English Language, Indian Culture and ‘Globalization’

Dr H P Shukla Professor of English Kumaun University, Nainital

I It is both my pleasure and privilege to be present here1 at such a wonderful gathering of young educators, academics and compatriots who all very sincerely share the onerous task of being nation builders for a future India in the challenging uneasy days of ‘globalization’. In defining its objectives, the Academic Staff College avers to be “a nodal agency for the transformation and empowerment of teaching community” and aims to “help the teachers to emerge as sensitive citizens … who simultaneously become the force for fighting out the backward linkages of globalization” (K.U. Prospectus, 86). Such an objective is also a pointer as to the nature and direction of the orientation and refresher programs being organized here. In short, we are being asked to take cognizance of the prevailing ethos of the timespirit and changing world structures and thus to “transform” and equip ourselves with “necessary contemporary skills” to face successfully the challenges of our times. The function of the resource person is to bring in focus, by defining and elaboration, any one of these challenges facing us today, and to set our minds afire with thoughtful imagination so that we can clearly see for ourselves the issues and things as they stand out in their entirety and hidden complexity. This alone shall enable us to act decisively on our world and help us light our little candle that shall be our pathfinder in the darkest of nights. It is essential at the outset to take stock of our role as educators and to do away with a lot of unnecessary baggage. Teaching is the noblest of all professions. And this I say not in a self applauding manner, but in total earnest and with complete objectivity. Notwithstanding how far one is aware of it or whether others appreciate it or not, it remains a fact nonetheless that the teacher alone is responsible for nurturing and shaping the young ones of the race. Man, more than anything else, is a mental being and thus needs to be nurtured as such. The teacher in being the workforce for refining and holding of all mental energy may alone be capable of transferring this energy for the nurture of their young pupils. As a mental dynamo he confronts all thought-forces that arise in an ever changing mind-space, the source of all sensible universe and sentient beings. He is therefore the force that not only gives direction to but rather effectively shapes what comes to be realized as high culture. It is needless to point out that all plebeian demands from a teacher are ungainly, for he exists not to satisfy either the market or social forces but to be just

Lectures delivered at UGC Academic Staff College, Nainital (June 18-20, 2008).

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what he essentially is. No, he is not a mere trainer or tutor: these are but the lowest of his lower functions. Pursuer of all knowledge, he is the jnani and the domain of highest knowledge his resting place. The commonplace dictum that one can give only what one has is no less true for the teacher. It behoves him therefore, quite logically, to go in for pursuit of pure knowledge, the boundless treasure house of all good, as the one and only goal of his existence. But he is sure more than a giver, for just as the Sun he radiates mental and psychic energy and prepares in the pupil a recipient soil. Having thus seated ourselves, or as they say—having provided a framework of thought for our discussion, we need to look at the topic for the present assembly. English language, Indian culture, and ‘Globalization’—all three form vital parts of our common heritage today, and we study these to define an identity for ourselves. English language and globalization are the forces of history, outside us, that have invaded and impacted our lives to their basic fabric. Indian culture is the soil in which we are born, the material which has shaped the very foundations of our body, life and mind. The three together constitute what we are and shall be. It seems at the moment that we stand facing a turmoil at the crossroads of history where we shall be asked either to fight a demonic host of Westernization that threatens at their very roots our cherished timeless values of virtue and culture or else to rise to the greater task of discovering a reconciliation that shall reconfigure the whole into a magical symphony beckoning us to a golden future for the mother earth.

