India: A nation, Idea or a Myth

Discussion in 'Religion & Culture' started by Himanshu Pandey, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Himanshu Pandey

    Himanshu Pandey Regular Member

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    She (India) has left indelible imprints on one fourth of the human race in the course of a long succession of centuries. She has the right to reclaim ... her place amongst the great nations summarizing and symbolizing the spirit of humanity. From Persia to the Chinese sea, from the icy regions of Siberia to Islands of Java and Borneo, India has propagated her beliefs, her tales, and her civilization!" -- Sylvia Levi


    A culture and civilization, which is in existence for several thousand of years which has so much unique characteristics in itself that sometime it is hard to call it just a nation. The name India had created so much romance in historians and spiritual people that it can be defined as an Ideology in itself and the prosperity and developed way of life mentioned in various history and epics books of India and world makes it as a mythical place. Then suddenly we face our present which has inequality, injustice, hunger, corruption where most of its citizen are fighting day to day basis to live, where mostly a person is honest because it doesn’t have the chance to be corrupt and we face a question what is India a Nation, Idea o Myth.


    A nation is defined on the basis of its belief of collective welfare, justice and equality. A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. The culture of any 2 states is so much different that you can’t call them a single culture, where a person of one state is not welcome in other state to work and the political parties with nationalist Ideology support regionalism for easy votes. Here still 1/4[SUP]th[/SUP] population still sleeps hungry. A nation where a pedestrian condemn a motorcyclist and a motorcyclist condemn a 4-wheeler. So what are the bases of nationalism of India? We don’t have a similar culture, common civilization or beliefs from religion to society to political ideology. A Indian is different from other Indian. We love to play and condemn all the ideas of being a nation and this reason a lot of Europeans when came to India were unable to believe it is a single nation. So what are the pillars or definition of nation to define India as a nation?


    Tolerance, Religion, Diversity, the ability to consolidate others in it, common ethics, all of these can be the pillar or none. For Some people the common practice to condemn government for all the wrong can be the pillar for some other even cricket will be one reason for some other the English and British rule was the reason and force to carve us as a nation. I differ from most of them. Tolerance for others and the ability to consolidate others and becoming one is the main pillar of India as a nation. If we go through the history of world not a single nation is there with so-many differences and still known as a single nation for most of in history. The reason to choose tolerance is that we harbor more cultural differences and several languages within a nation then whole Europe have harbored. The example of Yugoslavia, Austria-hungry Congo, Sudan, and Zambia proves that tolerance level of India and the belief to co-existence is most important pillar. The ability to consolidate is the 2[SUP]nd[/SUP] one because India as a civilization and nation faced most of the invasions from most of the civilization of world. Most of the invaders with time become a part of India and start believing in the Idea of India and this land become their homeland rather than a invaded land. So diversity which is supported by tolerance and consolidation is the reason for making India a nation with unique attributes.


    The idea of India is much more romantic and complicated than anything else. For several years a lot of people came here in search of Knowledge, religion and spirituality. The Vedas, Upanishads and Gita are still shows spirituality to many (Hindus and other religion believers too). A lot of travelers from various civilizations came to India to gain. She had provided with knowledge, peace, prosperity and spirituality to all. The Greeks, Chinese, Egyptians, Sumerians, Romans, Europeans and others had came here to trade, to learn, to gain. The contribution of India in Mathematics, Astrology, metallurgy, and other fields are so much over the span of time that the way she looks or thinks become all together a different view and the ideas which had created or developed here become Indian way. How we think, see and work is one of the mysteries to most of the world. There were many who were able to understand it and they felt a bond with us and there are many others who are unable for it and condemn us until recently for being us. There are several places where still Indians face racism or criticism but with the globalization the reach and trade of India have increased and the Indian culture is again on acceptance term of world (yoga, Theory of karma, Indian food, Films and TV Shows). So the ideology of India is again attracting the world and promoting India as an Idea.


    But with the problem we face in our day-2-day life, the frustration and hunger of a common Indian, the corruption in every part of life, the social injustice and lack of political will to solve the problems makes India a myth more than an Idea. The greatness of past and the problems of present are incomparable in first view but when we look more closely there is a relation between them. During the time of prosperity (from Indus Valley Civilization to Mughal Era) we somehow become a race of intolerable people who believe in being one of the best in humans. We had gone against the working class of society and were busy in internal fights when unity was required. A lot of superstitions and religious complexity got place in the society and at the time of British rule it was on its peak and because of various social reformers and government a lot have been removed. The problem we are facing today is work of ourselves and none is here to blame it. Same goes with myth of India we were so-much removed from our past for centuries that all those stories looks like myth rather than facts of history. Yes India is a myth but it is a myth which stands on the very foundation of reality. In last I can say India is a unique nation which played with Ideas and myth so brilliantly that they are interwoven and it is hard to find out where truth ends and from where myth starts but this complex structure of ideas and dreams is India.




    If there is one place on the face of earth where all the dreams of living men have found a home from the very earliest days when man began the dream of existence, it is India!"
    --French scholar Romaine Rolland
     
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  3. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    Nice Essay. You could have said it in one line though, the foundation of Indian nationhood is the common fabric of Hinduism. Without this fabric, there would be no India.
     
