Indian Civilization and Culture Summary Questions and Answers

Question 1.
Write down a summary of Indian Civilization and Culture.
Answer:
After the European, and particularly the British, settled in India questions were raised about the Indian civilization and culture. Many educated Indians, like the Europeans, felt that the Indian way of living was backward. They also felt that the only way to galvanise the Indian society would be to adopt western ways and means wholesale.

But Mahatma Gandhi, along with other national leaders, advocated a harmony of the Indian and the western ways. Gandhiji in his dress and bearing reflected the utter simplicity of the Indian peasant.

In this essay he puts forth with great, force the superiority of the Indian culture. Materialism was never seen as a goal of human life in India. Man’s goal was liberation which could not be achieved without purity of conduct. This high goal is reflected in the simple living of Indians and in their belief in tradition. It would be wrong to say that technological skills were ignored in India. Ganghiji confines himself to agricultural tools but demonstrates that those tools may be simple and yet peculiarly suited to the Indian needs. Rightly does Gandhiji say that civilization is good to conduct? And this goodness of conduct is related to our perception of life’s goals.

Those who aspire for perishable things can never be persuaded to follow the right living. Only he who is aware of the futility of desire for material things can be selfless and detached. This lofty thought is the essence of Indian culture. And it is this that has let India survive amidst the worldwide scenario of quick destruction Many western civilizations reached great heights but they could not sustain themselves. That is why Gandhiji concludes that “a man should arrange his physical and cultural circumstances so that they do not hinder him in his service of humanity”.

The essay has continued to inspire the modem thinkers of India and the world as it touches upon the moral issues of human living.

Question 2.
I believe that the civilisation India has evolued is not to be beaten in the world! What does Gandhiji mean by this statement? Do you subscribe to his views ?
Answer:
Like so many great leaders of the freedom movement, who had an opportunity to spend some in the west, Gandhiji also studies the western civilization first hand by remaining in London for some years. He had also a grip over world history; this study and experience combined to give him a realistic understanding of Indian civilisation. He was familiar with its shortcomings and rigidities; he himself fought against untouchability and commenalism. And yet whenever there was an occasion he wrote and spoke in favour of the Indian civilisation. It is the same fact that he asserts here in this statement — because of emphasis on simplicity and spiritual goals Indian civilisation has been able to survive for millions of years. In other civilisation there is no such emphasis — from childhood men and women are taught to pursue material goals and selfish interests.

Question 3.
Discuss the negative features of the western civilisation.
Answer:
According to Mahatma Gandhi there are two negative elements — it over-emphasized material goals and it has led to multiplication of human wants. In Gandhiji’s time it was evident that the European nations indulged in wars merely to fulfil the material requirements of their society. The various means of warfare that they evolved and in which they really excelled was also only to have more material goods and services. Moreover, the way the individual was trained in comfortable, rather luxurious, living led to multiplication of human wants.

A new element has been added to the aspects of western civilization; and that is consumerism. Because of a false notion of controlling the forces of nature, the western technology has evolved such products and gadgets that they consume a very high portion of the natural forces. The men and women do not know where from water, oil, fresh air and electricity is to be had in future, if the same are irrationally exhausted. From the western countries this consumerism has spread to the other countries in the world.

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