Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Is India a better place to bring up kids?

This is a serious dilemma that many parents face while living abroad. Many of them site that as the main reason to go back to India and settle there. They think prevailing situation and surrounding conditions in India will allow their kids to learn “Indian culture”. The dilemma mainly raises two questions. First, what do we mean by “bringing up”. Secondly, what do we mean by “Indian Culture” that many of us are so desperate to teach that to their kids?

To me bringing up implies to help the kid to become a better and total human being. Formal education is only a part of that. But the main aspect is learned from parents, society and surrounding environment.

The pressure to succeed there in India is so high that our own parents want us to prosper in every aspect of life. They forcefully impose almost all of their unfulfilled desires on those kids. In India today, we hardly behave in a honest, rational way. Our present society does not support honesty, as a virtue but consider it as a 'drag' force to become 'successful'. We teach our kids the same in the name of reality.

We see good number of kids going to school with heavy load of books and return home to do huge home-work. After coming back from the school they go to music class, then swimming, then home work and so on… They are too busy to spend time with parents. Very limited free time they get, they prefer to spend with TV and/or video games. Kids in the past used to read comic or other books or listening fairy tales from grandparents. This change in habit reduces their ability to imagine, to think 'unthinkable'.

Parents themselves cannot afford to remain honest and straightforward in present Indian society. They hardly can protect their own dignity, be it in the office or in a housing society or neighborhood, if they try to behave honestly, if they oppose corruptions and so on. Kids grow up with a distorted vision about life and "reality". They learn to accept corruption, not to oppose it in the name of “practical sense”. Money becomes almost the sole purpose of life. Accumulation of money and power start becoming the only yardstick to judge “success”. I agree that it's almost a global problem; but in India, it already has taken the dimension of an epidemic. Globalization is making it worse. We are loosing our good values fast while adopting cheap and easily imitable negative aspects of western culture.

In India, we learn that we can get away with almost any crime, "believers" may say "sin", by bribing even God, leave alone government officials and bureaucrats. Many of us feel that observing some bratas and offering costly items to God is sufficient to continue doing crimes and overcome our own limitations, e.g. failure to become rich, failure to pass exams, inability to find suitable spouse and so on. When we see highly visible but utterly corrupt people (e.g. well known political leaders, film actors, industrialists etc) offer huge money and expensive jewelry in the famous temples like that in Tirupati and media loudly advertise & praise it, then we need to acknowledge there is a serious problem with the society.

Our highly 'educated' and religious parents teach their kids not to help any other kid in the school or neighborhood. 'Little' cheating is acceptable to score higher marks n the exams or credit that s/he does not deserve. Kids start learning that showing off (money, power, degree etc.) is the best policy to hide any form of deficiencies or inabilities. From the beginning of their lives they learn that admitting fault and ignorance is a serious crime. It does not surprise me when most of the Indians always try to shift responsibilities and blame others or the 'system'. It not only deprives them from knowing the right thing but also expose their lack of  education.

Many parents blindly follow some rituals in the name of 'tradition' or 'religion' which they cannot explain to their curious kids. They take help of phrases like “you should not question when elders ask you to do something” or "you will know when you grow old". It not only hurt kid's psychology but also trains him/her to loose his/her ability to think independently and ask questions. It has severe consequences both for the kid and the nation. We see the same trend in homes, societies, schools, universities and offices. As a result India now produces mainly technician grade professionals who can walk only through the roads invented and developed by others. We can not make basic computer software like C++ or JAVA or operating systems like Windows or Linux, despite of being the global “power house” in IT. Our much-hyped biotechnology sector can only boast to produce generic drugs (patent expired drugs) and copying products by stealing/breaking patent laws of other countries, sometimes using the loopholes of Indian patent law. Published articles show that the quality of science and research in India is going down fast, despite of huge increase in fund allocation. India now mainly supplies scientific/technical coolies worldwide and due to lack of interest in science education and research among students in  developed countries, Indian techie/science coolies survive & thrive there.

Many studies showed that kids need to play in natural surroundings with bushes, ponds, forest etc. to have a healthy body and mind. But today Indian kids in cities and smaller towns hardly have anything else to do but to waste time in front of TV or video games. It’s almost impossible for kids to play & explore nature, even if their parents want. Land sharks and unplanned growth reduced that probability to a very worrying level. Running after money and busy schedule of parents prevent them from spending time with their kids. Many of them wrongly think money can buy 'education', 'culture' and even happiness. They can not differentiate between scoring high marks and buying degrees with education. This is a very pervasive disease in Indian society today. 

