Friday, 29 April 2016

Religious Rituals- A waste of time and resources in modern times..

How many times have you heard from your parents or in my case, from my grandparents that we must visit a temple at least  once a week so that the week will go well and many more bogus, unwanted rituals such as these which has no significance in modern times.

You have people fasting on Tuesdays and Thursdays or people who eat both Vegetarian or Non-Vegetarian not eat non-veg food on two days of the week. My question is the  chicken or mutton going to come back to life on those two days to thank them for not eating them?

 NO. So why follow such weird superstitions when you will suffer indirectly as a result of that. It goes for people across  religions as fasting is good for weight loss but can have serious health related issues which people tend to ignore in the name of following religious rituals or superstitions.

In a society which is labelled as progressive there are umpteen number of rituals/ superstitions followed by people. They need  to be practiced after knowing the reason behind practicing the rituals rather than just doing it just to prove you are a religious person.  There are many festivals we celebrate without knowing the actual reason behind celebrating it.

As my mother rightly says, people will follow some religious rituals/ superstitions  just because they think that gives them mental peace and happiness. So that's my stand on this- I don't believe in these unwanted rituals but I don't put down people who do because practicing them gives them happiness  so why spoil the fun for them.

I look at festivals as an occasion where we can gorge on a heavy and tasty food and more importantly get to spend time with family members and friends. And the icing on the cake will be to get tickets for the latest movie which releases in theaters. Nothing to do with the rituals  conducted before eating the food.

When we have so many issues to worry about why bother about these rituals?  We burn wood, use lot of water etc to conduct a religious ceremony . Have you even once in your minds felt that the reason behind your city/locality boiling 4-5 degrees above normal temperature could also  be attributed to practicing these rituals among other things?

Amongst many factors that contribute to wastage of resources and which harm the environment, I find the wastage in the name of rituals disturbs  me a lot.

Lack of green cover and a complete shortage of water are two issues of grave importance which is being faced in  many countries and more so in India. In Latur, Maharashtra for example a train loaded with water was sent as the town didn't have water for over a month.  If not before think about these issues now at least.

I am not talking about only the rituals but I speak on behalf of people who fight for the environment and it's improvement. Hasn't it  come to a point where we put an end or to these rituals or curb the wastage of environmental factors  so that we can save some water, some trees which will help drought affected parts of a state or a village?

I ask you, the educated . well read readers out there whether what I am saying is right or wrong. No point in complaining about water shortage and increased temperatures when all these rituals do is adding to worsening  conditions and  the environment around us.

In modern times, what exactly is the significance of such rituals? We burst crackers to celebrate good over evil? Really? We are only emitting  poisonous and toxic fumes which can cause death to many people who breathe that air when we burst crackers. Now folks who is the good and who are the evil?

 I appreciate the Mumbai High court's  move to remove IPL games from the state of Maharashtra which has seen the most number of farmer suicides in over a decade. When people  are dying the least we can do is to help those who are in need of help. In this case instead of using the water to even the outfield of a ground, give to those who need water to survive.

Renowned actor Nana Patekar has adopted a village in Maharashtra  and has helped the farmers there. He said in a recent interview that the only reason for his living now onward is for the upliftment  of farmer' s condition.  We must applaud such people who go out of  their way to help those people/farmers.

If you can't help those people directly at least start doing things from your side by not wasting water, don't allow people around you to burn wood etc so that some of the water which is allocated to be used in cities could be sent to villages which are suffering from droughts.

I personally go to work through a mix of  walking and car-pooling thereby helping in my small way to reduce pollution levels and I definitely don't waste much water at home.

For those who believe in rituals, my simple and humble request would be- please reduce harming the environment while doing so. If you start doing that indirectly you will be helping lot of people around you.  In times where water and clean air is fading away it's high time we people start thinking about how we celebrate these rituals irrespective of our religion.

This blog post could be the non-believer in me speaking about the ridiculous nature of these rituals and how they mean nothing in these times of grave danger. Because of the frequency of these festivals this is one of the  reasons for the environment getting destroyed around us.

Everything does tend to have a religious overture be it birth or death, sports or celebration. Be it in weddings or public functions. So why not use religion for a change to bring a much needed social change in us too.  If you are religiously sensitive then use that to become socially sensitive.

It's time for the so-called progressive society to start thinking about the points I made in this blog post and start doing something about these regressive practices. It's time to act folks! Actions speak louder than words!


  1. Point taken, Raghav. Let's also take the non religious rituals we do everyday and see if they make sense:

    1. Wash the car. So much water gets wasted!
    2. Water your lawn. Why not have local plants that can survive with much less water than a lawn?
    3. Watch news every evening. So much energy is wasted for watching the same nonsense.
    4. Watch IPL, when all the matches are known to be cooked. Why waste this energy?
    5. Shove all uneaten food in the fridge and waste energy cooling. We should cook less food, instead.

    1. Well most certainly. All the five non-religious points are of bigger concern and needs to be addressed. I probably need to write a separate blog post on that.

      My focus as far as this blog post goes was to highlight in specific the religious factors which cause environmental degradation and which we as individuals can practice to reduce it.

  2. Hats off, friend. Very few people think like this nowadays. We are a nation of fools when it comes to religion. We have always been. Dividing people in the name of gods. And that's the only good thing religion has done to us as a nation. Done to our leaders, I must correct myself.

    Religion could be much better tool than this, of course. But who cares?

    1. It has always been in my mind as the amount of natural resources being used unceremoniously for religious functions and festivals irrespective of the religion you belong to.

      As you said who cares. As long as politicians can use religion and through that get the required votes they seek they won't care.

      My intention through this blog post was to highlight the religious factors which lead to wastage of natural resources like water especially.

  3. Very well-put. Bringing in the concerns that haunt most of us is something commendable.

    1. Thank you. I have always wanted to write about issues which concern me or which haunts most of us. After writing for a bit i have gained that confidence to write about these issues.

      Glad that it is having a connect as such issues needs a platform to be addressed and I am using my blog as platform to express my views on the same.