At TED2007, Lakshmi Pratury beautifully spoke about the lost art of letter-writing and its power. Founder of Tamarind Grove, which creates business and cultural links between the US and India, and a longtime TEDster, Lakshmi just posted on her blog her thoughts on the 60th anniversary of India’s independence (that was yesterday, August 15):
“In most Indian states, when someone turns 60, they renew their wedding vows. (…) If India is turning 60, who would it renew its vows with and what would each party say?”
She starts by quoting India’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, the eve of the independence: “at this solemn moment we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.” Then she proceeds to analyze the wows in the context of “the cause of humanity”, discussing the destinies of the traditional elite (kings and princes), the middle class, the business conglomerate and tech elite (winners), and the poor, about which she says: “India has not delivered what it promised to them, but they delivered the spirit of India better than any other strata of society”.
“India is in a good place today. The world is watching us and the only hindrance to India becoming a super power is India itself. (…) It is only our humility of our capabilities and a dedication to preserving our culture that can catapult India into true leadership (…) while embracing the entrepreneurial and risk taking values of the west. It is my dream that the largest democracy, India and the richest democracy, U.S can work together to create a new democracy of ideas that can change the world we live in for a better tomorrow and this is my toast to the bride and the groom as they renew their vows on the 60th birthday”.