Comment on Sri Aurobindo's , Is India Civilized ?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The reality of Aurobindo's work is to help raise awareness to the idea of how vague and imprecise the term "civilized" actually is.  According to Aurobindo's work, the notion of India, as a nation and people, being "civilized" can only happen when they adopt and fully appropriate the existing conditions and realities of other, "more civilized" cultures.  In the end, this is not "civilization" as much as parody of social orders.  In Aurobindo's work there is a clear call to demand clarification as to what "civilization" entails and whether or not India, as a nation, wishes to be a part of it.  It seems to me that one of Aurobindo's most compelling claims is that the notion of "civilization" is one that can actually represent the opposite end, based on which social order is using the term.  Certainly, one can conclude that Aurobindo is right because much of what the British did to Indians under colonial rule was far from "civilized."

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