Image by ChandraK Pradhan from Pixabay 

The World is One Family’ - the noblest of all the verses mentioned in our holy scriptures is engraved in the entrance hall of Indian parliament, which sums up the uniqueness and distinctiveness of India. When one even thinks of the term ‘India’ a sense of belongingness imbues through the veins of the body. The word ‘India’ is synonymous with the term ‘incredible’. India, being one of the oldest civilizations in the world, is not merely a piece of geographical land but a glorious living creature. Indians revere India as their motherland and leave no stone unturned in uplifting the dignity and integrity of this holy land. Since the time immemorial, the entire world has been indebted to India owing to her exceptional contributions in every domain of public life ranging from mathematics to medicine, from culture to communication, to name a few.

Had one of the most distinguished mathematicians and astrologers hailing from India, Aryabhatta not discovered ‘zero’, the entire mathematics world would not have embarked on the path of attaining new heights. In the ancient time when the entire humankind was in complete oblivion of the ways to treat eye cataracts (forget about its technological scope and advancement), Indian surgeon Sushruta used to perform extracapsular cataract extraction with sheer precision. With an aim to ensure healthy and happy living which would be bereft of all the lifestyle diseases, India introduced ‘Yoga’ – an art of life, which traces its origin back to Lord Shiva, the first yoga guru. It was the indefatigable endeavor and the firmly ingrained belief of more than 130 billion Indians that the UN has been recognizing 21st June as the ‘International Yoga Day’ since 2015 a day to commemorate the significant contributions of ancient talents pertaining to India.

In what can be termed a holistic healing system or a viable alternative to modern medications, ‘Ayurveda’ is also a boon to the world with its root deeply connected to India adding yet another jewel to the glorious past of the country. It was an Indian spiritual leader and philosopher, Swami Vivekananda who apprised the world about India being an embodiment of universal acceptance and tolerance in his iconic speech at the World Religion Conference in Chicago back in 1893.  

The national flag of India, TIRANGA, itself preaches the message of sacrifice, peace, and prosperity. Besides being a land of miraculous discoveries and inventions without which it may have been nearly impossible to think of today’s surfeits and successes, India has been a birthplace of as many as four religions which comprise around one-fourth of the total world population. This motherland of about 17% of the total global population has been a birthplace of one of the most celebrated and illustrious figures of the world, e.g. Rabindranath Tagore, Chanakya Aryabhatta, The Ashoka, Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. B.R Ambedkar, Sarojini Naidu, Swami Vivekanand, Mangal Pande, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, Rani Laxmibai, Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, etc each having several accolades to his/her name. Since the eighth century onwards a flurry of foreign Islamic invaders penetrated into the very soul of India with the dual yet daunting objective of plundering and establishing their hegemony over India.

Given the hospitable and all-encompassing nature of India, these plunderers were quite successful in accomplishing their dubious mission thus leaving India in almost tatters. The disintegration and withdrawal of Islamic rule from India were followed by the arrival of Europeans at our coasts. Amidst all these happenings, Europeans took advantage of the turnaround of the events, and gradually yet strategically expanded their footprints all over the country. Eventually, they waged wars among themselves over the issue of establishing permanent foreign rule in India, which saw the British coming out victorious. With the advent of British rule in India, an era of colonization unfolded in India.

The period stretching from the mid-18th century to nearly mid-20th century, spanning for around 200 years saw one of the most merciless and cruelest alien rules in India. The colonial rule of two centuries symbolizes some of the most brutal and savage acts ever hurled upon mankind. The unending acts of horror meted out to Indians during that time, still hold afresh in the minds and hearts of millions of Indians. It was only post-Second World War when Indians ultimately gained success in driving away the foreign power once and for all. With the freedom came the trauma of partition which was the brainchild of some of the fanatics belonging to both sides. The bifurcation of the Indian motherland quivered the very foundation which could not be restored in spite of the last-minute efforts. The consequences of inevitable partition proved detrimental in the path of nation-building. The ostracism of the British paved a grave challenge for integrating the whole nation. This task was assiduously carried out by our first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel who went over it with fine-tooth comb resulting in the building of a united India. Our leaders taking lessons from India’s glorious past ticked all the boxes and once again heralded India on the path of kissing pinnacles.

