The Great Cultural Heritage of India
The hep, the pep, and the pop are like manna dew from heaven for the voracious modern Indian youth. Chauvinistic tendencies and obscurantism are narrowing the nationalistic view and lending a tunnel view to the people. More and more people are becoming parochial in their outlook and intolerant of others. The concept of modernism is eroding our values, cultures, and traditions fast. Our nation is facing the so-called cultural invasion and we too are contributing towards making our culture and traditional values a thing of the past.
Materialism from the west has overpowered the spiritualism of the east. Tradition too is losing its footage and becoming a shadow in the recess. It is being branded as obsolete and unproductive. Modern Indian has failed to realize that culture and tradition is the identity of a race on this globe. Culture is the collection of ideas and norms of a society acquired overages. Even our ancient scriptures have emphasized the importance of culture. In fact, we Indians are known for our multicolored and vivid culture which breaths in the rock-cut temples, in the pulsating festivals, in the warm hospitality of hearts and in our religions. The cultural invasion will not only make us forget our identity but will make us ROBOTS in this age of machines.
Max Mueller has rightly said, “The cultural heritage of India has its recognition of sustaining an inner landscape of spirituality which is in the center and an outer landscape of man comprising the myriad petals of a lotus flower.” Had this not been the guiding star, India would not have been able to generate a multiplicity of racial blends, languages, religions, philosophic systems, and artistic expressions, all webbed together in our unique wholeness, which is recognized and respected all over the world. Our culture’s versatility is evident from the fact that it transformed even those who came as migrants or conquerors.
It is indeed shameful that such a rich culture is facing an invasion from the west and slithering into oblivion. Our priceless heritage must be preserved. This heritage of tradition has been given to us by our forefathers and is our identity by which we are known. Where will this mindless pursuit of transient things lead us?
It has certainly not made us any happier or peaceful. All of us are complaining of degenerating values and corruption, but no one is prepared to break the shackles and make a fresh beginning.
We need to ponder over the philosophy given by Swami Vivekananda, Rabindranath Tagore, and Bapu Gandhi. We must not reject the wisdom of Kalidas, Dayananda Saraswati, and Ved Vyas; above all, we must blend modernism and traditionalism harmoniously for a better tomorrow.
Many of us give the suggestion that tradition is nothing but worshiping the past. Here I would like to quote Lord Wakefield when he says, “There is greatness in tradition when it is kept alive and not worshipped in its tomb.” Tradition is not a hindrance in the way of progress; rather it helps the progress by giving it sentiment.
In all, the future is in the hands of those who can bring about a re-awakening of man’s higher consciousness. Philip Ogilvie rightly puts, “Tradition is not a tomb in which we hide from progress. It is a rich ground, well-tilled and warm with the sunshine of hope for an even greater future, into which we drop the seeds of our aspirations for a better world.”