Tuesday January 23, 2018

India: A Cultural Melting Pot under the Influence of West?

As Western culture has mingled with the Indian society, it has given a vast array of choices to Indians. But it has reached a point where Indian morals, ethics, and dignity are in danger

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October 31, 2016: Indian society is formed by the incorporation of culture followed by Indians since the ancient times. Undoubtedly, Indian culture is one of the oldest existing cultures in the world. With each passing decade, it’s evolving as per the needs of the Indians. But in the recent times, Western culture has been a heavy influence in the way Indian society is morphing. It has led to a few advancements, but at the same time, has caused Indians to disconnect from their roots rapidly.

The infiltration of Western culture is very much visible in the daily routine like choosing a pair of jeans over ethnic wear while going out, listening to rap music instead of Indian classical songs and preferring love marriage over arranged one.

Representational image. Pixabay.
Representational image. Pixabay.

As Western culture has mingled with the Indian society, it has given a vast array of choices to Indians. It enables each Indian to form a sense of individualism. But it has reached a point where Indian morals, ethics, and dignity are in danger.

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Indian culture boasts of its conservative attitude, but people are becoming more experimental and more curious. Peer pressure, lack of concern for family members and personal sense of gratification are the prime reasons.

Consumption of alcohol and drugs is getting excessive in India. Around 45% teenagers indulge in heavy drinking during their senior secondary exams.

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Representational image. Pixabay

There are over 3 million drug addicts in India. Cannabis, Opium, and Heroin are the most popularly used drugs. Most of these behaviors are glorified in western rap songs, movies and by the Western celebrities.

In fact, Indians have started looking down at their own culture. In a country like India where globalization is at its peak, speaking English is the norm. Around 10% of India’s population (approximately 125 million people) is fluent in English, making it next to The US among all the English-speaking countries.

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English was introduced in India as a way to empower Indians and to help them compete on a global level. It has helped in their progress, as many Indians are leading big American companies like Google and Microsoft, but it is threatening to diminish the value of Indian languages. As a result of colonization, speaking English has become a sign of sophistication  and intelligence. It is only because of this reason that the new generation devours English novels and newspapers while neglecting their mother tongue.

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Indians are walking a thin line. They have to adjust to the Western culture while holding on to their Indian values. It is important to adopt various Western influences which are helpful for their mental, physical and economic growth. But they must not devalue Indian culture which can lead to their emotional, spiritual and ethical growth. The new generation must emerge as a fine amalgam of both the cultures in equal ratio.

-prepared by Shivani Vohra of NewsGram. Twitter:@shivanivohra26

 

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Influence of Indians Upon Western Intellectuals

Book called ‘Great Minds on India’ by SalilGewali, which answered my question and took my knowledge of the ancient Indians much further than I could have imagined. Indian sages asserted the Earth as spherical many centuries before the Greek’s speculation over this idea.

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Einstein_and_Tagore Great Minds on India
Einstein and Tagore Berlin 14 July 1930. Wikimedia

-by Bernie David Holt

  • This fabulous book by Salil Gewali demonstrates to us how old Indians impacted present-day science, mathematics, philosophy, linguistics, and others.
  • The book initially alludes to a standout amongst the most eminent individuals ever – Albert Einstein. It lets us know inside the book that Einstein said ‘without Indians, no advantageous logical revelation would have been made’.

Sitting on the beach, staring at the pale blue sea, wondering, is the world really spherical? I could clearly see the flat, never-ending sea of water and thought to myself, how did we find out the world was actually a spherical shape? Thanks to my Yoga teacher and my association with this ancient discipline that brought me to lay my hand on the amazing book called ‘Great Minds on India’ by Salil Gewali, which answered my question and took my knowledge of the ancient Indians much further than I could have imagined. Indian sages asserted the Earth as spherical many centuries before the Greek’s speculation over this idea. I quickly realized the science and the literature of the Modern times far behind when compared to the ideas expounded by the ancient Indians. This book truly demonstrates that India affected the cutting edge world; these are cases of extraordinary individuals that helped society in different ways, who credited India’s disclosures and speculations.

The book initially alludes to a standout amongst the most eminent individuals ever – Albert Einstein. It lets us know inside the book that Einstein said ‘without Indians no advantageous logical revelation would have been made’ on the grounds that without the “numeric framework”, that Indians made, it would not have been conceivable.

ALSO READ: A Look Back In History: Contribution of Indian Mathematicians in the field of Mathematics

Dick Teresi recognized that Indians discovered that the earth circles the sun and realized that a planet’s path is elliptical, a great many centuries previously the thought was acknowledged inside Europe and the created areas. Dick Teresi is an exceptionally famous author and columnist, who was best known for authoring ‘Lost Discoveries’.

Archibald Wheeler trusts that the Indians knew “everything” and in the event that it was conceivable to decipher their old dialect, we would have every one of the responses to every one of our inquiries. He was the co-creator of ‘The component of atomic splitting’ by Niels Bohr.  Wheeler is the researcher and coined Black Hole, who is also instrumental in the development of Hydrogen Bomb.

Erwin Schrodinger, a splendid physicist, trusted that blood transmutation from India is an unquestionable requirement as it spared otherworldly pallor. Schrodinger was the designer of Wave Mechanics, which is one of the best logical creations of the twenty-first century.

Great Minds of India Salil Gewali
Great Minds on India is a book written by Salil Gewali. Facebook

One of the best hypotheses, the ‘Hypothesis of relativity’ is a hypothesis made by the old Indians, and is “light years”. Light years are there utilized as a part of room terms right up till today and is educated in science ponders within school foundations. This was said by Alan Watts, who was a logician and a standout amongst the most productive scholars of the previous century.

Indians also investigated the importance of natural laws, (many yet to be discovered by the modern scientists and philosophers) the nature of the soul, the birth of the universe, and what is past the cycle of life, birth, and demise, the connection between body, mind, knowledge, and soul. Their vision addressed the idea of holiness, the preeminent planning power that may underlie normal laws. To put it plainly, they tried to know everything that the psyche can appreciate — from the particle to unendingness, the making of the universe, and its significance. The source of different branches of science, craftsmanship, and theory ascribed to this human advancement are genuinely exceptional results of India’s “Jijnyasa”, or urge to want to know with clear vision.

But, I’ve found shockingly disturbing contrary fact in India and among Indians. Over 90% of Indian origin do not subscribe to their own rich civilization and spiritual culture. Just going over the news media and acclaimed literary works published from India astonish us that how there certain powerful people openly hate their own cultural values.

Even the half-literate love to quote Milton, Eliot; and shake themselves in a musical beat of rock-n-roll. This country’s government has found itself in the tangle of controversies while convincing its people about the practical benefits of Yoga and meditation.

I believe, the excellent publication of Gewali’s book will serve the purpose since Indians will get to know about Indian wisdom and spiritual knowledge from their Western masters. The research-based book of over twenty-five years, which has been translated into eleven languages, has recently been prefaced by a world-famous NASA scientists – Dr.KamleshLulla of Houston. Finally, I choose to invoke a very profound quote from the book by a pioneering philosopher of German romanticism August Schlegel – ‘Even the loftiest philosophy of the European appears like a feeble spark before the Vedanta’.

(Bernie David Holt 36a Slade Gardens, Erith, England)