II But before we look at the arrival of Englishmen and their language in India, we need a little space to deliberate upon the nature of language itself. Language as the organised manifest form of thought, speech, communion and intelligence is one of the most mysterious creations of nature; for it certainly is antecedent to man, though in its verbal form it is often taken to be a product of human mind and culture. If all gestures and motions of being including the production of various sounds are taken as effective means of communication and placed under the non-verbal category of language, then it goes without saying that all animals – even all living beings – possess a language in its various stages of growth. And then there are those discernible patterns of nature including the flight formation of birds and cycles of seasons and birth and death that stir us deeply with their hidden sense of mystery and meaning and endow us with a purposefulness of living. If such forms be symbolic of something beyond form, then the symbolic in its totality, together with all those symbols captured by man in art, sculpture, architecture and dance, constitutes an altogether different realm of language. Thus
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whatever speaks, suggests, or carries meaning is language. Bewildered by such an infinity of its scope and depth, man in every culture and epoch has equated the language with the Divine. Thus we have in this country the concept of SabdaBrahman, the Word as another aspect of the Supreme Reality, and in the Bible is said, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God” (John 1:1). If this somehow points us to the essence of the nature of language, then we need to approach it with utmost care and humility. Only then will it be possible for us to touch, in consonance with the quality of our reverence, a little of the mystery and magic of language, and also perhaps a modest ability to wield its magical leverage. Language, it is said, not only reveals but also in its power as Brahman creates Reality. But there is language and language and accordingly an infinity of gradations of the Real. In its polarity language is so like the white and black magic in extremes, and we must not forget that language at its heart is magical, as is so well testified by that timeless utterance, the Mantra. Thus on the one hand, in the hands of Rishis, poets and thinkers, language creates a fair representation of Reality, while on the other in the hands of falsifiers – politicians, media, and many other forms of popular public discourse: all those tribes of Ravana – it creates nothing but illusion, the Indrajal. Indian linguistics differentiates four levels of speech – para, pashyanti, madhyama and vaikhari, and distinguishes – not necessarily in an exact correspondence – four kinds of men according to their level of mind – acharya, pandit, samanyajan, and alpabuddhi. Sanskrit itself, in its etymological kinship to the word samskara, is the language of the cultured. That is why in Kalidas, for example, only the upper and educated classes speak Sanskrit, while the uneducated masses have their speeches in Prakrit. On similar grounds, some of the Western theorists are of the view that only the language used for highest learning – the one written by men of letters, philosophers, and thinkers – is the real language, all else being the overgrowth of an untended garden. The point here is to be aware of different levels of language and accord each their due reverence. When, for example, a TV announcer tries to sell the next day’s cricket match by calling it Mahabharata, one should be able to see immediately the debasement of language by such idiots. Mahabharata is a war where the highest values of a nation are at stake, and the grim realities of life portrayed therein are far from frivolous and fun, which is what a cricket match is. T. S. Eliot in one of his poems has pointed to this debasement of language with telling effects:
Words strain, Crack and sometimes break, under the burden, Under the tension, slip, slide, perish, Will not stay still. Shrieking voices Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering, Always assail them. The Word in the desert Page 3 of 14

Is most attacked by voices of temptation, The crying shadow in the funeral dance, The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera. (Collected Poems, 194)

As one descends lower from Para to Vaikhari, from the subtle magical inevitability of the word in a mantric utterance to its gross everyday usage, the relationship between language and culture becomes only too obvious. The images, metaphors, idioms, the pithy sayings and precepts in any given language, either in literary or everyday discourse, have their origin in the experiences of a people, in its soil, climate and lifestruggle. Language therefore, in one of its aspects, is the codification of native experience, of native culture. It is born from and bears the whole history of a people and race. It is also thus the storehouse of values and wisdom handed over from generation to generation. The word therefore not only embodies the joys and pangs, aspirations and failures of a people, but embodies as well the highest truth as seen by its sages and poets. It is in this latter aspect that language as the carrier of the mantric Word sows the seed of future civilizations and watches over their growth and development. But if in the process of their onward march civilizations were to lose touch with the informing Word that brought them forth, they would certainly be courting their own death and perdition. Language, therefore, as the presiding deity of a people, as the seed-word of their culture, must always be restored to its pristine purity. It demands ceaselessly a great reverence and attention from its people. A race that loses its language is destroyed and obliterated for ever.

III It is with the perception of this mystery behind language that we approach the arrival of English in India. We have always been told that English language and education was introduced in India because the colonial rulers needed clerks and support staff to help them in their administration. What such a statement fails to bring home is the moot question why those colonial rulers were here in the first place. Even though their civilizing mission was given as the cover up for their sinister, clandestine operations, it should not be difficult to see that they came here as barbarians and plunderers filled with an insatiable greed of ye dil maange more. And it is to this sole purpose that English language and education was harnessed from the beginning. We shall come back to this grand satanic design and Macaulay who in effect fathered it. But before that we need to look at what kind of nation India was when Englishmen fortuitously found themselves at the helm of its affairs. Here is a concise observation by R. Y. Despande:
In the 1757 Battle of Plassey Siraj-ud-Daula, the Nawab of Bengal, was defeated by Robert Clive by very dubious means. Another dishonour was inflicted on the psyche of the country. Clive claimed from the successor Mir Jafar, the crony, £40 million and Page 4 of 14

a huge personal revenue of £30,000 a year. India was since then steadily and systematically plundered and reduced to a lifeless object…. “It is a country of inexhaustible riches and one which cannot fail to make its masters the richest corporation in the world.” This is what Clive wrote back home after arriving in India. (604)

