India And Its Future.

Science has become religious and religion is pretending to be Science. That is where the problem is. Neither understands the other.
Devdutt Pattanaik.

“JP Morgan elegantly points to the ruins of emerging markets and says India is a nice house in a bad street! I would add further… The western world is founded on the principles of liberal, free market, democracy… Outside the OECD and the western Anglo Saxon Protestant world, literally in the entire globe there is one other example of this experiment and that is India…we are the West and England’s most natural ally… We speak the language, sing Beatles songs, read Wodehouse and want to grow up to be Sherlock.

Despite our many failings we are a giant and a colossus and for the sake of the world, let’s hope we succeed!.”

That was the concluding paragraph of a speech made by Mr. Dhritiman Biswas, a young Professional of Indian origin from Britain.

The breed of Indians that Mr. Biswas talks about certainly exists but is confined to urban India and will not exceed about fiver percent of our population. This population however boxes way above its weight because of its ability to use the English language and also because English language media of India is the most visible in the international arena. But five percent of India’s population is 70 million people! More than the UK’s.

I for one comfortably straddle the worlds of the five percent and the rest of the ninety-five. Primarily because I come from a family with deep roots in rural India and very orthodox religious beliefs. Due to migration to cities and exposure to Western style education, I benefited through employment with multinational companies and visits to the West. Extensive reading of English fiction helped too but at the heart of hearts, I am deeply rooted in our culture and philosophical systems and values.

“India is beyond statement, for anything you say, the opposite is also true. It’s rich and poor, spiritual and material, cruel and kind, angry but peaceful, ugly and beautiful, and smart but stupid. It’s all the extremes.”
~ Sarah Macdonald.

India, My India.

I am what is called a Hindu Nationalist in my glorious land. There are some fellow Indians, on the left of center and who are called liberals, who are my good friends despite being on opposite camps.  Tongue firmly in cheek they keep needling me about my loyalties and ask difficult questions on India, Hinduism and Indian culture.

I have now learnt to answer them by referring them to a fascinating book by an Australian writer and some of her quotes from the book.  My readers already know that I place great store on writings about India by foreigners and this is another one instance.  This is not however history but current affairs in India very well written about.

“In India I’ve slowly been learning that I’m not in complete control of my life…”

“India is beyond statement, for anything you say, the opposite is also true. It’s rich and poor, spiritual and material, cruel and kind, angry but peaceful, ugly and beautiful, and smart but stupid. It’s all the extremes.”

“India is the land of the profound and the profane; a place where spirituality and sanctimoniousness sit miles apart.”

― Sarah Macdonald,  in Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure

If you are interested in reading something about India, that is easy to read and quite a pleasant experience, you can do no better than read this book.