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The observation by Rabindranath Tagore regarding the ‘Hindu’ society and the people of other religions

The observation by Rabindranath Tagore regarding the ‘Hindu’ society and the people of other religions:
“I was born into the Hindu society and have accepted the Brahmo sect; if I wish I can go over to another sect, but to another society I cannot belong… With the history of no other society would I have this sense of identification? We can transfer a fruit from one basket to another, but on a different branch we cannot grow.

Do I than claim that I remain a Hindu even if I become a Christian? Certainly I do, and to me this is quite beyond dispute. No matter what the orthodox Hindus may say about it, Kali Charan Banerjee was a Hindu Christian, and so was Jnanendra Mohan Tagore before him and Krishna Mohan Banerjee as well. These men were Hindu by nation and Christian in faith. Christianity was their complexion, but in substance they were nothing but Hindus. There are thousands of Bengali Muslims whom Hindus perpetually label as non-Hindus, and yet the truth about them is that they are Hindu Muslims.

The words “Hindu” and “Muslim” do not have a similar connotation. Islam is a particular religious creed. But Hinduism is not. “Hindu” is a term for the consummation of the Indian nation… From long ago has it come down to us , passing through centuries and the same sunlit horizons, carrying along with it the same rivers and forests and mountains, and saturated with that sequence of attacks and responses which constitute the history of our mundane and spiritual lives. In that word is contained all that we are in our bodies and our souls. From this deep flowing stream no one is cast aside simply by virtue of his having become a Christian – neither a Kali Charan Banerjee nor a Jnanendra Mohan Tagore.

The nation is larger than the creed and goes much deeper too; changing one’s beliefs involves no change in one’s nationality. The nation to which I belonged when I believed in the mythological story of creation is still mine, although I believe in the modern and scientific version of that story.

It will be argued that a Muslim is a Muslim for all that, whether in China or Persia. Not that I know much about the Chinese Muslim, but I dare say that he is in many ways quite different from his Indian counterpart, although there is a certain agreement in religion.”