I love my country. India is the biggest and the most vibrant democracy in the world. We may not have the best physical infrastructure in the world but we have the best emotional quotient. We care for our people and we care for the world. “Vasudeva Kuthambakkam” is a old Sanskrit saying. It means the world is one family. We believe in this tenet and try our best to live it every day in our thought and behaviour.
The other day I was flying down from Mumbai to Chennai. It was from the west coast of India to the east coast. The state where I currently live and work is on the west coast. The place where I was born and bought up is on the east. The language they speak and the culture of the two states are completely different. The type of dress they wear and the customs and traditions are also quite varied. But, what is common is our emotional connect. We live and breathe as Indians.
Today the western civilisation has invaded us. We have got the best of technological advancement from the west. We have learnt the traditions from the East and have blended the west to the east to get the best. We need to be proud of our past and confident about our future. We need to learn the best from the west and leave the traditions of the east to continue to thrive in our country so that we get the best of both the worlds.
We have 29 states in India and each has its unique culture. We have hundreds of languages and dialects. While Hindi and English is spoken and understood across the country, we do not have any problem in living or dealing with each other wherever we live. The reason behind this in my view is because by heart we are an Indian. We are brought up with a tolerant attitude to life and living.
We need to continue to learn and grow this tolerance in us. No religion, caste, creed or community should create barriers between us. While vested interests in society may intrude into our culture, we have a responsibility to preserve it and promote it for the future generations. We cannot afford the evil forces of society to impinge on the fabric of our cultural society.
We have to be proud of the past, while we create a future of our choice. We have adapt and adopt the best of technological advancement without compromising on our values or ethics. We have to embed our culture in our younger generations. In my view culture is like the blood in the body. No foreign organism can destroy the blood as long it is pure and has the immunity to fight all external forces.
We need to remember the best traditions of the past while we embrace the best technology for the future. Both need to coexist. We need to remember that our culture is the bedrock of our society. It is the foundation of our democracy. It is the bloodline of our society. We should neither allow our culture to degrade nor dilute due to the invasion of technology.
We have a rich tradition of science in our country. We have to embrace science for the betterment of mankind. But we need not do that at the cost of traditions. In my view, culture and technology are like two our two eyes. While one may be enough for sight, the two eyes provide us the third dimension of sight, which is not replicable by any technology. No camera in the world has been able to better the vision of our eyes.
The sun rising in the east or setting in the west looks as gorgeous across the Indian coast line as in the photo above on the west coast.
Let us learn to embrace technology and imbibe culture. Let the West meet the East.
S Ramesh Shankar