In this age of fast and easy communication, there is opportunity of learning from each other. Earlier the travellers had to travel for their whole lifetime and they could only visit and produce wealth or heritage of one or few more countries.
However the present generation does not want to blindly rely on knowledge from others. They want to personally go and find out. As a result, there is an explosion of tourism around the world. The national boundaries are becoming increasingly porous. The ancient Hindu concept of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’, humanity as an extended family, or one earth-one-family, is now a possibility and tourism provides a powerful motivating force for this transition to a global society. Now, neither the religious fanatics nor the political leaders can misguide people who have different experiences and varied exposure. Simply by switching on a television set or pressing the internet button, people from any part of the world can simultaneously see and hear an event that is taking place thousands of miles away. The young people today are dancing to the same rhythms whether it is Mumbai, Bejing, Moscow, Chennai, New Delhi or New York. But the world is trying to learn a lot from India as India is also to learn from other countries or cultures especially when they have become the leaders of the modern world.
What the world can learn from India
When Vivekananda addressed the Parliament of Religions in Chicago in 1893, the New York Herald commented, “After hearing him, we feel how foolish it is to send missionaries to this learned nation.” But missionaries came to India and they got assimilated with the Indian culture like Mother Teresa and became more Indians than the Indians themselves. This synthesis is the kernel of India. People around the world are learning the values of eternal dharma rooted in the spirituality of India. Indian spirituality is entering Europe, America and even Africa. I hope it is not leaving India as it will be a great source of foreign exchange in times to come. Now, more people are practising yoga in California than in Kolkata. And certainly both Hindu and Buddhist meditational techniques are becoming very popular in the West. Time is not far off when people in the world will embrace the Ayurvedic system or Indian system of treatment to fight against pains and diseases as these systems have no adverse effect and are cheaper and are easily available. Thus ancient Indian knowledge is going to be the greatest shelter for the perplexed humanity which pronounces that, “This is mine, this is yours, this divisive view is a small and narrow way of looking at reality.” But for those of the greater consciousness, the world is a family. The Rig Veda, one of the four Vedas, the store house of India’s spiritual knowledge says that the truth is one, although the wise may call it by many names. India in spite of being the victim of terrorism is still holding on to these eternal values valid for all times and for all countries.
What India can learn from the world?
India has to learn a lot from the developed countries. India has the basic theory of ‘karma’. But one finds that workers in USA, Japan, and Germany are more ‘karma’ oriented than the Bhagwadgita follower Bharat. The workers in these countries work like ‘yogis ’in their work places with sincerity and serenity. That is why Japan and Germany even after the ravage of the Second World War are now leaders in the field of industrial development. Germany has again captured world markets by excelling in quality parameters. The Japanese follow the Buddhist theory of Karma more than the Indians. Germany follows the Gita’s work ethic ‘Yogah Karmasu Kaushalam’ more than India. China is gripping world markets by its cheap products. Discipline in China is one virtue which can be emulated in India. Similarly, one finds that Italy has even strengthened its economy by improvising its agro based economy by producing cheap grape liquor, etc. However, there is lack of interest in these prosperous countries in doing manual labour. Therefore, these countries are being flooded with emigrants from Africa, Bangladesh and other Asian countries. In Italy alone, there are lakhs of Bangladeshis. One can find Bangladeshi selling Christ’s bust and photographs etc. in front of the Vatican. They are now capturing most of the small departmental stores and restaurants. Indians can learn from the Bangladeshis on how many unemployed youths can be employed in these foreign countries, within the permissible law and regulations of those countries and help other countrymen to work in foreign countries. Australia is earning most of its revenue from the education of outsiders by making their educational institutions world class ones and from tourism. India has a great potential in both fields. But India requires that mission for the country’s growth.
The Rig Veda says ’’Anno Bhadrah Kritavo Yantu Vswataha’’ i.e let noble thoughts come to us from every side. It is high time in the times of information technology revolution that we learn from each other in an open minded approach.Then India can again surpass other countries and world will be a better place to live. All will follow the motto ‘Bahujana Hitaya, Bahujana Sukhayaha’ - the welfare of all sections of society without any conflict.
— Dr. P. K. Agrawal is a retired I.A.S officer and an eminent
writer of sixty books in Hindi and English. At present, Dr. Agrawal is
Managing Partner of Vas Global, a New Delhi based law firm