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In most of this world there is a very different attitude towards sexuality than in the real world. There is much less of the prudishness of the real world, and in general governments do not concern themselves with people's sex lives. Without a Victorian period, with the much earlier introduction of chemical contraceptives in 1859, with the earlier discovery of antibiotics in 1901, and with the disruptions the Long War caused to society, much of what the Victorians considered to be 'immorality' remains out in the open instead of being conducted covertly behind closed doors. Activities that in the real world might be considered 'immoral' are accepted in this world as long as they occur in their 'proper' place. Many rich men openly keep mistresses, while prostitution is, in most nations, a taxed and regulated industry like any other. Linked to this, courtesans and hostesses, intelligent and skilled singers, dancers and poets, continue to be much in demand around the world; in the Mughal Empire such women continue to be known as tawaif. In some places there is a smaller demand for the male equivalent, the cicisbeo.
As a side effect of this, without any real attitude of prudish repressiveness to revolt against there has not been a Sexual Revolution in this world. There is also somewhat less bias against bigamy in Europe due to Mughal and general Muslim influence.
A side effect of the lack of Victorian prudishness in this world is that a real women's rights movement never developed. On the other hand the Mughals, and the Indian states in general, have long had tradition of educated, erudite and influential women in their courts, for example with the sister of Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal [Dara Shikoh], Jahanara Begum. Some of these women, who became friends, lovers or wives of European immigrants, are responsible for the adoption of some of the European ideas on governance and so on that the Mughal Empire and the other Indian states have taken on over time. From India this tradition spread across the world.
The Indian states have also, from time to time, had female military commanders [in the real world there was a lady commander named Raibagan who fought for the Mughal side at the Battle of Umberkhind], and there have been more and more of these in recent decades, as the pressures arising from the Long War have grown. The use of female harem guards has also allowed the idea of armed, capable female warriors to spread.
Women such as Chand Bibi [see here, here, here, here and here] becoming capable warriors is something even more common in the Dakshina Nad, and these have formed powerful role models down the years.
Because of all of this gender equality happened significantly earlier in this world than in the real world, and grew out of India as much as it did out of Europe. Of course, there are still problems with sexual (as well as most other types of) discrimination, but in law it least it is forbidden [this is not unlike the present situation in, for example, Europe of the real world] and there are no overt barriers to women.
Another result of the lack of a sexual revolution in this world is the lack of a distinct homosexual identity and culture. On the other hand, certainly in India, homosexuality is much more tolerated than in Europe, and has been for centuries. For this reason India has long been a destination for those persecuted for their sexual orientation elsewhere. In most of the nations of Europe, while significant number of people follow homosexual lifestyles homosexual partnerships are not officially acknowledged; instead people of the same sex living together is simply accepted.
Over time the use of arranged marriages has spread downwards from the upper classes to all levels of European society. The degree to which only arranged marriages are approved of by society, the flexibility of the system and degree to which these are also made love-matches has varied a great deal over time, with, at present, a very liberal attitude linked to the ending of the Long War being in place.
In the past the Mughal government, other Muslim governments around the world, as well as noble families and industrial concerns such as the Mughal Tayefe Karkhanas [major companies] , frequently employed eunuchs as trusted servants and advisors. The introduction of inheritances in the Mughal Empire, the increasing prosperity of the world, and its increasing equality and egalitarianism reduced the number of eunuchs over time, as did the development of safe surgical sterilisation procedures [vasectomies and so on]. In the present day, because of their perceived trustworthiness and lack of family ties, eunuchs still retain a number of positions of power in the Islamic world, in particular in some more traditional roles where a person who has been sterilised but is otherwise still fully sexually functional is not considered sufficient. In the modern day, eunuchs are most likely to be volunteers rather than having been forcibly castrated, and the surgery to create them is safe and effective. These voluntary eunuchs are often highly regarded because of the sacrifice they have made.
