Skip to Content

299. Indira Gandhi's Question

Fritjof Capra is a professor of physics who has written extensively on the new approach called for in science. Indira Gandhi met him for fifty minutes, gave a patient hearing and asked him if he had any ideas for her to introduce modern technology without India losing her culture. He advised her to create a council as in USA, that would advise her on the subject. Such a council with a strong sense of traditional culture, he said, would allow her to assess her options and her risks. It was an administrative suggestion.

Prof. Capra thinks of science not from the traditional or classical viewpoint. His effort has been to integrate Eastern mysticism with Western science. He says he wishes to broaden the base of science and for that purpose he looks to Tao, Buddha, and Vedanta for inspiration. Indian scientists who have deep roots in spirituality are eminently fitted to initiate such an inquiry. Indira's concern was limited to culture. She saw the value of technology as well as culture. She explained to Capra that she had seen the loss of Indian culture when technology entered the life of people. This patriotic question is of interest to me because the one destroys or at least dilutes the other. Can we have the benefit of both?

My answer is by the national leadership in the field of Spirituality we can have both, not in the same form, but with appropriate modification. The real danger here is the temptation to choose the one or the other. That way we will become Westernised. Already the country is 30 % Westernised. Westernisation will certainly destroy our culture as well as spirituality. We accepted Western education even after Freedom in its original form without any major effort to modify it to our conditions. Education is welcome, as technology is certainly welcome. It does not mean we should change our mind-set to theirs. Man is superior to technology. Man should USE technology for his work. He should not allow himself to be ruled by technology. Often people who have a lot of money are possessed by wealth. India should welcome technology and introduce it at all levels of life, as Indians would do, so that the basic cultural values of Indian life are preserved. Mind must be open to new developments and life should be flexible to enjoy new developments on the basis of old cultural as well as SPIRITUAL values.


Para 1 - Line 4 - USA, that -

Para 1 - Line 4 - USA, that - USA that

K. Venkatesh

story | by Dr. Radut