Showing posts from May, 2011

What is the Idea of India?

What is the idea of India? I have been struggling with the idea for a few years now. I talked to people who think on these lines, who themselves, being of the same age group, have been grappling with the idea of India, and what it means to us, to them and to me. And yet, none of us have been able to find a definitive answer to it. It is almost like the Hindu philosophy of the Upanishads, which keep saying ‘Neti, Neti’ (‘Not that, not that’). The only answer to each clue that cropped up in our investigations was that this is not it. Is India the idea of geography? Maybe; maybe not. People from other countries said it must have been really difficult to attend school geography about our country, with so many states, cities, towns, climates, vegetation types. We all eat different varieties of rice, and yet all of us eat rice! We seek maize for different purposes, and yet it is inescapable that we eat maize. We seek barley and wheat for different purposes, and yet the fact that we eat them