‘The society that our public discourse produces, suffers from serious inferiority complex’, says S Gurumurthy

While delivering the second Cho S. Ramaswamy memorial lecture at the Sastra University, the well-known economist and thinker, S Gurumurthy outlined the theme of his talk with this quote.

“It is already becoming clear that a chapter which had a Western beginning will have to have an Indian ending if it is not to end in self-destruction of the human race. At this supremely dangerous moment in human history, the only way of salvation is the ancient Hindu way. Here we have the attitude and spirit that can make it possible for the human race to grow together into a single family”

Arnold Toynbee, British historian

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Mr Gurumurthy was talking about the topic ‘World and India 4.0′ wherein he traced the history of the world, India and the dominant philosophical ideas that have shaped the world. He also addressed the confidence deficit and mental submissiveness of the modern English educated Indian.

Mr Gurumurthy cited less known studies about India and highlighted the deficiencies of modernity as defined by westerners. He pinpointed as to how the Indian model scored over ‘modernity’ as we know it. India’s social capital is a vital asset that will not only fuel growth but also catapults it to world leadership according to Gurumurthy.

The word ‘Hindu’ has been communalised and politicised

While quoting scholars like Toynbee and Will Durant, Gurumurthy says that the Hindu thought process has been appreciated, western scholars. He reasons that Hinduism has the ability to absorb diversity and differences. If the world keeps on focusing on differences and not commonalities, people will fight and kill each other, he observed.  

He also mentions Will Durant’s book ‘A case for India‘, which was written at the instance of Gandhi. The book, he said, summarised how Britain had drained India. He asked students in the audience to read such books which are out of the syllabus to steal knowledge. Taking forward Will Durant’s ideas, he went on to say that India will have to give a living example to the world.

How the world perceives you and how you perceived the world constitutes the conflict between the Indian mind, the Indian way of doing things and what the world needs and expects from you. So there is a correlation between India and the world. India has a message to give to the world not in the textbook form but in a living form. You cannot learn character, integrity and behaviour from libraries. You have to see living examples. So India has to give a living example. That is why the world 4.0 has an intimate nexus with India. 

Indian education system produces an inferior mindset

While speaking on the education system and psychology of Indian minds, he remarked how the entrepreneurship in a society is dependent on the kind of individuals it produces. He spoke about the entrepreneurship culture in Tirupur (Tamil Nadu) where industrialists who have passed 5th- 9th standard are successfully running businesses.

Education is a barrier to entrepreneurship. [..] Entrepreneurship is an adventure. Only a confident society can produce entrepreneurs. The society which our educational institutes, intellectuals & our public discourse produces is an inferior society. It suffers from serious inferiority complex.

Mr Gurumurthy summarised the story of world diamond business which has been captured by Indians. He used it to explain how confidence can lead to entrepreneurial success even if a person or region was not well versed in English. We are simply not aware of these stories he remarked.

India is rising, on that, there is no doubt. India is rising in spite of us. We have done nothing for the rise of India. Particularly, the English educated people have done nothing for the rise of India, except to abuse India. ‘It is a rotten country, it is a corrupt country, it is a useless country’. This is the certificate English educated people have given to India for the last 50-60 years, but still, India is rising. Have you ever read any English newspaper and got respect for India? […]The English discourse, disrespects, demeans and devalues India. But India is still rising. 

The West’s idea of modernity will lead to economic collapse

Mr Gurumurthy analysed the impact of the western concept of individuality and freedom. He said that it not only affects society but also the economy in total. Subordinating the family to individual freedom had irreversible and grave implications to macroeconomics according to Mr Gurumurthy.

You know the west developed the idea of individualism. Individualism is supposed to be the chief element of modernity. I go back to modernity. When I say modernity, it is the modernity of individualism. The individual is supreme. The individual is supreme not only in the context of the state. Individual freedom, individual rights, individual liberty. But the individual is supreme even to the family. The individual is more important than the family. This element came as the supreme value of modernity. That son or daughter need not bother about parents. The parents need not bother about son or daughter. The brother need not bother about the sister. Sister need not bother about the brother. Nobody needs to bother about anybody. This supposed to be individualism. This is almost an animal kingdom. You know what is the end result of this? The entire family architecture of the west has collapsed.

Today in the west 41% of babies born are born to unwed mothers. And half of them are to school going girls. 41% of the children don’t have the father’s name. [..] In 1998, an American sociologist wrote a book ‘A fatherless America is emerging.’

You may say it is cultural regeneration, it is a spiritual regeneration it is a social regeneration. It is not just that. It is a kind of economic regeneration that no economist expert can reverse. Certain things can be reversed. If a stock market falls it can be reversed. An industry goes down it can be reversed. 

Mr Gurumurthy pointed said that in 1960, the savings level in American families was 80% and share of corporate savings was 20% of the total national savings. Today share of corporates in saving is 120% and American families are at negative savings of 20%. This is because all of them have been given credit cards to spend, he said. 30 crore Americans of whom only 20 crore Americans are economically active have 120 crore credit cards. The whole society has been converted into a borrowing society as a result of this. Nobody takes care of parents or nobody needs to take care of parents. He went on to conclude his analysis as below :

In just 50 years it is gone. You can destroy these norms. You cannot rebuild them. As a result of this entire responsibility to take care of parents, infirm people and unemployed people have passed on to the government. This is called social security and health security. The government takes care of people who cannot take of themselves or those who have nobody to take care of themselves.

You know what these [people are called]? Unfunded. Unfunded means, you have had expenditure but you don’t have a single rupee for that. That is what is called unfunded. The total commitment to future liability because of health and social security is measured today at 68 trillion dollars. America’s GDP is 18 trillion dollars. 68 trillion dollars is the unfunded liability against which America doesn’t even have even one dollar. The entire cultural collapse is leading to an economic collapse.

How long can a society move on like this? But in India is family superstructure takes care of all these people. 

This analysis not only makes an Indian proud but also secure about the future. He also criticised modern feminism, sexual freedom for women as presented by feminists with great detail. Mr Gurumurthy also analysed Doklam, Pakistan and other contemporary issues in his speech. He said that a brave and fearless India can lead the world and also protect itself. In fact, the whole speech is filled brilliant analysis that cannot be carried in a single article. You can watch it completely below :


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