An Indian Civilizational Perspective

How can India progress?

We are a country and a society that is badly wounded and impoverished over the centuries. I would argue that it has as much to do with our attitude of self-induced helplessness as much as it is to do with the needless aggression of the outsiders. Nevertheless, a beginning needs to be made somewhere to reach at a better level of existence than we are as a mass. It goes without question, that there will probably never be a time when every one is happy. But there needs to be a basic standard of living and at the very least an attitude of respect for even the poorest and their lives.

Its not as if this society has never had experienced that high. It has – longer than anyone has. There are certain lessons that can be learnt from that experience and I think it is important that we all reflect a bit on them – before making judgments to throw the “baby with the water out of the bath tub”!

Here is an article on my blog – where you can see the details of the numbers, but essentially – I am convinced now that 3 things are critical for the prosperity of any society or nation:

1. Scientific temper should reign as opposed to religious temper.
2. Dominance in trade is a paramount
3. Military dominance cannot be foresaken for sustenance of the prosperity.

Now, if you look at the numbers in the blog post you will realize that the first time, Indian share of world GDP came down was after Mughals came in. That was also the time that religion became more important. You may call astrology as religion as much as you want, but he fact remains that advances in it could not have been possible without the understanding of astronomy…. which was the case prior to Mughals. The trade dominance remained only until we had military dominance. from 1700 to 1900 our share dropped precipitously!
//
//
<!–
D([“mb”,”u003cbr>u003cbr>This is the first time in the history of the world – due to, I believe, the disruptive nature of technology (World is Flat) – that trade dominance by some nations is happening without the corresponding military dominance! But this upswing will NOT be sustained without military dominance. And that I am thoroughly convinced as is the leadership of China and Dr. ABJ Kalam! nu003cbr>u003cbr>Now, about our poverty. We are NOT poor because we are making rockets or bombs. We are poor because we did NOT make them when others were and using those weapons to colonize us.u003cbr>u003cbr>We would not be serving the poorest if we did not appreciate this simple verity. I know it does not make short term sense but in the medium – and definitely in the long term – it makes complete sense! nu003cbr>u003cbr>So, we have to ask a basic question – are we merely pretending to bring prosperity or actually working to bring prosperity for more people on a long term basis! In the short term, some people get most benefits in a disruptive situation – as today's in India is. But in the medium to long term, the poorest are best served when they get a RIGHT to the opportunity to excel and rise! A poor Ram prasad should have as much chance of making a billionaire as the son of a wealthy Lala. Only then, we can we say that our generation has succeeded in addressing this issue.nu003cbr>u003cbr>If on the other hand, we start with the condition that we will not move a foot until the poor are made rich instantly, then nothing can happen. The cost of destroying the structure that brings equality in OPPORTUNITY (not wealth necessarily), FAR overwhelms the benefit of giving directed doles or riches to the poor to start off with!nu003cbr>u003cbr>Structure and Substance should be differentiated and their utility and importance ought to be clearly appreciated!u003cbr>u003cbr>Cheers,u003cbr>Desh”,1] );

//–>
//
//

This is the first time in the history of the world – due to, I believe, the disruptive nature of technology (World is Flat) – that trade dominance by some nations is happening without the corresponding military dominance! But this upswing will NOT be sustained without military dominance. And that I am thoroughly convinced as is the leadership of China and Dr. ABJ Kalam!

Now, about our poverty. We are NOT poor because we are making rockets or bombs. We are poor because we did NOT make them when others were and using those weapons to colonize us.

We would not be serving the poorest if we did not appreciate this simple verity. I know it does not make short term sense but in the medium – and definitely in the long term – it makes complete sense!

So, we have to ask a basic question – are we merely pretending to bring prosperity or actually working to bring prosperity for more people on a long term basis! In the short term, some people get most benefits in a disruptive situation – as today’s in India is. But in the medium to long term, the poorest are best served when they get a RIGHT to the opportunity to excel and rise! A poor Ram prasad should have as much chance of making a billionaire as the son of a wealthy Lala. Only then, we can we say that our generation has succeeded in addressing this issue.

If on the other hand, we start with the condition that we will not move a foot until the poor are made rich instantly, then nothing can happen. The cost of destroying the structure that brings equality in OPPORTUNITY (not wealth necessarily), FAR overwhelms the benefit of giving directed doles or riches to the poor to start off with!

Structure and Substance should be differentiated and their utility and importance ought to be clearly appreciated!

Get Drishtikone Updates
in your inbox

Subscribe to Drishtikone updates and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.

2 Comments
  1. RJ says

    “3. Military dominance cannot be foresaken for sustenance of the prosperity.”

    C’mon Desh, this is not the 16th or 17th or even 18th century when military dominance was a pre-requisite for economic prosperity. We are way ahead now and especially when the world needs more non-military solutions we can’t think of military dominance. A military economy can only serve so much.
    Military Dominance is not directly proportional to Economic dominance. The first two points are right but in this day and time, the amount of money a country spends is more necessary in developing itself through science, technology and through that more trade.
    One can only sustain military dominance for a while and if everyone starts thinking that military dominance is necessary, then there won’t be any economic prosperity or scientific progress to be enjoyed by the future generation.

  2. RJ says

    “3. Military dominance cannot be foresaken for sustenance of the prosperity.”

    C’mon Desh, this is not the 16th or 17th or even 18th century when military dominance was a pre-requisite for economic prosperity. We are way ahead now and especially when the world needs more non-military solutions we can’t think of military dominance. A military economy can only serve so much.
    Military Dominance is not directly proportional to Economic dominance. The first two points are right but in this day and time, the amount of money a country spends is more necessary in developing itself through science, technology and through that more trade.
    One can only sustain military dominance for a while and if everyone starts thinking that military dominance is necessary, then there won’t be any economic prosperity or scientific progress to be enjoyed by the future generation.

Comments are closed.

Get Drishtikone Updates
in your inbox

Subscribe to Drishtikone updates and get interesting stuff and updates to your email inbox.