Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Why always look in the past, we should also sing glories of our own generation..

I often see many people glorifying distant past achievements of their ancestors, singing their praise, telling everyone how in past their culture or civilization was rich, dominant or superior to rest of the world, nothing wrong to feel proud of our ancestors and take inspiration from their achievements but sometimes this becomes an excuse for not giving credit to some recent achievements and breakthroughs. I hear in India all the time people singing glories from past but not willing to appreciate the present situation, I personally feel proud of many achievements of my ancestors in India, no doubt it was indeed remarkable that they achieved so much with such limited resources and techniques, but at the same time I am equally proud of achievements of present generation, scientific community (which includes scientists all over the world), tremendous achievement in the field of science and technology, revolution in the area of communication and medical care, progress in area of gender equality, anti-racism movement, abolishment of slavery, etc. all are recent phenomena. Most of these things happened within last 100 years or so and I am really proud of all these achievements, they are equally important and great in every respect compared to any past achievements.

Actually our generation has achieved tremendous progress in many areas, revolution in the area of communication technology is just phenomenal, world was never better connected than now, amazing phenomena called internet which completely changed our lives is a recent invention, many path breaking discoveries in the area of drug discovery are not less than any miracle (if you at all believe in miracles), they helped to save millions of lives all over the world. Recent progress in the area of gender equality is also impressive, our ancestors didn't think about many of these problems for so many different reasons but we not only diagnosed these problem but are working hard towards resolving it. Let me also say that I am not trying here to claim that recent generations have solved all existing problems, NO, that's not the case, still there are many problems which need solution, work is always in progress. I am also not trying here to compare our ancestors with us, it will be very unfair to do this but whenever some one says that our ancestors were much better than us or they were much more developed, superior etc. I feel surprised by their this attitude and ignorance, I fail to understand the logic or rational behind this statement, I wonder on what basis people say this? If people base these statements on moral degradation of society then also I don't find that word 100s of years ago was better as far as morality is concerned, then also there used to be wars, then also people used to discriminate, slavery was very common, people used to kill each other just because they belong to different tribes or faiths, polygamy and polyandry was common in many societies, situation of women was not better than what it is today, there used to be barbaric punishment for trivial crimes like stealing or lying or adultery, etc. So I don't know on what basis people claim that our society was much better in past compared to today? Rather, I find it is much better today, at least there is democracy in most of the countries where people have right to choose their government rather than monarchy, I think this itself is a huge improvement.

The point which I am trying to make that there is no point in comparing two different eras against each other, both have their own success stories and failures, we can draw inspiration from whenever we want, there is no better or worst for me. Discovery of gravity is as important as discovery of zero, traditional medicine was as important for our ancestors as modern medicine is to us,  there is no point in comparison, it's useless and waste of time. We also don't have to always look back at our ancestors to draw inspiration we have enough examples from our own generation which can inspire us to do good work and achieve new heights in every field.  

Thanks for reading and please share your views on this topic.

[Copyright : Vinay Thakur. Please contact the author for re-posting or publishing]

1. Were Our Ancient Ancestors Scientifically Advanced?
2. Signs in the Sky: The Irrationality of Astrology
3. Fraudulent Use of Obsolete Vaastushastra


  1. The past was once the present and the present will become the past –albeit in matter of seconds.

    The past is always therefore praised and the past is what we get inspiration from.

    The present is merely ‘past waiting to happen’. The past must therefore always be remembered and praised and get inspiration from. The present is short lived.

    The past makes us who we are today for many.

    The achievements of the past can be equalled or bettered so comparison with the past is a way of evaluating our present.

    What we do in the present sets in motion what we may become in the future. Therefore the present is also important.
    But to set in motion the correct future we have to look into the past examples and learn from their good and bad. The stories, the people and the events of the past will therefore be always superior to the present.

  2. I hear a lot of stupid things like 'Our ancestors were developed,they invented many things' 'Rama and Sita went back to Ayudhya by Pushpak Vimaan,this means our ancestors were capable of building aircrafts before Wright brothers'etc. This is root of 'East-obsess' and 'West-hate' Dr. Jayant Narlikar has written a lot about it. I suggest you to read that.

    1. Thanks a lot Yamini for sharing your thoughts, you are right that Dr. Naralikar has written some articles related with this subject, actually I shared one of his article in my post somewhat related with similar topic,

      Thanks for reminding me, I have included links for few posts in link section of post. Thanks again for your comment, keep on reading and sharing your views by this we can spread our message.