Bharat vs China — who has a vision for the post-West era?

By Karthik Govil

Bharat and Zhongguo are two big civilizational powers, and potentially the two big superpowers out of three on the global stage right now, and 2 of the 4 big cultural spheres of today. While China has secured their position as a global leader as the alternative to the West (namely the USA), Bharat is treading towards that direction as well.

Are they both merely competitors of the West and Islam? What sets these two apart from the two Judeo-civilizations (or cultural spheres)? Let us try to comparatively understand Bharat and China as civilizations, and compare them to the Western and Islamic cultural spheres, to understand how their outlook of the world differs.

The similarities

The world is starting to see the similarities between China and Bharat. They are both ancient civilizations, with a continuous unbroken tradition and belief systems. They both have very large populations and population densities, their culture is diverse and federal. Many Chinese temples have different rooms for different regions; Funanese don’t worship in the same room as the Shanxians or the Sichuanese, or vice versa. This federal character of China is an integral part of their identity, and it surpasses the occupied regions of Tibet, East Turkmen, Mongolia or Manchuria which are separate entities in themselves.

Their federal structure can be compared to the states that Bharat has within itself, and their occupied territories can be compared to Pakistan, Myanmar, etc (not occupied).

They both have adopted pro-people stances, socialism and communism, coming under the anti-western pole of global politics. This has been the case until very recently.

They have both left a cultural impact across the Asian continent region surrounding them, and affected almost every corner of the globe in their long histories.

But this is where the similarities end.

Same concept — different approach

The two civilizational nations begin to differ from this point.

  • Different ideas of unity: while China’s Han mainland has been a mostly politically united country despite their regional diversity, Bharat has had a cultural and spiritual unity which transcended the king and relies on the priest. A united polity gave China a unified language or a push for standardization of language. Meanwhile, Bharat’s spiritual unity connected every region through pilgrimage and spirituality.
  • China has a regional dialect variation just like Bharat has various languages; the government of China takes active measures to thwart this diversity. Meanwhile, Bharat pushes false narratives (such as north/south are different civilizations, something Modi ji said in the Kashi-Tamil Sangamam) just to maintain regional diversity. Bharat still hasn’t chosen Sanskrit as the national language. Both Bharat and China exist in the opposite extreme to a fault. Yet, both extremes stem from a very different idea of the continuum of civilization, and this must be noted.
  • Different approach to language: Both civilizations have very different approaches to language. China has a unified language that has gone through several processes of simplification over the millennia, the most recent being “Simplified Mandarin” mandated by the CCP.
  • Bharat meanwhile, started from natural Sanskrit, or Prakrit, (including in the south) and developed various scripts to write this language. We can trace the “Sanskrit/Tamil split” to the invention of numbers and the Battle of 10 Tribes, as counting is similar to Persian but animal names are similar to Tamil.
  • While Tamil had fixed grammar rules, Rishi Agastya probably got the written script to the south. Regardless, Tamil is a Sanskritic language (or rather, Sanskrit is a Tamilic language?). It was given different scripts by kings which changed its understanding between people who spoke the same language.
  • Eventually, several languages emerged from this Cultural Language (called Sanskrit) and separate polities used this to strengthen their kingdom and their regions. Even today, regional language is given more emphasis than Sanskrit in Bharat, while Sanskrit isn’t even recognised by the state. In China, on the other hand, regional diversity was squashed by the Communists to create a “Simplified Chinese”, and one cannot even find Cantonese or Tibetan on Google Translate to date (02/04/2024) because of pressure from China on Google. Once again, two very bad extremes.
  • Different approaches to religion and culture: While China has artificially unified their culture, and by extension religion, into a “unified” identity, Bharat has let jati and regional pride both shine brightly. China used to have a three-tier social system of; bureaucracy, skilled labour and unskilled labour. Yet, today they pretend that they are all “one Chinese”. It is illegal to take pride in one’s roots unless it complies with the “unified China” narrative.
  • Meanwhile, in Bharat, we see many organizations which look after specific jati or a collection of jatis, such as “All India Yadav Mahasabha”, etc. Forms of expression like Janeu are the price of Brahmins. Bharat’s discourse mainly revolves around controlling hate speech, with hate speech laws generally being against the Brahmin minority of Bharat.
  • Difference in governance: While China has a strong central government; reflective of the above points, Bharat has a Federal govt, also in line with the above traits mentioned. Both countries have the potential to learn from each other and walk the Buddha’s middle path, due to this.
  • Difference in territorial ambition: While China of the modern day wants to extend its control over nations it has very little to do with culturally (namely Tibet, Mongolia and Manchuria), Bharat actively rejects opportunities to integrate countries like Bangladesh into itself. It believes in the will of the people (like Sikkim) to embrace gain in its territory.
  • The difference in outlook: While China has been very exclusive in its “native” name “Zhongguo” is only used in Chinese — literally meaning “Central Country” — Bharat has been a word once recognised globally. Spice in “Arabic” is called “Bharatha”, after Bharat the country that sold the Arabs spices. Bharat has a vast coastline which touches several of its biggest states, and they’ve had a long history of trade both eastward and westward by sea. Its maritime history is one that has rarely found a match, and it stretches into several millennia.
  • The Maratha army kept the Europeans at bay until the 18th century. Much of the maritime history is lost too, waiting to be revived. On the other hand, China has a small South/East China Sea, which too was constantly fought over. Manchus, Japanese, Koreans, and Vietnamese, all lay claim to this sea. The Chinese had to travel long distances by land to trade, rarely inviting foreigners on their home turf.

