India is the most populous country in the world, and like many situations, this fact can be perceived both as an advantage and a disadvantage. Indeed, as many realise, everything in life possesses dual aspects of advantage and disadvantage, simultaneously. It all depends on one’s perspective. Given the constraints of our context, it is desirable to avoid delving into side discussions. Therefore, let us focus on the issue of India: its vast size and its immense population.

Geographically, from Kutch to Kamrup and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, a population of 1.42 billion people is encompassed, representing a cross-section of civilisations spanning from ancient times to the present. It is reported that in certain hilly districts of the country, tribes still subsist using only the bow and arrow, untouched by generations of progress. In a country where such diversity exists, there is also the remarkable achievement of Chandrayaan and the upcoming mission to the sun. Numerous other examples highlight India’s significant contributions to the world.

In many ways, India leads the way in value-based behavior and fostering a higher level of commitment to a more evolved global order. In a country as diverse as India, as mentioned earlier, there exist civilisations of all shapes and sizes. In such a situation, achieving a universal common communication method is itself a noteworthy accomplishment.

This country possesses a homogeneity that is quite unique to itself. It has witnessed 75 years of glorious self-rule, where powers-that-be have transitioned with remarkable smoothness. From Jawaharlal Nehru to Narendra Damodhar bhai Modi, the diversity and variety of approaches are as vast as the human experience. Yet, no political leader has fled the country, nor has any met the fate that some leaders of other nations have experienced. There is something about Bharat that we can all take pride in, not the least of which is its representative form of governance. That, of course, is another story.

More to the point, within this teeming Indian population, it encompasses nearly all the eras that human beings have traversed since ancient times. It is not just that it spans civilisations from bows and arrows to rockets, but in between, it hosts a rich medley of cultural diversity. Here in this country, numerous forms of religions coexist harmoniously.

Furthermore, India boasts a greater variety of economic systems than can be found in any single country in the world. Yet, India coexists, for the most part, in peace. It functions systematically and continues to grow. It is this trait about India that renders it so special. One must remind oneself that this unity of focus, operation, and purpose has been shaped in a significant way by literally over several thousand years of continuous history.

Some estimate it to be 10 thousand years, while others extend it to 20,000 or even beyond. The question lies in how one reconstructs history. Ram existed in the Satya Yuga, and Krishna in the Dwapara Yuga, and so the chronology continues. In a canvas as vast as this, there will inevitably be those who sow doubts, which is understandable.

The crucial point is that those who harbour doubts are not cast out of the community. India may, according to some, be a cacophony, but what truly distinguishes India is its commitment to freedom of speech. While isolated incidents of intolerance do occur, it would be surprising, indeed unnatural, if these isolated cases were absent. The beauty of the scene lies in the ability to accommodate diverse points of view and still progress together.

The experience of the G20 has given impetus to B20 efforts. This is understandable because business is one of the fundamental building blocks of human civilisation. In a country where tribal methods of exchange coexist with the theoretical intricacies of stock exchanges, there exists a richness of approach that is not easily paralleled anywhere else.

This is India. The G20 has been utilised to project the Indian philosophy of the world as one: ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ — the belief that the world is one family. Governments that subscribe to class conflict ideologies will naturally pose questions about this philosophy. Resolving this debate won’t happen overnight; it will be an iterative process. What’s crucial is that the debate has commenced. Evidently, a thinking mind and the ability to engage in meaningful debate go hand in hand. The tradition of debate, in various forms, will persist, and that is the beauty of a vibrant intellectual environment.

This essence is mirrored by a rich material culture and a diverse array of resources, rendering this country truly exceptional. Learning to coexist, embracing differences, and showing mutual respect form the core of unity. This, in essence, is what it means to be human.