It’s not surprising at all when kids grow up and kick out their old parents. Such parents must not blame the 'system' or write songs, poems on old-age homes. They are responsible for their own fate and fate of the country. For many people, bringing up means enabling kids to earn money and survive with reasonable personal comfort. India is surely the place where they can get a cheap and effective training (I am avoiding the term “education” here) to do just that. But others, who still believe that bringing up means infusing a positive value and a dream to make this world better place, need to think many times before opting for an option to bring up their beloved children in India.

If the child is a girl, then it becomes more problematic. In India, we hardly allow a girl child to develop properly, with an analytical mind and a strong body. We kill most of her qualities (as a human being) in the very beginning and allow her to grow only as a 'girl', playing with dolls, tolerating sexual harassments and bullying by the society and even by the members in her own family. 'Ladki jaisa' (like girls) is a very insulting slang frequently used by parents, even by moms and, most pathetically, even in front of the girl child.

Here in the western world, there is a higher chance that the kid will do something they enjoy. They will not be forced to study medicine or engineering or science when they love journalism or cooking or singing or studying philosophy. There is a higher chance that s/he will love what s/he does and the probability to excel in that field is higher. The probability of the girl child to blossom into a woman with stronger body and logical mind is much higher in a western society as compared to India.

If the kid cannot read Rabindra Nath Tagore, cannot enjoy Durga Puja, can not eat hilsa fish, but enjoy reading Rohl Dahl, sign Celine Dion, enjoy rib-eye steaks, but is a good and honest human being who dream to make this world a better place, I’ll be proud of such kids, despite of being a proud Indian and Bengali myself.

Short URL: http://goo.gl/PBoRg3

Monday, October 15, 2007

Urban terrorism in India

These days we are hearing a lot about “urban terrorism” in India. Many Indians now wonder if that will be a part of our daily lives. Such noise became lauder after some recent bomb blasts in many Indian cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai, Ajmer shrine, Ludhiana etc. Modern day terrorism almost always target urban areas to maximize damage and collateral impact. Though the foot soldiers are recruited form the impoverished population in both rural and urban areas. On the other hand rural India always suffers from terrorism, be it by religious fundamentalism/superstition, oppression by landlords, politicians and police/bureaucrats. Rural mass in India accepted terrorism as a way of life since independence. After some sporadic violent movements in the past (e.g Naxal movement in West Bengal in 70's), rural India is now showing some sign of systematic opposition against rural terrorism and neglect by the political masters and ruling class of India. Now we see in almost all the states in India are affected by extremist Mao-ist, communist movements. Proponents of such violent movements think that they can cure cancer by infecting with HIV-AIDS virus. On the other hand, such movements can simply be described as an expression of frustration against existing law and order system and social and economic injustices. Many Indians think that India never got true freedom on 15th August 1947; only the power to rule India and its people simply changed hands. Before it was the British and later a few “brown sahibs” of Indian origin got that power. Situation for common Indians did not change. Quality of lives of majority Indians could not keep pace with that of common people in many other countries in the world and also with India’s own economic prosperity since 90's.

The “hunger index” of India is worse than even Pakistan in recently published report (2007). A recent (2008) BBC article citing International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) report ranks India at 66 out 88 countries, so far hunger is concerned. That report also points out that economic prosperity of a state in India does not always translate to a better, overall situation for common people. Highly prosperous states like Gujarat and Karnataka (that houses Indian silicone-valley, Bangalore) are worse in hunger index as compared to less developed states like Assam. India is slipping down in that key index as compared to its own position in 1990, despite a spectacular growth in GDP. Now India has the second fastest growing economy in the world and third largest in Asia. But, like many other social and environmental issues, the target fixed by India itself to reduce hunger was fallen far behind. The “Corruption index” for India is deteriorating further (1). India now has the highest death due to diarrhoea in the world. Nearly two-third of India has no access to sanitation even today. In terms of malnutrition among children, India today found itself ranked with Ethiopia. India is now home for one third of the world’s 146 million undernourished children according to a recent Unicef report. As expected, India is widely off track of the child mortality target as well. Judiciary is as good as non-functional (1).