Racism still exists in this world, but in a significantly different form to that in the real world. Europeans do not generally consider Indians to be a lesser race (though more people dislike them because they are in competition with Europe). On the other hand some Indians consider Europeans to be a lesser race and of the Untouchable caste. Some Europeans and Indians also consider Africans and other very dark-skinned people to be inferior. All of which is just as supported by science as it is in the real world. That is, not at all.
Discrimination based on religion, or on the nation of origin of a person is at least as common in this world as racial discrimination.
Because of the effects of the Long War there is a great deal of acceptance of those with disabilities, and most nations at least attempt to provide them with access to all areas of life.
Because of the greater Muslim influence in this world, alcohol use is not as heavy or widespread as in the real world. However, many nations, in particular the Holy Russian Empire and the Anglo-Danish Empire, almost pride themselves on their culture of heavy drinking.
The use of hemp plants (and so cannabis as a drug) has spread outwards from the Mughal Empire over time, as people have tried it there and taken its seeds home with them. Because of this hemp is widely cultivated around the world, and cannabis is used just a widely. The use of cannabis is fairly widespread in India, linked to its use by Sadhus (Hindu holy people).
Likewise the use of opium, cultivated and traded in by the Mughals since at least the reign of Akbar, has spread around the world, and its use remains legal in many countries, particularly the Mughal Empire, though few nations have a major problem with opium addiction. This stems partly from the lack of stigmatization of Chinese and Indian immigrants. There have been no events analogous to the Opium Wars of the real world.
Tobacco continues to be used by many people all around the world, despite there being just as much, if not more, evidence for the dangers of this as in the real world.
Hard drugs also exist in this world, and as in the real world are much more associated with criminality and the underground drug culture.
Organised crime exists in Gurkani Âlam, and is divided amongst a number of different groups of different origins. These include:
Humanism and the ideas of the Enlightenment are widespread across the world, in all of the Christian, Muslim and other religious worlds. This is part of the reason for the greater advances in science and technology that have occurred in this world compared to the real world. In the Muslim world a form of Humanist Sufism is widespread; this has developed since the time of Mughal Emperor Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal, who was himself a Sufi, and an intellectual.
Because of the Emperor Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal's interest in syncretic cultural interaction among people of all faiths there are also much closer ties between Indian Hindus and Muslims than in the real world. Partly as a result of this there is also widespread Hindu humanism across India and the Hindu world.
Bright Indian-style colours and patterns/fabrics are widely used on western-style clothing, particularly in those nation with close ties and alliances to the Indian states. As part of this, turbans are common items of clothing.
Some Hindu women, once married, wear sindoor, a red powder, in the parting of their hair; if widowed, they abandon sindoor and jewellery and wear simple white clothing [all much as in the real world].
Over the course of the Long War the use of espionage and terrorism has meant that much of the world has developed into a fairly strict surveillance society, where the intelligence services have a great deal of power and where everyone can be subject to investigation and surveillance without their knowledge or consent. Since the end of the Long War there have been calls in many countries for these powers to be reduced or removed, but so far there are few cases of this occurring, because of both governmental opposition to the idea, and because of the apathy of populations who have grown up with and under such a system.
Many nations have a single organisation which combines both military and police duties in much the same way as the Mughal Mansabdar system.
As time passed and the Long War evolved into an institutionalised and accepted as part of life, a person going off to fight in the war became a rite of passage, and a normal part of growing up. With the end of the war and the return of so many soldiers from the military, there are now social problems developing as the world gradually shifts back to a peacetime footing.
Because of the secretive and dangerous nature of the Thuggees, as well as the speculation of their governmental connections, they have become rather ingrained in popular culture as the ultimate assassins [rather similar to ninjas in the real world]. As a result of this and the general high visibility of India and things Indian, practitioners of Indian martial arts such as Malla-yuddha, Vajra Mushti, Pehlwani, Gatka, Kalarippayattu, Silambam Nillaikalakki and Angampora are widespread around the world. In addition to this, for the same reasons Yoga is more widespread and widely practised than in the real world.
[Note that none of what follows is meant as commentary on religions as they exist in the real world. Instead it is a description of the religions of an alternate history where events have followed a very different path to in the real world.]
