It’s one of the hinge moments in history: when the old order changeth, and a new one is in the process of being born. Power is rapidly shifting from the west to the rest, forging new coalitions in the globalised world. The caste system in global politics is mutating, blurring the boundaries between the developed and the developing world.
The Power of India: Amid this tectonic shift of power from the west to the rest, the ongoing rise of India, along with the ascent of other emerging powers, has sparked new hopes and expectations. India Writes (http://www.indiawrites.org), as the portal’s name suggests, seeks to rediscover India anew through its politics, literature, culture, lifestyles, spirituality and the performance arts.
The portal seeks to promote a vigorous debate on the idea of a new India conscious of its global destiny that is the object of so much international curiosity and even celebration. It will take a closer look at the myth and reality of this so-called new India that has attracted the world like never before.
Dialogue among cultures: In this dynamically globalizing world, ignorance is not bliss, but a recipe for collisions. More people are travelling across the world than ever before in history, mingling geographies, cultures and beliefs. Insularity is out; cultural hybridity is in. It’s not that prejudices have become a thing of the past, but they are being constantly tested and challenged against the vagaries of the living present. More than building six-lane highways, it’s the forging of information and knowledge bridges to other countries and cultures that holds the key to success and happiness. Hard power matters, but in today’s networked society, the world belongs to those who know how to tell a good story.
New narratives: Against this backdrop, India Writes seeks to create fresh narratives about India and the world that reflect surging dreams and aspirations of the humanity at a time when more people are being lifted out of the long night of poverty and illiteracy than ever before. This is a cause for some cheer, but celebrations are premature. The demographics of the have and have-nots have changed radically; on the contrary, in many emerging prosperous societies, the socio-economic cleavages have only deepened. The role of writers, intellectuals, critics and, above all, common readers (who are not so common, after all) has, therefore, become all the more important. The unexamined society is not worth living, to wit Plato. India Writes, therefore, seeks to promote the culture of reading, writing and creative thinking that subtly transforms our mental lives and the world we live in.
A caveat is, however, in order. India Writes is not just focused on India, but on the increasingly interconnected world we live in where we carry a bit of India, a bit of America and a bit of every other culture inside ourselves. It’s a reflection of the old Indian ideal of vasundhara kutumbakam – the world is one big family, put simply. When we talk about India, the world is never far behind; the two are inextricably intermeshed, specially in this globalizing world. Besides, India matters, not just to over one billion citizens speaking a polyphony of at least a thousand languages and dialects and itching for their place under the sun, but to the world’s idea of itself and where it is going.
Keep reading, and feel free to voice comments and critiques to keep this conversation about India and the World alive.
Manish Chand, Editor-in-Chief, India Writes (http://www.indiawrites.org)
Managing Director, The Global Insights India (TGII).