What does it all mean? Only a handful of people are being benefited by the economic prosperity so far. Common people are facing the same hardship, all round corruption and environmental pollutions. So it’s not surprising that people in many states are not reporting crimes to police but punishing any suspected criminals by their own. Mass fury is unleashing against alleged corrupt “fair price” shop, popularly known as “ration” dealers in rural areas in West Bengal state. Now there is almost no one to complain to, against any social or economic injustices and expect a speedy redressal. What options people do have but to take laws in their own hands? It was the same for rural India since independence. But now due to wide reach of TV, Internet and other sources of information, they are becoming aware and have started demanding their share. We are generally oblivious about rural India, as that does not affect our daily lives in the cities with sparkling shopping malls, flyovers, 5-star hotels etc. But when a bomb rips apart a bus or a train or a temple, we suddenly wake up and start shouting about “urban terrorism”. We never think that it was inevitable. India is facing and will continue to face this modern form of urban terrorism unless overall change in the system is enforced. Huge unemployment, poverty and lack of impartial law and order implementation (please don’t confuse that to laws and clauses in the constitution) will always add fuel to the religion and caste based hatred and violence. Indian society and politics are too weak and fragmented to stop it. Although we will hear the same song and excuses by our political masters after every instance of terrorism, be it in Ajmer or Ludhiana or Hyderabad or Mumbai or Kashmir or NE states, the list is too long. After every act of terrorism our masters will congratulate us for “showing courage” in ignoring terrorism. They probably are too scared and/or too shrewd to admit that common Indians have no option but to go to their works for their families to survive.

Friday, August 10, 2007

India on its 60th Birthday

I read a nice article in BBC news web site about Pakistani society. The situation in Pakistan, just one day older nation than ours, is not much different than most of the countries in the third world, particularly in Asia, including Indian subcontinent and Middle East. In all these countries "It is the ruling class that routinely breaks the law and considers it a privilege". Indian ruling class is no different than that of its Pakistani counterpart. "The people of this country have learnt to live in a system heavily skewed against them. They look for short cuts, they bribe their way, they use friends' and family's influence, they lie through their teeth, they plead and they threaten because there is no straightforward way to get things done"- is equally true for India.

Situation has not much changed since independence; so far common people of the country are concerned. In fact, according to many reports it has been deteriorated, despite of huge improvement in financial situation of some people of the country. Today when we see flood pictures from Bihar, UP, Assam and many other parts in India, we hardly can differentiate between Bangladesh, Pakistan and some sub-Saharan African states with India. General health index of common Indians are among the worst in the world (according to UN report), so does education; the two main pillars of any civilized society and prosperous nation. Please don’t site 4000 IIT grads or 5 lakhs IT professionals or so in a country of about 120 crores. Quality of education, wide spread corruption even in different joint entrance exams, drop out rate and literacy rate in India is still very worrying.

We are still maintaining a feudal society. Even today, sons and daughters of powerful people go abroad, buy degrees from prestigious universities in Europe or US but hardly get true education. These people comeback and do the same thing as their parents and grand parents did. The cycle goes on. Many of our corrupt politicians, bureaucrats and industry captains do possess heavy-weight degrees.

It’s due to the same reason why many Indians, particularly Non Residential Indians, behave like feudal lords and demand royal treatment particularly when they are in India but sometimes in abroad as well. A truly educated person will be ashamed to its core to behave in such a way. The most unfortunate thing is that many of these people themselves prefer to settle in a western country rather than in a country, which has same type (Indian style) of society and law and order situation. They want the peaceful and prosperous life of a western country but at the same time they desire to have all the extra-constitutional privileges they are so used to in their own countries and societies. It’s not surprising that middle class and upper class Pakistanis and people from such societies/countries are the main driving force to organize and mobilize the jehadi agenda in US and Europe, as they do not get the extra-constitutional privileges here and get upset. These extra-constitutional privileges are also one of the main reasons why many such people prefer to go back to thier home countries.

The most deprived, under-privileged people are taking up arms to protest against such feudal system in India these days. Many times they are highly exploited by religious leaders, rich businessmen/industrialists and shrewd politicians. It’s not very surprising that practically no state in India is free from organized extremist violence these days. Is that the way to solve our problems? May be yes, may be no; but one thing I am sure about, India is maturing. It’s like bringing up an intelligent, healthy child who has loads of curiosity but don't know what and how to prioritize and the consequences. With proper, honest guidance and effort it has the ability and resources to become a prosperous and happy nation. But who will give this honest, able guidance? We can blame the politicians, but the fact remains that this situation will not change until a good number of honest people take up politics as a profession. They may not be able to do so while studying or working, but can think of it after retirement. If “good” people do not come, the positions will not remain vacant but will be occupied by these parasites and the country will continue to suffer.