Without Aurangzeb coming to power, the Mughal Empire has remained a religiously tolerant state, with Islam and Hinduism continuing to live side-by-side, along with numerous other religions from around the world. In particular Sikhism is well-represented in Mughal government [much as in India in the real world], and the Punjab, from which the Sikhs originated, remains part of the Mughal Empire.
Other Asian states, in particular the Dakshina Nad, practise religious tolerance. Originally this was out of necessity, as the alternative was to fall to a greater outside power, such as the Mughals, but over time it has become institutionalised and an intrinsic part of the culture there.
The concept derived from the Indian Dharmic religions, that one specific religion is not considered the only divine truth, and that people of other faiths may also achieve salvation, has spread wider in this world than in the real world. With the example this principle in action in India it has helped to encourage religious tolerance in many nations.
In Europe, because of the correspondence between Emperor Shah Buland Iqbal and the various European monarchs, Charles II and his son Charles III of England were somewhat more religiously tolerant than the Stuarts of the real world, although the people of Britain as a whole were much the same. Because of this Charles II did not covert to Catholicism on his deathbed.
With people from around the world having emigrated into the nations of the Dharmic bloc, it is quite possible to find witch doctors and so on in many places, working much as they did in the tribal societies from which they came. In the Dakshina Nad in particular, but among Hindus in general, the beliefs of the native Maregians [Australian Aborigines] are also part of the cultural mix.
With less European activity in Africa and the Mughals being more tolerant, there has been less missionary activity in Africa, particularly eastern Africa, and what missionary activity there was also included Muslim missionaries. Because of this the traditional beliefs of Africa and other less developed parts of the world survive more than they have done in the real world.
Many cities within the Dharmic bloc, and in particular those around the Indian Ocean have a 'temple district' with temples of many religions and creeds all rubbing shoulders with one another. Many of these districts also contain one or more Pantheons, temples dedicated to all deities of all kinds equally [the definition of Pantheon has changed slightly down the years from its original meaning of a temple to all the deities of only one faith].
There are many more Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs in the Western world, and Europe particularly, than in the real world. These are not so much immigrants (though there are some of these, and many whose ancestors immigrated longer ago than is the case in the real world) but native converts. Because of this many cities around the world have visible temples of more religions than is the case in the real world.
Some nations within the Dharmic bloc have adopted a system analogous to that in use in the Mughal Empire, in which rulers of the State Religion marry people of other faiths (or branches of the same faiths, so Catholic kings might marry Protestant women) to help maintain religious tolerance and stability in their country.
It is not unknown for people to change religion, for example when marrying someone of another faith. Conversions to and from all of Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Christianity happen relatively frequently, despite the protests of the more conservative elements of all of these religions.
There are a number of religious groups from all faiths who work to better society and those who are worst off within it, both within their home countries and around the world.
Islam is, with Christianity, one of two most followed religions on Earth in terms of number of adherents. In most of the nations of Gurkani Âlam, Islam is seen as an inclusive religion that is tolerant of other faiths.
The absence of Aurangzeb from the Mughal throne deprived later Islamic governments of his example of religious intolerance, which has indirectly led to more tolerance elsewhere. It also deprived them of his thirty three volume compilation of rulings on Islam, the Fatawa-e-Alamgiri, in the real world the basis of modern Shariah law in much of the Islamic world. Perhaps related to all of this, there was no Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab [the founder of Wahhabism] in this world. Because of these differences, the overall tone is Islam in this world is very different to that in the real world, and Islam remains rather more moderate and diverse than is the case in the real world.
Muslims are found in most of the nations of the world, sometimes as the majority and sometimes as the minority. In particular:
In addition to these, without the Indian Mutiny of the real world, Sufism, the mystic tradition within Islam that encompasses a diverse range of beliefs and practices dedicated to divine love and the cultivation of the heart, has not lost support in India, and so remains much more mainstream than is the case in the real world, especially in the Mughal Empire. In particular the Naqshbandi order of Sufism is strong there.