With these differences in mind, we can map how modern China and Bharat are different from each other in terms of potential foreign policy.

China’s Vision — or lack thereof — for the world

China has been at the helm of global resistance against the USA and the West. Banding together with the Islamic world (despite their actions in East Turkmenistan), it has created a Marxist-Islamist opposition to the West. Inheriting the Marxist legacy of Russia, its global outlook is often informed by the Marxist perspective. It has applied the Marxist lens to its polity well, but China fails to reverse its worldview to look at the globe, in the outward direction. They lack the feeling of Vasudev Kudumbakam, or the World Is One Family.

There could be many reasons for this. The biggest is their language barrier, but it is also informed by China’s historical stance on being the “central country” of the world. China comes first, and everyone else comes second.

China, while aiming for an egalitarian, de-colonized world, has been unable to “Hanify” this Marxist perspective of theirs. We see them champion many causes on this Marxist basis, like the cause for parity between the Global North and Global South, opposition to the “Western” way of doing things in the UN and international relations, and their outreach to Muslim countries in empowering their “Islamism”.

Meanwhile, their biggest ally, Islam, does have a VERY clear vision for the world of a Dar-ul-Islam, and one that, much like the Western world’s Judeo-Christian outlook, is the exact opposite of “decolonial”. If China isn’t careful then the Muslim world will avenge the Uighyrs and impose a global Sharia order against their Chinese kafir bosses. It would not be too dissimilar from how China, once a junior partner of Russia, today holds more influence and also claims Russian territory as its own. History rhymes again.

The Islamic world has an easier time expanding its agenda because of China’s lack of one — they ride on the coattails of China’s destruction of Western imperialism to impose their brand of Islamic imperialism.

The Indic/The Bharatian Alternative

What makes Bharat unique? It isn’t merely the ancient civilization itself — many other East and Southeast Asian countries have ancient civilizations too.

What makes Bharat unique is her relatability. Her bridging ability between the West and the East.

While there is much in common with Bharat’s civilizational religion and Eastern thought, it has just as much in common with the ancient religions of the West — Zoroastrianism, Hellenism, Mushrikun (pre-Islamic Arabic religions), Germanic Paganism and Scandinavian paganism, to name a few.

The Sanatani/Hindu experience of slavery and loss of culture to proselytisation, colonization and slavery also gives Bharat a certain relatability to Native American, Aboriginal Australian and Indigenous African religious groups as well. The diaspora of Seychelles, Latin Americas, Africa, etc would be key in this, as their ancestors were enslaved and brought to Africa.

