The Challenge for the Indic is Not Survival: It is Evolution
Often I have heard relevant arguments on the survival of the Indic mind, the Indic fold, and even the Indic communities, who complete the constellation of Dharma, much like all pagans do in their own right. So, in this article, I have tried to give an alternative juxtaposition to explain the title and the purpose of the title itself.
In short: survival is a general requirement for a civilisation to survive. That is a fundamental and non-negotiable cum scientific requirement for any civilization to survive, be it human-made, naturalized-by-humans or a hybrid of the first two.
That however cannot be achieved if the goals of evolution are made quite limited, and the kinetic challenges that will always evolve around Bharat or any pagan civilisation per se. I will therefore avoid getting into arguments like “demography is destiny…”, “X-ism”, “X is East India company”, “…neocolonialism…” and others. I am not delegitimising any of these arguments, but I am not going to even enter into decrypting any of the schools or views of the arguments made, because many of them, ontologically — make sense, and the people are free to make their own sensible assessments accordingly.
So, as I say in the title, the challenge for someone who is truly Indic, in their own right, is not SURVIVAL, but EVOLUTION. I know that a generic excuse can be made and stated that evolution is objective and hence is needed. Well, yes — evolution is a human cum objective phenomenon. What we transform into is a quite hybrid question for the globe, and also those civilisational societies, who build their ground to not just survive but also do better than before. Still, this does not complete the trajectory at all, because we have only laid the canvas, and decided that yes — let us begin with painting something. We do not therefore keep a canvas intact to give some solace that perhaps, our satisfaction is now protected in the museum of our expectations. Breaking down the glass and coming out of the museum of expectation, is — as I have described in a much poetic fashion, the ultimate necessity for India.
As I always say, I am not the sole, monopsonic or monopolistic arbitrator in such matters, despite my own biases might force me to make remarks on any general or specific issue. Schematically, different schools of thought must seek convergence to a limited extent and chart out a path for themselves.
So, let me propose a manifesto: a manifesto of Indic evolution, not to define ourselves better than who we were, but to seek where we can crystallize ourselves better than before. Starting with this, my understanding is that Asia as a region, and a part of Eurasia, has embraced continuity like a natural fragrance, some air of passion that giggles through winds and woods raining satisfaction to animals and humans, or maybe like that instrument, which succumbs to support the let the orchestra move on and complete the show. My metaphors may seem more West-oriented, but the passion behind to show metaphor-based expressions is Indic, for a better Bharat and a nuanced globalised world.
Philosophically, ontologically, spiritually and even politically, the understanding of continuity would produce so many branches of continuity on its own. I certainly consider that this itself is a big opportunity for any Indic mind or school of thought. My concern here is more about how continuity would be usurped in a way or ways which would let the cycle transform for the betterment of Bharat.
The reason the West has succeeded so far is that they pretended cyclicity in their policy angles, but mostly they created linear trajectories to achieve whatsoever goals they had. When you create a pipeline, you would always need to dig further and have more tubes to let your water flow anyhow or maybe, you have to restrict the turbulence by estimating equilibrium in the “appropriate” manner that would assist you in the larger scheme of things as assumed.
What if your pipeline is connected, anticipatory and more contributory to the stream itself, whether living or between being dead and dying?
This should be a curious nut to be cracked further because our Indic Knowledge Systems indeed connect a lot to our naturalistic myths, experiences and realities. Therefore, the void is not what we are assuming, i.e., survival. Percolation will strengthen survival in no time. Let us always hope that happens and make it happen.
In policy, we may assume that cyclic consequentiality is so machinic that everything will happen on its own. Asian history disputes this. Those civilisations which have improved their operable features of being laborious at macro and micro levels to creating much better avenues in various areas. Language is not a barrier but can be a carrier of that diverse and perennial connectivity of knowledge, while societies can shape and reshape their evolutionary challenges as always. The Dharma-Rta relationship is surely an excellent yardstick to address the problems we face reflectively and suggestively, till we see how we can paint our material realities. I am not denying any legible arguments that materialists confront throughout. We also have to remember the history of Tibet, Japan, India, China and even Viet Nam. Who got colonised, who lost their cultural value, who was less strategically focused (not monopsonic or hegemonic by proclivity). Here is a tweet by Kartikey Misra which might enlighten you:
In case it gets deleted, the tweet is this:
India’s civilisational spirit is democratic as it negates the monopolistic/hegemonic/despotic proclivity. It is the tendency & the spirit that matters. The structure/shape of a political system is subject to evolution. Modern-day democracy ≠ Direct democracy of a Greek Polis.
I understand the temptation that liberalism brings in. The temptation is a general one for many Asians (and Indians) around the world that a continuity which is immaterial and only reconciliatory, makes no sense to their economic development and even societal progress. Coloniality or not, liberalism is seen as a linear alternative for many to race to an imaginary top, an “unending ladder” which makes them think that the mist of satisfaction will linger at the moment a next step is taken, which is considered to be a better myth than the combo of myths and facts in the Asiatic fold, of continuity. Otherwise, liberalism gives people the “incentive” to exploit or disclose their potential, in as many externalities as possible. For some it is hurtful and not in the right way to preserve and evolve human dignity. For some, it seems to be their whole life.