There is a massive business involved in delivering people to and from the Hajj each year, much more so than in the real world.
Christianity is, with Islam, one of two most followed religions on Earth in terms of number of adherents. As in the real world there are a great many different Christian denominations, of which the largest is the Roman Catholicism, with the Russian Orthodox Church and Protestantism in all of its varied forms coming after that in terms of size.
Christians are found in all of the nations of the world, sometimes as the majority and sometimes as the minority. In particular:
Christianity, and in particular Russian Orthodox Christianity, is much more associated with intolerance, fundamentalism and suicide in the name of the faith than is the case in the real world.
Since the Councils of Rome in 1833, 1840 and 1848 there have been a number of movements within Christianity working quietly for unity within Christianity as a whole [not unlike the Anglo-Catholics of the real world] or among all of the religions of the world. Although they remain tiny minorities, these form the basis of much of the Dharmic-bloc-related thought in Europe.
Because of the lack of Aurangzeb, and thus the lack of martyrdom of Guru Teg Bahadur, Sikhism militarised later than in the real world. There is no Sikh Khalsa, at least in the form it has in the real world, as the Sikhs were not as persecuted; there are Sikh militias and military units, however, arising out of incidents of violence against the Sikh community, particularly in the seventeenth century. Sikh ideas of the equality of all men have informed the Mughal government for many years and have contributed to its increased tolerance and equal rights.
Sikhism, via its Gurdwara system, forms the basis of the comprehensive social welfare system of the Mughal Empire. Originally providing free food and (sometimes) shelter to all comers regardless of race, gender or religion, over time, and with the rise of Sikh influence in the Mughal Empire the Gurdwaras have expanded the free services they provide to also include medical care and education. They have also spread across all of the Mughal Empire and beyond, into the rest of India, Asia and around the world. Although these Gurdwaras are partly funded by the Sikh people themselves, in recognition of the great service they provide to it they also receive a great deal of funding from the Mughal Empire itself, both directly from the Emperor himself and also from a fraction of the Zakat tax paid by all Muslims within the Empire.
Another effect of the Sikh Gurdwaras has been to encourage other religions to do similar good works, to the extent that many of the social services of the nations of the world are religiously based.
There have been clashes between Hindu and Sikhs in India over the Sikhs attempts to eliminate the caste system, which have, over time, fallen largely against the Hindus, with the caste system coming to have less and less influence.
There is a constant stream of converts to Sikhism. As in the real world converts to Sikhism undergo the Amrit Ceremony.
For most atheists their atheism is something of a personal matter. However, in an apparently spontaneous resistance to the religious violence sweeping Europe at the time, in 1803 the Vrijdenkerij movement was founded. Over time this resistance coalesced into a political movement that rejected not just religious violence, but religion in general. This spread from the Netherlands around the world, and which was directly responsible for the Dutch Revolution of 1805. Over time a number of nations have acquired governments run along Vrijdenkerij lines, following an atheist philosophy. However, the details of these governments' policies towards religion vary greatly. Some simply separate church and state, while others carry out full-fledged persecution of the followers of all religions. Most are somewhere between these two extremes and simply wish to eliminate religion from public, and in particular political life.
Some Vrijdenker nations state that one much renounce all religion and all ties to religion before being part of government. Others simply ban all public religious displays, and discourage the use of religion as a basis for government policy. Some (but not all) Vrijdenkerij nations have evolved into amoral ultra-capitalist societies, while others have evolved atheist moralities, and some have later become religious again. Others practise separation of church and state with varying degrees of strictness. Others again have attempted to eliminate religion altogether, seeing it as a source of strife and trouble, and a waste of resources that could be spent on (for example) providing help to people in this world, leading to their closing churches and diverting religious resources for better things.
