Indian Civilisation Gives More Hope Holistically

I remember my Harvard research supervisor, a former member of the Israeli air force and Holocaust survivor who knew all about suffering and war. In this context of his sensitivities on the need for global justice, I will never forget what he said. That is why should those who simply by chance were born in […]

I remember my Harvard research supervisor, a former member of the Israeli air force and Holocaust survivor who knew all about suffering and war. In this context of his sensitivities on the need for global justice, I will never forget what he said. That is why should those who simply by chance were born in “poor” places like Somali in Africa that have no oil, for example have a much worse trajectory in terms of human development than say many in some Middle East Gulf states? He felt “all” should better partake in prosperity and not be so badly marginalized. I believe India has the better spirit and mindset to push this ideal forward than the current West.
Well, some may have a largely western liberal concept of what represents good conditions for a decent living. I will argue that having “modern” (western type) health, sanitation, education and employment opportunities are useful but not everything. Rather, as a starting point, it is the spirit, quality of mindset and even basic decency in values that need serious attention, more than ever before. Importantly, a proper balance between workable appropriate  development for the Global South, embedded and complimentary with more spiritually and socially balanced creeds makes for a sustainable  civilization, almost irrespective of location.
Furthermore, a related focus on bettering the inner-self can take us away from war and other deadly conflict. It is India, now doing so, including its spiritually-oriented Prime Minister Narendra Modi that leads with ideas of inclusiveness of seeing Earth needing to be viewed as one family where all parts truly need to work harder to harmony and fairness. I believe this was what my professor was alluding to in greater part on the need of generating more humanity. We need more voices and doers on this.
Yet, while more nations are rocketing into the Space Age along with ever universal digitalization and now AI, why should so many still live in material squalor not only a spiritual one? And, why can the “great powers” devise thousands of world ending, hypersonic missiles with warheads of mass destruction but not enough “weapons of mass survival”? All while  there is a need for spiritual uplifting to facilitate more momentum to help the wretched of the earth, as Frantz Fanon eloquently described the colonial-like oppressed. And there remains too many as such.
While there may be so much of a sense of doom and gloom, is it all bad? And do we sometimes have a fetish as a lot of media does, apparently western type, in particular to focus on fears rather than resilience built into the soul of humankind  as Mahatma Gandhi  implied, to become better. However, you look at it as many scientists have calculated in an important analogy of a clock on survival, the planet is now but minutes away from destruction. What to do?
On the spiritual side as referenced to the award winning, Dr. Jarnail S. Anand -covered, in a May 18 commentary in this paper – we need not overly embrace the West. Indeed, this great philosopher tells us about the descent of western civilization, especially implying it has become too much of a large, all consuming entity of promoting indulgence, selfishness, and alienation and even anti-family attitudes. There is also a degree of polarization that has come from it by more and more people isolating themselves – including, to be around people only with similar ideas. Patrick Bet-David, a top blogger and successful entrepreneur even talks of his experience when at Harvard watching students in large numbers viewing  the Donald Trump versus Hillary Clinton US presidential debate on TV with seemingly nearly everyone only cheering Hillary Clinton when she seemed to score a point. Where is the critical and sophic thinking at the so-called great institutions of intellectual learning and on western campuses? Has such thinking been lost more to the antiquity of times of the great Greek philosophers like Aristotle and Plato? What a sad reflection and trend showing regression from over two thousand years ago from such powerful thinking?
Then, on top of this is the ever greater political polarization in the West and beyond. This has happened in part  because of the western dominated  Internet with its specialized algorithms to feed users information they want. Or to push excess consumption. All this than necessarily what users need for transforming themselves to become better human beings with a fairer sense of what the “others” are.  And, an over fascination with the Internet can draw too many away from the need to socially mingle, face-to-face including with others, who may have different perspectives we need to gain empathy for or, at least improved understanding of. Trends away from  this can be reinforced with  breakdowns in both religiosity and attending to ones spiritual needs which seem wholesale in much of the West. Divinity and the greater appreciation of our cosmic place, prayer and meditation, for example are replaced by the spreading new “temples” of shopping malls. This, however is not a call to a Puritan and Luddite mindset on consumerism. Proportion and moderation are needed, especially with the environment requiring all of us to exercise more responsible consumption. And if positive Hindu or other such benign values are pulled on for example, we will do so. And correspondingly treat Nature as the way we are supposed to treat our mothers. So let us further get on with it.
if we are to truly embrace inclusiveness, we have to say how can widening  prosperity (or generating it) sustainably can be better connected to  reducing poverty? That is in the reality of exponentially increasing numbers of billionaires and millionaires in the last few decades, especially in India. How can the revolution in digitalization make life better off for the challenged? That includes both the “slum” dwellers to those sometimes poorer in a different way. That are those with a lot more money who have allowed their minds to descend into spiritual slums and gutters, catalysed by the spread of the worst aspects of modern attached, western civilisation – gross selfishness and hedonism.
Good news, though as the  Modi-led government has beckoned to this call making life better, even for the poor by massively increasing stepped access to extra funding and useful and practical  information through digital and other technology. Yet, more of Indian and other billionaires need to be utilized to reducing poverty including among youth and certain groups. Regular applied capital in a positive business environment can do so much but not all as Delhi must know.
On the spiritual side, Prime Minister Modi continuously living it, including by his noteworthy visits to temples and prayers reminds Indians of the importance of having a spiritually grounded base of values and behaviour. And being humble.That it is deeply related to a successful “Made in India” for the Indian people way if the country is to continue evolving in a sane and sustainable model of democracy for all, hand-in-hand with the right development. Those in the Opposition, overly impressed with the western civilisation model in descent, not only have a wrong anti-India mindset. But they have a neo-colonial one that would put or keep most Indians down.
It is over, the US-led Western civilizational unipolarity as a new reality of multipolarity geopolitically is upon us. Indian civilization now has the space and leadership, along with its spirit and values to be on the way to the top. It will be unstoppable and a gift to the world of showing how to uplift so many more. That is of too many still crushed by racism, economic and cultural hegemony, historical injustices, blind greed and being churned into spiritually vapid humans, evermore  pushed to technologically-induced  automaticity. That is if Indians continue to believe in themselves and their civilization and vote appropriately.
Peter Dash writes on geopolitics.