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The Saffron Book

With the advances in technology, and land ceasing to be the principal source of wealth, trade has replaced war as a nations way to enrich itself. The Hindu distaste for war and the preference for trade makes the future of opportunities.

25. Opportunities

Dear Saraswathi
Peering into one's weaknesses is seldom a pleasant experience. It hurts the ego which normally provides the driving force for making the effort. At the same time, the ego works as an opaque barrier between a person and his knowledge of himself. It acts like a blind curtain of vanity between an illusion and what is real. In the process, many individuals go through life without knowing themselves. What is true of individuals is also true of groups of people or even a whole nation. It is therefore just as well that we tried to look at the weaknesses of Hindutva after enumerating its strengths.

Anyway, now let me cheer you up by telling you how one long historical phase has yielded place to another era. This change offers Hindutva a golden opportunity. The annals of fighting go back to the beginning of time. The concept of war, however, got crystalised with the advent of the feudal era.

The reason was that land was the fulcrum around which the polity as well as the economy revolved. On its surface grew crops and below the surface could be found valuable minerals. In between and around the land there could be fishing. In other words, land came to be recognised as the principal source of wealth.

Every ambitious ruler extended his territory to as far as was possible without fighting. When it became necessary to fight, it was war.Territory added to the wealth and power of the state. When the ruler could not amalgamate the newly conquered territory into his own state, he made it into a colony. Just as wars were fought in order to capture territory and acquire colonies, constant preparedness for war was required to defend and retain them. Individual rulers and dynasties yielded place to other forms of government but the primacy of territory and the importance of war continued for century after century.

A characteristic of Hindutva was its disinclination and distaste for fighting. The Indian civilisation has many inventions to its credit ranging from medicine and surgery to mathematics and astronomy. But rarely does one hear of an Indian having invented a novel weapon or having innovated a new mode of fighting. The last victory against a true foreigner that I can remember in our annals was that of Chandragupta Maurya against Nicator Seleucus, the Macedonian general, left behind byAlexander in the 4th century B.C. Incidentally, I consider fighting with Pakistan, which was a part of India until 1947, as merely a civil war.

As a follow through of the industrial revolution, technology grew and with it the importance of manufacture as a source of wealth. In due course, manufacturing overtook land in its ability to produce surpluses. The emphasis was on marketing which, in turn, made manufacturing more profitable. With revolutionary improvements in transport and communication, the world became smaller and smaller. International trade became simpler and exports became a dominant economic occupation for many countries. In the post World War II years, Japan has been exceptional in combining industrial technology with international marketing. To the extent that it overtook all other countries except the USA and became the world's second largest economy.

Fifty years ago, Japan, after the devastation of the war, was distinctly a poorer economy than India. This miracle also symbolises a new phase in history. Trade has replaced war as an instrument of bringing home the surpluses of other economies. Previously an imperial country needed colonies to bring home surpluses of other economies.Now Japan has done it by capturing markets rather than acquiring territory. The German miracle was also substantially engineered by exports. As it happened, both Germany and Japan lost territory after World War II. Germany was divided into two while Japan was deprived of Korea, Manchuria and several islands. Yet, they brought home more and more of, what we call in India, foreign exchange.

On the other hand, the great territorial giants, namely, the USA and the Soviet Union progressively built up foreign debts. The economy of the latter, as is well known, collapsed some years ago. Neither their natural resources nor their armies and arsenals made any economic impact. Surely, it could be said that over the last five decades goods have replaced guns and services have substituted soldiers as instruments of imperialism. There have been several regional wars since1945 when the World War ended, but none of these has resulted interritories changing hands for economic considerations. Yes, China has occupied large tracts of our Aksai Chin. Israel has held the west bank of the river Jordan and until recently held the Golan Heights of Syria. But all these occupations are for strategic reasons and not for economic gain. Trade then has largely replaced war.

Indians have traded for centuries. Even when the British ruled and exploited our country, we enjoyed a trade surplus. In other words, the value of our exports exceeded the worth of our imports. The Indian businessman can read finance and the movement of money like the back of his palm. He is also a clever entrepreneur. When trading, he is in his elements and that is just what the world wants today.

The Indian was earlier at a disadvantage. Now, that trade has become a dominant feature in the international arena, he should be at an advantage. That is what I meant by saying that the new phase of history offers us a golden opportunity. All we need today is to put our economic act together, achieve national synergy by a spirit of nationalism which, in turn, Hindutva can give and we would be ready for a take off in the Olympics of international trade.

The Saffron Book
Prafull Goradia
1. Awake and Unite!
2. Why The Saffron Book?

10. Small States
3. Vision
4. Economic Face
5. Abolish Casteism
6. Bride Burning, Divorce
7. Rape, Prostitution
8. Revolutionising Education
9. The Constitution

11. Nationalism
12. Pan-Islamism
13. Communism
14. Subnationalism
15. Casteism

16. Hindutva is Dialectical
17. Origin of Hinduism
18. Medieval Phase
19. Modern Resurgence
20. Not Fundamentalism
21. Not Fascism
22. Tolerance
23. Strengths
24. Weaknesses
25. Opportunities
26. Threats
27. Individual Brilliance

Hindu Paradoxes
42. Idolatry
43. Fatalism
44. Double Standards
45. Masochistic Fringe
46. Fifth Column
47. No Soul before Birth

48. Proselytising Unwelcome
49. Myth of Divide and Rule

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