This is the age of transition in India's history, transition from feudal agricultural society to a modern industrial society. At present we are neither totally feudal nor totally industrial, but somewhere in between.
This transition period in history is a long, very painful and agonizing period, when the whole society is thrown into turbulence, turmoil, social churning and intellectual ferment. If we study the transition from feudal agricultural to modern industrial society in Europe, which was roughly from the 16th to the 19th centuries, we find that it was full of turbulence, wars, revolutions, social chaos and churning, intellectual ferment, etc, with theories of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Adam Smith, Voltaire, etc.
It was only after going through this fire that modern society emerged in Europe. India is presently going through this fire. We are going through a very painful period in our history, which I think will last for another 15-20 years or so.
For what is a transition in history ? It is a period when society is being rocked and torn apart, uprooted from its very bottom, and a new modern society is being put in its place. Old values, ideas and customs are being destroyed, and are being replaced with new ones.
Indian society is presently still quite backward, full of casteism, communalism, and superstitions. I gave several examples to prove this. One was of the lady OBC Professor in a College whom I met, and who said that her family was quite liberal, and many family members had married outside her caste. But when I asked her whether she would permit her daughter to marry a scheduled caste boy she firmly said no. This shows that most non-SCs still regard SCs as inferior.
The other example I gave was of the SC Madras High Court Judge who was a colleague of mine when I was the Chief Justice of Madras High Court. His wife told my wife that when they had a love marriage, her relatives performed her funeral rites, and thereafter had nothing to do with her.
Another example is of the 'honour killings' of a SC who marries a non SC in parts of India e.g. in western U.P. and Haryana.
I can give any number of other examples of the backwardness of the vast majority of people in india.
To convert this backward society to a modern scientific one will not be an easy task. It will require tremendous struggles of the masses led by the enlightened, modern minded minority in India. It entails changing the mindsets of 125 crore ( 1250 million) people and making it modern and scientific. Will that be easy ? Not at all. It will require the patriotic, modern minded section in our society to be ready for a long struggle to patiently explain and educate the Indian masses to give up their old, feudal ideas and customs ( casteism and communalism are feudal) and adopt modern scientific ones.
I have said all this not to frighten you all but to tell you realistically of the long, arduous road ahead for Indians.