One wonders if just one state, Bengal, could pay so much, how rich the whole nation would have been at the time. While in the passage above the greed of Robert Clive speaks from the housetops, his dream of being “the richest corporation in the world” will return to haunt us again in the 21st century. But first the Englishmen needed a strategic theory as to how this systematic plunder was to be ordered and arranged, and with what steps could the East India Company advance on her dream road to become “the richest corporation in the world.” It is precisely to further such a design that the great lord Baron Thomas Babington Macaulay of Rothley enters the scene as the master theoretician. Briefing his grand project he told the British Parliament on 2 Feb 1835:
I have travelled across the length and breadth of India and I have not seen one person who is a beggar, who is a thief. Such wealth I have seen in this country, such high moral values, people of such calibre, that I do not think we would ever conquer this country, unless we break the very backbone of this nation, which is her spiritual and cultural heritage, and, therefore, I propose that we replace her old and ancient education system, her culture, for if the Indians think that all that is foreign and English is good and greater than their own, they will lose their self-esteem, their native culture and they will become what we want them, a truly dominated nation. (qtd. in Deshpande 604-605)

We should be thankful to Macaulay for pointing out where our strength lay and also for suggesting albeit obliquely the possibility of a way out from our present impasse. But surely in what constituted our strength he perceived a grave threat to his dream project. He was more forthcoming in speaking his mind in a personal letter written to his father:
No Hindoo, who has received an English education, ever remains sincerely attached to his religion. Some continue to profess it as a matter of policy; but many profess themselves pure Deists and some embrace Christianity. It is my firm belief that if our plans of education are followed up, there will not be a single idolater among the respectable class in Bengal thirty years hence. (qtd. in Singh 130)

While suggesting the broader implications of such an agenda of colonial rule I took the cue from this assertion of Macaulay and wrote a few years ago:
As part of the same sinister strategy the Indian educated elite was deliberately kept ignorant about their own ontology and epistemology. English language and education which was used to consolidate the old imperialistic order is even now Page 5 of 14

being employed, more so with an added vigour, to strengthen the neo-imperialistic designs. Hence, there is no such thing as ‘post-colonial’, only the fact of neocolonials. In the present scenario of cultural and economic warfare, the face of exploitation has changed but not its motive which has only become more subtle and sinister. (Shukla 94)

To come back to language which was used as a powerful tool in furtherance of colonial exploitation, we need to look again at the power it wields and the ways in which that power could be used for other than legitimate purposes. Language, as we noted earlier, is the repository of culture and when we acquire a foreign language we also in the process acquire the way of life and mode of thought embedded in that language and culture. Even a single new word as it enters our mind space changes the whole composition of our thought structure and causes sometime as great a change as a radical transformation of mind. Then what to say of a whole new language not only entering but even effacing, as part of an unholy design, all traces of the native language! The process effects an eerie change in the very being where one loses contact with the life-giving waters of one’s roots and has to feed on airy nothings of alien vapours. As a result, one is worse than the legendry Trishuncou; one has changed into a pale lifeless ghost of that dubiously great ancestor. Deeply infected at the very soul by this alien virus, whose body and being is of the alien culture and language, one suffers the eternal damnation of being a coolie and carrier of that abominable cultural virus. As the virus spreads into a slow epidemic, new markets emerge to feed this growing host of pale-white ghosts, the pukka Angrezes2 in black or brown skins. This is the growing market East India Company had come seeking after. Two figures emerge on Indian skies: one of thunderous Macaulay clapping applause at the success of his designs, and the other of a frowning sorrowful Krishna who ages ago had admonished his countrymen:
Shreyanswadharmo vigunah pardharmatswanushthitat Swadharme nidhanam shreyah pardharmo bhayavahah Better is one’s own law of works, swadharma, though in itself faulty than an alien law well wrought out; death in one’s own law of being is better, perilous is it to follow an alien law. (The Gita, III, 35, Sri Aurobindo’s translation)

That little dramatic narration was intentional and for an effect. As we move further into the new millennium, we find that things have not changed a wee bit. The westernization has become globalization, which is just another name for Americanism and Americanization. Macaulay’s dream of becoming “the richest corporation in the world” has paid dividends and the United States in the vanguard carries the project forward. Only in the focus now is no longer India but the whole of


The word Angrez, as understood here, stands for the whole white race, and not just for Englishmen.

