DO we belong to the east or to the west? To both. Let there be no difference on this. India must join forces with the east to resist American excesses and join forces with America to create a peaceful world.
It is said that the Aryans came from the west. There is no evidence for it. But Aryans were a people with a broad outlook.
Ashoka sent his own son to the east to spread the message of Buddhism. And he sent his ministers to countries of the west to conclude treaties to spread Buddhism. To Ashoka, both east and west were equally important.
Buddhist India showed equal concern for both east and west. Buddhist monks went as far as Egypt to spread their message. And they went as far as China in the 2nd c BC. To India the world has always been a family. Buddhists were active as missionaries till the 12th c AD when the Muslim invasions began. The Muslim advent meant the death of the Buddhist viharas.
This was, of course, the fate of the Hindus too, for they withdrew into a shell. They are not known to have played any significant role in the world during the Muslim period.
This state of affairs continued till the advent of the British. With that the doors of the world were open to the Hindus. But entry was impossible. Why? Because more of the Asian countries were under colonialist. Indian nationalists were hardly welcome in these countries.
Perhaps strange: Gandhiji and Nehru were west-oriented and Tagore was a universalist. And most of the rest Indian leaders were western oriented. But they all felt the need to be in touch with Asian nations.
Thus the first act of independent India was to call the Asian Relations Conference. With that India’s contacts with the East steadily grew. The non-aligned movement brought the leaders of Asia together on a common platform.
And yet it is true that India was pre-occupied with the west for various reasons. But above all because America was the sole creditor nation, it had the weapons and it was the supreme power in the world. To be hostile to America was unthinkable.
Of course, China’s hostile policy was the main cause of the fear among the Asia nations. China was responsible for the return of imperialism to Asia. Result? America continues to dominate over Asia and has a veto on major policies of the Asian nations. In short, America continues to guide the destiny of Asia. This must be resisted. Which is why India must concert with Buddhist nations to prevent American excesses.
A war is possible in Asia. It cannot be ruled out. Hindus and Buddhists must, therefore, come together to prevent the war. They have much in common.
There are over 2000 million Hindus and Buddhists in the world and that is about a third of the world population. They must count in the world. They can assert the independence of Asia.
In the meantime, India must work together with America to establish a peaceful world. As a major power, India cannot remain non-aligned. The Islamic terror affects all. But not all are engaged in the war against terror. We cannot expect China to join forces with us, and Russia is reluctant to get involved in global problems.
India must look to the east and the west. This is its new destiny we must accept it and shed our long-held prejudices. There is a clear recognition today in Washington that a resurgent India alone can countervail the negative forces in the world.