The least we can do, for the time being, is to speak up in whatever forum we can against hypocrisy, corruption and cruelty we encounter in our daily life.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

What is Education?

Last night I watched a couple of movies. First one was “Agantuk” and then “Sakha Prasakha” by Satyajit Ray. Today I watched CNN news that Lewis Libby, a convicted former US vice-presidential aide, has been pardoned by US president. US Supreme Court sentenced Mr. Libby to two-and-a-half years in prison, two years of probation and a fine of $250,000. Sometime ago, I got an offer for a job with a specific US visa that required the prospective employer to give me a certain minimum salary. But the employer asked me to sign a document stating that I get the stated minimum salary while my actual salary would be less than that minimum salary. All the people concerned in the foresaid stories have one common virtue. All are well “educated” people breaking laws but do not find anything wrong in that. Such people include US president; aid of US vice president, a university professor in US and a highly educated entrepreneur in US. In short, all are successful people with some heavy weight degrees from some best universities in the world.

When I was a kid, my parents and many teachers in our village school used to tell us that we need to be a good human being first and then anything else. Marks in exams, monetary success all were non-issue for them. I learned that the main goal of education is to become a "good human being”. But when I see around after earning some heavy weight degrees, I realized that the aim of education is not to become a better human being but to gain knowledge to fool others without being caught. I started thinking if institutional education system teach us only that much to enable us to serve our masters and earn money, as much as we can. If we can do that, we will be considered “successful” and also “highly educated”.

In this world there is almost no place of sympathy, empathy to other less fortunate people around us, leave alone other animals. Educated professionals in present day world do not care much about anything other than his/her career. We do not care much but accept as "reality" about- sky high corruption in most of the third world countries like India, ethnic cleansing in Dafur, civil unrest in Sierra Leon, blood diamond in Congo, cleansing of rain forest, wiping out habitats of many animals, global warming… the list is endless. Many of the “educated” people tell, “why should I need to know all those”? Some consider those as "part of life and we need to accept the reality". Some are scared when they see Islamic terrorism on TV and don’t know “why these people are so angry and violent!”. Some assure themselves that they donate money when organizations ask and he feels like. This reminds me about my days in Calcutta University. I used to (rather, had to) donate money for students’ union, run and managed by SFI (student wing of the communist party). Not because I believe in their ideology but to avoid problem (fear of being out-of- fashion of being “intellectual” and humiliation).

More the world is getting populated more we are loosing faith on sympathy and empathy. One reason is surely competition. Worldwide reach of information explosion is another reason. In not so distant past economic backward people used to avoid effluent people thinking that they are more intelligent, hard working and noble. That’s why they are rich. Due to that awe, they used to keep a distance. But now they know (through wide reach of TV, internet etc) that this “elite” class is no more intelligent, no more hard working and no less corrupt than most other people. So people do not hesitate to grab the collar of a Vice Chancellor of a university or a bureaucrat or a doctor with slightest provocation. Can we blame those students or people when they do such thing? I don’t think so. To me all these behavior is a ramification of loosing our value system in our education. Many of us read great books, watch great movies, listen great songs but we hardly learn anything from those. As a person we remain the same; same corrupt, same dishonest, same hypocrite, follow the same sycophancy.

"Education" no longer grooms people to become a better, civilized human being. It only teaches us the art and knowledge to serve our master (employer), gather degrees (to distinguish ourselves from others) and most importantly, accumulate money by whatever means deemed necessary. It enables us to survive with a degree of personal comfort, but hardly prepares us to dream of a better world.

Nice video presentation on the same topic by Sir Ken Robinson.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Economic prosperity vs social disparity- dictates quality of life

I was born and brought up in a village in India. Before I came out of India, life was just fine there. I had no problem to accept the reality of life. But now after living in some West-European countries and then US for some years, my views about life have changed. My perception about law and order has changed. Which used to be a natural phenomenon during my teens and early adulthood is not so now.

I like to give one example. When I was in Mumbai, I learned that school fee in one of the famous primary cum high schools there is about 5 lakhs (INR) per annum! There is another international school in Navi Mumbai that charges about 7 lakhs (INR) per annum as fees. Then I started gathering information about the quality of education, salaries of teachers, facilities etc which can justify that high tuition fee. I was wondering how many Indians can afford that fee and what social impact it has. Then I realized that such schools only train young Indian (not so proud to be an Indian though) kids to learn western culture (wearing ties, well ironed dresses, polished shoes, using knives and forks while eating, American or British slangs etc). Education is not the most important in their agenda. Parents of such kids are mostly businessmen / industrialists / bureaucrats / executives in private companies and so on. They perceive "education" just as another commodity- buy it, use it, and throw it as and when needed.

