I’m just about to hop on the train to Leicester, to visit friends in the Tamil community in what is Britain’s most multicultural city. A feast for the mind and body – especially for a vegetarian! But we will also be celebrating the riches of south Indian culture and history with a generation of Leicester children born outside India. And though this may sound rather grand, it set me thinking about the history of civilisation.
The 20th century saw the end of most of the traditional civilisations of the ancient world. The Tamil poet and freedom fighter Subrahmania Bharati, who died 100 years ago this September, spoke of the “terrible onslaught of European Christianity and European materialism”. We can see now that one of the effects of globalisation has been the final destruction of the thought-world of the civilisations that arose in the Bronze Age and which laid the foundations of our modern life, our philosophy, religious belief and custom.
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