“I think the period from 1750-1947 is largely a dead period in Indian history. This may be an extreme statement. But I think it is true. Ultimately this period should be written off. Nothing was achieved in this period in terms of creativity or originality. On the contrary people have suffered in every respect and become lesser human beings.”
– From Dharampal’s ‘Rediscovering India’
As a nation we appear to be deeply lost. The Western philosophies and way of life that were thrust upon us by the British don’t seem to have taken root in our soil. However, all our efforts seem to be focussed on making this wilted foreign seedling grow into a mighty tree. We want world-class ‘development’, ‘hospital-based-health’, ‘school-based-education’—we want to compete with the West, play their game, and win at it. This is probably not possible and playing someone else’s game, the rules of which are incomprehensibly alien to us, is not a very useful way forward for a nation.
Yet, the sparks of our civilization burn bright in the middle of the spiritual and material darkness we find ourselves in. We continue to speak our numerous languages, we still celebrate our beautiful festivals, we continue to cook our elaborate ancient cuisines, our women continue to wear their traditional dresses and a large percentage of our population—of all denominations—continues to be very religious.
The wise, confident, infinitely creative civilization that was birthed in this soil, which gave us the Vedas, our self-sufficient villages and our magnificent art and architecture, must have grown from native seeds. It is only from such seeds that vibrant civilizations arise, civilizations that sing the song of the soil and have the potential to touch the hearts of sensitive, considerate and courageous people from every part of the world.
There is no going back! And going forward in the direction we have been currently herded into is suicide! So, what do we do? Maybe we need to do nothing because the game of Kaala is on, wholly inscrutable to us, and things will go where they will, perfect as ever.
Meanwhile, here is a proposal…
With all of the above as background, it would be good if we vision a future for Bharat, vision it with the blessings of our sacred soil, vision it in silent communion with our ancestors and our Gods, vision it with the collective wisdom of our purvajanmas accessed in silent meditative contemplation. Because a vision has great power and it is time that we sit down, look past the toxic fog that surrounds us and think about the future that can be ours.