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earth. In his last lectures just before his death, Edward Said put forward the devilry of the prevailing global movement with uncanny clarity:
The world of the Washington think tanks, the various television talk shows, innumerable radio programs, to say nothing of literally thousands of occasional papers, journals, and magazines—all this testifies amply how densely saturated public discourse is with interests, authorities, and powers whose extent in the aggregate is literally unimaginable in scope and variety, except as that whole bears centrally on the acceptance of a neoliberal postwelfare state responsive neither to the citizenry nor to the natural environment, but to a vast structure of global corporations unrestricted by traditional barriers or sovereignties. The unparalleled global military reach of the United States is integral to the new structure. With the various specialized systems and practices of the new economic situation, only very gradually and partially disclosed, and with an administration whose idea of national security is preemptive war, we are beginning to discern an immense panorama of how these systems and practices (many of them new, many of them refashioned holdovers from the classical imperial system) have been assembled to provide a geography whose purpose is slowly to crowd out and override human agency. [Emphasis added] (124)

Mark the parallelism between the British government’s intervention in the post 1857 India and the intermittent United States’ military action during the last fifty years or so. The project behind Macaulay’s introduction of English education in India has also taken further strides.
In a powerfully argued and documented recent book (Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War), the British journalist Frances Stonor Saunders gives plentiful evidence that the almost 200 million dollars spent by the CIA to subsidize innumerable humanistic and academic conferences, journals like Encounter, Der Monat, and Partisan Review, prizes, art exhibitions, concerts, musical competitions, and many individual scholars, writers, and intellectuals, had a profound effect on the kind of cultural work that was produced and the kind of activity carried on in the name of freedom and humanistic activity. (Said 35)

The burgeoning impact of this growing globalization is no longer local or limited to any one country but rather the whole human civilization and the earth herself appears to be under its seize. Said is at pains to point out that
there is now taking place in our society an assault on thought itself, to say nothing of democracy, equality, and the environment, by the dehumanizing forces of globalization, neoliberal values, economic greed (euphemistically called the free market), as well as imperialist ambition, … through the channels of communication controlled by a tiny number of news organizations. (71)

IV The issue before us now is to figure out the possibility of a right and just course of action in times that pose tremendous challenge to our role both as Indians and as
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citizens of this beautiful earth. What we have been doing so far is to create an awareness of the situation we find ourselves in. For only in that awareness lies the possibility of a redemptive action; or it might be that such an awareness in itself constitutes that action. To make our vision a bit wider and more comprehensive we need to bring our focus a little closer home. The very first thing to accept as irreversible fact of history is that English language and globalization, just as modern technology, are here to stay. One cannot keep the product of a culture and at the same time wish that culture away. Also, there can be no mastering of the complex mechanism of a system either of technology or of ideas without a proper understanding of the culture that created it. (And remember how many systems have we imported willy-nilly from the West – education, economy, justice, democracy and public administration, to name just a few; all of which without a single exception have miserably failed to take roots and flourish in this country, but that is another matter). Since language and culture, as suggested earlier, have an inseparable symbiotic relationship, it goes without saying that no insight into the depths of a culture can ever be gained without grappling with the finest nuances of the language operating behind such a culture. To live with understanding and move with mastering strides in the modern world and contemporary India without knowing English is a chimera. The Gandhian idea of driving out English language along with Englishmen stands denied by the forces of history. What stares us so blatantly in the face today is the fact of a country being ruled exclusively, in at least all its higher offices of power, policy and influence, by English speaking Indians. And how many of these are there? –Less than 4 lakh in a population of more than 100 crores, according to an estimate by Avadhesh Kumar Singh (136)! The phenomenon seems unavoidable because only these English speaking Indians can connect a contemporary India with the modern world. Even in the world of ideas we need an English-speaking Shobha De and Khushwant Singh to sell sex and Arundhati Roy to buttress a dwindling Narmada movement. But all this may not be in the right direction. No, it certainly is not. A nation that has long been under the thraldom of colonial rule must first recover its roots, from which it has been so methodically kept away for so long, if it were to integrate successfully – as a living and whole being – the world movement to it. As a process of this recovery, Indian classics, languages, history, heroes and sages, and Indian thought in all the various fields must be brought back alive and given as the main course to the young Indians from a very early age. And they must at the same time be encouraged to master the English language and all western thought and systems so as to function as Indian world citizens, holding their heads high, rooted in their soil, and flying fearlessly in world skies.
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A non-English-speaking Indian rooted in his past and history would be no better than a frog in the well, and an English speaking Indian unaware of his roots would be worse than an eternally damned white lifeless ghost of a Trishuncou. The task is to work out a synthesis and poise from which to function competently in a fast growing corporate globe and yet not be a part of its demeaning self-devouring net; to look at and hold holistically the world movement without cavil, calumny, anger or hatred; to win back the spirit of vasudhaiv kutumbkam in the calm and wisdom of Isha Upanishad —
Isha vasyamidam sarvam yat kinch jagatyam jagat, Tein tyakten bhunjitha ma gridhah kasya svidhanam. All this is for habitation by the Lord, whatsoever is individual universe of movement in the universal motion. By that renounced thou shouldst enjoy; lust not after any man’s possession. (Sri Aurobindo’s translation)

