K. Kathirasan grew up in a three-room flat in Marsiling with an altar dedicated to the Hindu deities of Shiva, Devi and Murugan. On the same altar were clustered images of Buddha, the Virgin Mary and Jesus. On festive occasions, when his mother conducted prayers, she would pray to all of them.
"Hinduism has many deities, because we believe that these are many expressions of the one divine being," he explains. "There is a belief in God in multiple forms."