As per the Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism, there is a sharp decline in Indians who are religious. As per available estimates, 87% of Indians were religious in 2005, and that dropped to 81% in 2013. By any guesses, in 2021, it would be below 50% of those who actually practice religion the proper way. Some may avoid confessing that they don’t practice it, as elders in India try to intimidate and inject fear by various forms and not everyone has the spine to rise up to confronting this.
Religion has been the cause of wars, divide and hatred that has spilled over into families, neighborhoods and nations. Today, more and more educated Indians no longer have religious leanings although on paper they may have a religious tone as Indian politics thrives on divide and hate politics interlinked with religion and caste. But if you interact with smart and educated Indians, they will tell you that all this religion is best confined to private spaces and must not spill over into influencing lives or practicing rationality and humanity.
High income countries talk about reaching the moon and the planets, whereas low- and middle-income countries still in isolated pockets force religion, superstition, astrology, blind faith, out-dated rituals and abstract fear.
What good is education if we cannot realize that respect for another person and love for humanity is the highest form of religion and that is what needs to be practiced in heart and spirit.
India has seen a steep rise in people who don’t believe in religion, people who get married in inter-faith settings, have inter-faith relationships and harbour peace and those who have the courage and voice to identify right and wrong.
Religiosity is on the decline and atheism is on the rise, according to a new worldwide poll. Religiosity has been a central character of the Indian identity until the late 1990s. It thankfully changed for good and today, modern day youth have the conviction to practice what they want, foster peace and preserve sanity not covered by politics and pandits.
It is in the interest of educated Indians to rapidly shun religious practices that influences social thinking and not get carried away by community pressures that define what is religion, that define self-respect and that takes away everything you ever wanted to have. Life is too short to align with the ideology of multitudes carried away by a fear that remains unknown.
Celebrated writer Bertrand Russell said, “Religion is based primarily and mainly upon fear. It is partly the terror of the unknown and partly the wish to feel that you have a kind of elder brother who will stand by you in all your troubles and disputes. Fear is the basis of the whole thing – fear of mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand.”