India Ponders its New Role As a Global ‘Soft’ Power

I do not agree entirely with the writer nor with Pratap Bhanu Mehta, an Indian political scientist, says “Now that we have in a sense arrived,…” because India has been the largest and exemplary e-democracy [as the entire World observed in the recent elections unmatched elsewhere in the world of 714 million eligible electorate] and a nation as a force for global peace and justice with policies of non-proliferation and anti-imperialism [ending thousands of years old Kingdoms including the small Portuguese territory of Diu, Daman & Goa], and non-alignment in the cold war. It, naturally, defends, itself but is not an aggressor like US & UK. Why else would Hu Shih, former Ambassador of China to USA say this about India “India conquered and dominated China culturally for 20 centuries without ever having to send a single soldier across her border.” and because India has always been inclusive, integrative and indiscriminate culture and soft and persuasive power absorbing kaleidoscopic diversity within it without ever diluting or compromising its own unique identity.

  • We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.- Albert Einstein
  • If I were asked under what sky the human mind has most fully developed some of its choicest gifts, has most deeply pondered on the greatest problems of life, and has found solutions, I should point to India. – Max Mueller (German scholar)
  • When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.- Albert Einstein
  • India – The land of Vedas, the remarkable works contain not only religious ideas for a perfect life, but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all were known to the seers who founded the Vedas.- Wheeler Wilcox (American poet).

I am, therefore, of the unshakable belief, unlike that expressed by Pratap Bhanu Mehta, an Indian political scientist, that India has not ‘now arrived in a sense’ but has re-arrived and re-emerged from the ‘one story’ negative stereotypes perpetrated by the Colonial culprits. The term “Indophobia” was first coined in western academia by American Indologist Thomas Trautmann to describe negative attitudes expressed by some British Indologists against Indian history, society, religions and culture. Historians have noted that during the British Empire, “evangelical influence drove British policy down a path that tended to minimize and denigrate the accomplishments of Indian civilization and to position itself as the negation of the earlier British Indomania that was nourished by belief in Indian wisdom.” Political scientists like Pratap Bhanu Mehta appear still to be suffering from the centuries of inflicted inferiority complex. Such people need not further perpetrate ‘Indophobia’. They need to be profoundly proud of their heritage, culture and history as a global solution providing peaceful people.

22/12/09 Many advances in the sciences that we consider today to have been made in Europe were in fact made in India centuries ago.
Grant Duff, British historian of India

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Filed under British Politics, Diversity, Equality, Global Credibility, Indo-American Relationship, Race Realtions [Amendment] Act 2000

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