(Last Updated on : 23/05/2011)
Features of Indian culture give the message of prosperity, happiness and eventual peace through its unique features to the whole humanity. Indian culture possesses number of characteristics. It is characterised by tolerance. All races and creeds have found their habitation in India but they have not been persecuted as in the case of the medieval Europe. Equipoise is also a marked characteristic of Indian culture in life as a whole and also in the correlation of its various parts and in embodying in them an ever developing whole in keeping with our conception of God who is the absolute and infinite.
Harmony is another emphasizing feature of our culture. Happenings are not accidental but occur according to certain order and certain continuity. This is specified in the law of Karma and the transmigration of souls. Ceaseless search after truth has been another characteristic of Indian culture.
During the Stone Age it is said that the inhabitants of India, at that time lived in tribes. They were engaged in agriculture and cattle rearing. Indians lived a collected life and they believed in the principle of non-violence. These influenced the lives of people. The people here faced difficulties collectively and enjoyed pleasure together. They were eager to progress on the basis of non-violence.
Cities revealed at Harappa
and Mohenjo-Daro or Kot Digi, Kalibangan
, Kathiawad and Saurashtra and excavations in south and east reveal that the life style and social structure of Indians were in a much developed form. Planning and uniformity were also clear. The cities were developed according to a plan. There were provisions to cope up with natural calamities. Cattle shed and grain-houses were there. Items of daily use were in advanced state. Indians had language, script and religious philosophy. Excavations reveal that Indians had contacts with inhabitants of other parts of the world. Joint Family system; custom of arranged marriages and religiousness are the other features of Indian culture.
Though some of these are not followed completely now in India. There were other qualities which explain the culture and social life of India. They are the constant strive towards development; Orderliness, Planning and Unity; Religiousness; and contact and business with inhabitants of other parts of the world. Aryans brought many qualities to this country. They had intelligence, skill and knowledge. They too were proponents of unity and religiousness.
From the Aryan lifestyle, tradition of rites, meditation, faith and rituals began to permeate Indian lives. There was much more comprehensiveness. There was introduction of philosophy in which forbearance and tolerance were supreme. During 326-25 B.C., Alexander had come to India and fought many battles with Indian Kings. It was natural that contact was established between Indians and Greeks. As a result Greek and Indian cultures influenced each other especially in the war, philosophy, poetry, sculpture, architecture, theatre and literature.
After the death of Emperor Ashoka
, Shakas from Iran arrived in India. Thereafter came Kushans and then, from Central Asia came the Huns. All of them brought their own culture and mingled with Indian Culture. Arabs, too, started to influence the people of India by establishing their rule and by living in many parts of Sindh and afterwards in rest of India. They brought Islamic culture to India. The art, language, rites, sculpting, dress and literature brought by the Arabs affected the social life of Indians.
In 15th and 16th century many Europeans brought their culture to India. Till 1947, India remained under English rule. Decency, punctuality and discipline in context of life style are the contributions of the west. The fields of education, development and globalization were strengthened by English Culture. Geographical unity, transport, communication and political awareness prospered under their rule. Whatever cultures came in contact with Indian culture, its good features have been adopted, became comprehensive, and kept living though many of its contemporary cultures vanished.
Thus the qualities of Indian culture includes unity in diversity; cohesive, tolerant; and non-violence. Though today the Indian culture has deviated from what it was thousands of years ago. However the culture has a lot to offer the humanity and it would move forward and inspire the social life of the entire human world.