Recently, I had a conversation with Eva Maria – a German lady who is staying in Kerala and collecting data for her doctoral thesis – “Resistance of regional-medical-systems against globalisation/allopathic medicine – in the light of naturopathy in Kerala”. I took a while to grasp what she’s doing and the scope of this post doesn’t cover that. :)
She told me, when she visits some villages in Kerala, they tell her – “Kerala is the best place on the planet [to live]”. On asking back which all places they know to have such an opinion, they say, they haven’t ever been away from their cute lovely villages. So much for “informed opinion”.
And you know what? Indians tend to make this “we are the best” comments about almost everything [Facebook-Group].
To make it worse, we cannot even accept a bit of criticism. Once, in a group, I was telling [non-Indians] about some flaws and faults of Indian system, when this friend from Bihar told me [shouted] (in Hindi) to stop telling about the bad-things back there.
WE ARE FLAWLESS attitude spans from culture to technology. Indian culture is the best EVER. Home grown technology beats everything else (Remember Ramar-Pillai?).
A word about Indian culture – the colours, variety of food, festivals etc. are some of the best of it.
At the same time, don’t tell that a system where women are second class citizens is good. I simply won’t be able to understand the “goodness” of a dowry-based-arranged-marriage-family-system. Let’s not even talk about the caste-based classification of people.
I am not exactly patriotic; It’s your choice to be or not. But don’t let patriotism blind you. Please don’t.
And my dear Indian readers, if you still think we are the best, see where India stands in these global ranking systems: Satisfaction with Life Index (India:125), Quality-of-life index (India: 73), etc. We are not exactly at the top of these lists, are we?
So, there must be something which we are not doing right. (And others doing it right?)
There are many great things about every place/system. It is the same with India too – lot of great people, things, places, traditions, etc. But please try to have informed opinions; and be open to criticism.
And wouldn’t it be the best if we know what our faults are and get the best from wherever we can? Life will be happier, world will be a better place to live.
Signing off, Sands.
PS: Also, don’t think that this “attitude” is completely Indian, for I have seen people who say their system is the only good system around (have you spoken with newly-imported-Chinese students?).
PPS: People who are proud of the age-old beliefs/traditions/customs would shamelessly say that the hard, non-bendable, non-criticisable rules in Qur’an were written for 6-7th century A.D, and are not applicable now. (But that argument doesn’t apply to own faults, right?). Having majority support, or having been functional for ages shouldn’t support any system. Let changes happen, for good.