Michel Danino, who was born in France and decided to live in India at the age of 21, asks some vital yet interesting questions through this book, such as, ‘Can Indian civilisation be compared to a thousand-branched tree?’ and ‘What have been its outstanding achievements and their impact on the world?’
Without just asking questions, the author also tries to find answers through the 248-paged book, published by D K Printworld (P) Ltd. And he also deals with issues confronting more and more Indians caught in an identity crisis.
‘The list is endless, in every field of life, and if India had been living in her intellect alone, one would have to conclude that she has ceased to exist- or will do so after one or two more generations of this senseless de-Indianising,’ says the book.
It adds: ‘The root of the problem is that we have ceased to think by ourselves. We are spoon-fed and often force-fed almost every one of our thoughts, or what masquerades as thought. Independent reflection is discouraged at every step, starting at school’.
And Danino is not saying this without going deeply going into the subject. A student of Indian civilisation, he has lectured widely on aspects of Indian culture and history. In 2006, he published in France a study of the ‘Aryan problem in the Indian context’. He has also authored a comprehensive study of the Sarasvati River, ‘The Lost River: On the trail of the Sarasvati’.
Sharing his knowledge, he writes in his latest book: ‘There is a tendency to think that India’s outward flow of contribution gradually dried up during the medieval period. It did slow down, only to resume in full swing under the British rule; that was perhaps the greatest benefit of that age, but it was the West more than India that benefited from the inevitable exchange.
We have now Sanskrit literature spread like wildfire in Western intellectual circles. That churning prepared the ground for Swami Vivekananda’s living teaching of Vedanta. A few decades ago, it was Sri Aurobindo’s turn when a few of his works were published in the US.’
The author argues that in its core values, Indian culture is not some exotic relic of the past, but a dynamic force that still has a role to play in defining India’s identity and cohesion, and in proposing solutions to today’s global challenges.
The address to contact for more details on the book is D K Printworld (P) Ltd, ‘Srikunj’, F-52 Bali Nagar, Ramesh Nagar Metro Station, New Delhi - 110115. Phone: 25453975. Website: www.dkprintworld.com