What can we expect from the current scene by way of enlightenment?
India in 2014 had undergone a great transformation. With the election of a new government, with BJP with an absolute majority there is no doubt that Indian democracy and why even the Indian society and culture will encounter some tough questions.
Two names, one the eminent scientist, R.A.Mashalkar and Prof.Asit K.Biswas who is visiting professor at the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public
Policy, Singapore has spoken about the Innovative Indian capability and University rankings in India.
So, these thoughts come as an afterthought!
Prof.Biswas is from the IIT Kharagpur, it seems, from 1951 beginning. IITs were supposed to be the cream of the Indian talent and the IITians seem to constitute the best of the Indian elite, both inside India and outside, say, in the USA.
Now, the Indian elite obviously don’t constitute any class elite as week knows it, again, say in the UK or the USA.
The upper classes in the West constitute the elite and they also contribute to take the country concerned into the future.
In India, the class-based elite is not, if we can say so, talent-based nor the Indian upper class as it exists is driven by far-sighted future but only interested in itself, its own survival. Also, again, if not taken as an offence, the Indian upper, corporate class is self-seeking and self survival.
That is also one reason why even after 67 years of independence the hold of the bureaucracy is also so strong and thus the Indian society as it has evolved in the last so many years hasn’t produced a well-developed liberal society.
There is visible dependency upon the incumbent governments and the parties in power. Many current ills can be traced to this lack of a vibrant liberal class of elite in India.
So, what can we expect from the current scene by way of enlightenment?
Already we see the pressure on the minds of the middle classes, to speak of the upper and the corporate classes a significant trend. To grasp and also take it in their own ways to think and mull over the new perceptions and new implications.
Who thought that for instance that Mahatma Gandhi whose home coming from South Africa to India in 2015 was celebrated not by the Congress party but by the government supported organisation. Bharatiya Devas. Also, followed and preceded by the call for celebrate the Godse and glorify him with installation of statues for him. Gandhi is being caricatured in so many ways all to give the false impression that Mr.Modi is following in the path of the Mahatma.
No, this is really just the opposite. Also, there is a sort of conspiracy of silence or plain cowardice on the part of the elite, we mean just the plain Westernised elite that is entrenched in various portals, including in the USA and UK academies.
Except a few, a miniscule who are called upon by the new government as advisers and economic planning experts, the vast majority remains silent.
No critical reference to the new government many fancy steps, nor any positive endorsement of its own ways.
The reconstitution of the planning body is nothing but a change of name, very difficult to pronounce and even to comprehend.
This is sheer vanity of one man.
Economics is a difficult subject. It needs of course visionaries and certain humility to admit one’s limitations.
Pandit Nehru brought with him vast learning and long years of contemplation.
You needn’t follow the Communist old model but at the same time you can’t create overnight a new Bharatiya economic model either.
Let us be clear. The word Bharatiya is not a copyright of anybody. It just a mere word, of course a beautiful word. The Congress may be the natural party to inherit the Bharatiya legacy, right?
We too can use such Hindi equivalents to assert our own Indian identity.
What is sad and a bit disappointing is the sight that we see the typical Indian mindset of servility to power and authority, a certain ingrained Indian trait of cosying up to power. Whoever comes to power there is a train of Indian procession to move forward and cultivate the new comer.
There is a picture of the Fort St.George of Madras Presidency of the early times that sketches the arrival of the British merchants on ships and they disembark and you see the Indian coolies taking the white men on their shoulders to the shore! There is a scrambling among the Indian coolies to take the newcomers in a sort of fight among themselves!
Oh, lol! Since then, the Indian mentality of a slave, always a slave, always at other’s service continues to this day!
So, when do we Indians become a bit self-respecting. Being honourable to ourselves?
Now, the Indian elite, we are, sure, must be troubled with all its silence to the contrary.
May be we have to wait a little more time before the dissenting voices to be heard. Now, we have to really improve our education. R.A.Mashalkar, the distinguished scientist has noted how India is lagging in innovation ideas. Our scientists at the Indian Science Congress in Mumbai claimed to have invented interplanetary aircraft 9,000 years ago, it is terribly critical for a great scientist like Mashalkar to come out with a rebuttal.
He, a member of the Global Innovation Index which puts India not in the forefront. But India is slipping in the Innovation Index, progressively from 2012 to 2014.
Indian elite also talk in a very misleading way. Is it time to remind, as Prof.Amartya Sen did, about the importance of Sanskrit?
Our IT prowess is not enough. We have to create a real Silicon Valley.
Real innovative ideas that can be supported by VCs and also turned into new global wealth. India must produce Google and Face book. Not just we become consumers. Let us contribute to innovative ideas and let our education be turned into such a critical edge.