Shikha Dalmia on Gold and Gods in Modern India


Ekant puri7/Wikimedia

India has always been a deeply religious country. Some speculated that its embrace of a market economy would also lead to increased secularizaiton but this hasn't been the case, Shikha Dalmia explains. Market-led growth has minted a class of nouveau riche for whom religion is a consumer good, like ostentatious weddings or fancy cars. Far from posing a threat to Hinduism, modernization has given it a major boost. What remains to be seen is whether a revived Hinduism will be good for liberal democracy's core commitment to a neutral state that respects religious pluralism.