Sunday, January 4, 2009

Why India has been missed out of Epcot World Showcase

Has anyone ever visited the World Showcase part of EPCOT theme park in Orlando, Florida? If yes, I wonder how many Indians felt the need to showcase India and why it is missing? Anybody may feel biased about my opinion and question why India must be showcased? I can say only one thing - "The world is incomplete and non-existent without India and indian history which is responsible for so many inventions and discoveries because of which the world is running today"

Have the people who conceived this idea of world showcase forgot who invented zero? It is the Indians. Their theme parks which are controlled by machines can't work if they can't understand zero. It is we who had formidable armies and the best navies in the world at one point. It is India which once was invincible by Alexander the great. It is we who created Ayurveda. It is the only country in the world which had gold, diamonds, silver, perl etc in huge quantities that they were used to decorate palaces whenever they were in excess. It is India where Nalanda University attracted 1000's of students across the world to come and study. It is the first known university where so many subjects were being offered. It is the wealth of India which attracted the British. Such is the fame and name India carries and I wonder how it was forgotten.

As I was watching the 360 degree film in the China (world showcase), I began to wonder what if India was really having a place here. Before that, I saw the movies of France, USA, Canada and China. It was only China which had a perfect presentation. They showcased not only how rich their history is but also how they are gradually becoming a developed world. The main goal was to convince the audience that China is the best example of a country where there is a balanced blend of the past and the present and has the best potential to become a developed country like USA. I feel India is surely a similar example.

Let's forget for a moment that in many sectors China is way ahead of India. Yet India is a country the world and the world history can never forget. Why only past? India is the second fastest growing economy and that being a present fact is also a strong reason why it should be showcased in EPCOT if it truly has to be called "WORLD SHOWCASE". It is also true that Greece and Egypt are missing. These two countries have equally rich history and all ingredients to be represented here.

When I was listening to the Chinese - they described several things and I started comapring with India solely for the reason that Chinese and Indians have some of the best inventions and discoveries and were contemporaries for centuries. The world owes a lot to these two countries.
Let's see some similarities. I took these based on what was presented in the movie.

They talked about gobi desert. We have the Thar desert. They have the giant Himalayas and we too have them. They have the mighty Yangse River while we have the mighty Ganges (of course, Yamuna, Cauveri etc). The narrator was saying that anyone who can swim in Yangse can fight the Gods. In our case, anyone whose ashes are immersed in Ganges reaches heaven. If they have the Great Wall, we have the mighty and majestic temples of TamilNadu. We have the beautiful Taj, and the world famous Hampi, Halebid, Badami, Aihole, Pattadkal, Ajanta, Ellora. and hundreds of others each a unique masterpiece. Find out one example in the world which can match these latter ones in style and richness. They are unique. All these are wonders of the world.

The movie talked about Chinese arts, dances and music. Can anyone find Carnatic and Hindustani anywhere in the world? Can anyone find dances like Bharatnatyam, Kuchupidi, Manipuri etc. elsewhere? Nowhere. They are unique. So many musical instruments were made and played in India. Can anyone forget Kautilya's Arthashastra which is a masterpiece like the Sun zu's (Chinese) "The Art of War". Both talk of military strategies with the help of which one can easily defeat enemies.

With respect to traditions, Indians still towers the world. Countless number of rituals each with its own significance ( of course, some of them still are superstitious) are practised by people in our country. The same festival is celebrated differently in different parts of india. Can we think of a country where 16 main languages exist? I really can't think of any other than ours. How can one forget India is the birthplace of Jainism, Buddhism, hinduism. How can one forget Mahatma Gandhi, Chandragupta Maurya, Asoka, Vikramidtya, Harshavardhana, Raja Raja Chola, Krishnadevaraya, Shah Jahan, Akbar etc. ?

The movie also mentioned about Chinese silk and unique dresses they wear. Can anyone think of a country where sarees were worn from the BC era? Is there any country where one can find different types of dresses in different parts? It is India.

How can we also ignore the fact that India is rising not because of government but despite the government? We are the largest democracy and for centuries our country existed(in terms of empire) from Iran till Java. How can one forget the fact that rarely one can find a country that was so difficult to be defeated in the 19th century as much as India by the Britishes because of the strong unity that bound us.

All these questions are not for a reader, but to the people who conceived and executed the idea of the WORLD SHOWCASE in Orlando? My final word to them - "You are fooling the world by showing WORLD SHOWCASE without showing India, Egypt and Greece."


sunjam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sunjam said...

very well written article...n very true whatever u've said....wld jus like to add that in a country where Indians comprise nearly 16% of Indian-American community settled in U.S, plus the number of Indian immigrants which is almost 1.5 million and counting, makes Indians the fourth largest immigrant group in the United States after the Mexican, Filipino, and Chinese. Thus, I jus can't help but wonder the logic behind the officials who planned EPSCOT for not including India...anyways hope they showcase it someday...only somehow EPSCOT's officials get to read this excellent article....anjie, lets make it possible...wat say!!!

RisingCitizen said...


I read your blog. A very good one
It is true India needs a place in EPCOT. I hope the concerned realize it.

Srinivas Katta said...

Anju, Good article, but why are u so worried about India not being showcased. Ask yourself this! has India showcased itself in India? Have you see the present day Belur, Halebid? Karnataka Tourism has not done anything to market these amazing architectures and you want US to showcase India? let us showcase ourselves, market ourselves better and then the world will recognize India and its history! Till such a day, we will always remain a 3rd world country to the rest of the world.