By Dr Anjali Rajan : Long back ago it was said the “The religion is the opium of masses”. This is very much true in Indian context. There was a time in early nineties when people use to sit before the idiot box for religious serials in the Colony, Gali or Muhalla. But with the advent of time the scenario has changed. Religion has entered not only into the bedrooms via dish TVs but become better assessable with the help of modern & micro electronic gadgets like mobile, i-pods or notebooks etc.
The people are now realizing that modernity can easily move with the tradition. This can be adjudged with a simple observation that young and educated carry mobile phones or notebooks fully loaded with religious tones of music or applications playing Bhajans, Gyatri Mantra or reciting of Hanuman Chalisa besides photos on the screen. On an average this can be seen in about 75% cases. In fact this reflects that this is their hotline to Almighty. As per a survey report of Sri Krishna Temple, Mathura and Sidhivinayak Temple Trust, Mumbai 75% of the devotees visiting the temple are young people under 35 years of age with great enthusiasm towards religious traditions.
The devotees are more keen to have live darshan of deities on websites and listening of spiritual Gurus and Bhajans online as it is much quicker and convenient rather than investing time on the long suffocating & serpentine queues outside Temples or religious conventions. As per National Sample Survey report 711 out of 1000 families in urban India purchases incense sticks (Agarbatti) as against 670 per 1000 of rural families. This is indicative of the fact that religion in urban people is becoming more a fashion. Actually it is a good way for being away from loneliness, unhappiness and escaping stress.
With corruption, crime, family feud and stress are at new heights at every nook and corner of society rituals and religion are good refuge for finding inner peace. It also helps in inner strength and being away from negativity. It is a healthy trend that the chemistry of religion is quickly adjusting with modernity in India.
Author is faculty, Department of Applied Chemistry, M.J.P Rohilkhand University, Bareilly (UP)