I too find this column utterly frivolous and a waste of space. But we live in a time where people are becoming increasingly spiritual (whatever the hell that is) and less religious. Religion has strict rules, regulations and generally masquerades care and concern for the believer. Many of my friends find the term atheist repulsive; they say they are not religious, not atheists but spiritual.
Spirituality in my experience is a loose term that is a blanket term for all things mystical, concerned with the human soul and the butchering of valid scientific terms and ideas to fit inane lifestyle choices. The terms energy, pressure,frequency, light and rhythm are so abused in pseudo-scientific gab, that some people actually believe that coral stones or amethysts have negative and positive energies (auras).
So the question arises as to why people are willing to buy into this stuff. No clear minded individual would invest huge amounts of time and money buying semi-precious stones, arranging bronze frogs in various positions, or swallowing whole the bull
that Deepak Chopra spews about the Universe and frequencies. But many individuals who are schooled, well educated and in respectable jobs fall prey to this tosh. They lap up DVDs and books and try to become more like the gurus on television. Why? They are looking for some peace and more importantly some purpose.
Purpose. The quintessential term that defines the needs for religion or spirituality. The need to understand what we are here for. I as a rationalist and an atheist (but not a nihilist), see that there is no grand purpose. If life didn't exist, we wouldn't be here to think about it. We came out of a concerted sequence of events set into play purely by the assembly of conducive parameters. We were guided by the hand of natural selection. We live, procreate, pass on our genes and die. That's it. That's the purpose of life. But far from the nihilistic viewpoint that is attached to that ideology by religious folk, Dawkins writes beautifully that there is so much to see, appreciate and learn from the world around us. The mere knowledge of the heat death of the universe is enough to humble the most rabid preacher and the jaw-dropping enormity of the numbers involved inspires more awe and grandeur than the petty concept of god dreamed up by desert nomads. We will all die at one point, but it is important to understand that our existence is nothing compared to the infinitesimal life of our Universe. Realizing that is all the purpose and enlightenment we ever need.
So the matter of newspapers peddle out spiritual crap like this. Simply to sell newspapers. To be different from the other newspapers who don't have a spiritual section. To rake in well known spiritual gurus like the Shri Shri guy or the Lokpal guru and advertise the fact that they do so. It's no different than getting a celebrity writer to write a bland, obvious piece of commentary just to advertise later on Twitter that they roped in (some guy) to do a guest piece. The people demand this and the papers supply. Simple as that!
And finally to conclude my comment (rather a long whimsical rant), newspapers will have sections like "Science and Technology", but it's a LONG ways off from bringing out an exclusive science primer for lay people. The point is that it won't sell. You have science mags and podcasts that cater exclusively to this need. Although it's not tested, TOI might run into loss if it brings out a science supplement. Save for few, no one is going to want to spend 2 or 3 bucks to learn about evolution; they want trash that wreaks of pseudo-profundity.
And speaking of Deepak Chopra, you too can speak pseudo-profundity by taking a peek at this fill-up chart.