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Last updateMon, 13 Nov 2017 4am

Why China Is Ahead Of India ?

Why China is ahead of India

It is the flavour of our times to compare India with China virtually on everything. Surely, it carries a romantic exaggeration of ourselves; a sense of having arrived at the international scene.

More importantly, it allows us to benchmark -- at least on the Asian stage -- against an ancient civilisation, a large country and with a modern state facing typical problems. To that extent India and China are comparable.

While one set of our intellectuals seeks to compare India with China, another seeks to assume that we have grown sufficiently in size and strength to become China's partner. India's Minister of State for Commerce Jairam Ramesh, one our most respected intellectuals, does not believe in competition between these two countries. Rather he moves one step ahead and suggests cooperation, especially on trade and commerce, and is credited with having coined the term 'Chindia' -- a theme that seems to have captured the fancy of many across the world.

For long I had oscillated between these two schools of thought -- of cooperating or competing with China. Then last year I had the good fortune of visiting China.

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Time to Hold India’s Media Legally Accountable

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This is an excerpt from one of my books titled, ‘Orissa in the Crossfire – Kandhamal Burning.’ This is the same book that the Indian Parliamentarian and Congress Party leader Digvijaya Singhdemanded be banned for allegedly being a cause of community strife. However that be, the fact that there is a direct correlation between violent mayhem and the media’s actions has been established repeatedly. I therefore call for India’s media to be held accountable for its many crimes against society. This can be done by using the Indian court system based upon the precedent of setting convictions conducted by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal’s Rwandan Media Trial.

The trial was known as the Rwandan Media Case. These precedent-setting convictions have established the standard regarding those that abuse the power of the media and disturb and disrupt civil society. India’s mainstream media has long been at the forefront of sowing seeds of mayhem and chaos across the nation. Rather than my writings, it is the Indian media which is blatantly setting Indian society against itself. Thus such publications and journalists must be held accountable and convicted for their crimes.

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Knowing India: Understanding The Right History

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For how many years did British really rule all of India? What seminal events post 1947 shaped India as a country? How did India go to war with China so close to the Panchsheel declaration? How did Congress evolve from being a broad national platform to a party which ruled India for many years?

The modern Indian education system, famously designed after the British passed the Government of India Act in 1833 by Lord Macaulay, tends to be very Eurocentric in terms of recognizing events, milestones and personal contributions. The tendency to define reference points in terms of industrial revolutions or world wars and then evaluating the relative weight of events and individuals in India has continued post 1947. A class of academics and historians who based their learning and style on the British predecessors has continued this tradition. Barring a few historians, the documentation of contemporary history post our independence has been meager and not well circulated.

So if one were to live our history without referring to the history textbooks taught in the CBSE school curriculum or going beyond the NCERT approved versions of events and individuals, where does one turn to?

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Hindus And The Restoration Of Cultural Diversity

HINDUS

If we turn back the clock 2000 years we would see a world full of diverse societies and cultures. Though there were indeed clearly identifiable markers that represented distinct civilizations, be they Chinese, Indian, American Indian, African, Persian, Greco-Roman, Egyptian etc a plurality of diverse cultural expressions always existed within each civilization.

As the Europeans began their colonization of the Americas, initiated by the voyages of Christopher Columbus, they came across thousands of diverse communities with different languages, customs, beliefs and lifestyles. Yet at their core, each of these peoples overwhelmingly shared a common civilizational ethos and functionality. The same patterns had in fact existed in Europe as well and this is still evident in the multiplicity of languages to be found on the continent. However by the time of Columbus an enforced cultural homogeneity had created a common identity based upon religion. Despite the various sectarian rifts such as Protestantism, the entire region from Russia to Iceland was clearly Christian and was often referred to as Christendom.

The spread of Islam from Arabia, North Africa, Persia to Indonesia soon led to the homogenization of that entire arc of Planet Earth. Yet again we see that the development of various sects and the diversity of languages remains. Regardless of these differences Islamic civilization remains clearly identifiable.

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Brand Bharat

brand bharat

Bharatha – A land of people who relish knowledge

India had a pride of place in the ancient and medieval world. This land was called Bharatha, Bha meaning light andRatha meaning ‘to relish’. Bharatha was the land of people who relished knowledge.

Indian Prosperity

The Indian literature, right from the Veda, to the Tamil Sangam literature, speak of India as a land of prosperity. These bodies of literature describe a civilization that was prosperous. They present a picture of a society that was rich in material, cultural and spiritual wealth. The economy of the land was thriving. There was wide spread trade. Arts and culture were patronized and well established.     The testimony to this prosperity is given by Marco Polo, a Venetian visitor to India in 1290 CE. He describes India in his writings as “the most prosperous of all, in the world he had seen.”

What gave India such a Brand Image of the most prosperous land, a sone ki chidiya?

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Effects Of Colonization On Indian Thought

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Having suffered the burden of two centuries of British occupation, India has, since Independence, tried to come to terms with the impact of that exotic presence perhaps diametrically opposed to her own temperament, culture and genius. If anything, this introspection has only intensified in recent years, as Western culture (if it deserves this noble name) aggressively spreads around the globe. But it stands to reason that for an effective “decolonization” to take place—even in order to find out whether and how far it is desirable—we should first take a hard look at the effects of this colonization, what traces it has left on the Indian mind and psyche, and how deep.

Historical Background

But first, an aside. I have only referred to the British occupation, not to the Muslim invasions, though they stretched over a much longer span of time and collided violently with Indian civilization. Yet, strangely, in spite of their ruthlessness, their proud and sustained use of violence to coerce or convert, India’s Muslim rulers never attempted to take possession of the Indian mind : in faithful obedience to Koranic injunctions, they simply tried to stamp it out. That they did not succeed is another story.

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The Indian Media: An Hostile Force

the indian

Indian journalists must be held responsible in some degree for the slow progresses India has made in regaining her self-confidence, shattered by centuries of colonization. For Indian journalists are often the worst enemies of India and Indian culture, constantly harping at the negative sides of India, constantly ignoring the greatness of this country. They must also be the biggest Hindu-bashers in a nation where there are already so many Hindu bashers (Marxists, Muslims, Christians, politicians), having since Independence, made fun in the most belittling manner of Hindu culture. Finally, they must also be held to some extent responsible for the negative attitude that the western press has had since towards India. For towards whom but the Indian journalists will the newly arrived correspondent turn to understand this vast and difficult continent ?

INDIAN JOURNALISTS

Do Indian journalists suffer from an inferiority complex vis à vis the West ? Do they think theirs is a lesser democracy, afflicted with all the world's ills ? Does India's media look down upon its own country ? To a Westerner, it seems very much so. Indian journalists appear to enjoy India-bashing; nothing seems to find grace in their eyes: everything is rotten, the system, the government, the politicians, the bureaucracy. Nothing works, nothing is possible, everything is bleak, worthless, hopeless.

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