3 August 2010

Indian Supremacy Theory..

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”.

I wonder, how many proud mallus know that the Kerala-tagline “God’s Own Country” itself is not original. [LINK]

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.

No society is going to grow if they cannot accept their own flaws and discuss with others to see their blind spots. india-map123

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.


Anonymous said...

Nice Article.

India lies next to Saudi Arabia in Quality of Life!! :0


Meera said...

It's good to accept criticism. But it's definitely not necessary to publicise flaws. Flaws are there in all systems. Most of the times the standard which is being used for comparison also is not appropriate.

I don't think you would love to discuss the negative qualities your mother may possess. The same policy is acceptable when you talk about your country as well. :)

Anonymous said...

Good post. ROTFL with how silly the comment about publicizing flaws. Guess here you have another example for your list:-)

Flaws should be expressed so whatever can be corrected, is.

People need to stop associating mother's and countries ... bit sick. Even if your mother has a fault, you don't need to ignore it.

Overall, good post.

- kajan

Meera said...

I have seen many times Indians complaining about Indian systems to foreigners. When they see some good practice in other countries, why
do they behave like that? Definitely, you should always criticise and correct a system which you think bad and if you can propose a better alternative to the people who follow it. Simply comparing India with America or Australia or any other country and
criticising does not make sense at all. You can't even compare a state in North India and South India. No system is going to work in
the same way in both places.

I can only sympathise with those who are taking pride in criticising about Indian systems in a venue where most of the people present are non-Indians
and who don't know anything about the real India.

Sands | കരിങ്കല്ല് said...

@Vivek, :) Thanks.. (and let's see how it goes in Singapore)

@Kajan, :) Thanks for coming here. :)

@Meera.. :)

Your own words - "You can't even compare a state in North India and South India" .. but you can compare mother and country in the same level when it comes to criticism?. (Doesn't it sound like - you may compare apples and oranges; but not two apples?)

And I wasn't criticising anything but the attitude against criticism. (of course, caste-system / dowry too)

Be willing to accept the criticism - that's all my point was. NO criticism involved and you jumped the gun. :)

I also gave two links (ranks) to just prove that there's room for improvement, hence discussing the flaws is worth it.

And finally, don't tell me you haven't ever told any of your friends that your mom was unreasonable about something.

"Thayodum siru thayakkangal irukkum, thozhamayil athu kidayathai" - there are somethings you can't discuss with mom, but only with friends.

- Sands.

PS: No one is taking pride in criticising, but just telling others that be ready to accept criticism - so that things can be improved.

Anonymous said...


1. There is a difference between "positive criticism" - heartfelt criticism with the desire to see something changed, and "passive criticism" - criticism for the sake of fun or conversation. I hope people are more interested in the former.

2. You can be open about things, criticize, talk, blog, do all that all year long, 24/7. Everyone knows what exactly are the problems, very few do something to try change anything. So as long as things stop with (already well founded) theory, its better not to talk and act concerned if there is no plan to do anything for it. It sounds nice to be a Subroto Bagchi who like he says has done his bit towards the cause and THEN talks about it.

Sands | കരിങ്കല്ല് said...


thanks for the link.

1. I hope so too, that people do "positive/creative criticism"

2. Whether one plans to execute it or not, wants to change or not, if the criticism is true/factual, it would be nice to be open about it.

(And one doesn't have to be a good cook to comment about the taste (or lack of it) of a curry. Perhaps, knowing/accepting and talking about the flaws help him be better at changing things "positively".

Meera said...

To be honest, I feel the same way(from the heart I say) when I think about criticising my country or my mother.

I also do criticise my mom often.. But definitely not to my neighbour or a friend who doesn't even know my mother..most of the times, I tell her directly....or discuss with my father and sister...sometimes my grand mother...seriously I can't remember a single instance in which I am complaining about my mother to someone outside this territory.

I feel others think very bad about India most of the times because they heard something like that from their friends. I have seen many people who think India is just like it's seen in the Oscar movie. It's very difficult to make them understand that is just one part of India.

Take the movie."Precious"..Nobody thinks that America is just like that only..But when it comes to India, it's different...

Last week I was watching a program about immigration service in the airport of a foreign country. One man from some part of India was trying to take grains illegally keeping in pouches stitched inside his clothes(which are kept in the luggage).

They behaved very politely to him and gave him a warning and let him go. He apologised ...but immediately added that even if it was in India, the officers wouldn't have behaved like this way and blah blah....

I hope you understand what I mean....

Have a nice day..


Bindhu Unny said...

If people say theirs is the best place to live, that means they are contented with what they have, right? I don't have to stay in many houses to say that my home is the best.

Agree with you about accepting criticism for that can only lead to change. But isn't it human nature to avoid criticism - be it against oneself or against one's country? It takes immense courage to point fingers at oneself.

OT: Spammers have started outsourcing the job of cracking Captchas to India, Bangladesh & China. Read it here


Sands | കരിങ്കല്ല് said...


I understand your concern. But facts are facts, we cannot deny them

@Bindhu :)

Well, people may not say such things without knowing. This is the place I like most to live - that is a lot better - even that sounds hollow, if that is the only place he/she knows.

Agreed, people try to escape from criticism :)

Thanks for the link..

sreerenj said...

good work :)... I have to send this blog entry to some of my friends....