Tolerance is in the DNA of India. This Hindu nation has not attacked any other country for the last 10,000 years or tried to convert people of other faiths. It welcomed and accepted all faiths and all have lived peacefully here. The minority population has increased proportionately more and they have more rights than the majority here. But if we look at the neighboring Pakistan and Bangladesh, Hindu and Christian minorities have been persecuted and decimated.
Peace and ahimsa are intrinsic with the psyche of Indians. The hot climate and mountains to the north and East and Ocean to the South have made them self-contained and at ease. The oldest religious texts, the Vedas originated in this peaceful land. Later ones like the Upanishads and Gita advocate ahimsa and non-violence. Hindus have lived following this directive of their sacred texts ever since.
Great religions like Buddhism and Jainism, which originated in its soil, are fundamentally peaceful. They are non-violent to the core. Their followers are directed not only not to harm any living thing but also to be merciful and compassionate to them as they have the same right to exist like a human being and it is sinful to hurt or pain them. Compassion and love for fellow beings became one with the psyche of India.
Greatest minds that have grazed this land like Gandhi followed this principle throughout his life and Indians in general follow his life example. He showed kindness to a white man in South Africa who struck him violently and threw him out of the First Class compartment although he had the right to travel in it as he had a first class ticket. He asked all his followers to practice ahimsa fully and totally in the struggle he led against the British rule and it remained a non-violent movement throughout.
During the 1940s India had both Hindu and Muslim population spread almost throughout but with concentrations of one sect in certain areas. Politicians, due to their selfish interests, wanted to partition it into two (so that two ambitious guys could become their Prime Ministers). There was blood shed in the ensuing milieu and in a few years the two countries settled and went on with their business, one becoming Islamic and the other(India) secular.
The Hindu majority nation India continued with its peaceful agenda and has welcomed every faith. It even accepted, fed and educated Muslim immigrants although it was a very poor nation. Even today it accepts other faiths. The minority, gaining strength form its secular stand began to ridicule Hindu beliefs and denigrate their gods. When such arrogance exceeded limits Hindus started to oppose the stand of those who got converted at gun point or with a sword at their necks. This is being labeled as intolerance. In India now anyone can defile a Hindu god or belittle their beliefs but not otherwise. This is unjust especially as the Hindus are peace-loving and the majority. Is there any other nation in the world where the majority is humiliated likewise?
The Muslim and Christian population in India have been growing in geometrical progression vis-à-vis Hindus who have been growing in arithmetical progression. Between 1961 and 1991 Muslim population had grown by 133.66% as compared to Hindu growth of 89.24% - Population of Muslims in India is estimated to be over 180 million in 2015. In in 1947 was it was a little less than 30 million! Even the Christian numbers have increased geometrically. Only Hindus did not. And for that magnanimity they are termed intolerant!
Pakistan had 22 million Hindus in 1947 and in 2011 it was 8.5 million. Now it may be less than five million. Pakistan’s religious minorities are widely viewed as embattled or under attack. At the time of partition in 1947, almost 23 percent of Pakistan’s population comprised of non-Muslim citizens. Today, the proportion of non-Muslims has declined to approximately 3 percent. Where has the millions gone?
After 1951, the Hindu population that has hovered around 1.5-2 per cent mark has been subjected to hardships, conversions, and denial of human rights. Most of the 16 per cent Hindus who were present in Pakistan at the time of the partition either escaped to India or, most tragically, succumbed to the genocide that accompanied partition. Still Hindus are intolerant!