Disclaimer: I speak only for India considering I am an Indian and have only personally experienced this country so intricately. I wouldn’t know if the following applies to any other country or perhaps most of the world as a general human notion. So peace out.
I don’t know if you’ll agree in full faith or just partially but there is a bit of us that relates to the Indian problem in one way than many. What is the Indian problem you ask, I’d be glad to point out. We are a bunch of pure bred hypocrites who’s only soul-food is insecurity and the base of our spine is lack of confidence. Look at us. We always look up to the westerners, beg to be like them and soon migrate to fulfill that dream of easy fancy living. Amidst your visa applications, scrounging funds, big aspirations and the hollow visionary plans of replication, little do we realize the real problem. We don’t ask why are we what we are but simply accept what we are supposed to be regardless if it will even fit the patch of land we live in. But this blind sheep attitude too is part of that Indian problem making this whole thing a big mess.
We are extremely sorry creatures with no sense of self, no direction, no passion but striving to survive that too with worst game plan ever in the human history. Filled with self doubts and an attitude where everything is justified in one way or the other, we are not going places till we change that Indian problem. I am not here to blabber what I feel, I am here to investigate. Let’s take a look where we come from. Leaving apart the epics of our apparent history of Ramayan and Mahabharat which we now halfheartedly follow till whatever suits us, we come from a place where we have never known what is it like to be oneself. We sing song of patriotism but we were never one country before. We showcase our ingenious brains in the fields of technology, medicine and management but what we are really doing is not creating but mastering what has already been created. No matter how much I want to believe that we are a country of innovators, we aren’t. Our ancestors either served the kings, saw massacre and bloodshed of those who rebelled, served as slaves to the foreign invaders and after ages passed like that we ended it all also by subtle fury and in all, begging for freedom never to fight, never to stand up. The non-violence movement was great and marvelous but what it eventually got us to? Under the reign of predators wearing the masks of our skin to call us our own? We were never under great leaders who showed us the possibilities of what we could be rather making our imagination smaller and smaller they filled us with fear and sense of lowlife to gear their ulterior motive and self-service. The feeling of oneness, togetherness and empathy never shadowed our sky. Always to beg, to adjust, to tolerate, to feel downtrodden, to be treated wrongly and accept all as fate; never to have your own stance, we are nothing but a bunch of spineless dilly dallying charity cases. I am not indicating only towards the ever so dirty and hapless political situation of this nation or such past rulers but I am talking about every household. Our history roars of the unending eras where the feels, the fire, the emotions and the aspirations were set aflame stating them all as unimportant. Suffering is our inherited passion. Convenience, genuineness and happiness seems too far-fetched luxury to the Indian soul.
Look at us now. From a family to a community to a whole country, we are nothing but a bunch of lost mindless sensitive (for all the wrong aspects) maniacs. We have never valued or even considered to acknowledge a person as an individual. We are always either someone’s child, someone’s spouse, someone’s parent, someone’s something or the other and we have to befit that role the best regardless what you truly are and desire to be. We are always fighting for something without knowing if it matters to us at all or not. You took that stream of education just because your family asked you to. You took a college for all those fancy courses and degrees just because your family asked you to. You got a job who’s status matched the reputation your family desired. You married that person just because your family found them suitable. You have those kids because your family knows the appropriate age for you to be a parent. And the series goes on. Don’t we all know this? From which dress to wear to which underwear will fit you best. From how many meals you must have to the way you walk and talk. From how many friends you must have to making you touch random strangers feet. From your beliefs to your faith. From your dreams to your passions. And why and how does the family decide? Based up on the greatest and strongest notion of our land- “log kya kahengay!” (“What will people say!?”) Why does everything need to be carved out by somebody else and for the pleasure of someone else? Having not sensed an ounce of freedom and actual self-potential on every aspect of our life we celebrate independence day so proud. Having never to even decide how you’d spend your day or any vacation you take up the key managerial position in a top-notch company still wondering why you can’t eat non-veg on Tuesdays. Having to clasp your hands and shut your eyes in front of a structure just because you have been asked to do so since you were an embryo. Having to ask for permission to go out. Having to give justifications, proofs and explanations every time you fall off the prescribed schedule. Through all these hollow things we have come across and grown into, through all the notions we just take as gospels truth never to know the real reason, we have the audacity to say that ‘I have lived my life.’
Where every basic conversation becomes an argument. When standing up for yourself is looked down upon as if civil disobedience were at play. Where dreams and passions are mocked at with the sword of reality of survival. Where age becomes the only factor for maturity and thus, respect. Where listening to your heart is considered stupid. Where falling in love is too western of an idea. Where plugging in earphones becomes disrespectful and acting pricey. Where traveling alone becomes an absurd and impotent thought. Where mindless cut-throat competition is willingly the only way taken. Where families are just a social plaster over the tired, weakened, suffocating and broken nerves layered with the grim of sadness. Where showing emotions and being sensitive is considered feminine. Where money and material take over everything that there is. Where facing all this and more, we suffer and accept it as destiny, our divinely designed fate- never to stand up, never to fight. And someday when we open are eyes to all this reality is the day we will all not just realize but perhaps consciously change the Indian Problem for nothing but a better life.
