Adult Ed
Exploring the Soul of India


Introductory Activities
Learning Activities
Culminating Activity
Cross-curricular Extensions
Community Connections

Introductory Activities

Step 1 Distribute A Nation Divided template to each student. Ask students to write "H" on 82 squares on the template. Ask students to write "M" on 13 squares on the template. Ask students to write "C" on 2 squares on the template. Discuss with students what they think these letters might represent. Ask students to determine what the "majority" is.

Each letter represents one of the "major" religious groups found in India-Hindu, Muslim, and Christian. All other religions comprise the remaining three percent of the population.

Step 2 Distribute another template to each student. Post the following world religion statistics on the chalkboard: C=33, M=22, H=15, B=6, N=14, A=3, Ch=4, O=3. Ask each student to repeat the first activity. Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to construct a graph of world religion data using their template squares. Students can color code and cut each square, create an appropriate legend and bar or circle graph to demonstrate percentages. Ask students to log onto the Major Religions of the World Web page (; ask students to compare their graph to those shown on the Web site.

C=Christian, M=Muslim, H=Hindu, B=Buddhist, N=Non-religious, A=African, Ch=Traditional Chinese, O=Other. Students may use the Web site to determine relative total populations of each religion by country or convert percentages provided to number of individuals based on data provided on the Web site. Students might also judge the reasonableness of the data presented on the site by comparing the number of individuals in specific regions to the religion statistics. Ask students to judge the fact that 4% of the world population is an adherent (practicing) Chinese traditionalist, or 6% Buddhist or 15% Hindu. This data is reasonable based on the fact that the most populous countries can be found in Africa, and Asia.

Learning Activities

Step 1 Instruct students in the navigation of the Wide Angle Web site. Distribute the Soul of India Screenshots handout. Each frame on the handout is a tab from the site; each page on the site is a link to resources and information about the conflict in India. Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to write down the category labels used on the page as links to information about India. Ask student to log onto the Soul of India site at

The tabs are the home page (Intro), Debate, Photo Essay, Timeline and Resources links provided. Students who might be interested in Web page design and/or a research/technology project requiring the development of a Web site might be asked to identify the clues in the URL that would indicate that this is the first page of the Web site. In the URL, the suffix index.html is the indicator that the page is the first page.

Step 2 Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to raise their hand when they can identify the names of the "schools of thought" in opposition in modern India.

The two opposing schools of thought are those of multiculturalism-Vaidya as proposed by Ghandi-and Hindu nationalism, as proposed by Bhatt. Upon further investigation, students will realize that the data presented in the introductory activity was derived from information provided on this Web page.

Step 3 Instruct students to go to the "Timeline" tab. Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to identify one of the most famous pieces of Indian architecture.

The Taj Mahal was built in 1648 by the 5th Mughal emperor to honor his wife. The Mughal disposition of religious tolerance made room for Muslim conquest.

Step 4 Distribute a Map It handout to each student. Ask students to consider how the conflict in India could be caused by such a small minority of people-18% M to 82% H.

Students may be able to identify other nations that are largely Islamic surrounding India like Pakistan, Iran, Nepal.

Culminating Activity

Step 1 Conduct a debate reenactment of the discussion between Indian scholars presented on the Wide Angle site. Divide class into two teams. The scholars addressed ten questions. Provide students with a FOCUS FOR MEDIA INTERACTION by asking them to identify the questions.

Each question is a link under Debate Topics: Attacks on Muslims, Halting communal violence, Lessons of Indian history, The Indian Constitution, Religious minorities, The Indian Soul, India in the 21st Century, Relations with Pakistan, The War on Terror, Nuclear Weapons After the reenactment, allow students to discuss strengths and weaknesses in each of the scholars position.


Cross-Curricular Extensions

Step 1 Culinary art (Home and Industrial Art):
Indian cuisine, like the cuisine of any other ethnic group, tells a story. It is highly fragrant and has regional character-North and South. Research the differences in staple items found in an Indian menu. Use the Indian Food Web site ( and the Map It [link to organizer] handout to analyze differences in the diets of those found in the North versus those found in the South.

Step 2 Math:
Use the scale provided on the Map It handout to determine the distance between specific locations mentioned as key areas of conflict (Example: Ayodhya to Godhra)

Community Connections

Bread is a food staple in many cultures and religions. Tour restaurants and bakeries of various ethnic groups and sample the bread staple of that type of cuisine. Explore the spices used to create the distinctive flavors that make each type of cuisine unique. Write an encyclopedic entry about the bread or the spices used in a specific cuisine.

Make some bread! Soha's Naan Recipe is at