Should we consider ISKCON devotees as Hindus or not?


This needs an examination of the meaning of the word Hindu. A few questions already exist about what the term 'Hindu' means. Legally in India, anyone who does not follow Abrahamic faiths are Hindus. That includes Jains, Sikhs & Buddhists too. Similarly ISKCON would also fall under the category of legal Hindu.

If one were to see if ISKCON would fall under theological Hinduism, it would since their main deity is Krishna who is a 'Hindu' deity. The ISKCON people have tried to isolate themselves from the term Hindu since unfortunately a negative connotation has been associated with Hinduism in the west where ISKCON is active. The negative connotation being Hinduism = Casteism = Racism/Slavery. Though many ISKCON devotees like Stephen Knapp have extensively written against racist interpretation of Hinduism, many western ISKCON devotees still suffer from 'difference anxiety' and disassociate themselves from Hinduism.

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