What makes one a Hindu? Who is the founder of Hinduism?

Hindu’ is not the right name for the Sanatana dharma that is ‘lived’ here. A name has to be given only to differentiate it from another of its kind. This religion of ours was the only one that existed throughout the world. Thus, the need to have a name for it did not arise. When other religions and faiths sprouted up, the need to give a name for this religion arose and westerners have christened this ancient religion as Hindu. It is commonly found that a civilization grows beside a river, as agriculture is the basis for existence. Thus, those who entered the Country from river Sindhu side named the civilization found there as ‘Hindu’. The westerners had referred to the religion in this Country as Sindhu. It later came to be known as Hindu.
If you take any religion of the world, we find definitive answers to three basic questions about that religion:
Who is the founder of the religion?
When and where was the founder born?
What is the religious text for the religion and who wrote it?
Many westerners (like Max Mueller) as well as Indians (like Gangadara Tilak) conducted research to answer these questions with respect to this religion. But, they could only come to the conclusion that it is indeed impossible to point to the time when this religion came to be. Unlike other religions/faiths this religion has not been founded by Man. This ‘mata’ (religion) is based on the Vedas that is beyond time. Our Sanatana Dharma is thus beyond time and has not been founded by Man.
To be a true Hindu is to find the purpose of one’s birth in this world. The easiest way to do it is by chanting the Mahamantra.

Every religion has its own merits and demerits. What are the demerits of our religion.

The only demerit of our religion is that there are many people in our own religion who do not understand the real philosophy and logic present in each and every aspect of our system.

I honestly feel that caste system is eating at the roots of the Hindu religion. Every Sadhu has to do his or her little bit to eradicate the evils of religion like untouchability, which is still a grave stigma in a few villages and cities. I shall be thankful to know if any steps have been taken by Sri Sri Swamiji to eradicate this evil, which has become an enemy of our religion?

We cannot agree more on your thought that this is a dreaded evil. It is indeed heartening to see messages like this. Kindly take a look at the “41 Tenets for Life” published in the Namadwaar website to know our concern on this issue.