She (India) has left indelible imprints on onefourth of the human race in the course of a long succession of centuries. Shehas the right to reclaim … her place amongst the great nations summarizingand symbolizing the spirit of humanity. From Persia to the Chinese sea, fromthe icy regions of Siberia to Islands of Java and Borneo, India has propagatedher beliefs, her tales, and her civilization!” — Sylvia Levi
A culture and civilization, which is inexistence for several thousand of years which has so much unique characteristicsin itself that sometime it is hard to call it just a nation. The name India hadcreated so much romance in historians and spiritual people that it can bedefined as an Ideology in itself and the prosperity and developed way of life mentionedin various history and epics books of India and world makes it as a mythical place.Then suddenly we face our present which has inequality, injustice, hunger,corruption where most of its citizen are fighting day to day basis to live,where mostly a person is honest because it doesn’t have the chance to becorrupt and we face a question what is India a Nation, Idea o Myth.
A nation is defined on the basis of its belief ofcollective welfare, justice and equality. A nation may refer to acommunity of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent,and/or history. The culture of any 2 states is so much different that you can’tcall them a single culture, where a person of one state is not welcome in otherstate to work and the political parties with nationalist Ideology support regionalismfor easy votes. Here still 1/4th population still sleeps hungry. Anation where a pedestrian condemn a motorcyclist and a motorcyclist condemn a4-wheeler. So what are the bases of nationalism of India? We don’t have asimilar culture, common civilization or beliefs from religion to society to politicalideology. A Indian is different from other Indian. We love to play and condemnall the ideas of being a nation and this reason a lot of Europeans when came toIndia were unable to believe it is a single nation. So what are the pillars ordefinition of nation to define India as a nation?
Tolerance, Religion, Diversity, the ability to consolidateothers in it, common ethics, all of these can be the pillar or none. For Somepeople the common practice to condemn government for all the wrong can be thepillar for some other even cricket will be one reason for some other the Englishand British rule was the reason and force to carve us as a nation. I differfrom most of them. Tolerance for others and the ability to consolidate othersand becoming one is the main pillar of India as a nation. If we go through thehistory of world not a single nation is there with so-many differences andstill known as a single nation for most of in history. The reason to choose toleranceis that we harbor more cultural differences and several languages within anation then whole Europe have harbored. The example of Yugoslavia, Austria-hungryCongo, Sudan, and Zambia proves that tolerance level of India and the belief toco-existence is most important pillar. The ability to consolidate is the 2ndone because India as a civilization and nation faced most of the invasions frommost of the civilization of world. Most of the invaders with time become a partof India and start believing in the Idea of India and this land become their homelandrather than a invaded land. So diversity which is supported by tolerance andconsolidation is the reason for making India a nation with unique attributes.
The idea of India is much more romantic and complicatedthan anything else. For several years a lot of people came here in search ofKnowledge, religion and spirituality. The Vedas, Upanishads and Gita are still showsspirituality to many (Hindus and other religion believers too). A lot of travelersfrom various civilizations came to India to gain. She had provided with knowledge,peace, prosperity and spirituality to all. The Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, Sumerians, Romans, Europeans and othershad came here to trade, to learn, to gain. The contribution of India inMathematics, Astrology, metallurgy, and other fields are so much over the spanof time that the way she looks or thinks become all together a different viewand the ideas which had created or developed here become Indian way. How wethink, see and work is one of the mysteries to most of the world. There weremany who were able to understand it and they felt a bond with us and there aremany others who are unable for it and condemn us until recently for being us. Thereare several places where still Indians face racism or criticism but with the globalizationthe reach and trade of India have increased and the Indian culture is again onacceptance term of world (yoga, Theory of karma, Indian food, Films and TVShows). So the ideology of India is again attracting the world and promoting Indiaas an Idea.
But with the problem we face in our day-2-daylife, the frustration and hunger of a common Indian, the corruption in every partof life, the social injustice and lack of political will to solve the problemsmakes India a myth more than an Idea. The greatness of past and the problems ofpresent are incomparable in first view but when we look more closely there is arelation between them. During the time of prosperity (from Indus Valley Civilizationto Mughal Era) we somehow become a race of intolerable people who believe inbeing one of the best in humans. We had gone against the working class ofsociety and were busy in internal fights when unity was required. A lot ofsuperstitions and religious complexity got place in the society and at the timeof British rule it was on its peak and because of various social reformers and governmenta lot have been removed. The problem we are facing today is work of ourselves andnone is here to blame it. Same goes with myth of India we were so-much removedfrom our past for centuries that all those stories looks like myth rather thanfacts of history. Yes India is a myth but it is a myth which stands on the veryfoundation of reality. In last I can say Indiais a unique nation which played with Ideas and myth so brilliantly that theyare interwoven and it is hard to find out where truth ends and from where mythstarts but this complex structure of ideas and dreams is India.
If there is one place on the face of earth whereall the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days whenman began the dream of existence, it is India!”
–French scholar Romaine Rolland
- India of a thousand dreams! (thehindu.com)
- 10 things you might not know about India (bbc.co.uk)
- Reflecting India’s wisdom, diversity in a new light (thehindu.com)