Our Culture, Their Culture
We do not have to read about Indian culture, because it is not included in our course of study. So we take for granted that India had scarcely any culture. Then when some foreign pundits speak highly of India's culture, we feel greatly elated. We rend the sky with the shout that our culture is something heavenly. It is a special creation of Brahma. This makes us indulge in self-praise, and we feel an irresistible craving for it.
Here we should remember that the doctrine of special creation has become obsolete. In modern times we have realized that every special truth and special culture is connected with the universal. Today nobody except a prisoner is isolated from the outside world. So the assertion that India's intellectual solitary confinement is the will of the Almighty does not increase her glory in any way. However, we must have the belief that India has a culture, and it is worthy to be imparted to all.
Now a question arises : Is our Indian culture the best in the world, or, at least, so good as to be included in our course of study? In God's world there is no such thing as the sole best, because the despotism of the best is not tolerated. There are a number of variates of the best. So it is useless to argue over it.
We must not lose sight of the fact that our culture has its superstitions and flaws. These are conspicuous because our culture has become static. European culture, its politics and its science, are also not without it's superstitions. But they do not cause disasters, because they are dynamic and they change for the better. Their caste distinctions may be cited as an example. They do not become tryannical to a degree, because they are constantly on the move.
Only a few years ago Europe began to look upon the world from the point of view of an old-fashioned scientific doctrine. It was the struggle for existence. This changed her attitude to life. We also followed her and believed in the doctrine. But, of late, there is an indication of a change in this view. There are facts to prove that the struggle is based, not on competition, but on sympathy, unity and co-operation. Thus, in the nineteenth century, unchecked competition was the message of political economy. And in the next century it has changed into co-operation. This only proves that whatever impedes is undesirable.
In the past we in India made different experiments, in our own way, to solve the problem of life. The solutions we found cannot be set aside simply because they differed from those of Europe. But they must not be allowed to remain static; they should be dynamic. and keep peace with the procession of discoveries made by men of other countries. We must not lag behind other countries and show contemptuous indifference to them. We should move together with others in harmony.
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