Pavan K Varma is a career-diplomat who has, despite a demanding professional life, found the time to engage with crucial issues like personal and national identity in a post-colonial setting.
While accepting the reality of globalisation, he is indignant but lucid enough to understand how the steady loss of culture and its values has affected Indians since Independence in 1947 and limited them as human beings despite individual accomplishments in the sciences, usually in the United States of America. India, he feels, has been greatly impoverished by the inroads made by Western culture that has resulted in not only the decline of indigenous languages but also in centuries traditions of arts, crafts and architecture. The only way out is through a cultural regeneration because, “Only those who are rooted in their cultural milieu will be confident interlocutors in a global situation, those who are not, will be the last to know.”
He elaborates, “We are not a parvenu civilisation. There is continuity here… peaks of refinement…assimilation. When you know from where you have come, then you know why has our threshold of
satisfaction become so low now.” He has thought about these matters over the last forty years; with even greater concentration since the growing years of his three children — two daughters and a son, who are adults now.
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