INDIAN IDENTITY AND CULTURAL CONTINUITY
The history of India is so long and complex and the continuity of Indian culture so enigmatic and astonishing that it is difficult to bring out in a brief compass those quintessential elements which distinguish India's identity and the real secret of her continuity through millennia. To many, who are not acquainted with Indian modes of life and thought feel so baffled that they might even declare that there is no such thing that one can trace from the confusing multiplicity and variety any single central thread by means of which Indianness can be understood or defined. To them, India still seems to be somewhat primitive which places together polytheism, monotheism, monism and nihilism, or else allows itself to be a field of battle between various conflicting philosophies, sharply criticising each other, and yet forgetful of the differences and compromising with a curious sense of tolerance, or to allow itself to be a perplexing scenario of endless castes and classes, lumping them all together in a framework that is neither capitalistic nor socialistic and yet sharing virtues of neither but vices of both. To them, it seems strange and inexplicable as to how India has managed to survive through vicissitudes of tides and ebbs and how, in recent history in which the degeneration became extremely marked, she has been able to rise with some kind of rapidity and even surprising boldness in a mood that can challenge the great, rationalistic, scientific, progressive and well-structured modernity of the West.