To move on with this note of peace and reconciliation, allow me to quote a rather longish passage from a German US citizen and thinker, Erich Auerbach where, almost in the spirit of Isha Upanishad, he exhorts us to see the world and ourselves transformed anew in the iridescent glow of an ever new dawn and to work with a conscious intellectual effort towards such a transformation:
Basically, the way in which we view human life and society is the same whether we are concerned with things of the past or things of the present. A change in our manner of viewing history will of necessity soon be transferred to our manner of viewing current conditions. When people realize that epochs and societies are not to be judged in terms of a pattern concept of what is desirable absolutely speaking but rather in every case in terms of their own premises; when people reckon among such premises not only natural factors like climate and soil but also the intellectual and historical factors; when, in other words, they come to develop a sense of historical dynamics, of the incompatibility of historical phenomena and of their constant inner mobility; when they come to appreciate the vital unity of individual epochs, so that each epoch appears as a whole whose character is reflected in each of its manifestations; when, finally, they accept the conviction that the meaning of events cannot be grasped in abstract and general forms of cognition and that the material needed to understand it must not be sought exclusively in the upper strata of society and in major political events but also in art, economy, material and intellectual culture, in the depths of the workaday world and its men and women, because it is only there that one can grasp what is unique, what is animated by inner forces, and what, in both a more concrete and a more profound sense, is universally valid: then it is to be expected that those insights will also be transferred to the present and that, in consequence, the present too will be seen as incomparable and unique, as animated by inner forces and in a constant state of development; in other words, as a piece of history whose everyday depths and total inner structure lay claim to our interest both in their origins and in the direction taken by their development. (443-44) Page 9 of 14

V It may not be possible for me to speak at length on Indian culture. It is both beyond my expertise and the scope of these lectures. For this purpose the ASC should invite a professor of History who can hold in his mind the whole of Indian history and the history of the modern world as well, and who from such a comprehensive vision can enunciate the essential nature of Indian people and culture so as to examine India’s position vis-à-vis the cesspool whorl of current historical currents in which she finds herself enmeshed today. For me, it is enough to make a few broad observations on this issue. It is there for everyone to see that for long, like a true and faithful colonial slave, we have been aping the shining coat of western civilization – in the name of development, progress, economic well-being, GDP-GNP, and what not. And also we have been at pains to agree with the Angrez that all that is Indian – language, literature, philosophy, ritual, festivals, social organization – is barbarian in origin and backward in contemporary relevance. Macaulay was quite succinct when he fathered such an outlook in his Minutes on Education in 1835, “A single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia.” As a result one has only to look at the status of Sanskrit in this country today: the cut off percentage for English Honours at the number one college in Delhi University is at about 95; for Sanskrit Honours it is a meagre 45. It takes a man like C D Narsimhaiah, a legend among Indian teachers of English and the one who had the honour of studying with F R Leavis, to point out that truth may just be the opposite: “An important facet to which no one seems to have paid any attention is to remember that the Western mode is empirical – Aristotle being the original sinner!” (English Studies 267). What is unstated but clearly suggested is that the Indian mode at the opposite end is essentially transcendental. Perhaps it is this difference in the essence (soul) and not only in the existent (self) between the two cultures that makes India and the West totally incompatible with each other. During a discussion on the insights of Indian literary criticism, CDN – as he had so lovingly come to be known in literary circles – in his last lectures observed:
In the context of such sophisticated preoccupation with things like “rhythmic speech”, “spiritual seeing” and “stability of apprehension behind the instability of word,” I fear I find Western debates on theories so dull and long-drawn, not to say inconsequential. (Inquiry 44)

