What we ought to do now is to revert India to its Golden Era, that which existed before the Muslim invaders or the Christian traders happened to pollute us.
Or other close renditions of this utopian vision of resetting India to a ‘pristine’ condition, is off late surging up from various quadrants. While this might seem encouraging to few, for the ones who have well thought about the larger issue related to this, it is a nightmare turning into reality. It is a small slide from fanaticism to fascism, and of course we don’t want a dystopian India which no longer values its openness. Ironically, these visionaries precisely use the same terms to articulate and contradict the openness we are known for ; imperfect it might be with all the political thrashing, still our ‘secularism’ has sustained for all these years.
Western influence India
Now, for all the bad reasons, polarisation of people on issues is always happening and does always hurt. Even the so called ‘westernisation’ has extreme responses : one section wants to emulate the whole lifestyle of the western world without understanding the necessities for those traditions and customs in their society. A tradition that evolves in one society cannot be mimicked in a different society that has contradicting structure and ethos – it is local, and to incorporate another tradition it takes a gradual process of assimilation.
This trend of adiabatic attempts to emulate the tradition and customs as perceived via the media vents without understanding the history and need for their existence is flawed and whole population of ours in today a victim to this misunderstanding.
Secondly, the other pole which stereotypes the West to be an emotionless, science pursing catastrophe that is causing the dwindling of our culture and tradition is doubly flawed. Assimilating science to lead effective lives, if it takes us to let go some of our primitive thoughts is a natural process of evolution and there is nothing wrong about it. We only make our system more refined and robust. Further, the antagonism that is inherent to such propagandists about disbelievers, rationals and science pursuers is perilous, for,not stagnation but evolution is what will allow tradition and culture to thrive.
Being cautious of the demon in the form of nationalism today is necessary; it takes a simple change of outlook to see that humanity simply does not end beyond our national borders!