powder at one another in the shadow the state Capitol. It was the kind of scene that Indian immigrant parents could have never imagined.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Content Partner • Hinduism • Interfaith issues • Texas

soundoff (2,004 Responses)
  1. anuj

    Im sorry for my earlier comments. i posted that jus to prove how easy it is to incite hatred. So much hate in people, cant we all just get along. We are all barbarians, just look at some of the comments here

    July 10, 2011 at 10:48 am |
    • Charles Darwin

      We're all just talking monkeys.

      July 10, 2011 at 11:03 am |
  2. lower caste

    tho due to personal reason(lower caste) I was never religious but my parents r very very religious. till a decade ago I used to hate my religion. but now I guess I am matured and proud of being a Hindu and Indian tho still I don't give a damn to my GOD.
    I still can't come to the terms that my grand parents are not allowed inside temple back in India(in village). those f***** priests asks lots of money for temple building because I am here in USA still our names will be no where to be seen in temple because we r from a lower caste. Only names from upper cate can be displayed in temple and around. Even in my home city(in India) few priests come my home for worship. that too since my mom can afford to pay more money than my neighbors.
    The point is Hindu religion is a peaceful religion but there r many flaws as well. Society is still divided based on caste and untouchability(upper caste people don't eat/drink in a lower caste home publicly tho they do everything in private) is still major issue in villages where more than 70% of population live.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  3. Guest

    I am an atheist. How ever, the way l was brought up to respect all religion, every one, try to live life as honest as can be, do not take something that isn't yours do come from seeding within me. My parents as well atheist but lived very honest life.

    This temples look so beautiful. I wish all my lndian fellows and temple good luck. I am proud that out religion is not hi-jack by terrorist. I am sure, we as well must have radical but don't let those radical over power our good people.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • Guest

      Then why are you not being as honest as you can? Why do you keep lying?

      July 10, 2011 at 10:58 am |
    • Guest

      Guest

      Never met anyone including Gandhiji who never lied or fibbed – lol

      July 10, 2011 at 11:00 am |
  4. Binoy

    I have lived in the US for many years and returned back to India, I can see that the article focuses on a more cultural bonding that any emigrant wants to connect back to his or her land. About 80% of the Hindus are not vegetarian, where I am from, the Christians or Muslims are lot more religious and "fundamentalists" than an average Hindu living in the US, one reason being that the average Hindu living in the US is very educated, and hence less bothered about religious observance. Having said that, the Hindus living in the US are more religious and try to culturally connected to their religion than their own relatives back in India, a typical situation of a person of minority religion and ethnicity in any land.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:42 am |
  5. Narasimhan

    Hinduism is not a faith. It is not a belief system. The reporter tries to think and explain in Christian terms.
    There are many yoga other than the physical exercise(Hatha Yoga). One needs to know about devotion to understand
    this spirituality.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:41 am |
  6. Ed Fern

    As I recall, the First Amendment said that religion and being American should not be related to one another. Of course, our national motto, approved by Congress, did away with that notion, didn't it? We have become a nation of hypocrites.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • Jamm

      Ah yes, our national motto – "Gott Mit Uns". Or was it "In God We Trust"? I get those two mixed up.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:44 am |
  7. edward

    By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor>>> I paid $32.67 for a XBOX 360 and my mom got a 17 inch Toshiba laptop for $94.83 being delivered to our house tomorrow by Fedex. I will never again pay expensive retail prices at stores. I even sold a 46 inch HDTV to my boss for $650 and it only cost me $52.78 to get. Here is the website we using to get all thisstuff, BuzzSavecom <==An officer at his dad’s pipefitting company, Texas-born Bhutada had an arranged marriage in India three years ago and then brought his wife back to his hometown, where they recently welcomed a son.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:36 am |
  8. chn

    I am a Hindu and for aboloishing all relegions. In the beginging god created.... Since then humans were atrocious to fellow humans in the name of relegion and god. Which god, if he/she is really god/goddess, would like disciples kill/hate humans of other relegions just because they pray some other god/goddess. JEALOUSY?