In some countries the renouncing of religion as a prerequisite for being part of government has caused the more principled religious people to keep out of government, increasing corruption there. In some countries a 'shadow government' of religious types has formed, causing problems for that nation. In some nations the introduction of Vrijdenkerij principles has had the effect of driving religion underground, resulting in such things as secret churches, priest holes and so on, and also driving the setting up of 'churches in exile' in other nations from which religion in the home country is directed. Some Vrijdenkerij nations have established a Religion Police to combat this. [However, even the most atheistic state does not suffer as much as states did under communism in the real world, as they are normally still staunch capitalists, but even so, they are hardly perfect.]
In Prussia a militaristic, nationalistic form of the Vrijdenkerij movement, here known as the Freidenker movement, grew in power and influence, eventually coming to control the government in 1848 and leading to a number of wars with its neighbours.
The Vrijdenker movement is also responsible for the founding of the Freethought Alliance in 1814 as an alliance of Vrijdenker nations for mutual protection and trade.
In the present day Prussia, Oranjestaat and Van Diemens Land are all Vrijdenkerij nations, although many nations incorporate ideas from the Vrijdenkerij movement into their systems of government without considering themselves to be officially members of it.
Not unlike the situation in the real world, Hinduism is largely confined to southern and south-eastern Asia, with a minority of Hindus in much of the rest of the world. Hinduism is the state religion of Thanjavur, Pudhiya Kozhikode and the Poligar Coalition in the Dakshina Nad.
Unlike the case in the real world, in this world there is a constant stream of converts to Hinduism. This is done by their undertaking the vratyastoma ceremony. However, not all Hindus accept that conversion to Hinduism is possible.
Many Hindus consider Europeans to be of the Untouchable caste, and so Europeans can face problems in social interactions with them. This can occur particularly with European converts to Hinduism when interacting with conservative Hindus who do not accept the legitimacy of conversion to their faith.
In India members of the Hindu religion are often involved in banking and law.
There have been clashes between Hindu and Sikhs in India over the Sikhs attempts to eliminate the caste system, which have, over time, fallen largely against the Hindus, with the caste system coming to have less and less influence. Even so there are a number of Hindu militias which continue to work to protect the Hindu faith, though many of them have evolved into political parties or towards a more social function. Many of these militias disagree with each other over their disparate definitions of what is the correct form of Hinduism almost more than they do with other religions. However, these disagreements do not prevent them from unifying in defence of Hinduism as a whole when they see it as being threatened.
In attempts to halt or reverse the decline of the caste system, Hindu philosophers, in particular Hrithik Subbulakshmi writing in Thanjavur in 1845, have proposed science-based justifications of the caste system, for example by using the science of genetics. These have led in some places to the introduction of laws intended maintain the caste system and the 'essential characteristics' of each caste by controlling (even more than was already the case) intermarriage between them. In particular Thanjavur introduced such laws in 1847, and they remain in force to the present day.
Other Hindu philosophers, such as Aishwarya Mangeshkar, writing in 1849 have proposed that, although the caste system is important, and may be divinely and biologically determined, this does not mean that the people of the lower castes should be oppressed, and treated badly and without respect. These ideas have also been adopted across the Hindu world, more widely than those of Hrithik Subbulakshmi and his ilk.
Since the Hindu priest Deepak Radhakrishnan showed the similarities between the beliefs of the natives of Marege [Australia] and those of Hinduism in 1775 there have been links between the two religions. Because of this there are quite a large number of Hindu temples across the Pudhiya Dakshina Nad, as well as temples of the syncretic Hindu-Maregian [Aboriginal] faith(s). There is a particularly large temple at Uluru [Ayers Rock], and others in the vicinity of (but not replacing) other Maregian sacred sites.
The Hindu festival of Kumbh Mela is marked in both the Mughal Empire and the Dakshina Nad, and was one of the first instances of cooperation between the two nations as while three of the sites in which the festival occurs are in the Mughal Empire, one is in the Maratha Kingdom, which led to formal agreements allowing pilgrims to cross from one nation to the other (although informal arrangements had been taking place for a very long time).
