In this essay (1100 words) I discuss the issue of India''s possessing immense soft power: "Like everything else, India was gifted with a huge capital of soft power. Soft power, as opposed to hard military power, connotes a nation’s contribution to the field of art, literature, fashion, music, culture and so on. It enhances a nation’s image and attracts others towards it like a gravitational pull. India, as in the past, is rich in soft power at present too. But as a result of inconsistent strategic culture and a complacent policy mechanism, India has failed to utilise it in the fullest potential. Soft power, as a corollary to hard military power, should help a nation to deal with other nations in thy fields of technology and resources.
Consider these facts, which the Indians know and consider matters of past but are unaware of their significance for the present and future. India is an ancient country with millennia-old cultural traditions. The first text of the world was created on the Indian soil. The Indians discovered the earth’s rotation around the sun, zero, chess, Ayurveda, yoga, cosmopolitanism and so on. The direct disciple of Jesus Christ St. Thomas travelled to India. The country came under various European cultural currents at different times and assimilated the foreign elements with amazing tolerability. Alexander invaded India in 326 B.C. The Toda tribe inhabiting the Uti hills are said to be the descendents of the Greeks. Similarly, the Huns, the Mongols, Pathans, the French, the Dutch, the English came to India and left an indelible imprint on the cultural map of the country.
A whole village in Midnapore empathised with Portugal in the World Cup Football because they are said to be descendants of the Portuguese guards brought by Indian kings. The English gave birth to Anglo-Indian culture. Pondicherry bears a visible influence of the French culture. The demography too, indicates in the affirmative. Goa testifies to the Portuguese settlement even now. The Persis driven out from Persia embraced India and worked for India’s development with a resolute and creative mind. The Indian Jews also worked for India’s development. India having the second largest Muslim population in the world, rejected Al Qaida brand fanatism. The five hundred years of Moghul rule, contributed to India’s demography and culture. Besides, India provided shelter to millions of refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Tibet. The exiled Tibetan government found refuge in the hilly district of Himachal, Dharmashala. Even now, the conscription weary Israelis seek solace in the exotic ambience of Himachal. The consumerist westerns seek solace in the ghats of Varanasi (what an anticlimax!), in the calm forests of Vrindavan and in the mysterious ISCON temples..."