In the globalized times, amidst the rise of India and China, there lies a mounting international interest in the developing countries. Despite the anonymity of the achievements of the said nations amongst the western attire, there lays emphasis on the mystical characteristics with respect to India. Countless tourists worldwide, attracted by its historical and spiritual narratives, pay it a visit. So what exactly is India?
India, just like any other nation is a geographical expression. However, surprisingly, it embraces and enjoys an extraordinary mixture of ethnic groups, a profusion of mutually incomprehensible languages, all-important topography and climates; the diversity of religions (all global religions), and cultural practices. It includes extraordinaire economic development (historic and post-independence). Although, anything we say about the country, the opposite also stands true.
Some interesting facts about India not everyone knows:
- There are more than 2000 ethnic groups;
- There are 22 languages spoken and written in India;
- There are more than 720 dialects;
- There are more than 1652 mother tongues in India;
- India has all important topography and climates (including 4 major seasons);
- India has all global religions, confirming the diversity of religions.
Yet, it is more than a sum of contradictions. It inspires and motivates. To the people unaware, one cannot comprehend and come to grips with the level of magnitude and bewildering contrasts this land presents. The nation, being the largest democracy in the world is also home to the oldest cast system. A land steeped in spirituality (also superstition) is one of the leading figures in the world of information technology. The country that gave Mahatma Gandhi, the international persona of non-violence, is periodically convulsed by bloodletting- paradoxically abound.
It imbibes and embezzles the motto- “Satymev Jayate: Truth alone triumphs”, although whose truth’ remains unanswered, it remains combustion of right and wrong.
It has explored economic development from the ground, risen from the ashes, and ventured on to become a booming service economy while abiding by the bigger picture. A country bound by mystery, it has sustained the ghost of corruption and red-tapism in the mix of bureaucratic hurdles, idealism, and inefficiency. Yes, some vested interests have dampened its progress and growth, yet the extraordinary tale of triumphs are remarkably showcased in such a meager amount of time.
India happens to be an ever-changing land of cliché. It enjoys an extraordinary degree of change and ferment, including but not limited to- revolutionary political, economic, social, and cultural practices. In politics, the country has paved its way from single political party governance to a multi-party coalition system. In economics, it has leaped from a conservative approach to liberalization. In caste and social change, the country has witnessed remarkable convulsive changes. All this is managed through an accommodative and pluralist democracy.
Rich in history and culture, it is said that ‘if world trade were conducted purely in terms of cultural products, then India would have had a thumping annual surplus’.
Unsparingly, the country also lays infested with the serious issues of corruption, illiteracy, the laden gap in the gender ratio, poverty, throat-searing pollution, water shortages, the ever-expanding population, and the hinge of un-impressive politicians leading the impressive democracy. Yes, there have been caste conflicts, linguistic clashes, inter-religious riots, and threats originating from the separatist groups. Yet, despite the countless faults, the country’s democratic experiment has worked. Its political division has helped it diffuse each of these. It is reflective of the fact(s) that the representatives from the minority communities have held the major position(s) of the most populous state in India, and have led the Presidency of the country too.
It is globally the only English-speaking country wherein the print media is expanding rather than contracting while supporting the largest number of all-news television channels (electronic media).
Despite all the aforesaid limitations, combustion(s), and satires, what remains of the mystery in India? It is nothing less of a miracle of miracles. A place visited and admired by many. An intriguing land is nothing short of a mystique.