India: A dream of technology prowess

India, a gigantic sub-continent in South Asia, has been the cradle of various prodigious civilisations. It not only taught the western civilisations the importance of trade and commerce, lavish lifestyle and the use of renowned  spices, but also happens to be the bridge for knowledge transfer and exchange, may it be Politics, Economics, Law and Order and even Military science. One of the most apprised and notable wealth created by the people from the soil is in Science. It is said, proudly, that it is the civilisations in India who augured and stressed over the logical reasoning. No doubt, the revered, noble and acclaimed scholars like Sushruta, Varahmhira, Aryabhata, Brahmagupta, Pingala, etc. are credited with the knowledge which was prevalent, what today the westerners claim to be theirs. The essence of Vedas, which have many scientific rendering perfectly places India’s glorious past to be of logical Reasoning. The land where spirituality is connected with scientific exploration of inner as well as outer world and teachings are imbibed to every person. It was not just the theoretical knowledge but also the its practicality what distinct the landed scholars from the others. Just for an insight, the decimal system, which is said to be one of the pinnacle of mathematics was given by Indian Scholars to the world. Also, it is a proven fact now, the Harrappan Civilisation used proper measurement systems for building purposes. The King Ajatshatru (son of the great King Bimbisar of Haryanka Dynasty) had developed state of the art Defence Technology (obviously in comparison to their cohorts of that time in the world) like Mahashila Kantak (Canon), Rathmushal (Tank) etc. Hence, there is not even a dearth of perturbation to put Indian historical accumulated knowledge and development to be a falsified claim, as what the western scholars call it to be.

A dive into the great history of the land, proves it, that the scourge of internal turbulence have withered away the compounded knowledge, just like the “Dark Ages”. The land had been under attack since yore of the Gupta Empire ( 2nd – 3rd AD circa), which led to the establishment of the rule of Kushanas, Shakas, Pahalvas etc. From the Turks, Afghans, Uzbeks and even Mongolian raids meant not only looting, incinerating cities, villages and mass genocide but also, resulted, asunder the knowledge and its keepers. Furthermore, after deliberate jabbed formation of British Empire through sly means brought India into an era of further oppression continuing till independence. The enlightening fact lies is that, although, India had earlier faced barbarism through raids which were for short period. But the Britishers, to rule, implied cunning and slew practices which looted not just economically but also of the great sense of identity of being progeny of great ancient civilisation.

Post- Independence India faced realities, i.e. poverty, hunger, security dilemma, partition, Cold-War politics, lack of technology due to age old oppression which led to food crisis, destruction of traditional structure of society which held the paternal knowledge, and the vices introduced by the Empire. But, the forefathers with proper insights and a leg into the future formed Constitution to rein India back to its hitherto held place. A place of prosperous land. Hence, by re-aligning the priorities, under the democracy, we still heading straight to the target. Today, we stand tall in the Aerospace industry, one of the responsible nuclear power, cradle of innovation as well as technology application. After independence the nation faced exigency related to the survival of Citizens, and today India is striving towards excellence may it be Science, Governance, Economy, Politics or International Relations. There was a time when India was threatened with embargoes, but it is only the perseverance of the people which brought it out as a bright star. As per IMF, India is going to become World’s Fifth largest economy, surpassing United Kingdom and France by 2018 and Third largest by 2030. Also, India is going through a period of demographic dividend, where about sixty percent population is under Thirty years of age. Yet ,although a number of theoretical criteria are in favour, India is considered to be technological backward when juxtaposed to US, China or other developed nation. The reasons for conditions somewhat lies in the Historical related facts, rampant corruption, illiteracy, internal politics, and many more. Keeping these facts to the fore, another sets of facts tells a different picture, for example India is reckoned amongst the top aerospace technology destination, developed missiles like Brahmos, have indigenous developed Inter-continental Ballistic Missiles ( Agni-V), having Nuclear capabilities, etc. What these facts point to?

Though, it is quite right that India lacks in High-end technology development relating to manufacturing industry, material technology, etc. In pharmaceutical sector, India is lacking behind in production of Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API), which is being imported in bulk from China! Similarly, in manufacturing sector India lags behind in exporting goods. India’s share to the world export lies close to 2% only, whereas China’s share is nearly 13%. Such facts cut across all the lines and raises obvious dubious representation.

