Date: 1/2/2005


....................Dear USA TODAY,

In your description of the affected countries by the recent tsunami India has been described as a country of religious strife and ethnic conflicts. (usa today, Thursday, December 30)

The Hindus are one of the most tolerant people. Hinduism is not a religion that persecutes others merely for having a difference in theological belief.

Hindu India for example, has been the sole nation on earth where the Jewish community was never been persecuted. This is the case despite the presence of Jews in India for over 2000 years. Similarly, Zoroastrian refugees escaping the destruction of the Persian Civilization at the hands of the Islamic conquerors were greeted with welcome refuge in India 1000 years ago. The Zohoastrian community ( now known as the Parsees ) in India have thrived all these years.

It is the tolerance of the Hindus that given rise the many other sects like Buddhism, Jainism ., Sikhism etc. The Prime minister of India is a Sikh and the President of India is a Muslim who are both highly respected by all Indians. Hinduism that had been responsible for the continuous development of thousands of years of sophisticated culture, architecture, music, philosophy, ritual and theology came under devastating assault during the 19th century British colonial rule. For a thousand years prior that foreign marauders had repeatedly attempted to destroy Hinduism through overt physical genocide and systematic destruction of Hindu temples and sacred places. But this Hindu holocaust is rarely mentioned in the western press.