Hindu Identity and Liberation

I’d love to hear from South Asian-heritage folks about Hindu identity and liberation. Hindu ideology pervades the entire sub-continent. The dominance of Hinduism plus the impact of caste oppression make Hindu liberation key to South Asian liberation. I think we all need to work on this, whatever our religious identity.

Being Hindu is something I’ve distanced myself from because the religion has been used to dominate non-Hindus and oppress women. At the South Asian workshop,1 Azadeh Khahlili encouraged us to go for2 discomfort. I think proudly claiming Hindu identity would lead to mass discomfort! I hardly ever counsel on it! I need to notice that Hindus are good. I have strong resistance to doing this, which means that there are many early experiences to discharge.

I remember asking my parents questions about Hinduism, but they were raised by secular parents and never knew the answers. I found myself wishing I had a guru to answer questions for me. My struggles in the United States—Christians calling me a “heathen” and telling me that I was going to go to hell—didn’t help me keep reaching to understand my religion.

How do you think about this work? What do you love about Hindus? What do you need to discharge to fully embrace the goodness of Hindu people? What do you think is key to Hindu liberation work, and what impact would Hindu liberation have?

I’d love to hear your thinking.

Amisha Patel
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion list
for leaders of South, Central, and
West Asian Heritage People 

1 The South Asian Liberation Workshop for North America, led by Azi Khalili, the International Liberation Reference Person for South, Central, and West Asian-Heritage People, near Boston, Massachusetts, USA, February 28 to March 2, 2014.
2 “Go for” means pursue.


Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00