Technical education is facing quality deliverable challenge. Today India is producing nearly more than 1.5 million technical graduates annually, but due to lack of infrastructure, improperly guided and lackadaisical education policy these graduates are facing hurdles in the form of industrial knowledge, add-on value skills, innovation skills, lagging entrepreneurial development opportunities and many more factors which directly or indirectly relates to the job creation and Indian Economy. First and foremost step towards checking the aberrance is correcting policy paralysis relating to Education. What Graduates require is market ready skills, which now is being answered through schemes like “Skill India”. Apart from that innovation funds have been set up under tinkering labs, and other entrepreneurship programmes. Secondly, Job creation is also a challenge which is being handled through Make in India initiative. Thirdly, availability of government aided educational institutions alike of IIT’s, NIT’s, IIIT’s and more and more effort should be made to establish more and upgrade present infrastructure with benchmark of MIT, Harvard, Imperial College of London etc. Fourthly, creating infrastructure and correcting policies will have no use until the government devices the plan of holding up to created assets. The issue of brain drain has profited more the western, already developed countries. Sons and daughters of India, although ruling the Multi-National Institutions, would prove more beneficial to India if they produce and integrated their ideas by participating in Indian economy directly. Fifthly, providing research funding is another crucial aspect for the technological development. Today, Chinese are attracting worldwide scholars and researches and providing all the facilities from research funding, highly paid salaries, are taken care of the residential facilities etc. Such practices has to be accorded well with a proper policy frameworks. Taking into account all these factors and a hope that government works towards these basic tenets, it would take at least a decade to see fructified image. Another aspect, which relates to the psychology of Indian society is a cult of Government Jobs, Corporate Jobs and tacit outlook towards entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship is one and only way to develop India Technologically. Indian land has given birth to dextrous minds like Satya Nadella, Sundar Pichai, Shantanu Narayen, Sanjay Mehrotra, Dr.Soumya Swaminathan, Tanmay Bakshi etc. Until unless young minds tinker up their heads for solutions of the past problems and prognosticate needs, a dream of Prosperous India will remain unattained.


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Can India- Trump in isolating Pakistan?

An Insight through past to New Future

An Insight through past to Future

The past of disillusioned Pakistan: In search of Ideology

“ We have united India and given her that sense of nationality which she so very largely lacked over the previous centuries. She has learned from us principles of democracy  and justice. When Indians attack our rule, they base their attack, not on Indian principles, but on the basis of standards derived from Britain”- Clement Attlee

In his maiden speech of 15th July,1946, made after the request of opposition leaders pertaining to their questions, before sending the Cabinet Mission to India, the then Prime Minister of Britain, Mr. Clement Attlee said, “ We have united India and given her that sense of nationality which she so very largely lacked over the previous centuries. She has learned from us principles of democracy  and justice. When Indians attack our rule, they base their attack, not on Indian principles, but on the basis of standards derived from Britain”. Many will surely agree that India got the principles of democracy, freedom, justice, equality and liberty from Imperial rulers. Certainly without any doubt, Indian sub-continent in the past also, had came across efforts to unite the whole sub-continent in single unit. May it be The Mauryas, The Guptas or later the Mughals, but the efforts always left by a short distance. It was the British Rule which successfully united the people, though the unity was against the rule itself. On the eve of 14th August and 15th August, 1947, Britishers left the sub-continent leaving behind their legacy, divided amongst two Nations that is, India and Pakistan.


Picture: Jinnah arguing Gandhiji. Smoking is considered as “Haram” in islam.

History always marks a person with questions initiating with “ What if ”. Today, Pakistan stands at an opprobrium where the globe is questioning the reason behind its chaotic development. Both countries, vis-a-vis India and Pakistan, inherited the same political order aspiration, of being democratic, but if one ask what led to such a vast differentiation (in present context)? the answer would certainly be “The Vision”. The father of Pakistan, ‘ Quaid-e-Azam’ Mohammad Ali Jinnah was able to form Pakistan in only seven years. The first time the two nation theory was officially articulated in 1940 ( as officially accepted by Jinnah and his sister Fatima Jinnah). The main motive behind the formation of Muslim League (ML) was to counter the overwhelming support to the Congress party. It is quite astonishing that ML born after the Swaraj Movement in which Muslims participated equally with the Hindus. The British government understood very well the political risk of the unity and prognosticated the baby of ML and furthering with Indian Council Act 1909 by granting communal awards. Now following it is quite lucid to understand the perception of Britisher’s plenipotentiaries had towards the idea of ML. Jinnah, when in Congress, was part of the moderates and questioned Gandhiji’s every move to arouse masses to subvert the Crown. Professionally, Jinnah was western educated and qualified profound lawyer and hence was much like, “ .. interpreters between us (Britishers) and the millions (Indians) who we govern; a class of persons Indian in blood and colour, but English in tastes, in opinions, in morals and in intellect..”, Macaulay’s creation. Furthermore it is very astonishing fact that Jinnah left India in 1929 and came back in 1935, just before the 1937 elections. Many scholars believe it was the rhetoric and back-channeling by the British government in order to have inimical answer of growing Hindu – Muslim unity as they found Jinnah more egregious than Mohammad Shafi (another profound ML leader). Though, ML was not able to perform in 1937, but later in 1945 it delivered Britishers the much awaited seed of Separation.

