Historians have tangled with two difficult conceptualizations of Hinduism. One is the use of the term Hinduism, and the other, the relation between environmental ethics and Hinduism. One posits a “merry India” that is diverse, tolerant, and amorphous, impossible to pin down, define, or solidify into a single entity. The other accepts the term Hinduism and ascribes to it a battery of impressive environmental ethics that stand as a model for the West. The attempt to deconstruct the term Hinduism and the ascription of environmental ethics to Hinduism are both romantic expressions of an orientalism increasingly outdated by the new global identity of the large and growing subcontinent middle and upper class elites.

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