The God Market: How Globalization is Making India More Hindu

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It is this "State-Temple-Corporate Complex," she claims, that now wields decisive political and economic power, and provides ideological cover for the dismantling of the Nehru-era state-dominated economy. According to this new logic, India's rapid economic growth is attributable to a special "Hindu mind," and it is what separates the nation's Hindu population from Muslims and others deemed to be "anti-modern.

Nanda explores the roots of this development and its possible future, as well as the struggle for secularism and socialism in the world's second-most populous country. Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. More Details Original Title. Other Editions 5. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The God Market , please sign up.

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Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. If ever a book was written so unabashedly one-sided, almost like a stooge from Congress, this would win hands down. It does not even make an attempt to write an impassive critique.


Hinduism is made out to be a monster which can take over the other dogmatic religions simply because it is a way of life and not a monotheistic faith like others. What more, she keeps blaming the BJP government for regularization of hinduism in society when they were in govt for only 5 years and congress for the other If ever a book was written so unabashedly one-sided, almost like a stooge from Congress, this would win hands down.

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What more, she keeps blaming the BJP government for regularization of hinduism in society when they were in govt for only 5 years and congress for the other Apart from the grammatical errors in the book, the book is no where a product of a person well-versed in religion. Someone who can write the sanskritised hymns of priests as "mumbo-jumbo" or mocks the claim of Mahabharata "what is not here is not anywhere" as being boastful, is definitely not well-versed to write anything on the subject.

Besides presently half-baked illogical arguments, it even sympathises with other religions, making them out to be much more soothing and 'scientific' than hinduism.

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She goes on and on about priest schools in India for hindus as if other religions don't have it. We can contradict all points of her pathetically-written tirade, but we have got better jobs to do. In her attempt to malign almost everyone related to hinduism, she will go so far to label even arun shourie under the same mold, despite he being a declared atheist.

She called Vivekananda and the likes as "apologists of hinduism" and uses adjectives which show her incompetence in writing scientifically about any faith, let along hinduism with all its disparity. William Darymple, despite being a foreigner, writes on Indians and faith with much more sensitivity in "Last Mughal".

It looked like a third person's neutral analysis. Hers is just one-sided venom. I never spent my money more wrongly in life, than by buying this product. View all 3 comments. May 18, Ajay rated it did not like it. Nothing new to offer. Just rant, rant and rant. We already knew all these stuff. It is becoming a fashion nowadays among today's writers to mock Hinduism and most of its beliefs. Author is so biased.

Blame every damn party for everything. Just a pathetic book. Dec 10, Dheeraj Pandey rated it did not like it. The author had something to say but she doesn't seem to know. How to present it, in a more palatable manner. This book is divided into 5 chapters. But, reading it seemed to be a waste of my time. But somehow I managed to complete it. It was more of a rant, rather than a book. If that makes sense to you. On mapping religiosity against income data from societies in North America, Europe and Japan, Norris and Inglehart found that the higher the income level, the lower the religiosity as measured by frequency of prayer: in aggregate terms, the poor turn out to be twice as religious as the rich.

The data from the United States, for example, shows that two-thirds of the least well-off prayed, compared with 47 per cent of the highest income group. According to this view, religiosity does fall off and people do become more secular in modern industrial economies, except when they are caught on the lower rungs of the economy in those societies that do not provide public welfare. This explanation does not adequately explain the Indian data.

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Here we have the case of rising religiosity among the already wealthy and the upwardly mobile, whose level of material well-being is fairly decent even by Western standards. The second explanation is that the growing religiosity is a defensive reaction to modernisation and Westernisation. Pavan Varma, the author of the much-cited The Great Indian Middle Class , treats religion as a refuge for the alienated and lonely urbanites, uprooted from the old, warm little communities they left behind in villages.

Varma simply assumes that the transition to modern life in the cities must be traumatic and drive the new middle classes to seek out the consolation of God in the company of fellow believers. But insecurity and anomie do not appear to be the most salient aspects of what is going on. There is anxiety and insecurity among the newly well-to-do as they face an increasingly competitive economy with declining job security. But there is also a sense of expanding horizons and multiplying opportunities.

Their experience of the unprecedented pace and scale of change had resulted not so much in a sense of despair and alienation as in a sense of optimism about multiple opportunities in most spheres of life.

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  6. It is not despair or alienation, but rather ambivalence over their new-found wealth that seems a more plausible explanation of the growing religiosity. Modern gurus seem to ease this ambivalence by giving new wealth a divine stamp of approval. Blessing the hyper-consumption of their middle-class followers is only half the story. To put it a bit flippantly, the cure for shopping is more shopping — this time for spiritual products and the services of gurus and priests.

    Surely a win-win situation for all involved! There is, however, another factor that is making public expressions of religiosity fashionable, namely the rising levels of triumphalism and nationalism among the upwardly mobile. In comparison, Chinese, Japanese and even American public opinion was far more self-critical and ambiguous over the superiority of their cultures. For educated Indians brought up on a steady diet of religious, media and other cultural discourses that constantly package Hindu signs and symbols as the essence of Indian culture, it has become almost second nature to conflate the two.

    Amazon Defames Hindu Gods? I Biz Tak I Varun awasthi

    This sentiment is being aggressively promoted by gurus and tele-yogis like Swami Ramdev, Swami Dayananda Saraswati, Sai Baba and a host of others. Indeed, the public sphere is replete with these messages of becoming more Hindu in order to become more successful in the global race for money and power.

    On the face of it, contemporary popular Hinduism appears to be the very epitome of a dynamic and inventive religious tradition which is changing to keep pace with the changing time.

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    The banal, everyday Hindu religiosity is simultaneously breeding a banal, everyday kind of Hindu ultra-nationalism. This kind of nationalism is not openly proclaimed in fatwas, nor does it appear on the election manifestos of political parties. Its power lies in structuring the common sense of ordinary people. The net result is a new kind of political and nationalistic Hinduism which is invented out of old customs and traditions that people are fond of and familiar with.

    Because it builds upon deeply felt religiosity, it sucks in even those who are not particularly anti-Muslim or anti-Christian.

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    The best way to describe the banality of Hindu nationalism and the role of religion in it is to show how it works. The example comes from the recent inauguration of Shri Hari Mandir, a new temple that opened in Porbandar in Gujarat in February The grand sandstone temple and the priest-training school called Sandipani Vidyaniketan attached to it are a joint venture of the Gujarat government, the business house of the Ambanis and the charismatic guru Rameshbhai Oza. The inauguration ceremony of this temple-gurukul complex provides a good example of how Hindu gods end up serving as props for Hindu nationalism and Hindu supremacy.

    According to the description provided by the organisers themselves, the temple was inaugurated by Bharion Singh Shekhawat, the vice-president of the country, with the infamous chief minister Narendra Modi in attendance. Also in attendance were the widow of Dhirubhai Ambani and the rest of the Ambani clan whose generous financial donations had built the temple. Some 50, well-heeled devotees of Oza from India and abroad crowded into the temple precincts to watch the event. The prayer was followed by the national anthem sung before the gods, followed by recital of the Vedas by the student-priests, followed by a Gujarati folk dance.

    Next came Mrs Ambani, who urged mixing spirituality with industry. The ancients were smoothly turned into the guiding lights of modern science — regardless of the fact that their cosmology has been falsified by it. Worship of the gods becomes indistinguishable from the worship of Hindu culture and the Indian nation.

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