Indian, followed by Hindu

We need to mainstream the use of the phrase "Indian Hindu". Because when we say "Indian Muslim" and "Indian Christian" but not "Indian Hindu", we end up supporting the idea that Hindu is some sort of default identity that is the equivalent of Indian.

Not true.

That's basically what has been the Hindutva agenda for ages now - to equate the Indian identity with the Hindu identity. It lets them claim special status and say that others don't "belong" here. In truth, every Indian belongs in India, be they Hindu, Muslim, Christian or something else.

In any case, there needs to be a clear distinction made between American Hindus and Indian Hindus. The cultural gap, especially in terms of financial privilege, is too great to be glossed over. More so because the things American Hindus say and do end up affecting the lives of many who live and work in India.

We need to save the "Indian" identity label from being subsumed by one narrowly-defined religious label. To not do so would be to allow Hindutva to take over and turn India into an official Hindu rashtra. The words and phrases we use matter.

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