While he went on puncturing with a penchant the glitter and glamour of Western discourse, CDN was no less sparing in pointing out what a heedless headless ass we have been:
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Yet the Indian tradition of a thousand years, which originated in an essentially Indian view of life and was strengthened by a succession of some of the finest minds, has suffered neglect, humiliation and even total rejection at our hands – and this, let me assert, without adequate examination. (English Studies 267)

What happened during the colonial rule is understandable, but why we failed to win a complete intellectual freedom by not throwing the Angrez out from our minds in the years following 1947 is a matter that needs serious enquiry. Perhaps the most unfortunate event at the time was Gandhi’s death – here was a mind who had completely, without the least hangover, thrown the Angrez out from his body and being. But his successor that he had so foolishly and Dhritrashtra-like planted as the first Indian prime minister was quite a study in contrast. The Gandhian influence on his protégé was just external and no more than skin deep. Nehru too, like Bapu, had opted for the Indian attire: but in stead of the simple dhoti he decided to go for a designer dress; in place of charkha, village autonomy, Ram-naam and the forging of unity among religions he went for secularism, socialism, scientific temper, modern industry and five or fifty year plan for the family and nation. Among his plans for the family’s political holdings, as someone has argued rather harshly, was Nehru’s total neglect of country’s education. Only an uneducated or ill-educated people could continue accepting his hopeless crop of scions as their future rulers. Rajiv Gandhi, with nothing of Gandhi in him but so full of the Angrez just like his grandfather and even with an angrez wife, divined that bringing in the latest angrezi machine, the computer, would solve our country’s multifarious ills and usher us all into a golden 21st century. Only the poor chap was not there to see the day. I was still at school when Nehru's daughter announced her crusade of garibi hatao and her opponents so naively talked about the rising gulf between the rich and the poor. Only the other day my friend from the department of Economics told me that more than 80% of Indians even today were living with an income of Rs 25 a day. If the rule of Angrez with an Indian skin has failed, we should not despair because the rule of half-angrez half-Indian (by which I mean multinationals and certainly not Rahul Gandhi) is round the corner. Coming back to the ongoing onslaught of Western culture and its empirical, materialist and consumerist values, —how long will it take us to see its peril, to turn back to our roots and bring into action in education and life our ancient formulae? Opposed to the neo-colonial ways where all life has become a plaything in the hands of markets, corporations and rampant greed, there stands rooted in the Indian soil the seminal principle of dharma, artha, kama and moksha in an ascending series of values. This is just as an illustration and example of the way of our return to our roots in Indian culture.

