What’s the most populous democratic country in the world?  If you answered The United States you’d be wrong…, it’s The Republic of India!

That’s right…, India.

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Taking this revelation into consideration, I thought it would be a good idea for our American friends to learn a bit more about India.

India is on the complete opposite side of our world, in relations to The United States.

The United States is about three times bigger than India geographically, but India has roughly four times the population of The United States.

Our cultures are very similar in some aspects, but also very different in others.

Both countries have social issues they are dealing with, but I feel, in general, our hearts and desires are in the right place and well-intended.

Both countries are also dealing with a constant erosion of their democracy.  The proponents of socialism, communism and totalitarianism never rest.

The predominant religion in The United States is Christianity, which over 73% of its citizens call their religion.  In India, Hinduism is followed by 80% of its people.

We can’t really talk about India without a discussion about Hinduism.

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Where Christianity is a “religion” or a belief, or a faith…, Hinduism is more complex.  Hinduism is all of that plus a general way of life, or “dharma.”

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Hinduism includes a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but has no ecclesiastical order relating to a church especially as an established institution, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, no prophet(s) nor any binding holy book; Hindus can choose to be polytheistic (multiple gods), pantheistic (pantheism is the view that everything is part of an all-encompassing god), panentheistic (this is the belief that the divine pervades and interpenetrates every part of the universe and also extends beyond space and time), monotheistic (one god), agnostic (a person who believes that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena; a person who claims neither faith nor disbelief in God), atheistic or humanist.  Ideas about all the major issues of faith and lifestyle including: vegetarianism, nonviolence, belief in rebirth, even caste, are subjects of debate, not an assertion by some religious authority.

Because of the wide range of traditions and ideas covered by the term Hinduism, arriving at a comprehensive definition is very difficult.  Hinduism has been defined as a religion, a religious tradition, a set of religious beliefs, and “a way of life.” From a Western standpoint, Hinduism like other faiths is appropriately referred to as a religion. In India the term “dharma” is preferred, which is broader than the Western term religion.

Hinduism is an interesting concept.  It’s a “one religion serves all” “religion.”

In America, most of us are familiar with the concept of “karma.” “Karma” is a part of, and comes from, Hindu beliefs.

I would encourage my readers and followers to learn more about Hinduism on your own, as I am unable to do more than scratch the surface of what Hinduism fully is here.

India, or The Republic of India, is a “constitutional republic” just like The United States is.

India has three branches of government, executive, legislature and judicial, just like The United States.

America has 50 states.  India has 28.

While American culture has only been around for a few hundred years, Indian culture has been around for over 5,000 years!

I sometimes wonder if American culture will be able to survive under its own weight, even another 100 years.  Perhaps America could learn some cultural lessons from our Indian friends.

I would hazard to say that most Americans have gotten their impressions of India over time from the writings of Rudyard Kipling and primarily from his story “The Jungle Book.”

Many Americans may have also learned something about India from the movies “The Jungle Book,” “Gandhi,” “Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom,” and “Slumdog millionaire.”

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While some Americans may be familiar with the Taj Mahal (the name and its appearance), it is the only place or thing in India we’ve heard of.  We don’t know where in India it is or what the building’s purpose is, however.

It’s nothing to be proud of, but that’s just the way it is.

Famous Indians that we may be aware of are Mother Teresa, Mahatma Gandhi (or Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi) and Indira Gandhi…, in that order.

If I had to bet, most of the people who would recognize the name “Mother Teresa” would not make a connection with her to India, however.

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Gandhi (Mahatma Gandhi), who inspired our own Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., should be recognized as one of the greatest men who ever lived…, but sadly, even his memory is fading as time goes by.

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Cricket is the most popular sport in India, and cricket could be considered somewhat similar to American baseball in many ways.

And lastly, The United Stated and India both gained our independence from The British Empire.

It is my belief that the relationship between America and India is one that should be nurtured, encouraged and expanded upon.

In recent Gallup polls, over 70% of Americans said they have a favorable view of India.  The remainder of Americans were mostly indifferent, with there being virtually no negative views towards India.

The United States and India have a long history (relatively speaking) of cooperation and support, dating back to President Franklin Roosevelt, President Truman, President Eisenhower, President Kennedy, and all the way up to President Trump.

In 2016, India was declared a “Major Defense Partner” of The United States, and in 2018, India was granted “Strategic Trade Authorization,” which enables the exporting of high technology products related to space and defense systems.

Jeremy Diamond, Kate Sullivan and Swati Gupta, of CNN, reported that “Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi bills Trump as a ‘true friend’ in The White House at a Houston rally.”

“Trump joined Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Houston [Texas] attended by tens of thousands, many of whom were waving Indian flags as both leaders praised each other’s work.”

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“Breaking away from the staid formality of meetings at the White House, Trump took the stage with Modi at an event dubbed ‘Howdy, Modi!’ at NRG Stadium. Roughly 50,000 people — many from the city’s large Indian diaspora [the dispersion of any people from their original homeland] — were registered to attend.”

Donald Trump,Narendra Modi

“Trump credited the Indian-American community with ‘helping to strengthen our country and build our future,’ citing its contributions to medicine, business and technology.”

“The President praised Modi’s leadership and touted the ‘stronger than ever before’ relationship with India. He said India ‘has never had a better friend as President than President Donald Trump.’”

“Modi praised Trump, calling him ‘warm, friendly, accessible, energetic and full of wit.’”

“On stage, Modi introduced Trump as India’s ‘true friend’ in the White House, and he invoked Trump in his signature campaign slogan, ‘Ab ki baar, Modi sarkar,’ which translates to ‘This time, Modi government.’ On stage, Modi replaced his name with Trump’s.”

“He commended the Trump administration for celebrating Diwali at the White House, and he invited Trump and his family to come to India.”

“Modi said he is ‘certain that some positive developments’ will come out of upcoming talks at the UN. ‘President Trump calls me the top negotiator but he himself is great at the “Art of the deal” and I am learning a lot from him,’ he said.”

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I would like to hear from any of my Indian readers about your perceptions of The United States or anything else you feel your American friends may find interesting from your perspective.  Please also feel free to correct me on any of my statements here about your country, your people, the Hindu religion, etc.  MrEricksonRules is still in the process of learning as well!

I value your feedback and I’d love to hear from you!

If you’re not already “following” me and you liked my blog(s) today, please “click” on the comment icon just to the right of the date at the bottom of this article.  From there you can let me know you “like” my blog, leave a comment or click the white “FOLLOW” button at the bottom of that page, which will keep you up to date on all of my latest posts.

Thank you, MrEricksonRules.

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