|When I visited
I met with representatives of the new Hinduism, modern Hindus seeking to rediscover their
Hindu spiritual roots. They had a broad view of Hinduism as part of a movement
toward a global culture and universal spiritual, Hinduism as Sanatana Dharma.
Such individuals were generally highly educated, knew a
number of languages, had travelled to many countries, and valued Hinduism from a
standpoint of intelligence and modernity, not out of lack of contact with the greater
world. To my surprise and chagrin, I found that these were often the same people that the
English language press if India would label as fundamentalists.
They were called fundamentalist not for any aggressive
religious conservatism, but for finding real value in Hinduism and not embracing
materialist political values. These people demonstrated an appreciation of religion,
spirituality and science, such that I found in no fundamentalist groups in America, or in
even the orthodox among Western religion.