To answer this question it is first worth looking at the manufacture of Hinduism in India.
Nationalisation of Hinduism
Hinduism emerged in the encounter between colonial Britain and India.
Around the turn of the 19th century, officials of the British colonial state and Christian missionaries helped cement the idea that regional and sectarian traditions in India possessed a sufficient coherence to be construed as a single, systematic religion. It involved the active agency and engagement of Indian authors who interacted, argued, and responded to British authors over key religious issues such as image-worship, sati, tolerance, and conversion.
This encounter was deeply shaded by the articulation and development of the concept of "religion", and it produced the now common idea that Hinduism is a unified religion.
Reconstruction of Islam
The period of British rule also saw a reformulation of a pervasive Islamic way of life into a hardened and sharpened "Islam the religion" for Muslims.
For many their religious identity became their prime identity. For a good number, too, their religious identity became their political identity.
Moreover, individuals were beginning to emerge who wished to be treated as individuals; they rejected the demands made upon them by their 'community'.
In sum the period of British rule saw a particular privileging of the religious dimension of Muslim identities.
The following make fascinating, if not paradigm changing, reads as to how we view that which we label today as religions:
Ayesha Jalal, "Self and Sovereignty"
Brian Pennington, "Was Hinduism Invented?"
Francis Robinson, "The British Empire and Muslim Identity in South Asia"
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