This is madness and we need to stop it. The system we are following is horrendously mistaken from the root of it. Family, as I believed was supposed to be for emotional support dwelling out of the mutual need and fondness to be together not for survival, social stucco, best bet or to safeguard our worst fears and insecurities. Here, relationships aren’t a by-product of love or compassion, though we are transforming in our own unique way, we are still lost and are following things in a blurry manner. As the family structure we have or had such as joint family and weird decorum to be followed with each individual of the house, even as nuclear family have become rampant the age-old hierarchy system hasn’t ceased to exist- if you’re a kid, your inputs don’t matter, if you still speak up you’re bluntly cutoff because you are a prick to argue with elders. We have forgotten to communicate and converse. Now it is just someone speaking, others either wagging heads like suffering from their own versions of bobble head doll syndrome or debating about. We don’t talk. Why do we need a head of the family anyway? If we are so human in our ways and all that galore of the most advanced species, why we still need an alpha? Why we need to be commanded, take orders, follow instructions? To avoid chaos? No, I don’t think so. We need them cause we haven’t thought of the other side of the coin which we never knew existed. What if it is actually possible to work in tandem in peace and happiness? What if we were capable of real maturity to not bicker about anything because we have the potential to grow out of our false ego, baseless pride, insecurities and the lack of confidence? And if at all it is summed up to the fact we just cannot do without an alpha, who decides who? Age must be the only factor? Dominance, physical strength and tangible factors must be the only criteria? Are we bunch of monkeys? Why do we have to be so hypocritical and careless about things that actually matter?When will our “esa hi hota hai” (“It works like this only”) “how does it matter to me?” attitude change? We are not raised to be decision makers. We are not raised to be ourselves, to showcase what we really feel, to say what we really think but sugarcoat it all the way in a socially acceptable manner. But who is the society, I wonder, aren’t we all? Why are we too timid to stand up.
The Indian Problem is the exact reason of our economical shortcomings, our abhorred global stance, all the strikes and protests, our internal conflicts and everything we lack. We fear to take chances, run a risk, question and reason about with anybody. Being ill treated and exploited by authority and administration seems to be typically standard. We have to realize that just as charity begins at home, so does everything else. It is because of the Indian problem we are unable to appreciate and enhance the entrepreneurship in our country (I am a firm believer that entrepreneurship is the only real answer for all economic and social development). Our hypocrisy is taking us down. If one doesn’t know how to speak in English, they are illiterates, low-class villagers. If one doesn’t know how to speak Hindi, it is cool and so fashionable. Like drooling dogs we look at foreigners, in awe of their aura. The ugly truth is we are addicted to slavery, always hungry to be a servant. Agriculture is the heart of our nation but it is taken as cheap and a situation of austerity. So we rather have concrete jungle made and act like mad animals for survival rather creating conducive and high-end farmlands to live life peacefully and richer in real terms. We are so elegantly foolish when we flamboyantly go all over the place to go on about our rich culture, traditions, wealth of wisdom and what not. Take a minute, retrospect and introspect. We live in a poor country which currently tops the world hunger list. Whenever you see India being shown in any foreign movie, we are nothing but a bunch of slums overflowing with muddy people and stray animals. I always thought it was rather exaggerated pointlessly but when I come to terms with reality, that is what we are. Just because a few of us managed to build a fancy tower and go out to a gilded mall, all the time in AC air and between rich beverages and sophisticated snacks, reality doesn’t change. Just because you have turned a blind eye towards it or perhaps it seems invisible now as it is so damn common, reality doesn’t change. Just because you don’t suffer on a personal level and hence don’t care a hoot, reality doesn’t change. Even if we were an ideal society with stoic beings and wisdom flourishing our land, that was in anyway a more than dozen of centuries ago making that pure-being-breed-genes more or less flushed out of our biological systems by now. What we are now, based on our past couple of centuries or more, is nothing but an incapacitated society which is regardless of understanding even the basic of human emotion, sensitivity and worth and is solely an inferior complexity driven patriarchal society. When will all this stop? Where are we headed? When will we realize that if we have to grow and develop and move forward, it is going to be together? When will we start caring? When will we stop discussing and starting doing? When will we take a stand? When will we finally open our eyes?
We are barely aware of the Indian problem and have now managed to carve out our own path of our own unique reality- we are free but not liberal, we are this and that; we are never a yes or a no, we are forever a bobbling-head. If we need to get our apparent rich ancient past back or get to the future where we aspire to belong, it is going to only take place through conscious knowledge of what we are, deliberate effort to change who we are and a mindset revelation- on whole new global level. We need to completely understand that nothing is exclusive. Everything is interrelated. Every thing that we are is an accumulation of every experience, every fear, every moment, every emotion we have ever felt. It runs in our blood, it is what we express, it is what we pass on through genes and knowledge. We are humans, and that is what we have to realize, not machines. We cannot be treated like machines even if we wished, else it will result in an apocalyptic situation of complete system failure like what we are headed towards.