Most people only see Africa from the lens of a Christian/Muslim south/north divide. This leaves the real Africans who still follow their indigenous faiths without an identity to recognise themselves; it compromises their Eternality.

Even East Asian countries can learn the harms of proselytising religions like Christianity, which have made enough inroads in Southeast Asia and East Asia to destroy indigenous culture. Japan’s Nathuram Godse, Tetsuki Yamagami, already took violent action against Shinzo Abe. Yet, violence is not the answer. Honest academia is.

The insights of our history and the perspectives gained from it offer the depth that China lacks with Communism (thanks to her inheriting all her perspectives from Russia; an empire which expanded by land at the same time the Spanish and the Portuguese expanded by sea, i.e. a Colonial construct Ural mountains onwards).

How does this benefit us? How does it benefit the world? Let’s discuss.

A Breath of Fresh Air

Every country, including the USA and China, has used their versions of global perspectives for their benefit. America took to the business of bringing Freedom and Democracy™ to the world. Meanwhile, China has adopted the Russian Egalitarian☭ voice to the same world.

Where would Bharat fit into this? While our selfish benefits may exist, just like China and America, let us discuss the benefits the world may have by seeing things from our lens.

The world currently has two overlapping events occurring simultaneously: the rise of nationalism and the increasing need for environment conservation. Technology is at the forefront of both of these. Both the Democracyism of the USA and the Communism of China fail to address these challenges in their current form.

But what if there was a new lens to answer these problems? Let us call this lens “Civilizationalism”. Under Civilizationalism, all the world can be compelled to introspect on themselves civilizational, work their way to an identifiably distinguished past and reach a point where they can trace their indigenous religions and institutions of nature worship.

Civilizationalism is not in conflict with either Democracy or Communism, just like neither of these two ideologies is in conflict with the other. Civilizationalism is just another competitor to these two.

The advantage of other countries becoming civilizational states is their reorientation towards environment conservation action — with a religious fervour. A truly indigenous-religious civilizational state (some may call it a Dharmic nation) would be oriented towards praying to the environment. To preserve their religious identity they would lay down their lives for the environment. Religious fervour would push many countries, like Egypt for example, to revive their natural flora and fauna (that went extinct due to desertification), and by extension revive their indigenous cow breeds through cloning!

Or it may push the European settler-colonizers of Turtle Island (today called “Americas”) to return to their Punyabhumi Europe, while the native Turtle Islanders reclaim their stolen land, all while maintaining their relationship as fellow civilizational brothers (Vikings did trade with Native Turtle Islanders until the Christian Colonizer Vasco Da Gama came with the Gospel).

Pluralism and Polytheism would also be useful orientations in the digital age of AI. With the excess of information at the average person’s fingertips today, it is only right that our religious orientation also aligns with accepting a plurality of thought, each strain on tolerant coexistence with the other.

The possibilities are endless. With modern technology reaching new heights that are scary, in biotechnology, AI, in several fields of science in the coming future, this broad outline will guide every human to use this new technology for the greater good of the planet and the ecosystem. The consumerist industrialist monotheistic and Abrahamic ideologies of the world become the natural enemy of this ideology.

Moreover, the world has lived on for too many centuries under the shadow of their malevolent proselytiser; glorifying their oppressor in a global Stockholm Syndrome, trying to imitate them. It is time every country in the world reclaimed their heritage from start to finish, unbroken in continuity, alive like it was yesterday.

It can compete fairly with Democracy or Communism on the world stage. It would also define Bharat’s vision globally as a superpower that is willing to make a change and stand up for what it believes is justice.

Meanwhile, Bharat’s selfish motivation is simple: it won’t be culturally alone on the global stage as a retro-futuristic civilizational state.

The world needs this Civilizationalistic lens of Bharat now more than ever. To quote what Shri Amit Shah ji once said,”Jaan de denge iss ke liye. Aap kya baat kar rahe ho”.


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