For 2000 years, the great civilisations of India and China had an excellent relationship. Between them they represented 52% of global GDP. Because of its great spirituality, and ability to continuously acquire, store, apply and transmit knowledge very effectively, India was the elder brother in the relationship.
India was the world's greatest exporter of technology, culture, science, art, literature in addition to being a provider of high quality goods. People came from all over the world to study at India's countless Gurukuls, ashrams, universities and institutions.
In spite of this incredible power, India never tried to conquer any land, seize resources use force, or coerce in any manner. It preferred to have partners rather than vassals.
In today's age and time this may be considered foolish and naive. But this is the nature of a civilisation, to always seek a win-win, mutually beneficial long lasting respectful relationship.
Civilisations are by nature trust societies, they believe in the inherent goodness and divinity of Creation and all humans. All being worthy of the same respect and acceptance.
Thus the primary responsibility of the king and the elders in Indian society for over 5000 years was, development of the character of its citizens and maintaining 'Dharma' (order).
The weakness of civilisations is to assume that others are as noble as they are and hence they are easily cheated and looted. This is what befell India.
Successive Islamic and European invasions, occupation and exploitation damaged that great Indian culture. Hopes of revival of that culture at re-independence in 1947 were dashed because a spiritually and intellectually weak, convoluted leadership, which resulted in horrors like India's partition.
Rather than exploit 5000 years of rich knowledge, values and successes, an Anglicised 'modern' Nehru, with little understanding and only disdain for India's rich ethos, led India onto the path of Socialism. Socialism centralised immense power in the hands of Nehru and his chosen elite failed India because it is a concept alien and totally unsuitable for India, her culture, people and needs.
65 years of trying to make the Indian elephant dance to the European waltz and centralised control of the economy thanks to Nehru's love of Communism, India has so far been unable to realise even a fraction of her potential.
The crisis and various threats that have gripped humanity offer renewed opportunities to set right much that has gone wrong. A unique chance, to reintroduce many useful aspects of India's civilisational ethos.
This will enable India to help heal herself and the world with her spirituality, wisdom, compassion, respect, knowledge, art, literature and culture.
As the world awakens to the folly of empire building, savagery and war cults disguised as religion, runaway and toxic Capitalism and misguided Socialism, India inherently possesses the potential to play its greatest role as the world's leading Soft Power.
As Guru Nanak ji proclaimed, 'Hum Sabna ke Saajan, Sab Meeth Hamare'.
A brother, friend and well wisher of all, and enemy of none.
India, the last great surviving civilisation. - Guru Wonder
Difference between Empire and Civilisation - Guru Wonder
The return of India and China - The Economic Times
India as a Civilisational State: Implication for Governance, Politics and engagement with the World - Swaminathan Gurumurthy speaking at Vivekananda Intl. Foundation