THE HINDU COMMUNITY still produces men of the Sattvik type, though their number is much smaller than before. They rarely, if ever, appear in newspaper; what they do is done in silence and secrecy. While touring in the Rewah State in the nineties of the last century, I was surprised to find that the Goods of an extensive tract who, like most other aboriginal tribes are generally addicted to intoxicating drinks, had given up drinking; and on inquiry, I found out the reason to be the fiat of a Yogi who had visited the state sometime before me.
The pro-Western bias of new India imbibed with Western education and fostered by the Western environment is further strengthened by the prestige, the power, and the apparent prosperity and success of Western Civilization. The vision of new India is bedimmed by the glamour of the magnificent material and inventive achievements of the West. There is nothing which ordinary people worship more than mundane power and prosperity whether in individuals or in communities, and the most puissant and apparently prosperous nations of the present day belong to the West.
The Western civilisation has not yet attained the degree of ethical culture which is necessary to insure its stability. The practical applications of Natural Science to Industry on such a gigantic scale which constitute its distinguishing feature have done more harm than good to humanity as a whole.
The Western nations are, however, under the illusion that their material developments are advancing them on the path of civilization making for their own welfare as well as the welfare of humanity outside the pale of Western Civilization.
This illusion is shared by all who are obsessed by Western views, Neo-Indians among them. They heedlessly abandon their moorings in the ancient harbour which had been discovered by their ancestors over two thousand years ago after breasting many a storm, and make frantic efforts to follow in the wake of the intrepid, but as yet inexperienced mariners of the West in quest of the " Happy Isles." They do not reflect where those "Happy Isles" are, what they are like, and whether they are likely to be discovered or not.
A thoughtful English writer speaking of the "grip of the West" which has begun to close on China, says that it "will more and more be felt in the general dissemination of ugliness, meanness, and insincerity throughout the empire." He says further:
The materialism of modern culture accounts for its being kept down at a level not very far removed from the barbaric. The inhumanities and barbarities perpetrated in connection with the (First World) war remind one of the savageries of the Huns and Vandals.
What a sorry spectacle, that such a large portion of the best manhood of the great nations of Europe should be engaged either in making munitions or in being trained to be 'food for powder,' that the colossal wealth derived from the exploitation and spoliation of countless toilers all over the habitable globe should be so heedlessly and recklessly shot away.
Whether the disillusionment will come or not is still a matter for speculation. In the meantime, the "terrible prestige" and apparent prosperity of Western Civilization hold enthralled the mind of new India. Just as fishes are attracted by the torchlight of the fisherman only to be caught in his net and be killed sooner or later, so are numbers of Neo-lndians enticed by the glitter and glamour of Western Civilization to be entangled in the silken meshes of its finely knit, widespread net and be ultimately strangled -- mentally, physically, morally and spiritually.
The Neo-Indian is so fully convinced of the beneficence of the present system of Education on Western lines, and is so enamoured with it, that he constantly urges its extension in the press and on the platform, for males as well as for females, for the upper as well as for the lower classes. Recently he earnestly sought to make primary education which is in vogue now compulsory. He measures the progress of any particular area, or of any particular section of the population by its progress in literacy on Western methods.
The Neo-Indian scholar considers himself so far above the learned of old India, that they evoke in him a complacent feeling of benignant patronage. if not of contemptuous indifference. A discussion at a meeting of the Senate of the Bombay University held in October 1913, will illustrate the attitude of "new" India in this respect.
To be continued
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