Koi Bhi Desh Perfect Nahin Hota Use Pefect Banana Padta Hai. These words couldn’t be truer for India. Anyways, let’s consider a modest truth of our lives. Hopefully, by the end of the read, you would understand why this phrase from Rang De Basanti is being spelled out here.
If statistics were meant to truly indicate growth, then the world won’t have seen a rise in prominent phenomenon of today such as Happiness Index. A dominant discourse of our time, factors such as Happiness Index or the World Happiness Report are looked at to determine ‘progress’ or the lack of it in true sense of the word.
It is no surprise that India, a robust economy and a really shining super-power as the economists suggest is among the most keenly followed countries of the world. It’s culture, checkered history, tryst with colonialism and the subsequent fight-back toward independence, the larger than life mythological symbols and financial grandeur and, impressive strides toward entrepreneurship have made India a behemoth of economic rise.
Yet, something about the Indian society is so pale and vicious that it won’t let the nation ‘evolve’ from the captivation of its self-created evils. When one thinks of the tremendous potential India promises despite prevailing in tough times of the contemporary economic upheaval coupled with its searing dominance in myriad areas of life such as science and technology, sports and entertainment, one cannot help but think of the term ‘irony’ when speaking of the world’s largest democracy and possibly, also the most complicated one.
Truth be told, while the potency behind stats and meaning behind numbers cannot be denied, it is whimsical to think that bloated measurements on the pivots of growth and development suggest that ‘all is well’.
While no time can ever be right to look and critique about a nation’s “letdowns”, assessing certain evils that have held back a country’s progress from being the best that it can be cannot hurt much. Or can it?
We look at some of the most hurting and bigoted problems that have marred the Indian society since time immemorial, rather the biases and taboos that have curtailed the promise the nation of a beautiful confluence of language, colors and customs holds.
Sex: the real cuss word if there’s one
Our students today hold masters and graduate degrees in life sciences, engineering, business law, architecture and even music. Most of us from the developed parts of the country have already made it to ivy-league colleges and some are on their way to create a change in the world. Some of the world’s most brilliant economic minds hail from India. But, just think of the average Indian mindset.
Sex is still such a huge issue in the large Indian society.
Regardless of who you are and what caste or religion you belong to, it is considered irrational and shockingly, ‘cheap’ to be talking about not such a vicious 3 letter word which has given birth to the meaning behind phrases such as civilization, progeny and future.
We might have grown a few aces today, but what is one to make of the hype and hoopla surrounding the word blatantly used and abused today?
The patriarchal society
Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. You may have heard the witty title of a bestseller. While both the title and the book made loads of sense, what doesn’t is India’s prevalence with the norms of the patriarchal society.
Who has made the rules that a man can do and is supposed to do a certain course of things surrounding life, sustenance and future building and that the women should only be doing a particular course of action, starting from marriage to kids to household work and other rudimentary stuff?
None right? Then home come the society extends a raw-deal when men and women who are fictitiously supposed to do certain things as part of the ‘expectations’ of the world and their families of them end up following a different course of action?
Can’t women, regardless of where they hail from in India go to work always? Why are they supposed to be homemakers always? Also, can’t husbands not be seen as homemakers or be allowed to retire early in life? Who’s made the rule that one is to work till the dead-rubber years of one’s physical and intellectual capabilities and not follow a different course of life? This sadly is an existing norm in our society today.
You will make it far in life, if you have it in you. Must have come across this phrase, have you not? In the most idealistic system, you were told that you could achieve it all if you have the skill, rather drive for something. But, perhaps, we were all lied to and blatantly so or so it seems.
In contemporary India, one where religious intolerance have reduced quite drastically like Brittany Spears’ public appearances, reservation system or simply, quota system is continuing to grow with aplomb.
Just days back, the jat quota system caused a huge stir. Not that the country had faced such an incorrigible event for the first time ever but the huge hue and cry over something that is being passionately rooted for as a ‘to have right’ and ‘entitlement’ over merit really sounds bizarre and truly unbecoming. One wonders where the country which is otherwise the home to giants like Gandhi, Mahaveer, Meera bai, Adi Shankara, Maharana Pratap, Kabeer, Irom Sharmila, Medha Patkar and Nanak heading to?
Divorce: it is such a bad thing
Yeah, usually this is the image most of us and yes yes I ain’t ‘generalizing it dude’ have of those who undergo the bitterly painful legal process. Nowhere in the world, other than that of India or say places where intellectual evolution is banned do we hear of such a pathetic undertone of insinuation and disregard for another person.
Just because a woman is divorced, it takes seconds for us to ‘judge’ her character or label her as someone who is leading, rather rumored to be leading a ‘colorful’ existence, wonder what the word really means, when the human skin color on planet earth is closely similar despite variations in contrast.
That happily married uncle who recently got separated or that homely and down to earth lady who held to her peace of mind instead of the abusive husband; there are vile judgments and needless diatribe many indulge in, in an India begging for a complete dis-ownership of this nasty bias.
Urban vs Rural India identity crisis
Usually, when not targeting women over some pointless issue, our focus conveniently shifts over to the hinterland of the country, where neither do women have a voice in general day to day affairs of a household and when they do, no one gives a darn. Worst still, the general outlook of the dudes and chicks rollicking around in an Urban India as seen in Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore and Delhi- brimming on giant real estate flavor, the many needless shenanigans over the flavors of wine and of the verbal butchery of the country’s positives over the rural parts is just unbelievable.
We conveniently hold on to our biases when it comes to describing villagers and chiding their lack of development when mostly they aren’t to be blamed for it in the first place. The very vocal expression of a gaonwala or someone who is a ‘Dehati’ says it all.
Economy, opportunities and the paucity in both, have often left a huge void of connecting the developed India and its backward Swades or Bharat.
Truth be told, it isn’t a matter of pride to note that there isn’t a third thing that unites the country, other than that of Cricket and Bollywood and that when the country does get united and seem like one singular force of power, it happens in cases of rape, malicious cases of intolerance, media trials sensationalized on national television and other aspects concerned with ridiculing an individual.
While the times they are a changing cannot be denied, in India’s case, change should happen first in individualistic mindsets. Let’s hope that happens soon, for we deserve better.