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Thedocumentary is a step by step process illustration of Indian cultureand way of life as it evolved throughout the years. It bring out thediverse aspects present within the Indian culture and laws as well asthe perceptions and otherwise covered activities not previously knownto the outside world. In my opinion it is a good information sourceas it provides both visual and audio illustration that makes iteasier to comprehend the road from civilization to colonization ofIndia and the hurdles as well as the blissful moments experienced.

Thekey differences between the secondary source (the documentary) andthe primary source (the Laws of Manu)

Thereare several apparent differences between the documentary and the Lawsof Manu. First and foremost, the laws of Manu are based on the dosand don’ts embedded within the system and way of life. Forinstance, what women are supposed to do, act and wear have beenexplicated. Likewise, the roles of men and children have beenelaborated. On the contrary, the film focuses more on the activities,rituals, religion and the social structure of the Indian groups. Iteven goes further to dissect the community regarding thesocio-economic status where the impoverished seem to be segregated.Another variation is observed concerning religion. The Laws of Manubarely dwell on the matters of faith. Instead, the regulationsfeature the fundamental entities of women respecting men, men’sduties and responsibilities, matters to do with inheritance as wellas marriage among other family and social practices [CITATION Her11 p 36 l 1033 ].The video takes the time to look at the evolution of the people whiletaking sufficient time to elaborate on the implications of religionfrom the olden days to the contemporary period. Furthermore, the Lawsdo not cover well the elements of pilgrimage but concentrate upon theconsequences of acting in a certain way or going against that whichhas been stipulated. For example,the law explains that those who adhere faithfully to their cause willbe rewarded. The movie strays and features on the relevance ofpilgrimage which not only gives rise to unity and cohesion but alsohas economic value through money exchanging hands and developmentthrough the interaction and the exchange of ideas [CITATION Pet12 p 26 l 1033 ].

Criticalshortcomings of the documentary and accounts for the deficiencies

Thefirst noticeable weakness is that the documentary does not providethe audience with much-needed information concerning the politicalconstruction of India beginning from historical times to date.Government proceedings such as elections, hierarchy, military andeven administration are important facets when it comes to anunderstanding a certain culture. Failure to depict the politicalspheres leaves the viewer with more questions than answers concerningthe way the region is run. Secondly, the social composition includingthe roles of women, men and children have not been well elucidated.Despite the various instances where males are seen to be leading inwork and religious meeting while women in dance and children sent tothe market, a clear-cut position of the specific roles of family andage groups have not been substantively provided. Unlike the Law ofManu which spells out the various responsibilities f individuals inthe society, the documentary does little to explain and illustratewhat males and females are expected to do and also how to act in afamily setup. The third shortcoming is too much concentration onreligion and spirituality hence neglecting other important elementsof society [CITATION Pet12 p 87 l 1033 ].To understand history, there must be a complete explication of theeconomic, social and political issues and advancement. However, thedocumentary does little to integrate these paramount elements.

Itis highly possible that the main reasons surrounding the highlightedshortcoming revolve around the purpose of the documentary. There issufficient probability that the religious practices of a society canbe studied critically to have an in-depth understanding of the wholesociety and how its systems work. Likewise, it is much easier toobtain spirituality related information since piety is one of theoldest elements in the ancient world and can thus help reveal moreand give additional insight on the particular events in question.

Twomost significant contributions of the documentary to theunderstanding of Indian history

Thefilm is contributing significantly in several ways. The first is thatit brings out the process of culture evolution, from the beginning ofcivilization to the invasion by the white man. The culture of acommunity is what defines that group of people. The film does anexcellent job of depicting the philosophies, values, and beliefs in amultidimensional way. For instance, the ideas of bathing in holywater, the offering of libations to gods and even the participationin pilgrimage are some of the unique activities that define theIndian community. Additionally, the interaction with other peoplesuch as Muslims is highlighted, and the implications of such contactcan be established such as infiltration of other religion, conflictand also the borrowing of commercial practices such as weaving as ameans of generating income.

Therole of worship is also heavily highlighted in this film not onlydoes it focus on the precious essence of traditional beliefs but alsothe widely practiced idolatry activities. Religion and spiritualityhave been used here to elaborate the history of India while at thesame time describing its role in advancements as well as theimplications for the future of the region. The mysteries ofcivilization are brought to light, and it is, therefore, possible tounderstand the background of beliefs and practices of the Indianpeople [CITATION Pet12 p 98 l 1033 ].


INDIA: THE EMPIRE OF THE SPIRIT. 2012. [Film] Directed by Peter Spry-Leverton. India: Carlton Intrnational Media.

JONES, H., 2011. Laws of Manu. [Online] Available at: http://www.worldhistoryatlas.com/U02/WHAcom12_U02_PS_manu.pdf[Accessed 22 November 2016].