Scholars state that the custom of distinguishing between Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs is a modern phenomenon.
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In contemporary era, the term Hindus are individuals who identify with one or more aspects of Hinduism, whether they are practising or non-practicing or Laissez-faire.
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Hindus subscribe to a diversity of ideas on spirituality and traditions, but have no ecclesiastical order, no unquestionable religious authorities, no governing body, nor a single founding prophet; Hindus can choose to be polytheistic, pantheistic, monotheistic, monistic, agnostic, atheistic or humanist.
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Some Hindus go on pilgrimage to shared sites they consider spiritually significant, practice one or more forms of bhakti or puja, celebrate mythology and epics, major festivals, love and respect for guru and family, and other cultural traditions.
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Some Hindu families brought up a son as a Sikh, and some Hindus view Sikhism as a tradition within Hinduism, even though the Sikh faith is a distinct religion.
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Hindus have been persecuted during the medieval and modern era.
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Christophe Jaffrelot states that modern Hindu nationalism was born in Maharashtra, in the 1920s, as a reaction to the Islamic Khilafat Movement wherein Indian Muslims championed and took the cause of the Turkish Ottoman sultan as the Caliph of all Muslims, at the end of the World War I Hindus viewed this development as one of divided loyalties of Indian Muslim population, of pan-Islamic hegemony, and questioned whether Indian Muslims were a part of an inclusive anti-colonial Indian nationalism.
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