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  4. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    It is true otherway also.....the concept of single nation is the binding factors of so many shades of Hinduism...without it these different shades look like different religions.....
     
  5. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    That's what I said. A=B, so B=A. In any case, eastern religions are very different from Abrahamic religions, and can't be fitted in the same box. The evolution, mythology, history and teachings of Hinduism are inextricably linked with the subcontinent. Even though Hindus may live overseas, they always look towards India as the mother country, and the source of their culture, traditions and belief system.

    The only other group of people whose religion attaches them to a geographical area are the Jews. However, the similarity ends there, as objectively, the Jewish religion is the most exclusivist, literalistic and violent religion on the planet whereas Hinduism is close to its polar opposite.

    Explains why even though the RSS referred to Hindus and Muslims as "two nations", they were dead against the political breakup of the country.
     
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  6. Tomcat

    Tomcat Regular Member

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    India is a spritual Bond that has withstood the test of time and has shown grate flexiblity to adapt and change according to time to me she is still adapting and all the problems that she is facing is just a passing fancy
     
  7. Known_Unknown

    Known_Unknown Devil's Advocate Stars and Ambassadors

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    In any case, the concept of nationhood is dying out slowly but surely. In western countries, there are so many immigrants, that in a few more decades, the majority will not support wars or tolerate conscription if a major conflict erupted. The US is destined to be a majority non-white country by 2050. The UK, France and Germany already have large immigrant populations leading to large scale riots and social tensions. The remaining countries like Australia, Canada etc are too small to make any difference.

    The only countries where nationalist sentiment will see a flowering will be in the East, such as China, Iran, Indonesia, and even India if we are lucky. This may spark off a new era of wars between the emerging eastern powers, and the western powers will be loath to get deeply involved in any conflict imo.
     
  8. Tomcat

    Tomcat Regular Member

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    there is a growing snse of pride in saying that I am an Indian this i can atest to not only as my personal opion but as the opion of a large section of Indians in far away lands like the arabian peninsula we see the growth that our nation is having its corresponding effect it has on the Indian Diaspora in the region there was a time when being Indian was frowned upon and distasted but today with the Growth of India in to a major player in international affairs and especially that of the Mid east and the Persian Gulf there has been a counter Migration trend with a lot of people deciding to go back to India and in the Process taking their experince with them . the approch that the europens take to Indians have also changed. no longer are we looked down on but we are as equal to them in work .

    but while this is the Postive side of the coin the negative side is that the Indian diaspora in the arabian peninsula is a highly factured one with factures running on State and regional lines .
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    A nice essay that is but a left handed compliment.

    And where is the link?
     
  10. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    Sir..it is his own essay... :)
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Ah!

    He is the intellectual variety living in pink clouds!
     
  12. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I am a person of the present.

    I find nothing is common of our heritage of the past influencing the present!

    We are merely materialistic and when it suit us we spout the 'greatness' of our past.

    Let us not live with mirages.

    Let us quench our thirst with the reality of the present!
     
  13. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    Depends on whose perspective one view India

    1- Myth---Arundhati Roy, Teesta Satalvad:wave:
    2- Idea---Hindu Nationalist
    3- Nation-- Patriots (leftist)
    4- Evil---Pakistanis
    5-Thorn--our small neighbours
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    And Mirage?
     
  15. Param

    Param Senior Member Senior Member

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    I never knew I was a 'Hindu Nationalist' !
     
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  16. civfanatic

    civfanatic Retired Moderator

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    India is not a nation in the Western sense. There is no single ethnicity that dominates India, not even a universal language. What India is, is an embodiment of a civilisation. A civilisation whose history is both the most glorious and most tragic in human history.
     
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  17. Iamanidiot

    Iamanidiot Elite Member Elite Member

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    India is the microcosm of the world on Steroids.Stereotyping India and Indians is a darn bloody mistake
     
  18. Phenom

    Phenom Regular Member

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    I disagree, Hinduism become a single religion long before the establishment of India, due to Islamic Invasion the presence of Muslims made the difference between Hindu sects seem small and helped in integrating the religion. Also the pilgrimage sites that are spread across the nation from extreme north (Kailash) to extreme south (Rameshwaram) helped in forging a common identity. The fact that Hindu nationalism started long before the establishment of India is also a testimony to that.
     
  19. JBH22

    JBH22 Senior Member Senior Member

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    you can always refute my post ;)
     
  20. Sabir

    Sabir DFI TEAM Senior Member

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    You say the same thing what I said....(At least I think so)...let others decide..
     
  21. Galaxy

    Galaxy Elite Member Elite Member

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    I think India is India because of Hinduism. Oldest religion on earth helped our culture and tradition to flourish and to make a single entity. Tamil and Assamese might belong to different ethnical group but eventually Hinduism played a big role to unite all ethnics, Languages and states. Pakistan and Bangladesh were separated because Hindus were minority in those places. India's culture is based on Hinduism and until it continues to exist, The story of India will continue.

    IMHO, India is neither Myth nor Idea but it's historically Fact since 5,000 of years. Our Culture and Dharmic faith were always rich and strong as per history and might be that is the reason Hinduism still survived after 5 centuries of Islamic Invasion. Even after 200 years of British rule, Christians still makes 2% with too much of effort. It's because India culture which is based on Hinduism and related religion. Being Hindu Nationalist means Nationalist.
     

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