May 28, 2020
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Increasing Religious Influence

In his valedictory address delivered at the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Department of Christian Studies, University of Madras, K.N. Panikkar quoted Jurgen Habermas to argue that “the secularist certainty that religion will disappear worldwide in the course of modernisation is losing ground":

A national survey conducted by the Centre for Developing Societies, New Delhi, testifies to the growing influence of religion in Indian society. According to this survey, four out of 10 people are very religious and five out of 10 are religious. That is to say that 90 per cent of the respondents claimed  to be religious — performing rituals, visiting places of worship and undertaking pilgrimages. Among them, 30 per cent claimed to have become more religious during the last five years. An increase in the number of religious institutions is also an indication of the greater hold of religion on society. Enlightenment and modernity in India have not led to the decline of the influence of religiosity. If anything, it has only increased.

Of course, the key word here is 'claimed' - 'claimed to be religious'. But, as he argues:

...Religion remains a powerful force in civil society. Secondly, the use of religion for political ends has substantially increased during the last few decades. Such a development has serious implications for a secular state and society. Retrieving the secular character of the public sphere is therefore imperative; otherwise its religious character is likely to impinge upon the functions of the state.

Read the extracts at the Hindu

Increasing Religious Influence
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

In his valedictory address delivered at the Silver Jubilee celebration of the Department of Christian Studies, University of Madras, K.N. Panikkar quoted Jurgen Habermas to argue that “the secularist certainty that religion will disappear worldwide in the course of modernisation is losing ground":

A national survey conducted by the Centre for Developing Societies, New Delhi, testifies to the growing influence of religion in Indian society. According to this survey, four out of 10 people are very religious and five out of 10 are religious. That is to say that 90 per cent of the respondents claimed  to be religious — performing rituals, visiting places of worship and undertaking pilgrimages. Among them, 30 per cent claimed to have become more religious during the last five years. An increase in the number of religious institutions is also an indication of the greater hold of religion on society. Enlightenment and modernity in India have not led to the decline of the influence of religiosity. If anything, it has only increased.

Of course, the key word here is 'claimed' - 'claimed to be religious'. But, as he argues:

...Religion remains a powerful force in civil society. Secondly, the use of religion for political ends has substantially increased during the last few decades. Such a development has serious implications for a secular state and society. Retrieving the secular character of the public sphere is therefore imperative; otherwise its religious character is likely to impinge upon the functions of the state.

Read the extracts at the Hindu

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