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Throughout history, the idea of India has never stood still. With geography stretching and contracting, with splinted people ripped across by colonialism, turmoil, resilience, upheaval, and renewal, the idea of India has evolved.

India is one of the remarkable stories in the contemporary history of the jewel in an imperial crown that became an independent nation. India is the cartel of human races, the birthplace of human speech, the grandmother of legend, and the great grandmother of tradition. But why India which was so rich in its cultural past falls into the hands of foreigners? What the history of glorious India is telling us? What lessons do we need to learn and implement? And eventually how we can regain that lost glory?

India and it's glorious past:

If we explore the history and observe it, we will find the reasons behind why India was known as “the golden bird”.

To begin with, it was natural that blessed India. Even today if we look at it geographically, India is positioned very rightly within perfect tropics, latitudes, and longitudes. The nature here is very positive for agricultural as well as for economic development. It has got defined seasons, diverse agro-climatic conditions, rich flora and fauna, mighty mountains, plateaus, deep valleys, vast plains, deserts, and a long coastline altogether. Along with this India is blessed with good monsoonal rainfall. Last but not the least, it is adobe with diverse metal and mineral resources. Unlike many other countries which are either completely deserted, or completely snow-covered, India is a right mix of all natural resources and beauty since ancient times.

Second, in earlier times India does focus on its research, innovation, and development. Some people actually contributed to metallurgy (as revered bronze casting techniques), art, magnificent architecture (we have built the best monuments across the globe), and paintings too (fresco mural paintings).

Third, India had a very different and interesting social system of interaction. A profession which India follows at that time was well defined and structured. For instance, if we look back to our Vedic culture, especially Rigvedic era, India never heard about a process called Jati Purana. Jati, at that time in reality was associated with the profession and every jati had a Standard Operating Process (SOP) book. It is, therefore, thousands of years ago, maybe till ten to fifteen generations, India had perfected the art of research and innovation and documented it as well.

In the end the reason behind India being so rich was that it did a lot of things simultaneously over many generations and got into a perfect system of evolution and innovation.

A golden bird that got extinct: Glory that got faded:

Unfortunately, over time India lost the process of continuity of knowledge evolution. For Example Traditional businesses instead of getting evolved were challenged and shut-offed, Gujarat the ancient trading hub of India used to be the point where a lot of trade and shipping took place. There lived many communities that were good in shipping industry as boat building, shipbuilding etc. There were ports where goods and people used to arrive and exchanges took place. However, with the foreign invasion especially Britishers the traditional trading center got shifted first to Kolkata, then to Chennai and now to Mumbai. The traditional communities of Gujrat along with their well-developed knowledge system and got migrated to different regions. This is how evolution stopped and ultimately died.

But question arises why did Britishers did that? Was it an intentional motive or it just happened? Or is it somewhere India too is responsible for the same?

Britishers were a part of a community or a group, who came from Europe. Though Europe in itself was blessed with scenic and natural beauty but, was not able to compete with the other natural advantages that India had. India had rich boundaries with resource. Europeans explored the globe and when they finally landed up in India, they got attracted towards rich heritage India was blessed with. The British first arrived in India in 1608 as EIC. Initially their interest of region was purely mercantile, but eventually the company which came as a trading company became a source of revenue for British parliament back in Britain. This is how with the advent of Britishers many traditional practices got broke in lieu of their own interest, greed and profit. Example could be many, as:

  • The ancient Ayurveda system: lot of research and development in Ayurveda got eliminated and was replaced by Allopathy.
  • Yoga system: kriya yoga system, Patanjali yoga sutras etc. were all gone.
  • India was the one who gave best metallurgy to the world. India was adobe with gold. There were no villages complete without a goldsmith or a blacksmith. But everything ruined with the coming up of Britishers.

Hence, it is very evident from the above facts that India actually had very futuristic models back since its ancient times, that were not only significant but sustainable as well (which we talk of today i.e., concept of sustainable led future developmental approach).

