The central idea of old Indian civilisation:-
The tradition was one of respecting learning and goodness in any individual who possessed them. There are innumerable examples of non-Brahmins, and even persons belonging to the depressed classes, being so respected and sometimes considered as saints. Official status and military power never commanded the same measure of respect, though it may have been feared.
Even to-day, in this money age, the influence of this tradition is marked, and because of it Gandhiji (who is not a Brahmin) can become the supreme leader of India and move the hearts of millions without force or compulsion or official position or possession of money. Perhaps this is as good a test as any of a nation’s cultural background and its conscious or subconscious objective: to what kind of a leader does it give its allegiance?
The central idea of old Indian civilisation, or Indo-Aryan culture, was that of ‘dharma’, which was something much more than religion or creed; it was a conception of obligations, of the discharge of one’s duties to oneself and to others.
- Jawaharlal Nehru.(Discovery of India)