Hinduism has long since reconciled the Kala Pani - the Indian taboo of the sea, that considers that the leaving of the mainland means confronting 'houglis' [monsters] and also ends the reincarnation cycle for the traveller as they become cut off from the regenerating waters of the River Ganges [see here for more details] - with the need, or at least the desire, of Hindus to be sailors. This reconciliation takes the form of practises and rituals to allow Hindus (and in particular higher-caste Hindus) to sail the open sea without breaking their reincarnation cycle. These in particular include the maintenance of the link to the River Ganges by the carrying of vials of water from the Ganges. [This is not unlike the case in the real world where the British placed water from the Ganges in large cauldrons on the ships to similarly ensure the continuity of reincarnation beyond the Kala Pani, making the sea voyage less fearsome.] First promulgated in 1775, these ideas initially met with resistance from more conservative Hindus, but by the present day are accepted by all but the most extremely conservative members of the faith.
Over the years the increased understanding of the water cycle has led to many Hindus coming to accept that all of the waters of the world are effectively part of the Ganges, and vice versa, which thus entirely negates and removes the need for the Kala Pani taboo.
NAYA SAMNNYA HINDUTVA
A concept put forward by the Hindu political philosopher Balaji Pal Tyagi in 1986 and based on advances in medical science and surveillance technology, Naya Samnnya Hindutva [New Universal Hinduism] states that it is only through the use of science and technology that a true Hindu society, ordered and segregated by castes as it should be, can be achieved.
Surveillance technology should be used impartially to monitor all citizens and ensure they are behaving as a member of their caste should, while medical science can be used to condition and adjust citizens to ensure that they both adhere to their place in society, and are satisfied or, for preference, happy with it. This includes even non-Hindus, who also have their place in the caste system.
Many have condemned the ideas of Naya Samnnya Hindutva for the intrusion into their lives, bodies and minds that would be part of the existence of those under it. Others have condemned it as what is clearly a One Truth concept. Even so, as time has passed, Naya Samnnya Hindutva has gained a small but devoted following among hard-line technologically-aware Hindus.
The only nation that has even considered introducing the ideas of Naya Samnnya Hindutva into law was the Nayakkanate of Thanjavur in 1998, but even there, there was so much opposition to the idea among the people that the idea was quietly dropped.
One of the less reputable groups within Hinduism, the Thuggees were (or are) worshippers of Kali who practiced large-scale robbery and murder of travellers. Allegedly eliminated by the Mughal Empire and Dakshina Nad in the 1840s, with this work being completed in 1853, in fact they seem to have been recruited into the intelligence services of those governments as secret agents and assassins. Since this time conspiracies of Thuggee involvement in any mysterious death have become widespread, and because of the secretive and dangerous nature of the Thuggees, as well as the speculation of their governmental connections, they have become rather ingrained in popular culture as the ultimate assassins [rather similar to ninjas in the real world].
Not unlike the situation in the real world, Buddhism is largely confined to central, southern and south-eastern Asia and China, with a minority of Buddhists in much of the rest of the world. Buddhism is the state religion of Sinhale in the Dakshina Nad, as well as of Ayutthaya, Dai Ngu and Bama.
Although most Buddhists are peaceful, a minority follow the militant thesis put forward in 1942 by Sinhalese Buddhist philosopher Ratnasiri Dissanayake, which states that the killing of all of the enemies of Buddhism, and of the correct form of Buddhism, including those who disagree with them, is not only acceptable, but obligatory. This is because the Wheel of Life will see those killed to their proper place in the next life, and by doing so the Buddhist is in fact moving their enemies closer to true enlightenment, so they are doing them a favour. Although never widely accepted, this philosophy did gain some adherents, and was a major factor in the Sinhale coup of 1961. However, their actions after taking over Sinhale, killing those of the wrong faith and those who disagree with them, 'knowing' that doing so is helping them advance to their next life and so that much closer to enlightenment lost them most of their support then and since, and allowed the old government of Sinhale to be restored to power in 1962.
There are a number of Buddhist militias in Ling China who, not unlike the Daoist militias, are dedicated to preserving Buddhism and Chinese culture within the Holy Chinese Empire. While some work alone, many work with the Daoist militias as their ends are very similar. The Buddhist monks of the Shaolin Temple are very much involved in this.
