Food for thought – Misinterpreting ‘Indian Culture’ to bash people in the comments section?

The views expressed in this article are the author's own.

Food for thought - Misinterpreting ‘Indian Culture’ to bash people in the comments section?

Culture. What a powerful word. A word once meant to celebrate the ingenuity, creativity, and traditions of communities has now become a rallying cry for war. Hundreds of comment threads have come up in recent times, decrying the so-called ‘modernization’ of Indian youth, the ‘white culture’ of ‘jeans top’, and ‘deviant’ thinking of the West. 

What is the West? 

What is the West?

If the question can even be posed? To us, the Americas and Europe constitute the West. In Eastern Europe and the Scandinavian countries, Western Europe and the United States is the so-called West. To Eastern Asians, the Indian subcontinent forms part of the West. While international relations has its own definition, we have made our own definition too. 

Unfortunately, for us, thinking of culture also comes with the caveat that one must also be thinking of Indian youths being too ‘modernized’ and ‘Western’.

But why shouldn’t we celebrate Indian culture one may ask?

Of course, we must. The beauty and diversity of our country are immense. The pride that we feel when we listen to the National Anthem can only be compared to that pride when sons of the soil fight for us in the Indian Army. 

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We are proud of our country.

However, the issue arises when we reject all other cultures, in trying to maintain our own. By doing this, we only create more division and radicalize people on both sides of the fence. 

Wearing traditional clothes, meeting up with family at our festivals, and saying a respectful Namaskaram to our elders before we catch up with cousins. Being respectful to others. Believing that guests are akin to Gods. All of this is our culture. 

We are proud of our country.

Not spitting on the face of others and refusing to acknowledge their ways of life and their autonomy as human beings sharing this Earth.

How can we respect people from Brazil, Tanzania, Oman, or Japan if we cannot respect our own fellow Indians? How often does a person, so used to treating fellow countrymen as sub-humans, derogatively call K-pop artists from the rising Hallyu wave effeminate or gay?

Too many.

This is a tragedy, disguised as a non-overt, normal behavior in some people, and it needs to end. 

Female Infanticide and Dowry are still rampant

Speaking of discrimination, what about the female infanticide that still occurs even though it is outlawed and any offenders are severely punished when caught? 

How does this concept even come about? 

Female Infanticide and Dowry are still rampant

The answer lies in the way that certain Indians treat people of the female gender. Dowry: treating a bride as a product that needs to be taken off of her parents’ hands is enough to explain it. 

What does this have to do with the westernization of Indians though?

Well, only the opposition to girls wearing jeans, the fact that girls are becoming friends with boys and not avoiding them as society dictates, and much more, is nothing to be worried about. We have more important things that should be ripped out of our culture, by its very roots.

It is simply that the world is not limited to our local alleyways anymore. As long as there’s the Internet, a person living in the most remote part of South America can look up Bollywood songs and curate an entire playlist.

This is simply humanity liking something and adopting it. As it did with fire or wolves. 

Disclaimer, we don’t mean to bash Indian culture and its people or want to give up our citizenship.

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