Being modern, being western

India had a glorious tradition of learning and education. It is unfortunate that we left this glorious tradition of knowledge and learning systems behind. What is tragic is that we today think that these systems are outdated and unsuited to the contemporary world. Academic and classroom teaching has overtaken heuristics based learning. We have somehow established a strong connection between modernity and western civilization.

If we take a close look at our knowledge systems, you will understand that it is possible to be modern without being western. And if we look at some of the westernized men and women in our society, the conclusion is inescapable that it is possible to be most western and be horribly retrograde. Behind the curtains of westernization of language, dress and mannerisms, we find a lot of people who are unbelievably backward in their thinking.

It has to be clearly understood that our knowledge and learning systems are good not only for spiritual but also material well being and prosperity. Most don’t understand this. Until 1600 BC, India’s share in world trade was 35%, the highest in the world. This wouldn’t have been possible without having the best practices of trade, manufacturing, accounting, education, material sciences and operation sciences. I feel that now that Indians have a better say in the world affairs, we must make a collective effort to break the myth that being modern and being western are one and the same things.

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2 responses to “Being modern, being western

  1. As a European who has travelled to India many times, and being married to an Indian women, I completely agree with you! I have seen the americanization of my own people, altough it has today been absorbed. I love India for it’s uniqueness, seeing it becoming westernised is not a pleasure for me. India can still progress without adopting the whole western thing.

  2. Yes, I’m also not very satisfied with the concept of ‘modern’ India … I’m always in favour of a cultural exchange between the East and the West but what we’re doing is that we’re just trying to imitate some of the worst [worst in the sense that we can learn better things like punctuality and discipline from them which can help us improve ourselves and our lives] things of the West and forgetting our own cultural tradition … But the West is always learning the best and highest things,i.e., ‘spiritualism’ from the East or India … I think one shouldn’t ever forget one’s root in anyway thanks.

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