From its Ancient History, India can learn Confidence. This is the land that gave the world innumerable scientists, inventions and discoveries; if we can do it once – we can do it again. This is the land that was known as the sone ki chidiya; the land that was quite literally an international trading powerhouse. As I said – if we can do it once, we can do it again. This is the land Charak, of Sushrut, Baudhayan, Kanad, Aryabhat, Varahamihir, Brahmagupt, Patanjali, Bhaskaracharya. This is also the land of ChandraGupt Maurya, Ashok, Rajaraj Chola, Vikramaditya, Harshavardhan. This is the land that has given birth to great kingdoms and great thinkers alike; if we can do it once- we can do it again.
India can learn openness in Trade; this is what defined Ancient India, and indeed Medieval India as well. There is documented evidence of trading outposts outside India in locations as far away as in Central Asia – and this is before 3000BC at least. Trade is what made India famous across the Earth; Trade is what defined us – not military might. This is a theme that is repeated across our 9500 year documented history; more of it later
India can learn the virtues of education and the benefits of promoting research and science. It is a documented fact that scientific achievements dropped off after 1100 – 1200 AD as the sciences and literature both lost official partonage; a cursory look at both the fields in the period 1200 – 1500 AD is mute testimony. The temporary revival of literature due to official patronage during Mughal rule is another proof of this,
The recurring theme of military might raises its head here again; India can learn the virtues of having a powerful military presence from its medieval experiences. Our open nature laid us wide open to invasion – and invade they did. In large numbers; some stayed back, and built upon existing strengths – while some came to loot – like the British swines, Abdali or Ghazni.
India can learn to stick together as Indians rather than side with outsiders – I am deliberately using this more offensive term than the soft-sounding word “unity”. We lost during medieval times due in large part to the fact that some idiot from India sided with rank outsiders, and stabbed their own people in the back. Again, this is a recurring theme, as we shall see later.
From Medieval India, Modern India can learn tolerance; for it is here that the greatest threat to our established secular values, and the true power of Sanatan Dharm manifest themselves. Earlier, when Jewish settlements were coming up, when early Christians were settling up, when the first Muslim areas came up in the North-West – the rulers were either Buddhists or fellow Sanatan dharmis. Our secular and wonderfully resilient character and internal strength came to the fore during 1200 – 1500 AD, and more strongly during Aurangzeb”s time – and The Goa Inquisition during the colonial era. This is a valuable lesson for Modern India – the virtues of moderation and tolerance.
As I noted above; in this period we find the recurring themes or Military Might and Unity raise their head. A weakened and divided – but economically powerful and culturally rich land was no match for the military might of an impoverished and backward nation like Britain. The arguments of Industrial revolution does not hold water; it is the benefits of loot from India that ignited the industrial revolution in the west. That is established history.
The combination of scientific degeneration and internal strife created havoc in a period when coincidentally the exact reverse was happening in a backward and torn Europe. It is one of the most enduring tragedies that a backward and amoral people could overcome so easily one of the most advanced civilizations on Earth – we, who have had 9500 years of uninterrupted development behind us, could lose so easily – leading to our next lesson : A world view and awareness of developments. We were blind to the world, complacent in our status as the most advanced people and the richest… the world stepped on the gas pedal… and we were asleep. Avoid Complacency is the lesson for us!
It is colonial India that teaches us the power of collective action – which holds powerful lessons for us. It is colonial India that teaches us the that India’s greatest enemy is not the outsider – but the bloody insider who cooperates with the rapists and enemies. This recurring theme appears at its ugliest in this period, with massive repercussions for Modern India… but that is another story, to be taken up on my blog in another article…
Only one lesson here: that Modern India can and should learn from its history. Tolerance is the way of life here; the reverse lead to one Pakistan, and another Bangladesh. In the Indian Subcontinent the only way forward is religious tolerance, cultural tolerance – and this is a lesson that should be heeded by all three of us children of The Land Of Aryavarta – India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. Unity, and economic trade mean nothing without military might; India needs all three.
Modern India is living proof of how division can lead to destruction. Throughout time, our greatest enemy has always been the covert insider who sides with the outsider; in Modern India – we have an insider that is openly siding with the outsider. Pakistan and India can do wonders if we bury the hatchet; we, the children of Aryavarta could learn that. Our greatest enemy continues to be the insider… nothing has changed even after 9500 years. Now more so than ever, we need to be tolerant, united, open to trade, focussed on education and health. And above all of this, given that a section of Aryavarta is now openly an enemy – namely, Pakistan – now more than ever, we need to be militarily strong. Our history teaches us this. But is anyone listening? From the deepening contours of intolerance is rising the fear of history repeating itself; now more than ever, India – the eldest daughter and heir-apparent to the Golden land of Aryavarta – needs to be tolerant, magnanimous and humane; as Aryavarta and its children always were. That is our defining characteristic that is our USP; that is our real power. That is what made India the most sought-after jewel in History. If we can do it once – we can do it again.
Are we our own greatest enemies? Food for thought.