Rediscovering India by Dharampal

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Rebuilding India       

Friends Rebuilding India needs priority to agriculture & education, develop close relations with Far East & S.E.Asia and understand our nature, traditions & systems.

Rebuilding Self-Confidence and Prosperity in India – 1. We must give priority to agriculture, forestry, and animal husbandry, as these are the material foundations of our society. We must consciously abandon the western system and discover our traditional ways, seeds, crops, and irrigation systems and make modifications wherever necessary. We have to increase our food production, just the way it was in India, before the 1800s. We must also ensure that none (men, animals or other living creatures) go hungry. In our belief system it is a curse if any person as well as any animal goes hungry.

It is extremely important that India stops importing grain, oil and other edibles as soon as possible. We can produce everything ion this country. Even if we fall short of a certain item then we must make do without it. If however, foreign nations require some of our produce, then we can negotiate and set some moderate limit and extent of such exports.

India was not limited to being an agrarian economy. Studies conducted in the last 10-20 years have revealed that around 1750 73 per cent of the world’s manufacturing output came from India-China. Even till 1830 this share was as high as 60 per cent. Therefore, we must have been producing innumerable things. We need to revive and re-establish this according to the requirement of the present times.

2. The upbringing and education of our children has deteriorated a great deal in the last 150-200 years. These need to be re-organized. A new beginning can definitely be made in the villages, small towns, and some mohallas of cities. The local youth will have to be mobilized for this. So our second important priority must be to think about the kind of education we would like to impart and the ways to implement it. The aim of our education should be that 6-12 year old children become fairly familiar with nature, social and public activity, and the creatures living around them. During these six to seven years of learning, they must be able to appreciate nature and understand the lives and behavior patterns of most living beings in order to appreciate and establish a friendly relationship with them. This, in turn, will familiarize them with the elements of science and technology, as well as with history, literature and philosophy. Once children are 12-13 years old, they must consider themselves full citizen of the country, village, town etc., in such a manner that they begin to participate fully and responsibly in all discussions and debates taking place in their society. They can easily be trained in livelihood skills in the succeeding two or three years. If in the next year or two, different books on history, geography, environment and living creatures could written in 8-10 different languages of India, it would help in outlining the contents of appropriate curriculum for our education.

3. It is equally important to understand our neighbors in the East, South-East North, and a few in the West with whom we have had close relationships for thousands of years. Also, as at present we are living in a world dominated by Europe and America, it is essential to understand the beliefs and nature of these nations as well. Ideally, of course it would be best for all concerned, if we could keep a safe distance from the West for a long time to come, while maintaining a friendly relationship with them.

It is necessary that we re-establish close relationships with our neighboring countries like China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. In the last 500 years our relationships with most of these countries have been splintered by European policy and in time have largely broken down. However the mindset and the nature of the people of these countries is very similar to our own. In fact the influence of Ramayana, Mahabharata and the great Gautama Buddha in these countries has left a great mark upon their cultures. In many of these countries there are towns called Ayodhya, Mathura, etc and some of them were their capital cities. In order to understand and recognize our true selves, to achieve self-awareness, it is necessary to know the facts regarding our society and history. This work must be undertaken as soon as possible through Ph.D. and other programs in our institutes of higher learning. If in the next six to eight months such studies could begin to be conducted in at least ten to twenty areas/ districts of our country, then in the next five to seven years we should be able to collect considerable amount of information about the systems of our ancient society, its life, knowledge, skills, etc.

4. Revival of the new India is only possible if we understand our nature, tradition, beliefs, and value systems. It has been said that in order to fully comprehend the consequences of the Mahabharata war, our sages and other learned men sat in contemplation and deliberated for years in the woods of Namisharanya, to understand the past while centering their attention on the future. The present times bear a close resemblance to the above-mentioned period of the Mahabharata. It is essential to keep our traditions, philosophy, and past events in mind while developing our ideas on the present. There or four new educational institutes of advanced studies could be of much help in our endeavor to know the problem we face, and their nature, and present and future complications.

If philosophers and sociologists of all countries attempted to understand the present state of humanity and how it has been affected by the events of the last 500 years, it would be very useful for us all. We would then perhaps understand how and why the self-esteem of both men and women has considerably decreased, how their loneliness and isolation has increased over the years and how each of them have become mere instruments of providing momentary pleasure to each other and nothing more. Perhaps with such an exercise, it would be possible to restore some of the lost self-esteem to men and women. A feeling of interdependence and community would once again be re-kindled within small groups, and laziness and cynicism of individuals would be considerably reduced. At the moment, all this seems remote if not impossible.

What seems possible yet, is to network with all those regions, which came under Buddhist influence, and regions influenced by Indian and Chinese belief systems (these include Japan, Korea, Cambodia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Mongolia, certain regions of central Asia, Tran, Afghanistan and of course Pakistan and Bangladesh). In these regions it is possible to restore the self-esteem, community feeling and autonomy within small groups. It is imperative to revive the local economies especially in those regions which have been destroyed systematically in the last 200 or 300 years and where the majority of the people have been made to live in abject poverty for the last 150-200 years. However, if self-esteem, community feeling and regional autonomy is regained, economic prosperity will certainly follow and prosperity would acquire new meaning.

As far as India is concerned, its first priority should be to re-establish self esteem, courage, community feeling, and collective freedom. This needs urgent attention. When this happens, the more complex problems will become clearer and begin to seem solvable, and we and our neighbors should be confident, prosperous, and relatively tolerant and friendly societies.

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