In Search of India – Part 4: Back to the Future
The title of this blog “In Search of India” is an allusion to “Discovery of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru (1st Prime Minister of India). He found it but I’m still searching. This is the last of the series.
It’s been a while since Part 3 was published. Catching up on Term 3 and catching breath happened in between. But since we’re heading into China soon, thought it should be done in a hurry before I work on the “video” and other stuff in between.
There were a lot of discussions during our Term 3 residency about India’s future. But the one thing that stayed with me was the quote from Hari Rajagopalachari (who I thought was the best speaker during out Delhi Residency) saying that India is like the bumble bee in the quote:
“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it, so it goes on flying anyway”
In Search of India – Part 3: Of Gods, Kings, Cricketers and Movie-stars
The title of this blog “In Search of India” is an allusion to “Discovery of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru (1st Prime Minister of India). He found it but I’m still searching. This is Part 3 of 4.
It’s been a while since Part 2 was published – I had it drafted but was unable to finish it. But a headline in today’s paper nicely captured the theme I wanted to write about and spurred me into action.
Just to give a context to what these headlines are screaming about – the cricketer above is Sachin Tendulkar from India who hit 200 runs in a match against South Africa yesterday (Feb 24, 2010). This is a score that has so far been unsurpassed – especially considering that 200 runs is often the average score made by a cricket team in a cricket match (1 day version).
Considering the theme of my early posts about India being a land affected by elements, the people here have largely been dependent on authority figures to administer the affairs of the land (could be the cause for authority ranking figuring high in India). This made it very easy for India to have Kingdoms – in fact, on Independence the total count of princely states in India totaled to about 500 odd. The king being the great benefactor was revered by the people to the point of being treated as Gods (not surprisingly enough, some of the Gods in Hinduism were Kings). In fact, I’m reminded of a John Huston movie “The Man Who Would Be King” (starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine; based on a story by Rudyard Kipling) about 2 British soldiers in India who set out to become Kings.
Of course, English and Portuguese never got the stature of Gods and neither did any of the remaining kings of India (who pretty much lost all their power and wealth to the Indian government) – a price for betraying the Indian people by supporting BrItish Raj, I suppose.
So with independence of India, there was a job opening for the role of “God”. And it was surprising ease that Movie stars and Cricketers (note the first letter in capital (sic), like in “God”) took on this mantle.
In Search of India – Part 2: How Geography Shaped History
The title of this blog “In Search of India” is an allusion to “Discovery of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru (1st Prime Minister of India). He found it but I’m still searching. This is Part 2 of 4.
India is often called the “Indian subcontinent”, and with good reason. India was closer to Africa before the continental drift. And on joining the Eurasian Plate, it became part of Asia (the Himalayas were the result of this merger). This may explain why there is some similarity in the flora and fauna with Africa (lions, elephants, etc.). It could also explain the origins of the dark-skinned dravidians (of south India). The merger, of course, is what enabled the aryans (supposedly from Persia and Europe) and the mongoloids to find home in India.
To people living here, the elements of nature play a really big role – which sort of explains why we have so many Gods representing the different elements of nature. The Himalayas are revered as Gods as are the trubutary rivers such as Ganga (Ganges), Yamuna and Godavari. Our festivals revolve around the harvest season and the rains. The failure of monsoons (a delay by even 1 week) causes havoc in the food supply and economy as a whole.
The cradles of the civilizations that cropped up were along the shores of the Himalayan tributary rivers. Which is why the melting of Himalayan glacier is a very scary prospect (even if it doesn’t happen in 2035). Increased temperature in the Himalayas could have a serious consequence on practically every aspect of the life here – if the rivers go dry (even the rains would get affected). Which is why India should really be concerned about Global Warming and should be more proactive in investing in it’s future; the next 30 years or so would be really crucial in addressing this especially for the centuries and millenia yet to come.