I often wonder why our intelligentsia created so much hoopla about the capitalist system as if all those who make money are the eternal enemy of mankind. These crying babies of Indian democracy with abundance of rights to castigate their own ancient and robust value system play hypo critic role in country’s growth. The ray of their intellectual brilliance on Communism, Socialism and Secularism projected through the colourful prism of West couched with unrealistic logic has always brought discord to the society and hinders its holistic enrichment. These progeny of feudalistic Indian aristocracy which blossomed under British paramountcy had always owed their loyalty to whatever they get from West irrespective of their utility as per Indian context. Marx’s rotting concept of Communism and Das Capital though overthrown from its place of original experimentation i.e. Russia and China still made its presence alive among the confused lot of Indian intellectuals which corrupts the thought process of many by making them insensitive to India, its ancient value system and national integrity.

All the so-called –isms mentioned above were viable in their place of origin in the Western world because of the demand of the prevailing situation for example when they experienced prosperity during 15th century renaissance and industrial revolution, the exploitation of poor became random because the materialistic aspiration of the wealthy capitalists were not guided by their religious and cultural beliefs of sharing. This is contrary to the Indian context where the wealthy must volunteer to shed away a portion of his earning for the betterment of the underprivileged through a purely spiritual motive to do Dharma. This core philosophy is not being understood by the Macaulay’s children born with Indian skin, blood and colour but nurtured with British taste and thought.

Since, our intellectuals (policymakers, educationist, media etc) are the son of the soil because of their birth, there is a need share with them a perspective on what it means to be a capitalist in India. Chanakya, the greatest economist, teacher, diplomat and mentor of unified India’s first Emperor Chandragupta Maurya advocated capitalism in Artha-Sastra and his following popular Sutras (verses) says wealth-creating is the key to righteous living and happiness.

  • Sukhasya Moolam Dharmah
  • Dharmasya Moolam Arthah
  • Arthasya Moolam Rajyam

The Sutras says “Basis of happiness is ethics. Basis of ethics is resources. Basis of resources is kingdom (enterprise)”

Hence, Chanakya promoted capitalism and entrepreneurship for the prosperity of society long before Karl Marx thought of Das Capital in the materialistic world of West.

As forefathers of more than 90% of Indian population were following Sanatana Dharma and Hindu way of life irrespective of their current adherence to any faiths of the world, so the prevailing practice of worshipping wealth through Goddess Mahalakshmi since time immemorial made all Indians capitalist. Even there exist deities of wealth and prosperity in Buddhism, another ancient Indian faith. Hence, it won’t be an exaggeration if I say Capitalism is in our Blood, is in our DNA.

India was fortunate that unlike other socio-religious movement worldwide, her value-system was guided and shaped by the collective wisdom of several sages for centuries. A well-calibrated spiritual framework was created by the founding fathers of Indian philosophy that only having crave for wealth creation will create chaos in the society so they associated Ganesha (Wisdom) and Saraswati (Knowledge) with Mahalakshmi (Wealth). Till today, everywhere we worship the trio Lakshmi-Ganesh- Saraswati together. The concept is very simple yet universal that you will be happy if you earn Wealth (Lakshmi) through right knowledge (Saraswati) and applied Wisdom (Ganesha). Here also we see that capitalism is deeply embedded in the Indian value system.

Interestingly, it is being observed that, those who have abundance of knowledge (Saraswati) often dislike people who are rich (Lakshmi) and vice-versa is also true. It means that the two women, Saraswati & Lakshmi, i.e. Knowledge and Wealth can’t stay together, they may quarrel. To keep them together we need the help of Ganesha (Wisdom), the neutralizer. Hence, the position of Ganesha is always in the middle to maintain balance between the ever-warring sisters Lakshmi & Saraswati because wisdom is needed to keep wealth and knowledge together.

In India the materialistic quest of human was given a religious tone so that the economic growth should play a catalytic role in the holistic intellectual, cultural and spiritual enrichment of the society. And since this kind of maturity of an inclusive society was not prevalent during period of renaissance, the modern Europe which was controlling almost every part of the world propounded philosophy of exclusivist capitalist system which created wide barrier between haves and have nots. Hence, the selfish elitism of greedy capitalists was confronted with the concept of socialism, communism and also secularism which never happened in Indian context.

Unfortunately, our highly educated intellectuals, inclined to a particular ideology and loyal to whatever Made in West (even garbage), started aping these philosophy of West not at all necessary for India and tried to infuse them in social system by controlling the education institutions. And this created disharmony, confusion and division of the country between India and Bharat. Now, because of the rapid change in communication technology, the world is a closely-knitted village with no scope for archaic obsolete philosophy. Those who have ability will excel. The idle can no more snatch other’s resource because of communism and socialism. Everybody has to work if they want to live and grow. Capitalism is the now the Mantra worldwide. Thank God, Capitalism is in India’s DNA.

– Sameer Kumar Das
(The author is a PR professional who works at KIIT Deemed to be University in Bhubaneswar, India as Deputy Director, School of Languages)