The variety of related philosophical and religious traditions and concepts followed by many of the Chinese people.
The traditional Chinese beliefs that make up the philosophy of Daoism exist everywhere in the world where people of Chinese descent make their homes, including the supposedly Russian Orthodox Holy Chinese Empire, but particularly in eastern and south-eastern Asia. They are followed by the majority of the population of Ling China, where they form the state religion.
In addition Daoist beliefs are found everywhere in the world where religious tolerance is practised, even if only as a minority belief, even among people of non-Chinese descent. Because of this any city with any significant Chinese population will have one or more Daoist temples located within it.
In Ling China in particular there are a number of militant Daoist movements, mostly formed during the Chinese Civil War, who work to protect and preserve Daoism and Chinese culture in general against the incursions of other religions, and in particular of Russian Orthodoxy. Some of these groups work with the criminal Triads, smuggling religious texts and other cultural supports into the Holy Chinese Empire. Some also maintain training camps along the borders of the Holy Chinese Empire.
Judaism is a minority religion across much of the world, particularly Europe, its colonies, and the Middle East. Jewish populations all over the world have varying degrees of integration with their host nations. Some of them, mainly in the One Truth bloc, are still confined to ghettos. In general the emancipation of the Jews in this world occurred somewhat later than in the real world. Poland was the first nation to do so in 1821, with France being the second in 1827, and many other more tolerant nations following suit afterwards. The Holy Russian Empire, however, has never emancipated its Jews.
Many Jewish expatriates left the Netherlands after the coming to power of the Vrijdenker government there in 1805. Many of these went to France or the nations of the Sarajevo Pact. A similar exodus occurred from Prussia after its adoption of a Freidenker government in 1848. A significant number of Jews from many parts of the world have immigrated to the Holy Land, with the permission of the Ottoman government, where many of them have performed good service for the Ottoman Empire, particularly against the Holy Russian Empire.
Anti-Semitism still exists [without a Holocaust it remains far less discredited in this world than in the real world]. Because of this there are constant rumours - boosted by anti-Indian Alliance propaganda during the Long War - of an international Jewish conspiracy, particularly (based on the significant Jewish populations there) centred on the Sarajevo Pact, France, the Ottoman Empire, Persia, the Mughal Empire and so on, with the linking of some of these governments into the Indian Alliance during the Long War being a tool of the international Jewish conspiracy.
Jewish groups around the world fund covert Jewish groups in the Holy Russian Empire, or work to help Jews escape from the Holy Russian Empire.
Some Jewish thinkers have called for the creation of an independent Jewish homeland. However, this remains a minority viewpoint among the Jews of the world.
Los Estudiantes de la Cruz [the Students of the Cross] is a syncretic religious philosophy first propounded by the formerly Roman Catholic Filipino doctor Apolinario Nepomuceno in 1917, after a long period working in the medical sections of a number of Sikh Gurdwaras. It links the philosophies of Christianity and Sikhism into what he considered to be a unified whole, of which the two religions are incomplete halves. Its name combines the meaning of Sikh - student or disciple - with the Christian cross.
Since then the ideas of Los Estudiantes de la Cruz have gained a significant following in the Philippines and spread around the world. Although they face hostility from some Sikhs and Christians, the Estudiantes de la Cruz persist in their faith, especially among the nations of the Dharmic bloc.
The Tâleb az-Eslâm [Disciple of Submission] is a syncretic religious philosophy first propounded by Mughal theologian Jarnail Singh in his book 'On Unity' published in 1862. This links the philosophies of Islam and Sikhism into what he considered to be a unified whole.
Despite the murder of Jarnail Singh in 1865 the ideas of his philosophy spread across the world, with a number of small and harried groups which follow them appearing in its more tolerant areas, especially among the nations of the Dharmic bloc, and existing up to the present day.
