Sometime back my daughter Nupur sent a message on WhatsApp, which read – How we Indians describe beautiful places of our country “Go there and you will not feel as though you are in India”. True!
This time while staying with my son Ankur in Gurgaon, on being insisted, we went to Cyber Hub. Had I not remembered what Nupur had said, I would have exclaimed “For sure this is not India”.
Nupur’s statement triggered a thought process. Why do we say so? I agree with her. It comes out naturally when we come across a place or a building which is beyond our expectations or is something very Western.
What is India which I would prefer to address as Bharat? India is not wilderness of Africa, nor war zones of Israel and Palestine, or a modern country of Europe and USA and as primitive as Amazon. India is a combination of all. India also lives in ages. You go to a high altitude village in Himalayas or a tribal village in deep forest of Jharkhand or Chattisgarh; you will see people who have been living like this since thousands of years. There are people who have not seen a bicycle or a car forget about a train or a plane. For majority of people, flying in a plane is not even a distant dream.
In comparison there are people in India, who are part of the list of the world’s richest, fly 365 days in a week, own huge mansions, yachts, jets and the world’s most expensive cars.
India lives in thousand years at any given moment.
A good thermometer is the roads of Delhi. When a delegation of UK’s traffic police came to Delhi, sometimes back, for study, they remarked that Delhi has the strangest mix of traffic in the world. Just see what we have there – Cows, bulls, dogs, horses, elephants, camels cycles, man driven rickshaws, Electric Rickshaws, bullock carts, man pulled carts, Trucks, mini trucks, pick-ups, auto-rickshaws, tempos, scooters, motor cycles, buses and cars of huge variety and era.
On Delhi roads, we have old rickety Fiats, Ambassadors and the newest and the best of Porsche, Phantom, Aston Martin, Bentley, Audi, Skoda, Mercedes and all brands of Japanese, Korean, American, German, British, Italian and French Cars.
India, as you say, is evolving, in modern sense of the word. I defer here. India is fully evolved. India has been evolved since thousands of years.
In his book ‘An Era of Darkness’ Author & Politician Shashi Tharoor wrote: ‘At the beginning of 18th Century, India’s share of the world economy was 23%, as large as all of Europe put together. It has been 27% in 1700, when the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb’s Treasury raked in Pound 100 million in tax revenue alone. By the time British departed India, it has dropped to just over 3%. The reason was simple: India was governed for the benefit of Britain. Britain’s rise in 200 years was financed by its depredations in India’.
India has been on the height of culture, science, administration, art, trade, medicine, manufacturing since the days of Ramayana and beyond, which dates to more than 10,000 BC. Ramayana and Mahabharata, as depicted by West and Pseudo Intellectuals in India, are not mythology, but history.
We Indians, were made to believe that we are poor, backward and what not. This is not the fact. We see development in the Western World as modern. We do not consider ourselves to be educated till we hold a degree from West. Our greatest people and sages were educated in this land. Swami Vivekananda, Maharishi Yogi, Prabhupada, Pundit Ravi Shankar, JRD Tata, GD Birla, Narayan Murti and so on were all products of this land.
Ruled by British for hundreds of years, we have learned to not to appreciate anything Indian, rather look down at it. Today we have started revering Yoga and Meditation, after it was endorsed by the West.
We need to start appreciating our history, culture et al. We need to seriously look into what has been created by our ancestors. See Asoka Pillars. See Khajuraho. Think of the first Global University like Nalanda. See how Yoga has become world phenomenon. Indulge in these things.
India is unique. There is no country nor was parallel to it.