Tuesday, June 18, 2024

More religiosity does not end violence or bring happiness, says new book


Spl Correspondent
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 27: In the season of festivals and religiosity, a new book says with development and scientific knowledge people tend to become less religious.
In a Foreword to a new book, eminent scholar and academician Amitabh Kundu notes: “Empericists argue that poor countries or those trapped in difficult socio-economic circumstances tend to become more religious, as people start seeking support from divinity. As societies develop economically and there is spread of scientific knowledge across social groups…people tend to become less religious.”
The book Religion for Harmonious Living penned by eminent Christian scholar Father MD Thomas underlines the fact that ethical, human and spiritual values are the most brilliant component of religion.
It strongly advocates that religion should work as a tool to ensure harmonious living in the world.
Kundu further argues, “There is no evidence that countries with high religiosity are less corrupt, less discriminatory and less violent.”
He also notes, “Interestingly, the Corruption Perceptions Index of Transparency International for 2019 suggests that Canada along with several Scandinavian countries, wherein a low percentage of people report as actively practicing religion, have an extremely low level of corruption and social disturbances while the highly religious countries, such as Afghanistan, Pakistan, Cambodia, Iraq, Tanzania, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, India included find places on the other side of the spectrum.”
Speaking on the occasion, Prof SM Sajid, former Pro-Vice Chancellor of Jamia Millia Islamia University, said religion should not be left for “interpretation only to the clergy”. He also said it would be erroneous to define someone as ‘religious fundamentalist’ and then try to debate or discuss issues of religious tolerance and mutual cooperation.
These remarks come close on the heels of Prime Minister Narendra Modi stating that “After independence, there was a need to fight the agenda of those ruling over us. But that was not done.”
Addressing the 400th year anniversary function of Assam’s iconic figure Lachit Barphukan, Modi said on Friday, “India’s history is the history of warriors, the history of victory, the history of sacrifice, selflessness and bravery. But we were taught history which was a part of the colonial agenda.”
A day before, Home Minister Amit Shah had said, “I often come across complaints that our history has been distorted and tempered with. These allegations could be true…But who stops it from correcting it now? Who stops us from writing the correct history now?”
At the book release function, Kundu, who also headed the Post-Sachar Evaluation Committee, lamented that communal overtones have been unleashed at virtually everything happening around in the society.
“I am sometimes surprised that even my friends and colleagues say on Whatsapp that about ten Muslims have been selected for IAS, Hindus are now digging their own graveyards”, he said.
“I am simply trying to find out how our attitudes towards history and contemporary systems have changed. We are trying to dig out the villains”, said Amitabh Kundu, also a former Dan of the School of Social Sciences at Jawaharlal Nehru University.
In today’s world, he said the ‘knowledge system’ is largely coming up from the ‘Whatsapp University’ ~ that talks mostly about villains Aurangzeb, Khilji, Ghaznavi and Ghori.
“These days we hear of Akbar chasing a woman to molest her. Whatsapp University has dug up that”, he said.