THE new Hindu Indian generation feels the honour of the world seeing Bharat as an emerging global power. But speaking to their grandfathers when Hindu India was, non-entity in global affairs, Guruji repeatedly asserted that it was their responsibility to take the message of human brotherhood based on the concept of unity in diversity to the world at large. Guruji expounded unity in diversity as a norm of mutual respect among faiths and culture, not, as the pseudo-seculars do, to appease those who reject diversity. Guruji understood that the exclusivist Abrahamic-Semitic traditions reject diversity. Unity in diversity requires each particular culture to recognise the legitimacy of the other. If any particularity refuses legitimacy to another then it not only conflicts with a particularity, but rejects the very concept of unity in diversity. Abrahamic texts and traditions believe others as illegitimate.
So, unity in diversity is alien to their belief system. But that has been the soul of Hindu tradition which, Guruji repeatedly said, was manifest in the Vedic verse “Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudavadanti”, [the truth is one, sages describe them differently]. Despite Hindus accepting them as legitimate for God-realisation, the exclusive Abrahamic faiths rejected the non-conflicting Hindu diversity, like they rejected other exclusive faiths. But, the Indian secularism, founded on equal respect for all religions is a mirror reflection of the ancient Indian concept of unity in diversity. Therefore, Guruji saw Secular India and Hindu India interchangeable. Long after Guruji, the Supreme Court realised this truth. So there was inherent conflict between Indian secularism founded on diversity and the Abrahamic faiths that rejected diversity.
The answer to the conflict between the inclusive and the exclusive, Guruji felt, lies in educating the Abrahamic traditions to accept the legitimacy of other traditions and not claim exclusive legitimacy. This, Guruji said would require larger agenda to make them realise that the entire creation is sacred and one being pervades all diversities. As the world today runs on the Abrahamic world view, Guruji felt, it was Hindu India’s responsibility to take this message to the world. That was the way, Guruji said, to achieve world unity. Otherwise, he felt, the concept of world unity was just a slogan.
Pointing out that modern thinkers assert the idea that the world is now one and that one should eschew the narrow ideas of nations, community, religion and spirit of world unity alone should inspire all our activities, Guruji said: “At the very outset, let it be made clear that it is not the modern thinkers who are the first in the field to think in terms of world unity and universal welfare. Long long ago, in fact, long before the so-called modern age had set in, the seers and savants of this land had delved deep into this vital question. The ideal of human unity, of a world free from all traces of conflict and misery, has stirred our hearts since times immemorial. Our one constant prayer all through the ages has been: “Let everyone be happy, let everyone be free from all ills” But the concept that every one should be happy was not a slogan. Guruji added: “So, to seek harmony among the various characteristics has been our special contribution to the world thought. The oft-quoted feature of our racial genius, that is, of recognising unity amidst diversity, stems from this deep appreciation of the principles that water the roots of human unity, human happiness and evolution. Guruji went on to say that this message of human brotherhood born out of the concept of unity in diversity is the sacred trust given to the Hindus. And if the Hindu do not safeguard and make it available to others, not only will they be ruined but others too will be ruined.
Huntington’s theory validates Guruji’s cultural paradigm
In the context of Guruji’s mandate to the Hindus, the current idea of civilisational and religious clashes which is seen as reality in the world needs to be examined. When the whole world thought of unity through secular ideas and instruments – politics, economy, technology and the rest – Guruji spoke of unity in diversity as a cultural paradigm. Guruji’s ideas were futuristic. When the whole world was moving on secular concepts, Guruji’s cultural prism looked archaic. But, after all modern and secular evolution, Samuel Huntington has prognosticated that the world would return to cultural paradigm and that would lead to clashes among religions, cultures and civilisations.
The explosive emergence of Huntington’s theory actually validates Guruji’s civilisational-cultural paradigm of unity in diversity. But Guruji did not prognosticate clashes, but cast on Hindu India the duty of a catalyst to achieve world unity on cultural foundations through the Hindu concept of unity in diversity. Guruji transcended secular and materialist perspectives of the West which set the agenda for the rest of the world. But, Huntington, not familiar with the foundations of Hindu culture, spoke of clashes on the cultural and civilisational paradigm and called it return to tribalism from secular world view.
But Guruji, who expounded the ancient Hindu wisdom of unity in diversity. held exactly the opposite view. Huntington saw the great divide between the secular, modern universalist West and the medieval Islam. He held Western universalism as the trigger for clashes. But the West inherited the Christian-colonial universalist and superior mindset.
