Books Indians Should Read, Chapter – 1 – Part 2 (Post No.8435)

WRITTEN BY R. NANJAPPA                        

Post No. 8435

Date uploaded in London – – – 1 August 2020   

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Books Indians Should Read, Chapter – 1 – Part 2
    The Clash of Civilizations

R. Nanjappa

Post cold war: new powers

In the post-cold war age, Huntington notes 6 powers that will dominate: America, Europe, China, Russia, Japan, India. But behind them are the civilizations! [Sinic= Chinese-Confucian, Hindu, Japanese, Islamic, Orthodox Christian, Western, Latin American, African] Though the Muslim nations do not act as a bloc, they do wield considerable influence.

The Cold War as it was known before the collapse of the Soviet Union might have ended. But Russia and China are now big powers on their own, challenging the West. The ideological war might have ended, with all countries adopting capitalist methods in varying degrees, but political differences are significant. Behind them is the pull of civilizations.

West and Islam: undying antagonism

There are some basic conflicts. What we call the “West”- the US, Canada, Western Europe, Australia, New Zealand share certain characteristics: separation of church and state, democratic representative bodies, predominantly market economies, rule of law, individual freedoms, secularisation of life and admission of social and cultural pluralism. These  are all emphatically opposed by the Muslim countries! In the Islamic state, everything has to be ordered in the name of Allah: there can never be the separation of religion from the affairs of the state! This is not just an extremist view, but  the very normal Islamic position according to sane and sober Islamic judgement. Hence, the conflict between the West and Islam can never be reconciled. (The conflict between Christianity and Islam is another matter.) This is seen in the increasing social tension created by the influx of Muslim refugees (immigrants) into Western Europe! The problem is not due to Islamic extremism, but the very nature of Islam itself!

Western politicians simply ignore this basic fact. The basic animosity between the secular West and Islam cannot be reconciled or wished away. 

It is to be observed that though there are several big Muslim countries, no one is in a position to speak as “the Muslim” country or for all Muslims! This makes the situation rather dangerous for world peace. Muslim demographic growth is also extraordinary, and is leading to large scale immigration! But it is all to non-Muslim countries and not to other Muslim countries! This poses its own problems. This reveals the basic ethnic tensions among the Muslims!

Western countries are experiencing slow economic growth, decline or stagnation in population growth, debt burden due to big government and a lifestyle involving consumerism and low savings. The Asian economies are experiencing an upswing at the same time!

Neither the Muslim countries, nor all the other non-Western countries including former colonies have  accepted all the features of the West, though many of them have generally adopted Western ways in the name of modernisation! 

Rising world powers

The following map makes clear the divisions which can be easily perceived:

By en:en:User:Kyle Cronan and en:en:User Olahus in /

Buddhism has been an important religion, but according to Huntington, it has not been the basis of a large civilization. 

China: giant of Asia

China is sitting as the giant of Asia. It is in a position to virtually overrun the whole of Asia. It has already swallowed Tibet, a Buddhist country. No other Buddhist country in Asia can stand up to China, which has a large ethnic presence in several countries!

                                                                         to be continued

tags – to read, books

Don’t lend Books, Money and Woman! (Post No.2959)


Article Written by London swaminathan

Date: 10 July 2016

Post No. 2959

Time uploaded in London :– 18-39

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Wisdom literature in Sanskrit is great. If a person is well versed in Sanskrit he will be using hundreds of Subhasitams (Golden sayings) in his daily conversation. It is a great pleasure to listen to such people. Tamils cant speak without using a proverb. Villagers use Tamil proverbs more than the city dwellers. They may illiterate but they will use apt proverb at the right place at the right time.

Here are some Sanskrit couplets which anyone will enjoy:–


Pustakam, Vanita Vittam parahastam gatam gatam!

Athavaa punaraagacceet jeernam brashtaa sa khandasah



If book, money and woman go to another hand that is gone for ever.

Or If it comes back they are spent, spoiled or torn


This couplet needs no explanation.

books, BL


What can you sacrifice

Tyajet kulaarthe purusam graamasyaarthe kulam tyajet

Graamam janapadasyaarthe hyaatmanaarthe pruthviim tyajet

–Sabaaparvam, Mahabharatam


One can sacrifice a man for the sake of his clan

To save the entire village, a clan may be sacrificed

To save the country a village may be sacrificed

But for the sake of the Self, the entire may be sacrificed.


The meaning is that you can leave everything to attain spiritual benefits.



Ruupa yauvana sampannaa visaalakulasambavaah

Vidyaahiinaa na sobante nirgandhaa iva kimsukaah


Even if one is born in a good family with beauty and youth, one would not shine in life without education/learning. He will look like the bright coloured Kimsuka flower sans fragrance.


Tamil poets Tiruvalluvar also use a similar simile:–

Those who are unable to elucidate their learning are like the cluster of blossoms without fragrance – Kural 650