The Indian Spirit and the World's Future.

Author:Kapoor, Hermant
Position:Book review

The Indian Spirit and the World's Future K.D. Sethna (Amat Kiran); Published by Sri Aurobindo Society, Pondicherry; 185 pp., Rs 150

Sometime back a prestigious magazine featured an article in which India was likened to a film in which there were many sub-plots but no main storyline. A cultural diversity that is unparalleled in the world; more than two dozen main languages and hundreds of dialects; a powerful military; the largest democracy of the world; a history of several millennia; an intellectual heritage which boasts of outstanding contributions in the march of human progress--yet no main story. The critics are hoarse with their descriptions of the seamier side of Indian life. India continues to be a land of 'a million mutinies. The population continues to rise and it will not be too long before it overtakes China. Even with our present growth rates we will achieve the level of development of the U.S.A. in several years. The cities are overflowing with people; corruption is thriving; civic amenities are hopeless; the proletariat is sunk in inertia; the water table is falling; terrorism is rampant in parts; the parliamentary system of government is gasping for breath under the weight of coalition politics; the decrepit caste system still flourishes; communal riots are a commonplace of life; there is no link language for the country; cricket has become part of national culture but science still hasn't and remains as a kind of genie to serve our wants: This list can be greatly prolonged.

"Shall India die?" Swami Vivekanananda had asked more than a hundred years ago and proceeded to answer his own question, "Then from the world all spirituality will be extinct; all moral perfection will be extinct; all sweet-souled sympathy for religion will be extinct; all ideality will be extinct; and in its place will reign the duality of lust and luxury as the male and female deities, with money as its priest, fraud, force and competition its ceremonies and the human soul its sacrifice. Such a thing can never be." Such a thing can never be--what a force of conviction! Such a thing can never be because India preserves that which preserves the world. In a word, "God". All the other ancient nations have lost their link with their past, India alone retains a living continuity with her ancient past in the form of its spiritual Masters. It cannot be gainsaid that we are a nation beset with contradictions. Yet in the resolution of India's conflicts lies the...

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