Who is an Indian? or Lets say can we define How Indian you or me are? For long, our society has segregated people into Desi and Firangi. The concept is so deeply engraved in our minds that we don’t even realize that we are creating biases against our countrymen.
If you speak English, travel in a car, wear modern clothes. You are perceived less of an Indian. On the contrary a Jhola bag coupled with a Kurta Pyjama can make you the ideal Indian. Why?
Why the bias? How can speaking English make me less of an Indian? If English is so Anti-Indian, then why does everyone aspire to be fluent in it?
Why are independent working women not so Indian? Or Why does the picture of Bhartiya Naari always have to be in a Saree, instead why isn’t the normal cloths that we youngsters wear Bhartiya? And more importantly, do they make us less of an Indian?
Our society defines a few things as Indians and a the rest as outsiders. And as Indians have one of the strongest biases in the world, we tend to opinionate about people very easily.
Some of the things that are classified as Indian some on which I find absurd:
- Not speaking in front of elders
- Touching their feet, and covering your head if you are a girl in front of elders
- Sticking with your parents even when you can afford your own home and move out
- Not talking about taboo stuff like sex
- Draping our women from head to toe untill its almost as bad as a Burqa
Some things that our society classifies as influences of the western world:
- Every individuals right to privacy and liberty
- Dating and Everything like it
- Sex and everything in the 3 Kms of its radius. Just the mention of the word freaks out some oldies!
- Alcohol, Smoking, Parties.
By now, you must have got an idea of what I am trying to say
I cant say that all of this isn’t true coz a lot of stuff is infact from the West like for instance, dating. But the question is, why should it make any of us less Indian?
We have the world’s oldest and the most dynamic civilisation. The only thing that has consistently defined us is Change. Our vibrancy is the result of this Change. We are one of the most tolerant and and most change accepting societies in the world and I am so damn proud of that.
We started as the land of Kamasutra: a land of free sexuality and were the first ones to even come close to a libertarian society. By the end of the industrial revolution, we had become the land of the Purdah system and had a well defined caste system. We are now slowly retracing our roots. Caste system is slowly getting removed and the Indian Sex Revolution is on its way.
With so much history of radical change behind us, can we afford to define ourselves in a static way? I say we cant.
If the image of a Suavely dressed English speaking, Pub-hopping crowd isn’t as Indian. It will soon be. Coz the only thing Indian is Radical Change. Change has always been our defining characteristics and by stereotyping the image of Indian not only are we diminishing the vibrancy of this nation, we are not discrediting our history.
It is time we realize that a particular type of individuals do not define the idea of an Indian. The ability to accept change does.
Coz, Youngsters today including me speak English. Wear modern clothing. Are not afraid to talk about sexuality. YET, We are Indians and proud. And if you question our Indianess. We don’t give a damn. We are generation Y.