Spirituality and Civic engagement

The evolution of the western society includes an unfortunate step when the religious and the civic had to be forced apart. But this step let science to evolve free from the prevalent religious dogmas plaguing medieval European countries. The remnant of this step is a mistrust that we see today spirituality and modern science. Concerned that the spiritually active of today may not be perceived by an analyst to be as engaged with the secular world as the other citizens, Jim Jansen conducted a research for the Pew Research Center through which he clarified that a spiritual active person is not only equally tech savvy but is more likely to be engaged in organizations of all kinds compared to the others.

The study also notes that a religiously inclined is "more trusting of others, are more optimistic about their impact on their community and think more highly of their community". This is an important point for a civic administrator and a policy makers in a developing society to take note of. A lack of caution on this in a democracy such as India's being passionately pushed by its elite to import models of western society can lead the country to towards social instabilities in the future. A few signs of ensuing instabilities are the crumbling of law and order in areas controlled by the Naxal movements and the unfortunate exodus of ethnic population during the recent riots in Assam.

It is interesting that a few NGOs in India hold the view that a move away from religion is necessary for societal progress while the Pew Research study quoted above shows that spirituality is not an impediment to one's acceptance of scientific and technological products. On the other hand a few NGOs, with access to foreign funds, allure the poor towards dogma of intolerance that plagued the medieval world and many parts of the world today. Eastern religions have been role models for mutual coexistence. They supported the development of societies whose traditions inter-weaved science and spirituality. The Back to the roots project is a model of village development program that strives to eradicate negative practices while upholding the truth highlighted by the Pew Research report.