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The first thing taught, the very first value inculcated when an Indian begins his education is dharma. Dharma is more than religion: it suggests an insightful understanding of the order and law of nature, of life, and living in complete harmony with it. Even as children we need to learn to appreciate the beauty and mystery of plants, insects, birds and animals, of wind, rain, cloud, moonshine and stars, of waterfalls, rivers and rivulets, of all the elements and all life. We need to learn to live in harmonious relationship with everything around us, including human beings. This is dharma; and living it, when we have found ourselves one with the whole movement of life, we are ready to move to our next lesson, artha. Artha is more than money, material possessions and objects. For example, the combination of words dharmartha translates literally as for the purpose of dharma. Artha therefore suggests the meaning, purpose and the goal of the movement of life. But the comprehending of an all-embracing significance of life does not become possible unless one is fully grounded in that movement of dharma. If artha in its distant connotation has come to suggest money and material objects, it is because the latter in their usage, possession and arrangement denote an underlying order of meaning, value and signification behind life. To discover the motion of artha in the movement of life is to rediscover the whole of life anew. It is the opening of the third eye before which everything stands revealed in its essence and full splendour. Kama of course is Desire. It is because of desire, as Buddha taught us, that we find ourselves enmeshed in the cycles of birth and death. Perhaps the Manifestation, the Cosmos itself comes into being because of a movement of Divine Desire; or all this, idam sarvam, IS that primordial movement. The individual desire may only be a little shadowy refracted shoot of that Great Motion. The handling of kama in effect is therefore to translate into action that essential movement of desire that brought us forth into this world. To put that seed of desire into motion is also to exhaust and thereby end it. The ending of desire is the ending of attachment, the root of all our sorrow, suffering, ignorance and bondage. This is Moksha. But what it is is beyond the speaker to enunciate. Suffice it to reiterate that hidden behind this ancient Indian principle of dharma, artha, kama, moksha lies the secret of a whole way of life, a secret that points beyond the blinding glamour of a material phantasmagoria that holds the modern West in its thraldom. Do we see here the hope of a victorious escape from that unceasing assault of cultural warfare that the West led by the United States has launched with sinister intentions on the rest of the world? I am a small man, too small perhaps to speak on an issue of such magnitude. I would invoke therefore Sri Aurobindo, one of our greatest Rishis, to provide us with concluding thoughts to this discussion. This is what he wrote long back in 1918 in conclusion to a series of essays The Rennaissance in India:
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India can best develop herself and serve humanity by being herself and following the law of her own nature. This does not mean, as some narrowly and blindly suppose, the rejection of everything new that comes to us in the stream of Time or happens to have been first developed or powerfully expressed by the West. Such an attitude would be intellectually absurd, physically impossible, and above all unspiritual; true spirituality rejects no new light, no added means or materials of our human selfdevelopment. It means simply to keep our centre, our essential way of being, our inborn nature and assimilate to it all we receive, and evolve out of it all we do and create. Religion has been a central preoccupation of the Indian mind; some have told us that too much religion ruined India, precisely because we made the whole of life religion or religion the whole of life, we have failed in life and gone under. I will not answer, adopting the language used by the poet in a slightly different connection, that our fall does not matter and that the dust in which India lies is sacred. The fall, the failure does matter, and to lie in the dust is no sound position for man or nation. But the reason assigned is not the true one. If the majority of Indians had indeed made the whole of their lives religion in the true sense of the word, we should not be where we are now; it was because their public life became most irreligious, egoistic, self-seeking, materialistic that they fell. It is possible, that on one side we deviated too much into an excessive religiosity, that is to say, an excessive externalism of ceremony, rule, routine, mechanical worship, on the other into a too world-shunning asceticism which drew away the best minds who were thus lost to society instead of standing like the ancient Rishis as its spiritual support and its illuminating lifegivers. But the root of the matter was the dwindling of the spiritual impulse in its generality and broadness, the decline of intellectual activity and freedom, the waning of great ideals, the loss of the gust of life. (Foundations of Indian Culture 432-33)

References: Auerbach, Erich. Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature. Trans. Willard R. Trask. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2003. Aurobindo, Sri. Essays on the Gita: With Sanskrit Text and Translation of the Gita. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1972. - - -. The Foundations of Indian Culture. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971. - - -. The Upanishads. Pondicherry: Sri Aurobindo Ashram, 1971. Deshpande, R. Y. “India’s Independence and Spiritual Destiny.” Mother India, vol. LX nos. 8-9 pp 599-618. Eliot, T. S. “Four Quartets.” Collected Poems 1909-1962. London: Faber and Faber Limited, 1974. Kumaun University Prospectus, Vivaranika, 2007-08. Nainital: Kumaun University, 2007. 86-87 Narasimhaiah, C. D. An Inquiry into the Indianness of Indian English Literature. New Delhi: Sahitya Akademi, 2003.
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- - -. English Studies in India: Widening Horizons. New Delhi: Pencraft International, 2002. Said, Edward W. Humanism and Democratic Criticism. Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan, 2004. Saunders, Frances Stonor. Who Paid the Piper? The CIA and the Cultural Cold War. London: Granta, 1999. Shukla H P. “Marginalising the Self’s Discourse: The Fire of the Indian Mind.” Marginal Existence: New Trends in Literature. Ed. Anita Parihar et al. New Delhi: Creative Books, 2006. 92-106. Singh, Avadhesh Kumar. “Decolonizing English Studies in India.” Decolonisation: A Search for Alternatives. Ed. Adesh Pal et al. New Delhi: Creative Books. 122-46. The Holy Bible. Authorised King James Version. London: Collins’ Clear-Type Press, n.d. **********************

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