Just after the independence, a global problem raised its ugly head before India. At that time the entire world was divided into two blocs, namely the eastern bloc (led by the then USSR) and the western bloc (led by the USA). A neophyte India didn’t join either of the blocs but carved out its own brainchild NAM and eulogized newly independent countries to join the ranks. The next big challenge was of conducting India’s first general election. Several intellectuals from across the world ridiculed India as our leaders had adopted a liberal democratic form of government. Considering rampant poverty and malnourishment at the time of independence, had any other country been in India’s place, presumably the political experiment would have proved a historic blunder. In the year 1951-52 India successfully conducted its first-ever full-fledged general election to everyone’s astonishment. India with its thumping arrival on the world scene post-independence changed the misconception prevalent against it on its head. Now the world began to look at India with a beacon of hope. In the decades to come, India set out to achieve many unprecedented feats to its name.

Since the commencement of the UN India has been a staunch supporter of the cause of its global missions wherein India has sent several occasions its IPKF (Indian Peacekeeping Forces) to further the cause of universal peace and stability which form the core values of the seventh-largest country in the world. At times, the Indian government has echoed its voice against racialism, imperialism, colonialism, etc., and has facilitated the demand for freedom of various Afro-Asian nations. Due to widespread apartheid in South Africa back in 1994, the then-Indian government broke all its diplomatic ties with the African nation only to be restored in the months to follow. There’s hardly a field in which India has not achieved excellence. India is home to one of the seven wonders of the world - the Taj Mahal. The loftiness of the Himalayas in the north and the serenity of the Indian Ocean in the south speak volumes about India’s firm determination and pure calmness respectively.  

In three consecutive Olympics from 1928 to 1936 and eight in total, the Indian team bagged one gold medal each, thus securing a historical feat to its name. In 2013, Indian space agency ISRO clinched a momentous feat by launching its Mangalyaan mission successfully, becoming the first space agency to do so in its maiden attempt. Here it becomes significant to mention that it was the same ISRO back in 1963, which had launched its first rocket by transporting it to the facility on a bicycle and had carried a communication satellite on a bullock cart to the launching center which awaited launching. ISRO yet again became a force to reckon with when in 2017 the most advanced country in the world, the USA sought help to launch its 96 satellites along with 8 satellites belonging to India. ISRO adding another feather to its crown launched a whole of 104 satellites in one mission using the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle (PSLV) thus scripting a world record. India is one of the most diverse countries in the world.

Its beauty grows manifold through the principles imbibed in its constitution. India is truly a secular country that discourages discrimination on the basis of religion becomes evident from the opening lines of our preamble, “We the people of India………”.  Indian people always strive for upholding the principles of fraternity, universal acceptance, and socialism. India takes utmost pride in sheltering uncountable persecuted minorities and refugees from across the world. The silicon valley of the USA is brimming with a comprehensive proportion of Indian-based engineers, comprising of around one-third of all the engineers employed there.  A healthy 30% of the top Fortune 500 companies have Indians as their CEOs. Not only in the USA but also in other parts of the world, Indians have proved their mettle and have left indelible marks because of their sheer dint of perseverance and formidable character. The world’s second-most populous country is known for its ‘soft power’ in the form of one of the most vibrant democracies, yoga, diaspora, civilizational heritage, Buddhism, cultural prowess, Bollywood, Sufi music, etc. which are used to advance foreign policy objectives and strengthen the furtherance of its geoeconomic and geopolitical conditions. This unending richness and magnificence which India possesses led Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to remark that the 21st century belongs to India.

Winding up my essay I would like to describe India through Mark Twain’s eyes – India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. Our most valuable and instructive materials in the history of man are treasured in India only.

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