SUBHASH C MALIK
Role of the Past in a Developing Nation
TODAY ALL developing nations are concerned with poverty removal, social justice, economic equality and political freedom. India is aiming at a radical transformation of its traditional society. It has been well recognized that change in the core structure of values, beliefs and attitudes is one of the means through which the nation moves forward into modernity. There is no question of aping the developed nations: India is not likely to look anything like modern Europe, USA, Russia, Japan or even China since its transformation will become possible only within the prevalent indigenous social and cultural traditions. A major problem is how to bring about structural changes peacefully within a democratic framework. It is in the context of creating new forces for a cultural transformation and for ingraining new socio-cultural values that the role of the past in creating new images will be discussed in this article.
The commonly accepted dominant philosophy in India today is that of fate which has encouraged inertia, apathy and lethargy, not only preventing progress in practice but also abolishing it in theory. Therefore, the idea that ^man's decision is his destiny" needs to become an internalized cultural value if progress has to be made.
The first value of progress is closely interlinked with the notion of evolution and change, that the universe^ earth, life and man are governed