India sees God as creator, not controller – report
Sun Nov 26, 2006
NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Most Indians perceive God as a macro-manager responsible for controlling things like the earth's rotation, rather than being in charge of the actions of humans on a day-to-day basis, a survey said on Saturday.
According to a poll conducted for the Times of India newspaper across 10 cities with 1,007 respondents — which included people of Hindu, Muslim, Christian and Sikh faiths — Indians were not convinced that God controlled our daily lives.
"(God) is seen as the Creator — 91 percent feel God controls macro-affairs like the rotation of the earth or the cycle of life and death," the newspaper reported.
"A significant 46 percent said (God) was an observer, not a controller."
Predominately Hindu India is seen as being a deeply religious country where idol worship and superstitious beliefs are widely adhered to, but the poll found that only one third of Indians sensed the presence of God in idols.
While 80 percent of Indians questioned thought God had a human form, 23 percent felt God was male and 11 percent believed God was female. Forty-nine percent thought God took both a female and male form.
The poll, conducted by market research firm TNS for the daily newspaper, also found 54 percent of Indians believed God answered their prayers and 56 percent thought God was never unjust.
The newspaper said that while India is often perceived as a land of God-fearing people, God is seen by many as more a source of energy than someone to be feared.