Of course, you can get your kids admitted to a less expensive schools or free government schools. But you will not like that idea much. Kids from such poor, vernacular schools have less chance of success as these high profile, private schools have great and seemingly mysterious power to influence test scoring ability and success rate in many different competitive exams, as well as in selling themselves in the job market. No, parents do not ask where so many 'successful' young talents get lost in subsequent years. We do not see them in any novel research or technology development or any creative art. We also know such kids do great in earning money as a technician (not technocrat though), by successfully performing routine management or engineering or medical practitioner or 'research' duties. Their main success lies in doing the jobs that require good inter-personal, soft skills more than independent and analytical thinking. This is just the beginning of a mediocre, hierarchical society where the difference between haves and have-nots will increase in subsequent years.

Now changing the gear a bit. How much you need to earn to spend about 5 lakhs per annum for your kid’s schooling (that too only tuition fee), leave alone other educational activities like games and sports, creative art, routine excursions etc? A decent apartment (3 bedroom, hall, kitchen) in a decent locality in Navi Mumbai will cost you around 60 lakhs (with a EMI of ~ 60,000/- per month), a decent car (Honda City) will have an monthly EMI of ~ 20,000/-. So how much monthly take home salary you need to have to afford a 'decent' (in western standard) life there? Now you can easily understand what type of people you, your family and kid will be surrounded with (in your kid's school, in your apartment, neighborhood etc.)? Surely your neighbors will be rich enough but not necessarily the desirable one from whom your kid or you might expect some deeds and lessons of honesty and morality.

One government data, published recently, showed that about 34% of Indians earn less than Rs 450/- per month. About 80% of Indians live below a monthly income of Rs 2000/-. There is no doubt that India is doing great, so far GDP is concerned with about 9% annual increase in GDP. But as one Indian cabinet minister told, “this development is limited to only 0.2% of population”. Just check the data for India's financial capital, Mumbai. Financial activities in that city is not sufficient to sustain itself, leave alone supporting other smaller cities and villages, as happened in more productive egalitarian societies. It's reported that less than 1% people in Mumbai earn more than Rs 10 lakhs per annum. Informed people would acknowledge that Rs 10 lakh/year income is not sufficient to have a decent life in that city. It'll not be unfair to say that wealth from all over the country is accumulating in few isolated islands of prosperity in such big cities, leaving rest of India in worse economic woes. 

This is a very frightening- so far social development and national well-being is concerned. The growth rate in terms of GDP or FDI is helping increasing the social disparity. As a result, people are now chasing a dream of economic prosperity without having supporting infrastructure (law and order, good governance, basic services for all the citizens etc).

Nowadays internal terrorism and extremist communist (naxal) movement is more of an alternative profession than a fight for great ideology or social justice. Such extremism is raising its head almost all over the country. An Indian teen of about 12 years did not hesitate to throw a grenade in a crowded marketplace for only Rs. 120/-. He was not part of any terrorist group though, as published in Indian Express. This, in turn, is bound to affect our day-to-day lives in India. Nandigram/Singur is and will not be any isolated incident in near future. In fact, West Bengal Govt gave more support price for unit land to the concerned farmers than many MNCs and other state Govt (mainly for SEZ and some big projects) in many places in India.

The development in India is generating more social disparity as a 'drag force' that can not be overcome by economic prosperity of a small section of the population. You surely can buy a great car but will not have a great road to drive that, you can buy a great apartment but you need to keep its windows almost always closed. You can never roam in a forest infested with antisocial/terrorists,  you can never enjoy fishing or a boat ride through the river- fully polluted and smelly. Natural resources are disappearing at a very alarming rate. It will be more frustrating if you try to do something to improve the situation there. Then you/your family will be marginalized and/or even (physically) threatened. 

In short, economic prosperity will not lead to have a better quality of life due to social disparity. It is not so surprising that young Indians are now too much obsessed with money, only money. That’s the main reason they are the most optimistic people in the world, as per Forbes survey. It says, “But even though Indians are the happiest, the numbers of those satisfied aren't very high. In Europe, most young people seek a good living environment above all and work-related aspects in life are relatively less important. But the priorities of Indian youth and young people in other 'new economies' are different- for them, work, a good career and a position with high status are what matters”. 

