Modernisation contre occidentalisation

Tout le monde aujourd'hui semble être obsédé par la question de l'Islam et de sa réconciliation avec la modernisation. Dans ce débat, on confond souvent la modernisation et l'occidentalisation. Il est essentiel d'en comprendre les différences.

L'interaction de l'Inde avec l'Occident depuis plus de trois siècles souligne la différence entre ces deux processus, la modernisation et l'occidentalisation, que l'on considère souvent comme synonymes. En fait, la modernisation n'implique pas l'occidentalisation, comme le démontre le Japon d'aujourd'hui. Alors que la modernisation implique la mutation des systèmes de valeurs liés au fonctionnement du monde matériel, l'occidentalisation implique la mutation des systèmes de valeurs cosmologiques liés à la manière dont les individus mènent leur vie.

Comme la Chine et contrairement au Japon, l'Inde a résisté à la mutation de ses valeurs traditionnelles liées au fonctionnement réel et idéal du monde qu'implique la modernisation, préférant, comme de nombreux pays islamiques d'aujourd'hui, suivre à tort la doctrine de Gandhi qui défend l'idée que la modernisation implique nécessairement l'occidentalisation. Par moments, et sous l'influence du gouvernement de l'empire britannique aux Indes, certains secteurs économiques et sociaux furent modernisés au cours de la deuxième moitié du 19ème siècle sous l'influence des politiques de libre échange et de laissez-faire . Certaines des castes éduquées ont aussi adopté l'occidentalisation.

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