• Welcome to all New Sikh Philosophy Network Forums!
    Explore Sikh Sikhi Sikhism...
    Sign up Log in

THE INDIAN PARADOX by Dr Jernail Singh Anand


Jan 10, 2022

Dr. Jernail S. Anand

The Indian way of life can be best understood if one understands the cultural nuances of this country, which are enmeshed in religion and spirituality. India has no existence outside Mahabharata and Ramayana. The history and even myth of this country is replete with wars in the name of religion. The struggle has not subsided even today. Religion is still a dominant force in Indian ethos, but, unfortunately, politicians have tried to effect polarization in the name of religion, so that they could garner votes. If India as a great nation, has something to be proud of, it is its great cultural and spiritual tradition. And if it has anything to worry about, it is the absence of national character and statesmen from its political stage.

The Indian Psyche

What strikes me as most strange is that the Indian psyche even after decades of education, has failed to attain freedom from tribal consciousness and medievality. We are always looking backward. Rather, we are told to go back to our great times. Well, it is not bad to bask in the reflected glory of those times. But, we are expected to think like a tribe, and never have the higher vision of belonging to a nation. We are still broken in small sections based on emotive issues, and politicians use our differences to inspire hatred and distrust.

India has seen the nadir of her religious consciousness during the recent times, when religion has been used to divest people of their rights. Simply for votes, and perpetuation of political power, the rulers ruthlessly ploughed through the consciousness of the people, and sowed seeds of division, hatred, and distrust, leaving India an internally divided nation. A big chunk of people believe in a single identity, [the Hindu Rashtra] which is ranged against a bigger India, which believes in the great Indian dream, a nation of political sagacity and cultural wisdom.

Faith versus Propaganda

What has been the most inspiring quality of Indian life, the mystery, the spell binding variety, and the grandeur of spirituality has been reduced to a façade by the politicians. What happened at Ayodhaya at the inauguration of Sri Ram mandir, has brought Indian faith to a new low. It was drama masquerading as faith. Can it be described as faith, or just political propaganda? The election results from religious places like Ayodhaya and Varanasi show, people are wiser than the politicians, whom they have shown the way out. It also underlines the fact that people in general who are genuinely religious, and understand the difference between truth and circus, and they cannot be taken for a ride.

The Indian way of Life

The Indian way of life has always cast a spell on the imagination of the western people. The west has believed in the philosophy of action. There are no such hordes of gods and goddesses who as Indian believe, are controlling the divine ecosystem. The way we people feel about divinity, such philosophy has no place in the west. They believe in action, and for them, religiosity is a Sunday affair only. Rest of the days, they are busy with their work. Perhaps this work consciousness has made possible the great strides in technology. They are after comfort and they have built huge systems in which machines work for man, and he remains busy in intellectual work. No surprise, most of the inventions and discoveries came from the western world.

Compared to this, the Indian way of life is steeped in religiosity. From morning to evening, the religious chores continue. For a hundred genuine people, there are thousands of fake saints. India has a great tradition of self-styled godmen, now reeling behind the bars, who have finally served to show to the world that religiosity is a circus, and people come to these ‘deras’ simply to have a good time.

The Past and Future Continuous

Still, all cannot be dismissed as make belief. The Indian people at large believe in destiny. They believe in ‘Karma’. Lord Krishna, Lord Rama, Lord Buddha, and Great Gurus like Guru Nanak – they have sprinkled the essence of spirituality, which was carried forward by souls like Swami Vivekanda. Even Indian politicians and statesmen like Mahatma Gandhi came from this great spiritual tradition. Indian people believe in God, and also believe that gods are monitoring their actions closely. They are a god-fearing race, in comparison to the westerners who do not consider themselves under the direct supervision of gods. They are free from the fear of gods, and, as a result, we can see which direction this world is taking. Technology has destroyed nature and is now set to take on God and his Kingdom, giving rise to the greatest existential crisis, not only for humanity, but for the entire creation including its creator. In fact, the world needs a country like India with an affirmative vision of the universe to lead the entire caravan of civilization towards a better synchronization of the life forces. But, given the quality of politicians, it appears to be a stuff of fantasy.

Positive Aspects of Indian Ethos:

If there is peace in the minds of Indian people, if there is love, compassion and a feeling of universal well-being, it is because of the spiritual ethos of this country. We believe that every object has a soul, and for Indians, the universe contains not only men, but birds, animals, waters, winds, and mountains as well. This higher consciousness is a unique achievement of the Indian spiritual tradition, which has always cast a spell on western imagination.

But it is a pity, our modern masters, in their passion to modernize India, have played havoc with our spiritual tradition. We have had decades of education, after which, it was expected we shall rise above the division of castes and creeds, and the socially discriminating mindset too would give way. But, unfortunately, the reverse has taken place. We stand divided and ranged against each other, in the name of religion. It is a shame, we still consider one religion better than the other. How shall we survive? How will India survive as a nation if we wage a civil war against our own limbs?

Are we being medievalized?

It appears we are being medievalized. Religion, which teaches love and morality, is being used as a bulwark of political ambition, so much so, that even Lord Rama and his Temple were advanced like a saleable dream. This is what is left of the great Indian tradition.

I am sad to share my fears. As we stand on the shores of this century, we can look back with pride. India did have its low moments in 1947 and 1984, but, because of its internal faith in humanity, it rose to its feet again. We have behind us a great spiritual tradition of love and compassion. Hatred and riots are not a part of our mindset. They are happenings alien to our salt. We wish to forget them, and get over them, and we have moved forward. But alas! our respectable politicians keep us reminded of these nightmares when they have a personal harvest to reap. Indians need to stay alert against such efforts to misdirect their essential goodness.

Most important thing to remember is: We had a great tradition. Agreed. But the times through which we are passing at the present moment, we find that all greatness has melted. We should not forget that what we are doing today will become the tradition for the times to come. Will there be anything to be proud of for our coming generations? There will be a generation gap. The present set of leaders will not inspire their confidence and pride. They will have to look back to freedom struggle to find out their heroes. Instead of political tricksters, our country deserves some great statesmen, who could stop the erosion of our cultural ethos, and bring to Indian tradition, the shining moments of history again.


Dr Jernail Singh Anand, President of the International Academy of Ethics, is author of 161 books in English poetry, fiction, non-fiction, philosophy and spirituality. He was awarded Charter of Morava, the great Award by Serbian Writers Association, Belgrade and his name was engraved on the Poets’ Rock in Serbia. The Academy of Arts and philosophical Sciences of Bari [Italy] honoured him with the award of an Honourable Academic. Recently, he was awarded Doctor of Philosophy [Honoris Causa] by the University of Engg and Management, Jaipur. Recently, he organized an International Conference on Contemporary Ethics at Chandigarh. His most phenomenal book is Lustus:The Prince of Darkness [first epic of the Mahkaal Trilogy]. [Email: anandjs55@yahoo.com Mobile: 919876652401[Whatsapp]

Link Bibliography:
📌 For all latest updates, follow the Official Sikh Philosophy Network Whatsapp Channel:

Latest Activity