Jinnah and ML did not have any plans for the creation of Pakistan. It is clear from the Jinnah’s and Fatima’s acquiescence of the fact that they never expected to see Pakistan in their lifetime. The inception of Pakistan was out of the insistence by Britishers and it is lucent that even Jinnah never thought much about the actual meaning of Pakistan. Furthermore, the struggle of ML was with Congress, never had been a time when Jinnah or any prominent leader of ML went to jail unlike Congress, which was fighting the imperialism, and Gandhiji, Nehru, Patel and others went to jail a number of time. Pakistan was given as a gift to Jinnah for standing by and to serve future strategic interest of the Britishers and later, the US.

The status quo of Pakistan is in conjunction with its inability to find the raison d’être. As discussed above, even Jinnah had many reservations regarding the demand of separate state. He just wanted to have separate state for Muslim majority regions (51%) and never expressed about those regions where Muslims were not in majority. Apart from that, many a times he contradicted his own vision. During one of the ML meetings before independence he expressed his view to have constitution as per Shari’ah law but later in his maiden speech in Pakistan (after independence) he went on with the perception of secular Pakistan. It was quite unfortunate for Pakistan to lose Jinnah in a year of formation. The death of Quaid-e-Azam had delusional impact on the future of Pakistan, leaving behind no leadership apart from Liaquat Ali Khan (assassinated in 1951). With no presence of legitimate and prominent leadership, Pakistan was ready for a blind and ominous Journey.

Islamisation was predominant and utmost characteristic of ML early vision. It was the only key jewel which made it Muslim representative in 1945 elections. After losing the only leaders, the new self proclaimed leaders who were unexperienced took the flambeau towards Islam. The delay in making constitution (1956) makes the perception more concrete. The constitution so made remained a dead letter and paved the way for opportunist Army chief Ayub Khan, trained under the British Armed Forces, to feat Pakistan’s first Military Coup. Ayub Khan toppled the civilian government under the garb of growing resentment towards maladministration. This gave the opening for the future coups, some successful and unsuccessful, but ruined the political structure of the Pakistan. Furthermore, the war with India, Kashmir issue and the Islamic concept of ‘Kufr’ (infidels) led to the pre-dominant disposition of Army. The dominance of Army was present from the early Britishers period as the North Western Frontier Province, Punjab, Sind and Bengal were the key regions of army recruitment. At the time of independence Pakistan got dominant army (as compare to then civilian government) which overshadowed the region. The early wars cemented the need of having strong army, at least to the limit to deter India. This perception of the leaders forced Pakistan to join American led CENTO and SEATO, while India preferred NAM. Joining these NATO’s overshoot seemed fructuous as it made Pakistani leaders feel secure, against aggressive India, and concomitantly modernising the army. During the early days army was maintained in a professional hierarchy but later led to Islamisation. Force of religion or the so called concept of ‘Jihad’ made army more aggressive towards the civilian government.

Till recently, Pakistani leaders, just to gratify the urges of people aroused on the ideological disillusionment, link Ideology of Pakistan to the Islamic Identity. It is quite astonishing that   Jamaat-e-Islami, the group which was also representing Muslims in undivided India, never wanted to have a separate state under the garb of Religion. The Islamic factor, albeit, helped in amassing crowd during the ML sessions, but the same crowd failed to connect themselves later on as Muslims of different ethnic linguistic groups came together. At the time of birth, Pakistan became amalgamation of people from different ethnicities. The Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa is region made up of mainly Pashtun tribes of Afghanistan, Balochistan of Balochis, Sindh of Sindhis, Punjab of Punjabis, minority group of Serkai, the Mujahirs who settle in the Sindh region and Bengali Muslims of East Pakistan. These people were not politically active, except of the landlords and the regions were already predominately Muslims. After partition when forced with Islamic identity other than the ethnic-linguistic identity made then elusive. The Muslim identity propaganda worked well in the Hindu majority regions, but after forming Muslim state the issues of ethnicity, culture, and language emerged. Since then these regions are in tumultuous volatility and searching their lost identity. That apart, when Punjabis started condescending the people of other provinces and took prominent positions in the political structure and used it in favour of the province depriving others of their fair-share, led the power struggle and this led to arrival of reservation formulae. This all happened due to the negatory and reluctance to accept identity other than Islam.

The jealousy aggravated when India contributed in liberating East Pakistan. In fact, the separation of East Pakistan was long due. There was contrast between the two Pakistan in terms of culture, language, and perception of Islam. West Pakistan was dominated by the view of Punjabi muslims. They considered themselves superior or ‘Martialthan the rest but the sense of political awakening and spirit of constitutionalism was more in East Pakistan, owing to the active political activity in undivided Bengal. In terms of economy, the demands of East Pakistan were never met, even though East Pakistan contributed more to economy than the West. The final blow came when the Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, even after winning election was discarded by the West. Then Army chief Yahya Khan, successor of Ayub Khan, started army crackdown over the people and supporters of Awami League (Rahman’s party). Later on with the political aptness then Prime Minister of India Mrs.Indira Gandhi sent army to help Rahman. 1971 separation fractured Pakistani Vision and questioned the pre-dominant position of Army. The defeat further added another clause of animosity in the minds of Pakistani progeny.

To be continued..

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