IS THE ART OF LIVING
to the intellectual development evolved out of the physical and mental training
acquired in the course of the ages in a country.
The culture of India (or) Indian culture can be best
expressed as comprising the following
- The mildness of the Indians has continued till date, despite the aggressiveness
of the Muslim conquerors and the reforming zeal of the British, the Portuguese
and the Dutch. The Indians are noted for their humanness and calm nature without
any harshness in their principles and ideals.
- Gandhiji’s satyagraha principle or Ahimsa - freedom without taking a drop
of blood, worked wonders and gave credit to India in the international arena.
Swami Vivekananda in his famous Chicago Speech on the 11th of September, 1893
spoke of this.
- India is a conglomeration of men and women of various castes and creed. It
is a fusion of old traditional values and the modern principles, thus satisfying
all the three generations in the present India. The Elite businessman and the
common vendor on the road share the same news and worship the same deity .
- India is a secular coun country as stated in its Constitution. There is freedom
of worship throughout the length and breadth of India without any breeches or
violations of any other’s religious beliefs. The Hindus, The Muslims, The Christians,
and The Sikhs in times of calamity and during festivities come openly together
to share their thoughts despite their religious affinities. The catholicity
of the Indian culture can be best understood by the fact that hundreds of Hindus
visit the Velankanni shrine or the Nagore Dargah in Tamilnadu.
Closely knit Social system
- The Indian Social System is mostly based on the Joint family System, but for
some of the recently cropped nuclear families. The families are closely knit
with Grandfathers, fathers, sons and grandsons sharing the same spirit, tradition
India’s one billion people have descended
from a variety of races. The oldest ones are the Negroid aboriginals called
the Adivasis or First settlers. Then there are the Dravidians, The Aryans, the
Mongols, The Semites and innumerable inter-mixtures of one with the other.
The great Epic, The
Mahabharata and the
sacred text, the Bhagavad-Gita
teaches the Indians that survival can only be in terms of quality of life. It
provides a framework of values to make the Indian culture well- groomed.
(1863- 1902) laid stress on physical development as a prerequisite for spiritual
development, which in turn leads to the development of the culture of the country.
For the past 1000 years various foreign invasions like that of the Huns, the
Kushanas, The Arabs, The Muslims, TheDutch, The French and the British took
place. So the Indians were exposed to cultures that were totally alien to them.
Several attempts were made by the Indian rulers like the Pallavas, the Chalukyas,
the Palas, the Rashtrakutas, the Cholas, and the Vijayanagar Emperors to give
the Indians an administration, which was in consonance with the cultural heritage
of the country.
Later, religions became an important
part in the culture and places of worship became community centers. The innovations
in religious thinking brought two popular beliefs in India, namely Buddhism
by the Buddha and Jainism by the Saint Mahavir. Then there was a socio-religious
shift or orientation in the Indian culture.
Later in the century Westernization
of Indian culture began , but it was stemmed by the efforts of Raja Ram Mohan
Roy, Dayananda Saraswathi, Swami Vivekananda, Narayana Guru, Maharisi, Aurobindo,
etc. Then there took place a Renaissance,
that emphasized the need to recognize the country’s own culture while ushering
in an age of modernity.
If India’s culture tended to become
tolerant, accommodating, open-minded, deeply but not ostensibly spiritual and
concerned with the common human welfare, then it is due to the great and relentless
efforts of our great ancestors and leaders. Thanks to them our country has achieved
a common culture, despite a staggering pluralistic society.