In one of my discussion on desicritics.org, with someone called "Jay", I had this discussion on what makes India – the diverse India. My viewpoint is that the "Hindu"/Vedic ethos is what provides the medium in which diversity thrives. Diversity is desirable and indeed important. But it has been the toughest of goals to achieve for many societies. How is it that the Indian society has not only been successful in getting it right once but all through the centuries!
Jay (beholden by the US example), however, believes that only Governance and people make a society (his hypothesis). I disagree. I believe that ideologies make societies!
As for US – its DNA is that of "success" – to succeed at all costs! The costs have as yet not been completely visible. As for the diversity record? Well diversity was brought in by legislation and not the basic ethos in the society. For example, Indian constitution makers never even thought in 1947 of not giving women the right to vote! So it followed naturally. In the US, the women got the right to vote through a legislation.
People make choices based on their ideologies. Until the time, people live in a secular manner in the US – liberal – they welcome others. The moment the republicans have their way – Christian mind-set – they have an issue.
I agree religion should not be mixed with politics. That is why I don’t said Hinduism – I have said Vedic / Hindu ethos.
If Governance and "People" were the only thing that made the difference, then India and Pakistan separation was the best a "Controlled Lab Experiment" could come to prove the truth or otherwise of Jay’s above Hypothesis.
Everyone knows what the "Governance" and People of certain ideology have done in Pakistan and in India.
Same goes for East and West Germany. Ideologies make societies.
Every society comes up with its own set of directions and decision points in life. So, to analyze it is very important.
I once had a long debate over the Vedas with a friend – who believed in the primacy of Vedas. I differed by saying that if one were to combine the wisdom of Guru Nanak, Jesus, Buddha, etc. into ONE place – you would get the Vedas. But the main question is – did they come together? Did the teachings of these Masters come together??
The strength of Vedas is NOT what is in them…. but that they exist!
Differentiating people and taking them apart is very easy. Losing your ego and identity and letting differing ideologies CO-EXIST takes courage of conviction and immense tolerance. A tolerance that only Indian civilization as yet has shown.
As for the example of US – here is my take – In early 1990’s Nirma had become big suddenly and had taken larger market share than HLL. The newspapers were agog with headlines – Nirma has BEATEN HLL. I used to laugh! Because HLL was – THE HLL for last 60 years. Nirma was Nirma for only last 6 months!
It takes a completely different set of DNA material to survive and thrive for 60 years vs 6 months!
Same is true of a country and a civilization.
Going up is easy. Going up and then falling down.. but having the courage to rise up again takes a different set of qualities.
The only reason why the 5000 years culture can co-exist in India with the most modern Western one .. is because Indian ethos specializes in co-existence!
Co-existence is ONLY possible when there is lack of identity crisis.
Rise of Hindu organizations like VHP and Shiv Sena is the most unfortunate happening in the survival of "Hindu" Ethos. I consider them a reaction to Islamic mindset and almost a mirror image.
Also, tolerance is possible ONLY when there is honesty… ruthless, brutal honesty! Nothing less.
When you see an issue – with any religion – you must admit and analyze it! Sadly that does not happen in case of most religions these days. That is why pseudo-secular – and patently dishonest mind-set is wrecking India as is a Pseudo-Hindu mindset.
Both deserve each other.. But India deserves neither!
We deserve better. Honest introspection is the only thing that will do.
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