Mutual benefits from European contacts with India.

4. Mutual benefits from European contacts with India.

But we should not complain. In spite of several negative features there was also a good deal for us to learn from this new contact. Imperialism had its bad side but it was not established by men of straw. Many of the new rulers were men of great qualities. They had intelligence, dedication, organizing skill, and capacity for sustained and purposive work. They were men of great tapas from which we in India could learn.

Secondly, the initial contacts between nations and cul­tures are not always fraternal, though sometimes a frater­nity is created out of those unhappy contacts in due course of time. God fulfils himself in many ways. Europeans came as conquerors and as teachers. In the beginning, the relationship was unequal. But time has corrected some of the old imbalances and we can all now be brothers in a world that has become physically one. The Western con­quest opened up Asia to the Europeans but, by the same token, Europe too was opened up to Asia. The old self- sufficiency of Europe is now broken and only the very narrow-minded and self-assured Europeans feel comfortable in the role of world teachers. The best minds of America and of Europe have a humbler view of themselves and they feel they can also learn a few things from the spiritual heritage of the East and especially of India.