World of India!: CurrentAffairs :Angrezi Babu aur Memsaab e

World of India!

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CurrentAffairs :Angrezi Babu aur Memsaab

Since a few years now, I am irritated with what I hear and see, whenever I move out of the house. No it’s not the traffic or the pollution. It’s the sight and sounds of Indians aping western culture. Now hold it...I am not by a long margin a saffronite or communist, raising the Swadeshi flag. Neither am I a believer that western society and their mores are in any way reprehensible and should not be adopted at all by us. In fact it’s the reverse and I firmly believe that there are many more things good in western culture that we could, as a society, benefit from tremendously.

What gets my goat, however, is how many people are blindly aping western society and in the process, becoming rootless. These people, typically, are either ashamed of being Indian- consciously or sub-consciously and therefore would do anything to pretend that they have become westernized.

Take the trend of naming children with so called international sounds like, hold your breath- Zaecke, Noam, Renee (Suhmita Sens adopted child)etc. In the past few years, I have been consistently noticing many celebrities naming their children with such names. The motive is not difficult to imagine - for such parents Indian names are just not good enough. Even the Childs name has to sound 'cool' and 'cool' has to be western.

Now walk in any mall, restaurant and hear families speak amongst themselves. You will notice many of them talking with each other in English and not their mother tongue. Parents are making it a point to talk to their children only in English. This ends up obviously with the child feeling more comfortable speaking in English rather than his/her mother tongue. Mark my words, this might lead to Indian languages becoming an endangered species in the next 50- 100 years. Again, I firmly believe in the virtues of the English language and I have nothing against it being used at home. But why make it the de facto language and relegate your own mother tongue to a secondary status is beyond me. Maybe we Indians believe that we can outdo the English and so what if only a tiny minority in Japan, France, Germany understands or speak English properly.

Again, look at many amongst us who profess to "love English rock, man" and if you probe deeper, do not understand the head and tail of the lyrics. I can understand if they say that they just like the sound of it and not the lyrics. But most of these people would never admit to that. Many people berate the fact that India doesn't have a 'rock' culture and therefore has no good 'rock' bands. Why should we have one? Rock is a manifestation of a cultural background, unique to western society and it’s not a wonder that we haven't spawned any homegrown rock bands which are of international quality. The ones who exist are atrocious to say the least and get press dis-proportionate to the quality of their chords (vocal/musical). 'Euphoria' is a good example of a Hindi rock band that does everything badly but manages to keep being mentioned in the press, because of the sheer fact that very few good rock bands exist in the first place.

The challenge for all of us today is to become global and yet not forget our roots. Otherwise, it’s possible that we become a nation of 'ZAECKE's'- incidentally famous T.V anchor Mini Mathurs son’s name.

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July 19, 2006 4:10 AM

This is not new.
We were an English colony for...how many hundred years?
In a way it reflects our cultural spinelessness. Indians living abroad seem to have a good sense of what they miss -- and try to inculcate as much of it as possible in their childresn. That of course is another story.
Anyway, western cultural influence is also large in other coutries (talk about blond Japanese). English is pretty much the global language now. What is needed is better appreciation of the Indian heritage. Schools curriculums could help.    



July 24, 2006 2:52 PM

School curricullums? Maybe....but i still think, unless your own family appreciates the good parts of our culture, children will never pick it up.
I am just back frmo Honk Kong and Bangkok and yes, everyones apes USA to the hilt, but i did notice them being very confortable with their language and culture, although outwardly they are totally western.    



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