Universalist modern Christian West
Writing on “Colonialism and Imperialism 1450-1950” Benedikt Stuchtey. Deputy Director German Historical Institute London, traces how Christian universalism translated into Western globality [read Western universalism] thus: “Since the 16th century, genuine European colonial powers such as Spain, Portugal, France and Britain were distinguished by developing a concept of their world rule and basing it on the legacy of Rome…….British colonial rule no later than 1750 held a geographical sway without example, which makes a thorough concept of empire and expansionism a precondition. Their shared reference frame was the Atlantic world, which as a historical concept for determining colonial practices had gained acceptance. In this case, “imperiality” and “globality” were one and carried by a Christian universalist, almost messianic claim to leadership.
(2) The Western universalism reincarnated as modernity. Naoki Sakai, Prof Department of Asian Studies Cornell University says: “Only in modernity is universality possible as essentially Western universality.
”(3) Earlier Islam and Christianity clashed. Today geo-Christian modernity, claiming universality, and Islam clash. Huntington interprets geo-Christian modernity as post Christian Western culture. The universal West wants to modernise Islam. But Islamist want to Islamise modernity.
(4) This is the clash.
Huntington’s view devoid of Hindu input
Guruji and Huntington looked at the world from two entirely, almost opposing origins of thought – Guruji from Hindu perspective of unity in diversity and Huntington from the Christian perspective of universalism. The global discourse on civilisations is just a monologue of the Abrahamic West. The perspective of non-Western thoughts and particularly, the Hindu-Buddhist is totally absent in the debate. That in theorising his concept of clashes among civilisations he never interacted with the Hindu civilisation is admitted by Samuel Huntington who says in the preface to his book ‘The Clash of Civilisations and Remaking of the Global Order. This is what he says in his preface on his study after he published his views in 1993.
“Following the publication of the article I became involved in innumerable seminars and meetings often focussed on “the clash” with academic, government, business, and other groups across the United States. In addition, I was fortunate to be able to participate in the discussions of the article and its thesis in many other countries, including Argentina, Belgium, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Korea, Japan, Luxembourg, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and Taiwan. These discussions exposed me to all major civilisations except Hinduism, and I benefited immensely from the insights and perspectives of the participants in these discussions”
Therefore, the global discourse on clash of civilisations initiated by Huntington is endogamous to the Abrahamic civilisation that reject the concept of unity in diversity. It is devoid of input from Hindu religion, culture and civilisation which offers the alternative paradigm for conflict avoidance through unity in diversity. The need for unity of all cultures and traditions on the Hindu concept of unity in diversity is precisely what Guruji had commended to the Hindus to spread throughout the world. And that high value Hindu input is absent in global discourse despite the fact that Hindu cultural adherents constitute a sixth of the human world.
Guruji’s unity and Huntington’s clashes
So Huntington was only familiar with conflict-prone religions, cultures and civilisations and was unaware of conflict-avoiding Hindu concept of unity in diversity. Huntington and Guruji are on the same page on how exclusivism and universalism. Guruji saw resolution for conflicts in the Abrahamic world in Hindu thought, while Huntington, uninitiated to Hindu concept of unity in diversity, saw only propensity for clashes.
Again, Guruji said that the Hindu cultural paradigm of unity in diversity which was the sacred trust of the Hindus to preserve and present to the world. But, the ancient Indian wisdom and concept of living with differences, which, Guruji says, is fundamental to human brotherhood, is not integrated into Huntington’s theory. With the result Huntington prognosticated inevitable clash between modernity and tribalism that would divide and tear the world by war and bloodshed, but Guruji mandated the Hindus to spread unity in diversity that would unite the world and avoid conflicts and clashes.
While Guruji was fully aware of the conflict-prone Abrahamic faiths and Western modernity, Huntington was unaware of conflict-avoidance potential of Hinduism. So his world view and that of Guruji’s differed drastically. But, while Guruji always upheld the Hindu cultural paradigm as eternally valid when everyone thought that modernity and secularisation would devour all cultural particularism, Huntington has endorsed Guruji on cultural paradigm by admitting its re-emergence. Read together, Guruji resolves Huntington’s questions.
 Bunch of Thoughts 1980Ed p1-8]
 Colonialism and Imperialism, 1450–1950: EGO | European History Online: http://www.ieg-ego.eu/en/threads/backgrounds/colonialism-and-imperialism/benedikt-stuchtey-colonialism-and-imperialism-1450-1950#InsertNoteID_28_marker29]
 Modernity and Its Critique : The Problem of Universalism and Particularism by Naoki Sakai Multitudes 6, septembre 2001 http://multitudes.samizdat.net/article.php3?id_article=195
 Muslims In Europe: From The Margin To The Centre By Jamal Malik
LIT Verlag Münster, 2004]
 Samuel P. Huntington. The Clash of Civilisations and the Remaking of the World Order. p14