Saturday, September 03, 2005

India - The Question

Have I become the very thing that I dreaded the most?
Have I fallen on the dark side?
Am I Anakin Skywalker?
Or have I become Darth Vader?

It all begun with a question pondering me for so many years now.

Why does a nation like India, which is tens of thousands of years old and having civilizations for thousands of years at least(in the recorded history), is way behind its western counterparts when it comes to development in the society?

Let's just take an example.
Bullock/Horse carts and Cars.

India had carts for thousands of years. From the beginning till today, how many improvements have we made to those carts?
Honestly, I can think of none. We never improvised. We never strived for excellency. The people wanted to travel from one place to another. They wanted to transport goods. They built a cart. It took them to the places they wanted to go. People were happy, they were satisfied. Period. End of development.
Anyone traveled in a cart today will know how rough the ride is.
Why is that no one even thought of simple improvements like putting a layer of rubber, a tire like layer over the wooden wheels, to make the ride little bit more comfortable?
Only recently we can see few, very few carts, that too in cities, carts having tires, (probably borrowed from some other discarded motor vehicle) instead of wheels.

Take the west. They had carts too. Mainly horse driven.
Carts became wagons. Wagons became sophisticated. People could travel for months in wagons. They could live & sleep in wagons. They could increase the 'horse power' of wagons, literally, by adding more horses.

Later carts became cars.

India, with thousands of years of civilization, did not invent cars. The west, with few hundred years of civilization behind it, achieved it.

Even in cars, how many improvements, enhancements, developments have we seen here in India?
How many modifications have been made to improve an Ambassador or a Maruthi 800 over several decades?

Take the west. Every year there is a modification, an improvement over the previous year. Every 4-5 years there is a major modification , improvement over the old model making the car only better and safer every time, excelling in performance.

Why?

When I asked this question to myself, the only answer that I got was, well...the people in India were satisfied with that they had. They lived with it.
But I could never understand why?
Why were the people satisfied with what they had?
Why were they content with that they had?
Why did they not improve, enhance, excel what they were doing?

I found the answer to this question recently.

6 comments:

Jinguchakka said...

Don't know what your answer holds. But I feel that here, the orientation towards life is totally different from the developed (materially) world.

DaldaDappa and Proud said...

just have to wait and see wat u say... u can pull anything from anything... so no real comments about the post until the trilogy is completely released...

Subha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Subha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Subha said...

Well let me clasify the reasons for you:

The East (and India) were more innovative than the Europeans for many many years. Roughly speaking, China was, technology wise, Several hundred years ahead of the Europeans in the 11th century.
Then What Happened ?

EUROPEAN'S IDEA OF INNOVATION ALWAYS HAD A TRADE COMPONENT.

The main European advantage is the marriage between commerce and government. Such a marriage was alien to India, China, and the Islamic nations.

It was governments who financed itt -- not individuals. The Government was interested because of the commercial potential.

Europeans were always in commercial competition with each other, and their incentive was to find cheap supplies of any commodity which they could exploit, and improve their own national economy. Government
support was therefore present, to encourage that outward-looking
approach to the rest of the world, in contrast with the Chinese
who were more inward looking.

Europe had many small, contentious states. They competed with each
other. When one of them acquired some technological advance pioneered in China or India or the Islamic states, the neighbors HAD to improve on it or else. They lit a fire under each other.
And the social standing of Merchants in the various civilizations also played a part : In China and India they were not anywhere near the top of the social ladder. They faired a bit better under Islam, but not much.

Each discovery fueled the others.

I hope this answers your question.

Subha said...

Why is th alighnment of my scentences never right on ur blog
:(