Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Proud to be Slave

The punchline of Puducherry Tourism Department's advertisement says "The closest you'll get to visiting the French without a passport." It seems they cherish the French culture the colonist left behind more than their own. To me, it smells of proud feelings of being ruled by French, of being enslaved.

It is not just Puducherry, but the whole of Indian subcontinent which not only refuses to get rid of colonial heritage but is boastful of it. We love our foreign connections even if they are slavish in nature. We sing of kings who ruled the land though they were totalitarian and often barbaric. To be slave of a great master is better than being independent. We trade self independence with the egoistic feeling of being associated (rather oppressed) with prodigious lords.

There is nothing wrong in wearing a foreign culture, but then we should not be singing about the greatness of Indian culture and the motherland over others at the same time. What else it is if not hypocrisy? We give preference to English over Indian languages and then go ahead to change names of the cities, from Pondicherry to Puducherry, Bombay to Mumbai. We have abandoned our traditional attires in favor of western ones and yet we never miss an opportunity to blame Britain for our current miseries and talk of the golden India before British arrival.

I will cut it here with two questions to be answered:
1. Aren't Indians hypocritic, wearing the foreign culture all the while being boastful of Indian culture which has been abandoned in the darkness of history?
2. Is it Indian nature to associate ourselves with men of great stature rather than trying to achieve greatness?

Related Post: Indian Fascination About Foreign
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  1. I did not say that we cannot adopt good things from different cultures. What I was pointing my fingers at is the blind boastfulness of our culture on talk and keeping it aside on walk.

  2. ok makes sense... then you should not complain everywhere that they doing hypocrisy... You have to complain only when seeing someone who is die hard speaking about 'my culture' and complaining about others..

  3. Hi Ravi,
    Its a very nice writeup. I agree with you that the people who believe that they are slaves will never be independent. But I don't understand why do they believe like that when they are not?

    Puducherry was under French rule for more than 20 decades, which had huge impact on their culture. What do you expect? They will role back to their 200 years back culture suddenly when the French are gone? There are some changes that can never be undone Ravi. I hope you understand that, but my hope was in veil.

    Ravi I want you explain one thing to me- A person who is dressed well in western style and speaks lovely English is of foreign culture? Do he become a slave to foreign culture only because he eats in a Italian restaurant. Be broad my son, don't restrict Culture to someones attire or food. The base root of culture lives in the behavior of a person. Indian culture always had been so great to accept the foreigners and their culture: Starting from the Aryans to the so called British or the French. You better take some History reference books and find out what is meant by Culture and Civilization.

    Now coming to your second question. Tell me who are the so called 'Men of great stature'. Do you still believe that we have to achieve greatness? Where is your self respect man? WHY DON'T WE RESPECT OURSELVES? Do we still have a problem in accepting that The Indian Culture is a great one? They do accept it. You go to any Foreign country and talk about Indian Culture(Not to a person who is skeptic like you). They know that we are great, why don't we know that?

    I will say go and have what ever you want; food, clothes or anything. But be an Indian from inside and BE PROUD TO BE AN INDIAN!

  4. Indians are truly confused with the culture, Hindu(or indian) culture is a group of sandle trees grown themselves without a disciplined(systematic) manner, Foreign culture(religions) is group of trees(mostly not of sandle) grown in disciplined manner, we want sandle smell and to look good we want systematic way, so we have to cut the odd trees of sandle and again grow in the systematic way.

  5. Wow perfect reply Anu...
    Ravi I know you will repeat the same ideology when you see something else again... We can love two cultures.. we can love two people.. we can love and admire two or more ideas...
    Sometimes we really don't learn.. we just relating what we see to our own ideas..

  6. Have never been to Pondi/Puddu-cherry but have heard that it has french influence in its architecture mainly and probaly also food/language...specially architecture so if the advertisement says that this is closest you will get to visiting french without a passport then I dont think they are wrong,infact rather accurate and interesting that they point this out.

    I also feel that India did have a GLORIOUS past...hahahah i know the word glorious will burn in Ravi's mind and thats why i have used it here...but I do think that india had a good thing going and was a society doing rather well and this was not just back immediately before the british came to India,it will go further back in history.

    About Indians being hypocrites,yes there are hypocrates in India and in every country,Infact we all are Hypocrates to Varying degrees because somewhere within us we have a conflict(s) going ,almost everyone.So u have hypocrates everywhere.

    Is indian culture a great one??? are we the greatest country on earth...No I dont think so....and no country can claim of that...because countries are not a physical reality...they are just a collection of people ...essentially like a yahoo/orkut/facebook community perhaps to make a crazy comparison...who decided they need to encroach a piece of land also and have there monopoly there...hahaha...ok now I am going crazy with my own flow of thoughts

    So I will start to specifically answer Ravi’s questions here 1.Are Indians Hypocrates answer is yes but so are people from other country and people in genral

    2.About indian tendency to associate to people of greatness ,again a rather human thing but it comes out strongly in some cases where the people they are trying to associate to, keep themselvs distant like evertime a U S citizen of Indian origin achieves something...people go crazy claiming...look at our boy/girl...yes that happens..people usually need something to give them inspiration I guess...so they cling to these things

  7. Shivi:

    When you talk about glory, about greatness, I've one question "compared to what." Even you can be called intelligent unless someone asks the question :) I dont know about most countries but Indians and India media (and US too) have a tendency to call themselves "great" without answering the question "compared to what." This delusion of greatness is one of the factors that makes Indians so lazy, so underachievers. Well, you may still compare with Somalia and call India a developed country.

    The Tourism Dept of Pondicherry could have been proud about their own culture, even though influenced by French, but instead they wish to promote it as French culture. It gives me a feeling that either they have problem accepting the amalgamation as their own culture or they find pride in following a foreign values.

    I loved your comparison between social networking and countries. Actually, they are very much similar to me.

    I've not seen/met people from places far away and hence, can comment/criticize only about what I've seen/experienced. There is no point in talking/writing about things which we have not experienced.

    Btw, I've been thinking about the reasons why people go crazy claiming their association with people who achieved. It seems to me that there are evolutionary/biological reasons behind it. Will explore sometime.


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