What went actually wrong?

There are many theories to it.

Starting from the fact that, once Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel was asked, “do you believe Britishers had a policy of divide and rule?” he said, “No, we divide ourselves and they rule”. Amazing! unlike what we have been learning since our childhood and what is mentioned in our textbooks.

So, the fact what India missed and must have had understood is, “every home (India) has got fights, but we need to unite when outsiders/guests/stranger (Britishers) came in”. This is the first point, where India went wrong. It was India who never realized that someone has already taken control of them.

Second, India never understood what was happening in its west. It is either India was actually cut off or was never given enough access of it. For example: India was aloof of all inventions, innovations and industrialization that has already taken place in the west, and this is what makes Britishers at an advantageous position and took an upper hand in many aspects.

Thirdly and most importantly, Britishers kept their economical angle right. They came here and made us their servants. Justified by the fact that, Britishers heir best of our minds ( the Babus/Officers in British empires were actually Indians). Britishers paid them very well, gave them government secured jobs, made them collectors and these collectors who were actually Indians drain all the money from India to Britain. Which Indian never had an idea of sitting down and analyzing it. Therefore, truly said, it is better to have brain drain rather than to have brain in the drain.

This exactly can be related to present era as well. Where best of our minds are going abroad. As they got access to best of business opportunities, ecosystem to work and livelihood, secured and well paid jobs. It means even today, the best talent which India is producing in reality is been utilized by outsiders. Therefore, its high time to analyze and learn from our past mistakes.

India was never a one unified country. In reality it was 550 princely states, all having their own vested interests and ambitions. It was also when Britishers left India, it was not a one nation but divided into three geographically administered country as Bombay presidency, Madras presidency and Kolkata presidency. Means there was not one common governance system. It was only after constitution of India was made, it got aligned to a particular form of government.

Next Indian had a rich spiritual scientific and yogic knowledge. Unfortunately, young India looked downed into it. The question arises: have they ever considered the possibility that eastern science must be way beyond western science? and it is we who have been conditioned to think that western science is way beyond?

To be specific, it is absolutely a myth that spirituality is not scientific. For example: Patanjali Yoga Sutra is scientific but its highest level is spiritual. For Indians spirituality and science were always one and it was Britishers who actually broke it away, as, if you are scientific you are not spiritual and vice versa. But who said so? The truth is you can be a Yogi (spiritual) and a Rishi(scientific) at the same time.

If we look at the built of Indian temple architecture say Kedarnath specifically; so many natural hazards as earthquake came in, but the jyotirlinga of the temple is still at its same place, isn’t it scientific? Today we talk about sustainable ecosystem, but if we look at Rameswaram, situated on the sea shore, is designed in such a way that when sea water comes in, it gushes into the temple and within 5 minutes it gets dried up. Isn’t it an evidence of excellent drainage system? Next, if we see the paintings or specifically mural paintings on the cave walls of Ajanta and Ellora, the pigments or the color used there is still intact for more than thousands of years. Isn’t it scientific?

It is true that in wow of western influence, India lost its glorious past and generations of its scientific development as well.

Last but not the least what went actually wrong was, finally when Britishers left us, we accepted Americans, and never actually became Indians (till to date).

India- a natural innovator:

India, a nation which could actually design and develop everything it wanted. However, in between Indians were told not to innovate. It was because of fear psychology of foreign rulers and their education system.

For example: If we study ancient Indian temple architecture, we would find it out that every temple has got several similar looking pillars, however every pillar has got a different design. Meaning it was never a mass production. Innovation was something that was already ingrained in Indian blood, but with the advent of Britishers, a bossy culture came in and creativity died out. A generation of followers’ mindset came in and a leadership mindset got deep buried somewhere in dark.

