Aira-Gaira-Nathu-Khaira Vs Tom-Dick-Harry – Oh! What a contrast

By Shashi Narasimhiah

The Republic Day 2017 of independent India is approaching. The British ruled India for several centuries, followed the divide-and-rule policy, took away basic freedom from the people, killed a lot of us, literally ransacked the country of our resources (Refer to Shashi Tharoor for statistics), even went to the extent of taxing Indians on Indian made products, took Indians to other places (such as Africa) as labourers and slaves, made Indians fight their wars, made India a poor country and eventually had to pack up and leave in 1947,but as a parting shot, just before they left they made India bleed even more by pushing her into a deadly civil war – price for which India is paying even to this day.

From there to the present day – who would have thought that Indian companies would be buying up the top British brands like Jaguar, Land Rover or the famous tea brands such as Tetley and Lipton. Who would have thought that an Indian company Tata would buy the British Steel company Corus and provide jobs to the British in their own land without making it their colony? Who would have thought that the biggest Steel magnate in Britain is a person of Indian origin (Lakshmi Mittal)? Who would have thought that an Indian company Tata would become one of the biggest private sector employers of the UK!!?? Who would have thought that the biggest names in IT such as Microsoft and Google would be headed up by people who were born, raised and educated in India not to mention the long list of global CEOs of Indian origin? Who would have thought that companies like IBM would be categorised as “Indian” companies by default due to the number of Indian employees in there? Who would have thought that a person of South Indian origin would be the Surgeon General of the USA? And who would have thought that the largest Australian coal mining project of over $16b  would be initiated by the Indian mining giant Adani which is expected to result in thousands of local jobs literally resurrecting the coal mining industry in the country? One of India’s large  default export commodity now is human services – because – they are very diligent, educated, hardworking, and peaceful and follow the law of the land.

Perhaps it would not be over-optimistic to say that India is quietly ushering in a world revolution of her own – without robbing anyone, without taking away anyone’s freedom, without going to war with anyone, without being responsible for a single drop of blood shed or without dividing any society – in fact without too many even noticing it!!That is the magic of Aira-Gaira-Nathu-Khaira!! In sharp contrast to the way the British “ruled”, India is participating in “administering” a change of world order by their own quaint, subtle and peaceful means which would benefit the world as a whole rather than just themselves. This is “Ahimsa” of a different kind!!The change is being effected in an ethical business environment (at least outside of India) rather than colonising. Since time immemorial, India has been an undisputed master of Spirituality, Ayurveda, Yoga etc and now India has proved that they can be masters at ethical commercial business as well. India is the fastest growing economy in the world with so much of unutilised potential just yet!!India is also the “youngest” nation with a huge mass of young educated and tech-savvy girls and boys ready to make a difference to the world. India was only known for C and C before – Curry and Cricket and guess what? Another C has joined in now – Commerce.

On this occasion of 2017 Republic Day I could not help noticing the stark contrast between the British way and the Indian way of life.

India as a nation might have achieved political integration in 1947 but a national identity has existed for thousands of years. India’s contribution to the world is both profound as well as multi-faceted. Albert Einstein once said – Not a single scientific step could the modern science take without the mathematical basis from India. Mark Twain went a step further by saying – Anything that can ever be done either by man or God has been done in this land!! What is it that made India what it was, what it is and what it is going to be? India is a nation of seekers as a basic process of life – not seeking heaven or God but seeking liberation or Mukti from ignorance and limitations and that is what makes India stand out.

Having said that though, when the western and other media show India they show clips of slums, poverty and beggars and completely fail to focus on the other aspects such as magnificent ancient temples, fully functional vibrant multicultural society, burgeoning Indian middle class with immense purchasing power, progress and achievements in Indian agriculture, space, nuclear, missile, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, infrastructure, transport, IT and medical technology or the newly built cyber cities. The western world boasts of multiculturalism (which BTW is only tolerated at best and rarely celebrated). In India, at one stage we had a Sikh Prime Minister, a Muslim President and a Christian Defence Minister!! India was one of the first countries where a woman became the head of Government and currently both External Affairs and Defence portfolios are headed by two very articulate women.

To conclude, we all know India has many fundamental issues to resolve (population, corruption – to name just two) and many tragedies to deal with. We are very raw just yet. Rural India in particular has a long.. long.. way to go. But, while there is a lot about India to be fixed, regardless of which country one comes from, regardless of one’s age, gender, location or industry sooner or later the entire world will have something to do with India – it is inevitable. India is establishing herself as one of the three largest economies of the world. The world’s future will be dependent on India’s contribution in all walks of life including greenhouse gas emission. And the most heartening thing about it is – India is going about it in a manner that could be a lesson to our British masters – Oh! What a Contrast between the ways of Aira-Gaira-Nathu-Khaira as compared to Tom-Dick-Harry!!!!Happy  Republic  Day to India.

(Readers are welcome to share their feedback).

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