Present Indian society through the lens of ancient Indian texts.

To know where we are going, we need to know where we came from. Ancient Indian texts can give us a reference to understand how the Indian society can be studied which also makes possible to predict or plan the future of the Indian society. Because the Indian society is so diverse, the ancient books plays an important role as the history and significance of every individual culture, the wants and needs of people can be studied through it. These studies are advantageous for the present day policymakers in framing the policies and schemes favourable to the diverse groups of people. Any activity that is done in the present or has to be done in the future has to be in co – relation with the past.

Ancient texts in Science and Technology

We might not be aware of the fact that the ancient Indian books are still relevant but the present technological advancements of the Indian society has its base in ancient Indian society. Progress in science and technology aims to fulfill the needs of the people and those needs have been the same throughout ages. The Indus Valley Civilization is an apt example in this context. The advancements of this civilization can be related very well to the present Indian society. They excelled in town planning, agriculture, trade, architecture, craftsmanship which is evident in their jewellery and other artifacts. They used to live in two – storeyed buildings and had proper bathing area along with hygienic toilets. Although the Indus Valley Civilization is thousands of years old yet these developments are widespread in the present Indian society. Even after all these years, it is possible to keep up with these developments through ancient Indian texts.

Ancient texts in religion

In the religious context as well, ancient Indian texts are immensely relevant in the present times. Religious texts and mythologies preach how to live life, make us differentiate between right and wrong. Religions like Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism and others has provided the mankind with guidelines on living an ethical life that forms a moral background of ideal human behaviour. The Bhagwad Gita that teach us to conquer our fears still remain relevant. People still read such religious texts to overcome their fears. Lord Krishna’s advice to Arjuna in the Indian epic Mahabharata also holds relevance today. When Arjuna faced difficulty in choosing between his duty on one hand and his unruly kinsmen on the other hand in the battlefield, Krishna advised him to remain steadfist in his duty or dharma and defeat his evil kinsmen. This advice of Lord Krishna can be applied in the current times to keep away evil and negativity.

Ancient texts in politics and economy

The ancient Indian texts has mentioned about proper and effective governance. In this regard, Chanakya’s Chanakya Neeti and Arthashastra is worth mentioning. Chanakya has very clearly mentioned how the administrators should be in order to run the country efficiently. He stated that the public administrators have to bear the responsibility of the citizens so that the country runs smoothly and work for the common people keeping in mind their needs and requirements. Talking about corruption, he mentioned that strict punishment should to given to those who choose the path of corruption. All these statements are seen to be quite relevant in the current times.

Regarding economy, his famous book Arthashastra points out many things that are still relevant. Arthashastra conceptualised India as a welfare state. It covered various areas like infrastructure, finance, agriculture, trade and commerce, employment, laws etc. He stated that proper work on these areas will develop India in later times and in the present day, these areas are considered to be extremely crucial for the development of the country.

The ancient Indian texts thus acts as a blueprint that helps in creating a society in its best form by referring to the past society by identifying what was best and what went wrong. Therefore it can be said that we can study the present Indian society through ancient Indian books.