The wheel turns full circle when we find that many of the modern day concepts are rooted in our rich socioeconomic and sociopolitical heritage. Tapati finds hordes of interesting data in various libraries, spread across the various cities, in India. She gives us interesting insights into the socio-economic undercurrents that continued to survive countless political upheavals. Here’s the concept of her book, Call of the Hinterland, exclusively in Different Truths.
“It has been one of the principles of my life not to be ashamed of my own ancestors. I am one of the proudest men ever born, but let me tell you frankly, it is not for myself, but on account of my ancestry. The more I have studied the past, the more I looked back, more and more has this pride come to me, and it has given me the strength and courage of conviction, raised me up from the dust of the earth, and set me working out that great plan laid out by those great ancestors of ours,” said Swami Vivekananda.
While doing research on Indian history, I could find hordes of interesting data lying enclosed in various libraries spread across various cities. I thought of sharing that information with the present generation; thus, a fiction was created adding with imagination to describe the activities of people, their life, and emotions in those remote periods. The basic genesis of human life remained same. And we landed in this era with technology taking us ahead with a modern lifestyle.
India is a country marked by its diversities mainly geographical and ethnological. A number of empires sprang up in various times. But in spite of these political changes, the socio-economic undercurrents continued to survive, with changes and developments, necessitated by the periodical circumstances.
Since a long time, India was famous as a center of various arts and crafts and specialised industries. To ensure safety and prosperity of the artisans, traders and other professionals organised themselves under guilds like today’s Chamber of Commerce. For all round development of trade and crafts, it required organisation and firm rules that would regulate business and employment, better utilisation of funds, facilities for commerce and trade and it lead to the emergence of a mercantile community. They became important factors in both urban and rural life and introduced a new force in the existing society.
The spirit of harmony and fellow-feeling, the spirit of the joint family, a spirit of mutual sympathy and cooperation, all culminated into a spirit of brotherhood and community interests. These local bodies with strong corporate spirit took an active part in regulating the life of the individual, and at the same time, catering to the needs of the community, as well as have wide influence over the ruling powers in its administration and welfare of the people.
In today’s language, it is similar to the concept of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). “CSR is not a new concept. Like in the past, they are relevant today, more than ever, in shaping the lives, and enriching the social fabric of all.”
The earliest reference to the conception of democracy and fellow-feeling might be traced back to the Rig Veda when it refers to the Sabha and Samiti. Slowly, these bodies or guilds developed into a highly important factor in state politics. Kautilya referred to the danger of provoking these bodies and said that corporate are intolerant of calamities and are perverse; it is dangerous to provoke their anger. The state ensured enhanced prestige and status of these organisations and helped it to command the confidence of the public. During a later period, these Nigamas and Shrenis corresponded to the Collegian of Roman Empire. They were in the service of the state, in Egypt, in the Hellenic period.
The present story reveals the above concept in a business school of present times as well as it takes us back into a past revolving around a similar story.
Another piece of interest I would love to share that the severe earthquake, the drying up of the lake and the adjoining River Saraswati is also not a myth, but a part of history and our story as well. A study jointly conducted by scientists of Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Jodhpur, and the Rajasthan Government’s Ground Water Department, in the Journal of Indian Society of Remote Sensing, concluded that “clear signals of palaeo-channels on the satellite imagery in the form of a strong and powerful continuous drainage system in the northwest region and beyond doubt indicate the existence of a mighty palaeo-drainage system of Vedic Sarasvati River in this region…. The description and magnanimity of these channels also match with the River Sarasvati described in the Vedic literature.”
The story revolves around people’s lives, which we can relate to, even today. The problems of life and emotions of general mankind have not changed much. I hope readers will find it interesting to relate the old history to a story of the young generation of modern day.
[To be continued]
Photos from the Internet.
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