The Jadid Din-i-Elahi [New Divine Faith] is a syncretic ethical system founded in 1823. It is based on one founded by the Mughal Emperor Akbar in 1581. Akbar's version was intended to merge the best elements of the religions of his empire (primarily Hinduism and Islam with elements also being taken from Christianity, Jainism and Zoroastrianism) and thereby reconcile the sectarian differences that divided his subjects. His attempt to this was very elitist and never had more than some nineteen members; because of this it did not long survive his death.
The current version takes what are considered the best elements of all of the religions of the world (primarily Hinduism and Islam with elements also being taken from Sikhism, Christianity, Jainism, Zoroastrianism and the native Maregian, American and African religions) and combining them into a way for all the people of the world to live in peace and harmony. In the European-descended world this has become known as Universalism.
Originally founded by politically radical Mughal nobles over time it is more of an elite brotherhood of its followers rather than a religion as such, and overall is not unlike the Freemasons. Over time it has become somewhat less radical and more mainstream, with various members of the Jadid Din-i-Elahi rising to high positions in the governments of the world.
Many of the more conservative members of most of the faiths from which it draws ideas oppose it as heretical and blasphemous, but despite occasional attacks on its members the Jadid Din-i-Elahi continues to thrive and grow, especially among the nations of the Dharmic bloc.
A number of the natives of Marege [Australia] have converted to Islam or Christianity, but most retain their traditional religious beliefs, any one of many related nature-based, polytheistic, animistic religions. This is especially the case in the Indian-controlled areas where native religious sites have been respected, and particularly since the Hindu priest Deepak Radhakrishnan showed in his 1775 book 'On the Holy Race of Marege' the similarities between their beliefs and those of Hinduism. This was helped by the long-standing belief amongst many Indians that the Maregian natives are a race of Sadhus [holy men], and lead to even greater respect and understanding for the natives on the part of the Indian settlers there.
Because of the greater tolerance of the beliefs of the Maregian people, and the lack of any attempt to wipe them out, the Maregian religions are vibrant, living faiths [much more so than in the real world] and followers of them can be found across the world, especially among the nations of the Dharmic bloc, and among people of both Maregian and non-Maregian descent.
Since the Hindu priest Deepak Radhakrishnan showed in his 1775 book 'On the Holy Race of Marege' the similarities between the beliefs of the native Maregians and those of Hinduism, a number of people have syncretised the two sets of beliefs into different faiths combining elements of both Maregian religion and Hinduism. Although these faiths remain small, they are diverse, and their followers can be found across the world, especially among the nations of the Dharmic bloc.
A new religious philosophy created by Wu Ch'eng-fu, a diplomat from Ling China to the Dakshina Nad, in 1930. It links Daoism and Hinduism into a unified structure which its creator named the Xin Pu Dao [New Universal Path].
Xin Pu Dao is a small minority religion in Ling China, with a small number of adherents spread across the Chinese population of the rest of the world. There are also a minority of followers among the Indian-descended people of the world, and a few adherents of other backgrounds in the religiously tolerant nations of the world.
Some of the more militant Hindus of the world are very opposed to Xin Pu Dao, which has hindered its spread in India and the Indian-influenced parts of the world.
In the early days of the Long War, some soldiers and military units, particularly those who were not Christians, begin to adopt pagan, Satanic and witchcraft-related symbols to mock and disturb their Holy Russian Empire opponents. As the use of these symbols by elements of the militaries of the Dharmic bloc became entrenched within them, and those who initiated their use retired, some newer members of those units began taking their use seriously, initiating a revival of paganism, Satanism and witchcraft across the Dharmic bloc, not just in their militaries but in society as a whole.
Despite the attempts by some nations to eliminate these practises, this has only resulted in their being driven underground, and they persist to the present day.
Organised labour exists, although in very different forms to the real world. In the Anglo-Danish Empire organised labour is very much a fringe activity, as the Great Three do their best to suppress it. In India it is very much based on castes, with the different labouring castes (as they originally were) forming the basis of trade union-like organisations.
In the Holy Russian Empire the workers are organised via the Russian Orthodox Church through local churches, thus putting organised labour under the control of the government.
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Copyright © Tony Jones, 2007.
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