Some years ago, when participating in a seminar on “Indian Culture” in New Delhi, we were taken to the then prime minister of India Mr Morarji Desai. As we were from different parts of India, we were using English as the medium of communication. “What is Indian Culture?”, the prime minister asked us. Nobody said anything. Then he pointed the question at a man from Assam, one of the north eastern states of India. He said something in English, the only language he knew apart from Assamese, his mother tongue. The prime minister shook his head in disapproval. I expected an erudite elucidation from the prime minister, a former Civil Service officer during the British Raj. “Indian culture is talking in Hindi, not English”, the prime minister opined. I was shocked.
As far as I knew, culture has got everything to do with mental and spiritual development of a man, but nothing to do with the language, way of life or the customs followed by a country or a tribe or even a religion. But, unfortunately, our politicians mislead the people ascribing a different meaning to the word “culture”. Adolf Hitler successfully duped the people by freely using the phrases “European culture”, “Arian culture” and so on.