India, a 5,000-year-old giant

John Szprzycki

John Zubricki dares to write a “Brief History of India” in 300 pages, summarizing the complexity of a country with a pre-Chinese history.

If all countries are special, India may be the most special of them all. With a population of about 1.4 billion, the country has surpassed China in population, four years ahead of what the book (published in English last year) predicted, perhaps the greatest confluence of cultures in the entire world. An indescribable source of spiritual traditions spread across the globe, attracting devotees from all over. With a history even older than China’s – from the Harappan civilization 5000 years ago, says John Zubricki – India thrived on interactions with the cultures of its time, which still surprises today. One of them happened in 2001, when much of the world became aware of two great Buddhas from 6th-century Afghanistan, where the Gupta and Buddhist styles of Indian art were combined with the delicate details of Greek art.

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