Religion in India – Faith vs Reason

The other day some other expert on TV asked the caller to feed a piece of buttered bread to a black dog, as a solution to failure in business.

Numerology, zodiac experts, tarot card readers… every unscientific stream is today thriving in India. I can understand that people need mental support during times of crisis, but believing these “experts” can only make things worse.

A couple of days back, I noticed that the son of the chief minister of Maharashtra has changed his name from “Ritesh” to “Reiteish”. Perhaps some “expert” told him that was the way to a successful career. If the leader of millions does not have a scientific approach at home, one cannot expect much from his administration.

Fanaticism

Fanaticism emerges when religion / customs overide all logic and science. If hundreds are getting killed in stampedes at temples, we need to question not just the arrangements, but also if there’s any logic in a million people thronging to the temple in the first place.

People who seem perfectly sensible otherwise, will do remarkable unreasonable things when it comes to religion. For example: If a religious riot takes place in a locality, we assume that the rioters were mad men, but in reality they often turn out to be normal people with whom we would interact with everyday. It’s just that when it comes to religion, it dosn’t take much for the fuse to blow and for normal people to commit heinous crimes.

The only way to curb fanaticism is by promoting a logical approach to religion.

Democracy

How can democracy do well if those casting their votes are so used to being herded to decisions based on passion, religion or custom? If the voter is used to questioning what he is told, I am sure we would see a far superior quality of politicians emerge.

The “I will believe and accept anything and never question” attitude of the masses, is the biggest threat to democracy in India.

TODOs:

Accepted that science evolves with every generation and what was impossible 10 years back, is today reality. Yet we have to base our judgement on the science of the day. Unless the logic in something is proved to you, do not follow a custom.

India has lagged behind the West primarily because for 100s of years, we have lost our focus on progress and instead looked at religion to solve our problems.

It’s high time we stopped wasting time and energy in things that are obviously illogical and work hard towards improving our life as well as the life of those around us.