    July 10, 2011 at 10:35 am |
  9. Nitin

    Hinduism is not a religion, it's a way of living. You may of course define it as a religion of humanity. I am a Hindu. I do not not remember anyone ever telling me to follow any Hindu rules or guidelines. I was a Hindu by my acts. I imbibed from society various Hindu principles like respecting all living beings even an ant!!

    July 10, 2011 at 10:34 am |
    • joe

      I think many ants post here, judging by their brain power.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • Guest

      Nitin:

      Absolutely correct. Hinduism is way of life, good way of life but not an religion.

      July 10, 2011 at 11:02 am |
  10. Murphy

    I thought that yoga originated with Buddhism...hummm. I guess if you kill them and run them off the land you can take what you wnat from them and call it your own.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:33 am |
    • chn

      Buddhism is a branch of Hinduism....

      July 10, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • ad

      yoga from buddism?? lol. haha.

      get off that pot, buddy.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:36 am |
    • ad

      hindus killed buddhists????

      I guess that's why Gautam Buddha is such revered figure amongst Hindus...

      July 10, 2011 at 10:38 am |
    • ad

      oh one more thing. the Indian National flag has a buddhist inscription. the wheel you see in the middle is called Ashok Chakra – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashoka_Chakra

      July 10, 2011 at 10:39 am |
    • Murphy

      @chn I guess that will make christianilty and Islam a branch of Judaism

      @ad yes Hindus killed Buddhists

      July 10, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • Dawn

      Huh? Hinduism and Yoga are thousands of years older than Buddhism. Also, Hindus consider Buddha to be one of the 10 incarnations of Vishnu, one of the holy trinity. So, there was no running them off, killing them and stealing their ideas as you imagine.

      Christianity isn't a "branch" of Judaism but it obviously has its roots firmly embedded in Judaism. Hence, the Hebrew Bible is the Old Testament that Christians revere. Same with Islam...it isn't a coincidence that some of the most revered figures in Judaism also show up in Islam (which is a much younger religion). All religions borrow from what is around them; any historian knows this.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • ad

      @murphy. really?? you think it has nothing to do with muslim hordes arriving in 800 ad and destroying buddhist libraries and texts. Afghanistan/Pakistan was the cradle of buddism/hinduism. You would think there would atleast hindu/buyddhist vestiges there? Nalanda and takshila were burned down by mulsim hordes.

      In 2001, bamiyan buddha statues were destroyed by taliban.

      But buddhist temples and statues are still intact in India, why?

      July 10, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • Shiva

      Murphy,dont accuse people of killing anyone... If anyone is hurting the Buddhists they are the Chinese. Buddhism came out of HInduism....so did Jainism...check your facts dude

      July 10, 2011 at 10:50 am |
    • hindu

      @murphy
      True, hindus(brahmins) did try to crush buddhism in India and succeeded but at the same time Buddha was given an eternal status in Hinduism when he was proclaimed as the ninth Incarnation of Vishnu. I guess they tried to make amends after what they did. Buddha is the only truly proven historical personality who was given godhood in Hindiusm. Also realize that there was a time when Buddhism was widely popular in India. But eventually Brahminism prevailed.

      And I think you are misinformed, Yoga is not from Buddhism, it has been in practice from times prior. If you came across any material to the contrary, please share it.

      July 10, 2011 at 11:06 am |
    • scudzz

      Yoga has origins before Buddha. You find references to yoga in Vedas, that dates before Buddha. Well, the whole purpose of this article was to educate and remove prejudice.