I am not going into the subject of happiness quotient that western leaders have started appreciating to evaluate the wellbeing of their country and efficacy of their policies.

Despite of all these, I still feel that the smile of a kid, the serene beauty of a few remaining natural masterpieces there, worth taking the risk. Initially I thought that it would be better to try to change the system being a part of the system. But after my recent experiences there, I do feel that it makes more practical sense to do something if I am not part of that corrupt system. At least I am not accountable to that system and (mostly) beyond the reach of the custodians of the system there (who have their own interests to maintain the status-quo). I can insulate me and my family from the criminals and crimes ruling my country today, while contributing towards betterment of the society there.

1 lakh= 0.1 million; 1 crore= 10 million; 1 USD ($)= ~ 47 Indian rupees (INR )

Short URL: http://goo.gl/f1ahLk 

Friday, May 11, 2007

God created man or man created God?

During early days of human civilization, we felt very insecure and helpless in front of natural calamities and search for food. We gradually tried to adjust, understand and sometimes overcome such problems. The main stratagy to do that was to organize people and act as a group. That gave rise to group activities like hunting, cultivation etc. It increased their chance of success and survival. During this process men gradually understood its own limitation. So they conceived the existence of supernatural power, which they thought are behind all those forces. They also started believing that such supernatural forces strike when they are not happy. They tried to keep them happy. They developed a set of rituals, “warship”, as the means to keep these “Gods” or “spirits” happy. 

Each group of people tried to conceive the supernatural powers according to their own experience. If they liked particular meat or drink, they used to offer those to their “Gods”. “Gods” also started looking like them, physically. So the same “God” is not exactly the same in southern India as compared to that of northern India. Even definition of “God” varies from region to region. Ravana may be a demon in most of India but many people in Sri Lanka and southern India consider him as “God”. As most of the natural calamities used to be the same e.g. rain, flood, storm-wind, draught-sun, wild beasts etc, many of such supernatural powers had high similarities (though not identical) world over. Gradually all such activities and concepts gave rise to religion. 

Basically religion was evolved mainly to make societies more organized and to involve everybody to participate in different activities or "rituals", for betterment of the society. “Religion” made implementing the rules much easier, as punishment was stipulated to be high. This gave rise to the concept of virtue and vice. Breaking the rules were equated to sin or vice while obeying those were termed as virtues. Here we should keep in mind that all such rules were made by human, most probably the pack leaders of concerned groups. 

During early phase of human evolution and the initial days of “religion”, all were busy to ensure their own survival. So they all were interested to search the reason, in other words, the truth (mainly behind natural calamities, food supply and reproduction). Later life became a bit easier due to many innovations and inventions. Then the main evolution of religion started (as we see it today).

Ancient religions are more inclined to have idol worshipping and have many Gods/Goddesses to take care of natural causes like wind, rain, flood, life threatening animals, birth, death etc. Example of such religion is Hinduism, religions from ancient Egypt, Greece etc. Many tribes in India and abroad practice such type of “religion” with many Gods. More recent religions like Islam, Christianity etc are more like an "ideology". Almost all of such recent religions conceive a single "God" and the person who introduced that “ideology” became a “prophet”; as compared to many "Gods" in ancient religions. Such difference indicates the ultimate motive behind the introduction of such religions. It's like establishing an "ideology" mainly to prove one's supremacy than to motivate survival of a group of people. It’s the same psychology with which a king rules his subject. Evolution of such recent religions was possible as life became easier. Creation and spread of such recent religions also affected ancient religions. Leaders of those who were practicing “ancient” religions tried to invent some new “rituals” (which was not originally there) to strengthen their own grip over wealth and power. “Satidaha” (burning of brides), no beef eating, many marriages by men but not by women etc by Hindus are some of this type of “rituals”. As people and their leaders from different religions came in contact of each other, competition to prove ones’ supremacy became more intense.

To maintian the social order and their own supremacy, group-leaders did not encourage asking question. They started implementing their own version of “truth” in the name of religion. It became the norm. Gradually every religion started demanding un-questionable faith. “Search for truth” soon became the fight to establish one’s own version of “truth”. Now we see the fight among human beings to prove that their version of “truth” is more “true” than that of others! This deformed version of “religion” allegedly is the single most important reason for human sufferings, conflicts and death in the past and remains so even today.