Hinduism on Defamation of Religion

Hinduism is one of the most diverse and decentralized of the world’s major faith traditions. Within Hinduism, there is no centralized concept of the defamation of religion; however, individual Hindus may find offense at particular ritualistic actions. For example, most Hindus engage in the ritual practice of puja which involves the physical representations of deities. Images can be anthropomorphic or aniconic, and during sacred rituals, Hindus believe that God descends and indwells these images. As such, these images are sacralized during ritual practice as Hindus believe these images contain the divine essence of God. This belief can lead to issues of defamation if these images are used in secular settings where they are not bestowed the level of respect and adoration that is appropriate in the Hindu worldview. However, in general, Hinduism is a diverse tradition that is accepting of differing religious beliefs and practices; reports of defamation are few and not often litigated.
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