First of all I must tell you, I look through your website several times a day as your learnings are unmatched. I wished we were both 20 and I could learn my entire life, with you, from you 🙂
Reference your article on India, it is tied down by language. ..it is tied down by culture. The “Mahabharata and Ramayana” Sanskrit epics were carried by the ancient sages through out the country and passed through the generations by word of mouth ” Shruti”. Thus even before written text, the country was unified.
Our holy places “Char Dham” – 4 holy places Badrinath, Dwarka, Puri and Rameswaram ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Char_Dham ) were spread throughout the country. How will you break it apart ?
The holi Kumbh Mela or Hindu Pilgrimage is held across 4 cities – Haridwar, Nasik, Prayag, and Ujjain across the face of India http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumbh_mela
So you see – the country by itself is highly UNLIKELY to break. The British story….. that railways brought it together is humbug.
We do not have to go to Mecca or Jerusalem to find our Gods ! They were spread throughout the country by the ancient sages to keep it together !
So your thesis on India needs special attention, Sir. This country might be undergoing the consolidation cycle infact !!! See the inclusion of Jammu and Kashmir into the mainframe Indian constitution and taking it out of special status.
REPLY: Yes, there is a unified culture. The railroad did do something economically the same as it did in the USA. It did not bring the country together, culture did that. Often over=looked is that even in Ancient Greece, there was contact with India. The attempt of Alexander the Great (336-323BC) to reach Asia ended in India when he was forced to turn back after crossing the Indus river in the spring of 326BC.
In China, Ming-Ti (Liu Chuang) (57-75AD) is said to have had a dream of a golden image of Buddha and thus brought two monks from India to establish the first Buddha Temple in the new capital of Lo-yang (modern Honan).
India has been far more united than most people suspect.