India's Growing Religiosity

Pramit Bhattacharya on India’s rising religious sentiments

While this may be good news for the tourism industry, it may not be great news for the Indian economy as a whole. The WVS data seems to suggest(emphasis mine) that rising religiosity is typically associated with poverty, not with prosperity.

As the charts below show, the influence of religion tends to be extremely intense in the poorer parts of the world and fairly mild in the richer parts of the world. The correlation between religiosity and per capita incomes is negative and significant, and holds even when one excludes smaller economies from the analysis.

I think the author should make up his mind on whether the study suggests or seems to suggest first. Then further down, he asks this

Does the data suggest a causal link between religiosity and poverty?

The author concludes with the below

To be sure, religion is far from being the sole determinant of prosperity in an economy. Nonetheless, the strong link between religiosity and poverty(emphasis mine) should make us worry about the growing religiosity in India.

What strong link? You yourself wrote that the study seems to suggest first, then The charts below show and finally in conclusion, the strong link. What is the point of this reporting?

You are a reporter sir. Please say clearly the final interpretation of the data by the think-tank. If the study does not suggest something concrete and not backed up by further similar studies, it is just a time-pass and why are you even reporting this?

Now, let’s assume at face value the data has been collected and interpreted in unbiased manner. The report goes on to talk about the correlation between rise in religion and a country’s poverty rate and that India’s high religious population compared to last decade is a cause for concern.

Now let’s get something out of the way. India is not a poor country by any means. People think about religious deities when they are struggling. Nobody thinks about God when things are going good. It is when the shit hits the fan that we become intensely religious. Now consider the case of India. The Executive branch lives in a dream and their decisions do not make any common sense. Let’s forget about the Parliament. The Judiciary is a joke. When the rule of law in a place can’t be trusted, people have no other choice but to turn to imaginary beings ie) God.

Though the cost of living is high and we generate more revenue from taxes(look at the direct/indirect tax by the government on Oil. I remember 1 litre of petrol to be Rs 30/-. Even when Oil prices fell in 2015-2016, the petrol price did not. It was at a stable ~ Rs 65/-), the government opens no new schools or arts colleges and Rajiv Gandhi welfare scheme has destroyed the ability of People to learn a trade(Why should you spend years learning a trade from someone for low pay) when the government gives you money to work 1hr a day? This has destroyed the small businesses as intended by the government and we are increasing dependent on the big Corporations and mediocre work.

So people turn to religion because there are no other options. If you have a problem, identify yourself with some asshole power group of the particular area rather than go to court(where the cost of justice is your life) and play the game. 99.9999% of the people are not here to change the world but to just live in it.

You will also have to consider the happiness factor. With the decrease of religious influence in European nations, the ethics and morals that we cherish and consider absolutes give way to the money God. Go and talk to any atheist or agnostic and ask him about what he holds as absolutes(that he will never cross for whatever cost), you will learn that people simply don’t think about those things. They are consumes with making money.

Religion by itself gives structure and the ability to predict the future and plan accordingly. Remember Constraint is Liberating and people freeze when given the freedom to do anything they want. Things like Religion gives us focus(Take care of your parents for example. It gives us a reason to work hard, endure abuse, take care of elderly) on what is expected of us, how to go about achieving it and such.