Friday, June 7, 2013

Aspirations of emerging giants

That is the title of my latest column in the Pragati magazine out today. The special thing about the article are the below paras:
  • The difference in fundamental comparisons between India and China are best encapsulated in the prophetic words of Wuttke, who said “Chinese educate for practical life, the Indians for the ideal; those for earth, these for heaven; those educate their sons for entering the world, these for going out of it; those educate for citizenship, these for priesthood; those for industrial activity, these for knowledge; those teach their sons the laws of the state, these teach them the essence of the Godhead; those lead their sons into the world, these lead them out of the world into themselves; those teach their children to earn and enjoy, these to beg and to renunciate.” Whether one agrees or not, it is difficult to better these words, which capture the difference between India and China in its ethos and antiquity. The economic, social and political developments in these two countries have to be seen through the words of Wuttke.
  • On the similarities between the two nations, Chie Nakane, a Japanese anthropologist wrote in 1998 that “…their respective great civilizations were formed along the two great rivers: the Indus and Ganges in India, the Huang-he and the Yangtze River in China, all of which originated in the Tibetan Plateau. The modern capitals of both countries, Delhi and Beijing, are situated in the north. In the south-east are situated two large cities, Calcutta and Shanghai, each at the mouth of the great rivers of the Ganges and Yangtze, backed by the fertile and productive areas of Bengal and Jiangsu. Both cities received the first impact from the West, its citizens were earliest exposed to Western culture and the two cities become the centres of modern rich cultures. Similarly, the southern regions of both countries have a high population density: Tamil Nadu and Kerala in India, and Kwangtung and Fukien in China. Further, both countries possess rich granary regions in the inland area of the Punjab and Sichwan. It is interesting that the names of these two regions connote rivers- the Five revers and Four rivers. Both societies possess a certain similarity, being composed of wheat-producing areas in the north and wet paddy cultivation in the south…”

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