Friday, January 26, 2007

Religion relieves the stress of modern, urban living

Indians 'turn to religion to cope with city life' By Peter Foster in New Delhi 2:40am GMT 26/01/2007 Indians are turning to religion to relieve the stress of modern, urban living a survey has shown.

Rite of passage: Sikhs attend a gurudwara in New Delhi
The survey, conducted by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) in New Delhi, contradicts the widely held belief that urban India's new-found prosperity would make society more materialistic.
Sanjay Kumar and Yogendra Yadav, two social scientist with CSDS, said the pressures of living in India's rapidly expanding cities were having the opposite effect.
"The stress of urban living pushes people to search for anchors in their lives," they wrote in the Hindustan Times, which commissioned the survey. "Since they cannot go back to their villages, they recreate a community through religion," they added.
Rural migrants flock to cities like Bombay and New Delhi at the rate of 500,000 a year, with the majority living in slums while eking out a perilous existence away from their families. "In the process, religion changes from a personal experience to something that is more public and congregational," Mr Kumar added, saying this explained the proliferation of public places of worship.

The survey, based on a random sample of 7,670 respondents, showed that religion permeates all aspects of life in India and 90 per cent of those asked thought religion was holding its own or increasing in importance.
Although visiting the garish shopping malls of the new India is a favourite pastime of the country's new middle class, almost two thirds of respondents said they also regularly visited a temple, mosque or gurudwara [Sikh temple]. More than half of those questioned said they prayed "regularly".
Many Indians also have a belief in fringe spirituality such as sun signs (50 per cent), numerology (42 per cent) and ghosts (46 per cent).
No Indian wedding can take place without a reading of the stars of the prospective bride and groom, with many marriages being called off if they are found to be incompatible.
India's forthcoming wedding of the year, between the Bollywood stars Abhishek Bachchan and Aishwarya Rai, has been dogged by rumours that Miss Rai's chart is "mangalik", or 'Mars bearing'.
According to Indian astrologers, the influence of Mars on the bride is potentially disastrous if the groom is not also "mangalik", leading to divorce, early death or a failure to bear children.
It has been reported that over the last few months the couple have been seen making visits to several temples and spiritual gurus in order to sort out their astrological differences.

No comments:

Post a Comment