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Humayun Kabir was a famous poet, novelist, essayist and a renowned political thinker. He was a Cabinet Minister for Scientific Research and Cultural Affairs during Nehru’s Primeminstership. An Oxford product, he had the proud privilege of being elected president of the Oxford University Student’s Union. The present piece is an adapted version of Humayun Kabir’s lecture delivered in Baroda University. The lecture focuses on the glorious past of India’s culture and its rich heritage. It precisely reflects Kabir’s love and faith in the greatness of his motherland.

Till recently, the Aryans were regarded as the earliest invaders of the land. It was thought that they came to a country which was uncivilised and barbarian, but modern research has proved that there were invaders even before the Aryans poured into this land. They had evolved a civilization higher than that of the Aryan hordes who came in their wake. These Pre-Aryans had displaced still earlier people and built up a new civilization which has astonished modern scholars by its extent and depth. The Aryan invasion repeated the process and led to a fresh infusion of the old with the new. This continued with the successive inroads of fighting races who came to conquer but remained to lose themselves in the Indian racial cauldron. The Greek invaders were followed by Sakas and Huns and a hundred other nameless tribes. They all appeared on the scene as victors but were soon absorbed into the ranks of the vanquished.

Today, whatever is Indian, whether it be an idea, a word, a form of art, a political institution, or a social custom, is a blend of many different strains and elements.

In spite of this derivation from many sources and the consequent variety of forms and types, we find a remarkable unity of spirit informing Indian culture throughout the ages. In fact, it is this underlying unity which is one of the most remarkable features of Indian culture. In volume and duration, no civilization (with the possible exception of the Chinese) can bear comparison with the civilization of India. The area of the land, the number of the people, the variety of the races, and the length of India’s history are hardly repeated elsewhere. The vitality of Indian culture is equally amazing. In spite of a thousand vicissitudes, it has survived to the modern day. This has been possible only on account of a sense of Indianness which imposed unity on all diversity and wove into one fabric of national life the many strands of different texture, color, and quality which have entered here.

The ancient world threw up fine flowers of civilization in many lands. With the exception of India and China, they are dead and gone.

It is only in India and, to some extent, in China that the old civilization and culture have grown and changed but never grown or changed at the expense of an underlying unity. This has been possible only through the capacity of readjustment exhibited by the Indian society.

One ground of this adjustment is found in the spirit of toleration that has characterized Indian history throughout the ages. “Live and let live” has been the policy of the Indians in all spheres of life. Sometimes this has been carried so far that contrary, if not contradictory, attitudes have been allowed to survive simultaneously. Toleration had led to the sufferance of civil and even indifference to the values of life. This, however, is at worst the defect of a virtue. Such toleration is perhaps preferable to the fanatic devotion which leads to the denial and persecution of all other values but its own.

The experience of European countries gives us cases of civilization without culture. In India, on the other hand, even the casual tourist has observed that the difference between the masses and classes is not one of quality and can be explained in terms of information and opportunity. It is often otherwise in Europe. There, the difference in quality between the masses and the classes is at times so great that it has shaken the faith of the most fervent of democrats.

The remarkable phenomenon can be explained only in terms of the unity and continuity of Indian culture. Unity is, in one sense, the common characteristic of all culture. What specially distinguishes the culture of India is its unbroken continuity. Here, there have been no violent or sudden breaks, but on the contrary, a steady growth and extension of culture which has gradually permeated every class and section of society.”

Chapter 1 The Pace for Living
Chapter 2 Me and The Ecology Bit
Chapter 3 Gillu
Chapter 4 What is Wrong with Indian Film
Chapter 5 Acceptance Speech
Chapter 6 Once Upon A Time
Chapter 7 The Unity of Indian Culture
Chapter 8 Little Girl Wiser Than Man
Chapter 1 God Made The Country
Chapter 2 Ode On Solitude
Chapter 3 Polythene Bag
Chapter 4 Thinner Than a Crescent
Chapter 5 The Empty Heart
Chapter 6 Koel (The Black Cuckoo)
Chapter 7 The Sleeping Porter
Chapter 8 Martha
Chapter 1 January Night
Chapter 2 Allergy
Chapter 3 The Bet
Chapter 4 Quality
Chapter 5 Sun and Moon
Chapter 6 Two Horizons
Chapter 7 Love Defiled
Unseen Passage for Comprehension Literary
Unseen Passage for Comprehension Factual
Letter Writing
Essay Writing
Paragraph Writing
Short Writing
Notice Writing
Modal Auxiliaries
Active and Passive Voice
Narration Direct and Indirect Speech
Subject-Verb Concord
Idioms and Phrases

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