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Is religion a personal matter or a social concern?

A very interesting article on history of religion by Devdut Pattnaik:

Religion was constructed for the needs of a communal living, to connect beyond blood relations. It was another tool for people to connect just like tribal bonds. But with the rise of rationalism, empiricism and science as modern religions, a thought has got traction that (old) religion is a personal matter. In India it is clearly demonstrated in a capacity beyond a person in cultural forms. While even in west the old religion continues to hold sway through particular value systems seen in US as an emphasis on a presidential candidate being a family man, and if it irrelevant it's owing to the unanimous presence of only one religion. Religion no longer provides a cultural bond as distinct from any rival tribe. In India on the other hand things play out differently religion embeds itself into diverse regional forms: Murugan in south to Bhadrakali in east - Vaisakhi, Onam, Chhath being other ways in which the religiious-cultural thread continues to provide a social bond. Is it right to term religion a personal matter? What are teh repercussions of considering it a personal matter or the opposite of it a social concern?


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