      July 10, 2011 at 11:16 am |
    • Murphy

      @Dawn can you please tell me when Hindu's started considering Buddha an incarnation..from what I know it was very recent...why the wait? And you are right all religions borrow.
      @Ad I am talking about them being killed BC not AD
      @Shiva there have been many contradictions in respect to which came first Hinduisim or Buddhism

      In respect to Hindisim...Damn its good to be a Brahmin..if you don't know then you don't know

      I am "Made in India"

      July 10, 2011 at 11:56 am |
    • John Richardson

      So if Buddha is an incarnation of Vishnu and Vishnu is just an aspect of Brahman, I guess Buddha is an incarnation of Brahman, right? Also, if Buddha is the 9th of 10 incarnations of Vishnu, then he didn't escape reincarnation by achieving Nirvana and hence according to Hindus, the most important claim Buddhists make about Buddha is false. This could get interesting.

      Oh, and who were fighting in Sri Lanka for several decades until just recently, when one side was routed?

      July 10, 2011 at 12:19 pm |
  11. Person

    People, if any of you actually read the Mahabharatha, you would know that they say the caste system is useless.
    Also, hinduism does not believe in many gods, it actually believes in one god manifesting in many forms. Its a religion based on Love, Peace , and vegeterianism. No Violence in general, just to uphold Dharma, or peace ( I know sounds jedi like)
    Its techinically monetheistic, like Christianity and Islam, and judiasm. Its a way of life for some people, respect it.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:30 am |
  12. Samuel

    Live and Let live – gotta be the biggest joke. Wait till they throw you out in the name of their religion.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:20 am |
    • Snarks

      They don't, only islam does that, but with an iron sword.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:26 am |
    • flywithme

      Guess what buddy? Only Christians and Muslims do that. Look at India it even though India is majority Hindu, there are more Muslims in INDIA than in Pakistan... Christianity is growing. They are tolerant (for the most part), but when Christians feel threatened or Muslims they are the ones who throw people out.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Snarks

      flywithme why would you ever put christians and muslims in the same box? Ignorance is bliss. You goto any christian church, and they will welcome you with open arms. You goto any islamic church, and you had better do as they request and follow their beliefs accordingly, or you will be chastised.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:28 am |
  13. gman21

    To modernise Hinduism, there are 2 issues: 1. The Hindus need to first get rid of the caste mindset. Even among the Hindus in America there is division based on caste. It is true and sad. 2. Hindus need to get rid of the Godmen who just use the religion for their money making business. Look what is happening at Puttaparthi, for example.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:19 am |
    • yourdaddy

      Christianity and Islam are pretending to be religions of the modern world. Well guess what if you believe the world was created in 7 days and giants roamed the world not too long ago , good luck to you. There are churches claiming to cure AIDS..(I have actually witnessed this)..

      July 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • a Hindu American

      True. I couldn't agree more ...

      July 10, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
  14. varun

    Most Indians enter US to earn higher degree, If US have same policies towards indians as it has towards inviting african people then 71% of indians who have bachelor degree will become 35%...

    July 10, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  15. Samuel

    Can someone tell me why there is so much hatred, corruption, crime, abuse of human rights, inequalities in these hindu countries? Is there a relationship between their teachings and their practice?

    July 10, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • Jack Brady

      @Samuel – It was brought in when Christianity and Islam entered these countries. Prior to that, they did not exist in the Asian countries.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • ad

      i guess christian countries are utopia. Take Uganda or Nigeria example. Heavenly, peaceful christians there. Why dont you actually go and stay there?

      July 10, 2011 at 10:43 am |
    • iabc

      idiot there is no hindu country. Nepal was the last Hindu country to convert to secular. don't shout here when you know nothing. All your comments here don't make any sense. First go to school and travel world before talking politics

      July 10, 2011 at 10:47 am |
    • JC

      Pretty much of Central Africa and the south are Christian countries. Ghana and Congo are good examples of peace.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:49 am |
    • JC

      Seriously, you need to go to high school. No wonder unemployment is 9.2%. This is the education level.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:54 am |
    • hindu

      @iabc
      'hindu country' could just mean country with majority hindus. when someone points out something in you, try to defend it if possible, rather than slinging mud.

