Alliance India


With the recent development in the country, it is easy to lose sight of what India, even as an ‘imaginary’ country, had to offer to the rest of the world in its past, be it collective or not. However, in order to move further ahead, we need to think about our past, present, and future collectively and take pride in all the potential that India has and can harness.

India, the  seventh largest in area and the wettest inhabited place in the world, is a country to behold! With a diverse terrain and history reaching back 8 millennia, she is home to the world’s largest number of religious communities and to more than 300 languages!

She is unique in the fact that she has had a glorious past in technology and knowledge and yet never invaded any other country in the several years of history. Civilisations throughout history have tried spreading their influence and dominance over other others through invasion, conquest, and colonisation but India is different. She has been able to spread her influence in a unique way through something genuine, that people themselves felt attracted to. The greatest example of that is the spread of spirituality through Buddhism, from India, to the whole of East without any military conquest.

She never needed to venture out for resources, be it exotic spices, unique Wootz steel, or knowledge. In the past India has always been self-reliant and the modern India has not lost this feature of hers, India had requested NASA for GPS assistance, but was denied. It was then that India built one for herself. Now, the  space programs have revolutionized space science and can contribute to helping the world understand the universe in the best way possible.

India has proven the potential to contribute to the world of space sciences by being the only country which has been able to launch a spacecraft into the Martian orbit on the maiden attempt. India’s Mars Mission, which discovered water on Mars, was monetarily cheaper than the movie ‘Gravity’. The Dalai Lama says “Everything in my head is from India. I am a son of India.” India’s soft power –  like that of no other country – is not just considered its manipulative potential, but is rather debated to be a reality, which can be justified through its past, and which gives a boost to all other ‘potentials’ of India in the future for contributing generously to the world.

India’s culture is put together after years of evaluation and each component of it can contribute to the world is various ways, if taken up by individuals all around the world. Ancient India has a lot of practices which can make the world a better place.

Vegetarianism, which originated in India and is the most prevalent there, is an integral part of India’s soft power. It is believed by some that it can end world hunger since the more people eat meat, the fewer people can be fed. To produce one pound of beef protein, over 10 pounds of plant protein is needed. If these grains were fed to humans instead of animals, more food would be available for the 925 million people in chronic hunger worldwide!

Another contribution of India to the world can be the betterment of health through Yoga and Ayurveda. Surya Namaskar, itself, is known to have over fifty spiritual and health benefits, and has taken the world by storm. Super brain yoga, a simple exercise, is said to be the “energy fuel” by science today that can keep our brain fit and functional. Along with that, Ayurvedic medicines have all been to be based on the belief that health and wellness depend on a delicate balance between the “mind, body, and spirit.”

Even the ancient Indian languages have a life of their own. Sanskrit is the mother of all languages. It has some valid reasons. A general one is that no word in Sanskrit word has two meanings. One, very unique and special quality of Sanskrit is that the pronunciations of the words are chosen with great precision, The Sanskrit pronunciations are such that their sound makes the water in us vibrate in a certain manner which causes changes in us. That is why some words are ‘auspicious.’ Their sound itself can cause positive changes in us, like, ‘Aum’, which is said to be the vibration in all atoms and from the studies of NASA.

India is also a country which has proved her worthy of blending modern development with the colors of culture to create a refined amalgam. She can contribute to the world the most effectively by leading the world into a global environment of progress – in technology and spirituality, both. She has a lot confided in herself, unappreciated and unrecognized by the ‘outsiders’, and India needs to get in touch with her glorious past, become aware of her present potentials and move with vision into the future, to be able to offer the unique amalgam to the world.

AC Nielsen had recently conducted a survey in India. In response to a question on what are the best aspects of living in India, the top answer was the culture of this country. 45% of the respondents gave this as their answer that included factors like India’s diversity, its long tradition and so on.

It, therefore, seems like it won’t be long before India realises its potential throughout  history, which had later been twisted to make the Indians lose their pride in their culture.


 Feature Image Credits: India.com

Khyati Sanger
[email protected]

The Women’s Development Cell (WDC) of Shivaji College, in its efforts to generate awareness about gender equality, organized a workshop entitled ‘Gender and Media: From Margins to Mainstream ‘ on September 19, 2017, in collaboration with Breakthrough and Alliance India. 
Ms. Simran Sheikh representing  Alliance India, a not-for-profit Indian organisation with expertise in a range of disciplines including HIV, sexual & reproductive health, human rights, resource mobilisation, and advocacy to name a few, enlightened the students with her words. She engrossed the audience in her interactive session, starting with a question – “Who am I?”
Pointing towards the society and their acceptance of the ‘other gender’, she said that they can call her ‘A woman with a Man’s voice’, and also said, “Just because I am wearing a sari does not mean I am a woman.” She continued with the idea that in their community, their identity is expressed by their claps or plating. “Meri pehchan tali hai,” she said. She pondered over the idea of this identity in a society. She also elaborated how culture,  traditions, family, and neighbours bind us in some specific roles, admitting “although it’s  not bad to follow them,” their imposition certainly becomes a problem. She reinforced the fact that one must not be judgmental on seeing another person’s appearance. Her community, she believes, is “visible yet invisible”. In the end, she concluded with a trio vision of “Inclusion, Humanity, and Justice”.
The other guests, Mr. Pavel Sagolsem and Ms. Priyanka Sinha from Breakthrough, enlightened the students about the role of media in gender discrimination in India. They explained how a non-profit organisation challenges the status quo and takes bold action for the dignity, equality, and justice of all. The interactive session also included a bunch of videos explaining the audience how advertisements can bring a change in the outlook of the society towards many orthodox norms. Ring the bell, Titan Raga, and many other ad campaigns which have been seen on television over the years, were shown. In this session, the speakers also took inputs from the audience about their thoughts on these videos, and how they felt about the ads. Few volunteers from the audience weredivided into groups and were asked to prepare an advertisement on gender equality. The volunteers took up the task with great enthusiasm and witnessed great work from young creative minds. The speakers ended their session with a hope thatwould help the young minds change to a path of equality and justice to all.
The interactive session brought a change in the vision of the students,inclining them to mull over the mainstream norms.
Image credits: Team WDC, Shivaji College
Team WDC, Shivaji College