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Europe looks at india
by Dr Alex Aronson
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EUROPE LOOKS AT INDIA A STUDY IN CULTURAL RELATIONS By DR ALEX ARONSON FOREWORD Dr Aronson, whose works on Tagore and Rolland have pleased all those who desire a cultural understanding between Europe and India, has honoured me by the invitation to write a foitword to this volume. Myxompiiance is prompted as imich by a sense of obligation to the subject as by an appreciation of the manner and quajitjf of the authors treatmgn thSgf. Though the theine has been reduced by him, and thereby focussed, tothe approaches of a dozen modern representative European men .of thought and one American, Emerson towards India, yet in substance and significance,it retains both width, arid depth. Thanks to Dr Aronsons handling, it also fairly indicates the movements and gendy hints at the finale. One can almost hear the, diapason in Man rising above the phrases, over the discords. Yes, the discords are very audible today. In these years Man in the West seems to have been diminished. And his prestige too, in India and the East. For us all, the West and Imperialism are nearly identical. We have grown to believe that Europe has looked, is looking, and will try in future to look at India with only hungry eyes Our eyes are angry in return. This is natural. If, However, reflection could supersede reflexes on our side, and a feeling for equality quash the greed and domination on theirs, one could press for a wide recognition of the fact that conflict is a relation, that misunderstandings belong to the process of adjustment, that repulsion operates within tie ambit of attraction and cooperation. It is difficult for us to be generous now. But the trouble has to be undergone. The present position as it appears to an Indian, for whom Tagore, Gandhiji and Nehrus lives hae a meaning, is simply this: Apart from the fact that Man in the West is known to be a victim of the order inherited, the moral stature of the Indian, and of every freedomloving, selfsacrificing man in the East, has definitely increased by suffering. That being so, the chances for mutual understanding are, to say the least, not overridden by the shortterm facts of mastery and slaery. Equivalent events have occurred there and here, in all occupied zones, and they draw the dispossess ed nearer than before. Probably, in these spheres some law of equilibrium operates by which men and women in all lands approximate to an average level of conduct and aspirations. That level has quite often been low, vide the previous schemes of hegemony, World Order, New Order, etc. But it has sometimes been, and may as well be. kept high by earnest efforts to halt the downward pull and help the upward rush. Man in the West is now bent upon countering the drag, while Man in India, and in the East, is equally resolved to raise his status and to function in equality on higher reaches.
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