Mental, digital and metaphysical coloniality have one thing in common: physical aberrations may try a lot to prevent people from accessing their past and evolving the continuity they pursue. Yet, it is ironic that the myth-fact metaverse of continuity lingers and stays around. That maybe is the gift of nature and history. It needs to rhyme in, and not repeat. After all, who loves repeating jogging at the same line, and the same 2 points of artificial beginning and end.
I had an interesting interview with a Ukrainian Band, Go_A, and people must listen the inquisitive conversations I had with them. Their idea to revive and relive the collective spirit of having the “more people, the better” spirit to relish the relationship with nature — is something, which many folk bands from former Anatolia in Turkey to Tokyo in Japan in the Indo-Pacific region have sought to do. Sometimes, the question is not to institutionalise a present, which seeks better questions from the past, not to disrupt and part away, but to relive the continuity, energise, and seek a path of paths, a cycle of cycles, and a rhythm of rhythms. We have to realise that civilisational continuum is a colossal task ahead. There are no “absolutely right” answers, so do not expect some biblical solution from me. To “decolonise from” as a mentality, can have its own value. Yes, there has to be a concrete, well-read, well-discussed and well-estimated option, in any field — which someone wishes to chart out not just to reclaim history, but also to create a continuum. Revival is just 1 part of it, which cannot alone help the cause of Bharat and other Asian civilisations, which, to be harsh, were “lost causes”.
Maybe We Need to Chime in Some Instruments of Evolution
If I may ask — can you form an orchestra in a day and have the “best” or “effective” artists with you in a short while? No. Leadership is not just about being the pinnacle of authority. Making and constituting better culturally intelligent teams is a test of competency which civilisations undergo at various hierarchies. Bharat is no different here. The next question I may ask you — is continuity our way of life? Many would say yes. Well, okay.
Then, the question which I have is — what kind of continuity you need to form that orchestra?
A museum continuity which cribs and relents at not even figuring out what we realistically had, in the best and worst ways, to let everyone be questioned for not “breathing enough” as it dies slowly, painfully, and yes, disappointingly?
Wait! Some congruent, mature, responsible and committed form of continuity, which learns — and transforms along with its own machinations of challenges monopsonies and monopolies of innovation as always civilisations should do?
I would choose the latter as always. Bharat, for me, is a civilisation, and not just a thought-provoking monopsony which is going to rest and sleep for me to just forget one fine day. Quality and quantity stay together, and evolving around is a dire need.
Let us Invent the Art of Neo-Continuums through Music
I give you a challenge. Listen these songs I am sharing. Do not forget to experience the metaverse they bring you in. Please be honest in hearing the songs. Do not ignore listening them just because you have some confirmation biases.
You may freely ridicule my choice of songs, and you may disagree with my choice of songs provided. The intent here is not to ask whether you agree with me or not. Dump that aside. Music is quite near enough to beautifully express linear consequentiality and cyclic consequentiality (here is my CIL monograph). Linear means something which cannot improve longer, and would stop once the destination is reached. The intent is always that things go on like a cycle. In reality, our systems do not work like that, unless we make them work by not predicting everything. Cyclic approaches do also ideally never exist, because like linear approaches in policy, arts and others they involve heavy costs and capital around. Hence, there is nothing wrong in choosing a theme of continuity which makes a metaverse of ecosystem ideas and manifestations. The problem begins when at the pretence of cyclicality, the idea becomes linear in some time.
That is exactly why the Anglo-Saxon is suffering from the pressurised conclusions of liberalism, i.e., post-modernism. They are clueless as to what should survive beyond the end of history of ideological obscurity, which was a larger narrative for them. This is why I have always argued that ideology is only a tool, and not a WAY OF LIFE. The era of Cold War is gone, and in a globalised, post-colonial-for-all world, we all live in different shelters of different ideas. Imagine it like this. You are using Zoom, Cisco WebEx, Google Meet and MS Teams at the same time. You can try speaking at the same time everywhere. All the best. But will it work in simultaneity? No. The OS might crash. Who knows? The point I am trying to make in — is that a globalised world makes us adaptive to complex realities. For India, we need micro and macro complex adaptive systems, which engineer human involvement and leadership — provided it is evolutionary for humankind per se. The time of having a “one-size-fits-all” artificial reality is over. Complex problems require adaptive and practical solutions.
If you hear the music, you will find the element of linearity and cyclicality in them in some way. You can figure out yourself, and I would not elaborate. My objective was to have an article in front of you which opens your outlook towards policy and life in a much different way.
So, whenever you feel we were colonised, and we need approaches and methods, do not forget that cyclicality is a long-run process, like linear goals. Choose both, but reign the former. But then commit to make something happen that it evolves and guides the world, not how others expect from you, but how you expect from your nature, your reality, and yes, of course, your myths, experiences & geography.
P.S.: I am happy that some people have read my articles on Indian cultural intelligence, Indo-Anglo-Saxon relations and even on the Indo-Pacific. I really appreciate the humble gesture. Your endorsement is certainly appreciated.