Most of the Indian rituals are based on a outdated code which took thousands of years to evolve and materialize.I don't deny the immense wisdom in some of the practices.Most of them are meant for an agrarian society.The plantain leaves,rice,mango leaves,cow-worship, all have stemmed up by the dependence of our ancestors on agriculture.Even now 70%(not very sure of the recent stats)of the Indian population is living in small agricultural communities.There will be no hue and cry now with regard to the religious practices.Slowly there is a great migration which is happening at the backdrop of our software based economic growth.The shift to cities is leaving out lot of the people in the cold.The rituals or beliefs(Agama) were practices introduced to sustain the societal structure.This model has already broken down in lot of areas.Growing up in a city I never felt at home with the strange rituals of Hindu Society.I channeled all my energy and my identity was formed on the basis of science and philosophy.But there are lot of people who have no interest in Indology/Archeology/Ancient history.To make them understand the importance of the mythological construct should be the main aim of education.Novels like Harry potter have gained wide acclaim because people in the western world and the affluent middle class in the developing countries have used the book it to fill the gaps in their genetic/mythological understanding of their own culture.
Many people here in America are crazy about Star Wars.It is deemed as a religion.The main reason for this inclusion would be that Americans(excluding the native Americans)don't have ancient mythological stories to relate to.
India has Ramayana and Mahabharata which gives definition to the Indian way of life.But the drift towards cities are breaking this cycle.We need new initiation ceremonies which are more ecologically feasible and also give direction to a individual.A adolescent who is confused as to the structure of the society and is restless about his/her place in the hierarchy would resort to violence.The cruel acts against humanity sometimes may be a cry for understanding the past history.
A good reference of the work on Mythology is by Devdutt Patanaik.
I had the pleasure of reading some of his books.(The Book of Ram , Myth= Mithya,7 secrets from hindu calendar art)
The site gives lot of useful material on Hindu Mythology...http://devdutt.com/
Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell are good sources of information on Mythology and how it is important to society.