Revival of glory: path to travel

The need of an hour is to develop a mindset of, let’s make it work. Our focus must be on success not on failures. Failures are bound to happen, they are inevitable. One must not have a mindset of “what if it fails”, but to think of “what if it succeeds”. Therefore, we need to invest time, money, energy, research and talent on success not on failures.

Along with this what an individual need is proper Mentoring: a guide, to show him a way, the one who is mature and experienced enough and be a torchbearer. Undoubtedly for India who can be a better mentor then its past, its own history.

Energy, innovation, idea, capital along with a mentor will make a whole difference and India will again become the richest part of the world much faster.

Best way forward possible:

It is true that 20 years ago India had an advantage of being a part of that generation who defines Indian culture through IT professionalism. The coming generation will define it with data. Someone rightly said, Data is a new oil.

World today cannot exist without Indian data. India not only has a wide spread of user base but also many big data giants as Google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. have their offices situated in India. Therefore, India must learn to rule it and rule it nicely. Rule it by using it as a medium of education and business. Rule it to show its soft power diplomacy.

For instance, Yoga which has been a part of Indian rich heritage since time immemorial, had lost its significance somewhere in decades back. It is again been revived and that too at an international level. Recognizing its proven health and mental benefits, today world is celebrating International Yoga Day on 21st June every year. It has also become a product and a service to 7 billion people across the globe.

On the similar lines isn’t it that Arthashastra, Indian Ayurveda, Indian Vedic system, Indian mathematical system etc. can do that? Can’t they again be revived and can lighten up the world with wonders?

The idea is, we need to use our platforms like social media, internet, YouTube, Twitter, google or even our own business model and startup, to take India’s soft power across globe. This can be done by the following ways:

  1. Swadhyay i.e., by self-learning it, by assimilating it
  2. Anubhav i.e., practice or experiencing it yourself
  3. Prachaar i.e., to share it with others and go like a missionary
  4. Document it i.e., protect it, preserve it.

And then you experiment it. Finally, you will find everything is spiritual.

The above four ways can perfectly be related to Buddhism. It has truly gone through all the above steps one by one, and see its significance. It not only crosses the international boundaries but has its influence even today in many parts of India and across globe.

The beauty of India lies in the fact that whatever subject you take, finally you will come to the Godhood. India is that particular country in this world who has given us every knowledge which finally reaches to its supreme and westerners called it self-actualization.

This can be done first by creating a proper roadmap and get into the government policies i.e., into policy decision making. In our country many platforms say social media are not structured. By getting into the policy making, we can structure it. For example: Indian film industry. It was only after when we realized that so many people are dependent on it and has become a source livelihood for many, it got structured and was given a status of an industry.

Similarly, platforms like social media today is in a baby stage at present but can be a big giant in future. But do we ever thought of that it can ever become a part of government of India? NO.

It is where the future lies. Use your platforms this way.

Last but not the least, you must ask yourself when you are going to exit it? Confused!!

It is because you will be away probably after twenty- thirty years. But the organization or company you started should be sustainable. Continuing with the previous example, in the film industry itself Raj Kapoor is gone but unfortunately the company also died with him i.e., RK Films.

Do you want such a link for yourself? or you want to be the Steve Jobs or Elon Musk? Remember, Steve Jobs is not Steve jobs because he created Apple, but because Apple continues to grow even after Steve Jobs.

Therefore, get into a structure, get into government policies and get into leadership succession as well. It is only after forty to fifty years down the line when you will slow down, then you must be backed by a young energic team, who will make it better and take it further. Hence, your foundation models of any business or of any platform must be strong enough that it going to be a sustainable model for generations to come. Of course with innovations and adaptability to change.

Industries or platforms where future of India could rely into for its growth and development can be: Travel, Heritage or culture tourism and not to forget Research and development on various sectors. So that once rich India which lost its glory because of lost research and innovation, can regain its wings because of the same. That’s the vision where Chanakya build an empire.

Do you have that vision?

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