      @samuel
      The issues mostly are due to poverty and over population. You won't worry about being 'noble' when with hungry stomach and a family of 10 to feed. Now why there is so much poverty? British are 'partly' to be blamed, under their rule, the main intent was filling up their own coffers rather than working for the common good of the Indian people.

      July 10, 2011 at 11:30 am |
  16. JEFF

    ERM

    a dollar says you are an indian trying to protect your ills.
    I AM CRYING ABOUT OUR JOB LOSSESbS, THIS SCOURGE OF OUTSOURCING TO INDIA THAT IS KILLING OUR ECONOMY, and all you can look at is language mistakes. !!!!
    people in my family are jobless. i have friends out of work– and the main reason is this cheap labour indian workforce that keeps sucking our jobs to india.
    one day, we will look back, with our economy down, and realize the biggest enemy all along was INDIA.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:16 am |
    • chanG

      No, Jeff. The main reason is they didn't study hard while in college. They probably spent all their time thinking and talking about football, while Indians studied 18 hours a day. You get all your reward in this life.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • JC

      You guys don't have jobs because you are unqualified. Blue collar America brags all day and doesn't realize that many IT jobs are taken up by foreigners each day on H1 visa. There are plenty of jobs out there, you didn't study enough to be qualified. A guy at burger king will whine all day but won't pick up a book and study. And for outsourcing jobs, blame American companies who send their work outside. You aren't smart enough to get a real picture here, probably a reason behind being outta work.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:23 am |
    • flywithme

      They didn't "rob" anything, corporations sent them overseas. I wouldn't blame the Indians, blame the US gov. for making it hard to do business here, and corporations, who only look out for profits. BTW, all those jobs seem to be coming back or going to poorer nations... Your making it sound like they came in, in the middle of the night, put a gun to the heads of companies, and demanded jobs. Most of India's growth is Internal demand...

      July 10, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • JC

      Talking about language mistakes.
      First letter always letter starts from the capital.
      Exclamation doesn't go after full stop.

      Have a nice day.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:31 am |
    • SBD

      So Jeff – Who is to blame for Unemployment in US. Are the employees in India who work on outsourced jobs, or the greedy American businessmen who go begging in India to get their job done taking advantage of the low cost and currency value and lifting their profit and share values. Indian do not come here or grab or steal jobs. American businessmen encourage, entertain and welcome them. By the way 9.2 unemployment rate contribute to 90% job losses in construction, retail and merchandise industry, where these jobs are not outsourced.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:37 am |
    • sasi

      Be realistic, 90% of our jobs are going to china and not to India, the jobs which are going to India are fractional.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:45 am |
    • FrauSchmidt

      I worked in highly skilled IT and the unemployment rate is below 5%. We are always looking for GOOD engineers and CoSci professionals. India just got some of the cheaper jobs.
      Whites, are a minority in this field. Blacks are non-existent. in this field.

      American companies had a hard time recruiting talent in the 90s and had to expand to India in the 2000s
      So keep drinking beer, keep listening to that horrendous hip-hop music, keep watching football and thinking that a truck driving job will provide you with goods.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:57 am |
  17. Snarks

    I don't care what hindus do, or how they try to acclimate. They can practice what they want, because their religion is a true peaceful religion, unlike say, islam. The only religion in the 21st century to teach terrorism, hate, and submission of women is islam. So christians, catholics, hindus, jews, atheists, satanists, paganists, protestants, buddhists, etc.. do what you want, so long as we make sure to act as one to fend off the insane religion of islam.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:15 am |
  18. I AM INDIAN HINDU UNTOUCHABLE

    Hey everyone, I am an INDIAN UNTOUCHABLE, me, my family and many of people like me (25% Indian population) are considered untouchables in INDIAN society even today. We untouchables are not allowed to go to Hindu Temples, not allowed to drink and eat in same restaurent, can't buy house next to Upper class Hindus, even walking same street and bus is considered sin.
    If by mistake this untouchable boy or girl marries upper caste boy or girl in college, they would just kill them, and there will be no police record either.
    I FEEL ASHAMED, AND FEEL LIKE SHOUTING TILL DEATH IN FRONT OF THESE INDIAN TEMPLES BUILT IN USA, HINDU BHAGVATHGEETA AND MAHABHARATH PROMOTES classes of people and re-itarates untouchability again and again.

