A dry syphon cannot draw or convey; a heart that is dry of any of the higher values cannot get itself benefitted in the presence of, or in its contacts with the various civilisations of the world, and the cultural beauties in the different continents.
The grown up and developed nations in the world have all cultivated consciously, and often unconsciously, under the moulding hands of History, a generation that knows and lives its own culture. When such people come in contact with others, they react healthily and absorb into them what is useful in polishing and strengthening their own cultural traits.
In the relatively new nations that have recently come to their political and cultural freedom, they, the children of a slave generation, who in the past had wandered away from their own nation’s traits — in their immaturity — when they reach the foreign shores, the glamour of light and sounds and the passing fashions in life are cheaply borrowed into their native lands, not as men who have known the world and have polished themselves, but as ugly caricature of foreign types.
The Hindu nation in our country is at this moment suffering from this great malady. They go to the foreign shores not to chasten what they have, but to borrow shamelessly new tonics of thought, and clad in them, when they return back to their native towns, they are neither a foreigner nor a native.
This is making the Indians a laughable crowd in the foreign countries. I have been receiving many letters from my friends enquiring why young boys and girls visiting from India bring with them not the atmosphere of India, but they suddenly get converted into the foreign ideologies. Many a foreigner I had met in the country who had reached often for pleasure, but sometimes for profit, and yet without an exception, their anxiety had always been to understand our culture and to draw from it whatever that is useful for them. They never give up what they have in them as their national traits.
It is only in India we find that our own educated youths have no such firm framework to maintain in their bosom upon which they can work up and beautify their own essential national character. It is high time that we give at least a six months regular training to our young Indians in their national culture before they are allowed to leave the shores of their country. The type of boys and girls businessmen and others who reach the foreign countries have slowly undermined the world’s respect for our nation – which is mainly for the ancient and powerful spiritual culture of the land.