India has achieved a significant feat in the field of technology. You will find an Indian working in every latest area of technology all over the world, making his presence felt. Be it the space technology, robotics, electronics, software or the alternate energy. But along with the scientific side, there runs a parallel side in every Indian, the superstitious one. Superstition is a way of life in India, you will find it everywhere, home or offices, in every genre of people, educated or uneducated and in various forms.
‘Don’t wear/use anything new on a Saturday, it won’t last long’, is something I have been told all my life. I won’t deny that, I myself inspite of being an engineer by profession, have practised it so many times,just out of the love for the new dress or something like that. ‘Don’t cut your hair/nails on a Thursday, you will show disrespect to the Goddess Laxmi’, is another which my mother has troubled me with all through my childhood. You will find people making coconut offerings and decorating their brand new car with garlands without fail before the first ride to bring good luck to the car. Infact it is so common, that the car dealers themselves arrange for the priest to come and pray for the car when the customer comes to collect it. People get married on auspicious dates and times called ‘muhurtams’, to ensure a happy married life. You will see lemon and chillies hanging on the front door of the houses to keep away evil spirits. Accepting anything with your left hand brings bad luck. If you keep your study books open and wander about playing, all your intelligence will evaporate into thin air. And if by any chance your left eye has been twitching all day along, mate, you are doomed for the day!
The superstitions are sometimes specific to some particular communities. But most of them are either to please God or in the fear of making them angry. In the past India was largely an agriculture dominated country, and the weather played a significant role. Correct time of monsoon break, the exact amount of rainfall was important for a healthy growth of crops. But most of these factors were not in anyone’s control. People believed that when God was happy with them, there was plenty of rainfall. And when there was none, they thought it was because God was angry. So they started making offerings and sacrifices to make the Gods happy. And from that time people started having various blind faiths and practiced them. If one individual will not follow, others would make him practice it in the fear of making the God angry. These beliefs were ingrained into the child’s mind right from the childhood. And so, traces of those blind faiths continue to exist even in the 21st century, carried over by generations.
Most Indians are very religious and God fearing in nature. And so there isin’t much space for rational thinking when it comes to the matters of God. Be it a scientist, a doctor or an engineer, they believe beyond science there is God and sometimes there is. Because sometimes, just the faith is what matters.