This post is going to be a bit different, but hopefully kind of cool too. For the most part we all know the basic “fun” facts about India: it’s the second most populous country in the world, the largest democracy, etc. So instead of compiling a list of facts here, I thought I’d do a list of quotes. As one of the world’s oldest civilizations, you could say India’s been around for a while. It’s inevitable that some interesting people have said some interesting things about this interesting land. In a way, I think some of these quotes- the good and the bad- are just as telling as facts, only on a more first-hand level. I’ve never been to India, and I’m constantly looking at pictures of it. Quotes like these kind of make the images three-dimensional for me. There are also some in here about other countries around India.
Shall we begin?
India is a geographical term. It is no more a united nation than the Equator. -Winston Churchill
I am involved in the land of a leonine and brave people, where every foot of the ground is like a well of steel, confronting my soldier. You have brought only one son into the world, but everyone in this land can be called an Alexander. -Alexander the Great on Punjab (This is one of my personal favorites. How coincidental that he used the word “leonine” when Singh actually means lion)
Famine is India’s specialty. Elsewhere famines are inconsequential incidents — in India they are devastating cataclysms; in one case they annihilate hundreds; in the other, millions -Mark Twain
One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs And the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls- 17th century poet Saib Tabrizi on Kabul, Afghanistan.
When I read the Bhagavad-Gita and reflect about how God created this universe everything else seems so superfluous.
~~~ Albert Einstein (not specifically about India as a country, but interesting not the less)
Tell me, why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognise our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?
~~~ Abdul Kalam (President of India)
No one is India. –E.M Forster. I’m still working on this one…
Cinema in India is like brushing your teeth in the morning. You can’t escape it. –Shahrukh Khan lol.
Unless India stands up to the world, no one will respect us. In this world, fear has no place. Only strength respects strength. –Abdul Kalam. Fun fact here–India has never invaded another country in its entire existence.
The tallest building in the world is now in Dubai, the biggest factory in the world is in China, the largest oil refinery is in India, the largest investment fund in the world is in Abu Dhabi, the largest Ferris wheel in the world is in Singapore. -Fareed Zakaria. Woah. Go Asia.
I like the evening in India, the one magic moment when the sun balances on the rim of the world, and the hush descends, and ten thousand civil servants drift homeward on a river of bicycles, brooding on the Lord Krishna and the cost of living.
As far as the public is concerned, India is amazingly secular. -Shahrukh Kahn.
India can live without nuclear weapons. That’s our dream, and it should be the dream of the U.S. also. -Abdul Kalam. Quite the dream.
When I was 17, I went to India for six weeks and had what, at the time, was a very challenging trip. You walk down the street and you see lepers and beggars, and there were several of us, a group of Americans. I remember we were just trying to park one night somewhere and people were just sleeping in the parking lot. -Chris Hughes
I will lay my bones by the Ganges that India might know there is one who cares. -Alexander Huff
A lot of these I’ve only just heard, and to be honest I still have to figure out what they mean. But that’s sort of the fun part. Hopefully one day, India will be less of a mystery to me. And, if some of the things I hear about it are true, less of a mystery to itself as well.