    HINDUISM first treat your fellow citizens as humans the way you liked to be treated as humans in USA and westren contries. Please stop promoting BHAGVATHGEETA/MAHABHRATH (HINDU holy books) they promote untouchability.

    July 10, 2011 at 10:15 am |
    • flywithme

      Pathetic liar, why are you a Hindu then? How come you have a computer? Why do you bother to go to temples. Come on you ain't Hindu or an untouchable...

      July 10, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • JC

      Why Hindu then?
      I think you are a Muslim.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Murphy

      Bravo for speaking the truth..you forgot to mention that per Hinduism you are not even considered a Hidu.(Becasue of your caste). But they like to use the untouchables for there benifits.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:27 am |
    • Jack Brady

      @I AM INDIAN HINDU UNTOUCHABLE

      The fact that you're on CNN.com and typing up your opinions speaks volumes about the opportunities you were afforded in a country that discriminates against untouchables. VERY CONVINCING! 🙂

      July 10, 2011 at 10:41 am |
    • sfda

      Dude have you read Bhagavat Gita. First try to understand it and then talk about it. There were classes of men based on their occupation & there is nothing like touchables or untouchables. It was all created by people like who just want to blame on somebody. You are

      July 10, 2011 at 11:00 am |
    • REPLY : I AM INDIAN HINDU UNTOUCHABLE

      Hats Off dude, thanks for bringing up NAKED truth of Indian Caste system, I know, these untouchables are used on rice fields, cleaning up farms and animals, their families are pretty much bonbded labours, 90% of Indians know all this. If there are few Indians try to lie about it, may Lord Shiva opens their eyes. Shame on this system these UNtouchbles children at age 10 yrs or so start working in their Fathers lanlord's rice/wheat farms.

      YOU HAVE VALID REASON, ATLEAST KEEP A PLAYCARD IN FORNT OF THESE TEMPLES, ASKING THEM NOT TO PROMOTE CASTE SYSTME IN USA,LIKE IN INDIA.

      MAY GOD, IF YOU REALLY EXISTS, TRAVEL TO INDIA AND SAVE THESE UNTOUCHABLES, IT'S WORST THAN NAZI'S TIME.

      July 10, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  19. Blake231

    Shut up haters... this religion is the most liberal form of religion. It welcomes christianity buddhism and others but ISLAM. OK not so liberal. nevermind...

    July 10, 2011 at 10:13 am |
    • gman21

      Hindus (not Hinduism) are liberal to everyone else other than lower castes. Just saying.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:21 am |
    • Murphy

      Please look up the term untouchables.In refrence to India. You will see the tolarance.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:24 am |
    • hindu

      I guess your sentence should read 'Pakistan' instead of ISLAM. Hindus never had any issues with Islam. But definitely with Pakistan and rightfully so. It is very easy to forget the distinction sometimes, Pakistan being a ISLAMic State, but an average Indian Hindu is cool with average Muslim.

      July 10, 2011 at 10:40 am |
  20. Ratnadeep Paul

    Not all Hindus are vegetarians......How can CNN author be so ignorant...........Its pretty hard to define Hinduism......so many different schools of thoughts, rituals, customs, ways of life are woven into Hinduism......yet all I see is a one dimensional view of Hinduism in CNN and other mainstream media.......

    July 10, 2011 at 10:12 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.