Friday, 24 June 2016

Are we Modernizing India or blindly Westernizing?

Since the middle of the 20th century, Westernization is a phenomenon that has been spreading all over the world like wildfire. I think that during the 150 years old British Raj, a British ruler sat on the balcony of his castle created by Indian manpower, sipped some Jasmine tea and told his smarter employee, “Our rule is coming to an end here. How do I give the Indians an illusion of giving them something but at the same time, I am shackling their ‘free’ chains to the ground?”

I also have imagined what his employee’s response would be, My Lord, you have already given them the taste of the western culture. I don’t think that day would be far when they are so drunk on the influence of the westerns that they’ll forget their roots and will start frowning upon people who still follow the ethnic rules.

Over the course of our freedom, we proved the smarter employee right. See, embracing the western culture isn’t a problem, people wearing T-Shirts or eating burritos doesn’t harm our culture because that is cultural diversity. Just how we wear crop tops, there are many people in the western countries who wear kurtas. Just how some of us love Bollywood, many westerners love Bollywood too. Cultural diversity is healthy.

Listening to English songs, following the pop culture isn’t what is wrong with the society (although that is what the elders frown upon). What is bad is blindly allowing it to judge every decision you make. The Multi-National companies are hell bent on chaining us to the ground by ‘modern’ stuff rather than traditional.

The Indian culture is declining. It is more ‘socially acceptable’ to buy clothes from multi-national companies which are once again leading to a decline of Indian clothing lines. It is more ‘cool’ if a person knows the biographies of all members of Backstreet Boys rather than knowing who Bhimsen Joshi is. 

And the saddest thing among all is how although we love it when someone showcases their German watch and a wardrobe full of clothes from a French clothing, we label them ‘modern’ but when someone comes down here with modern thoughts and ideologies adapted from the modern society, we label them ‘sinners’.

You know, because having more tuxedos in your cupboard is more important than having a modernized outlook on the society. Because having more Louis Vuitton shoes in your closet is considered more modern than accepting and loving all communities of our society.

Are we westernized? Yes. Are we blind enough to frown upon people who still have their ethnic roots intact? Yes. But are we modernized? NO. Along with adopting the western lifestyle, do we allow ourselves in having an open mind towards everything? No.

What should be modernized aren’t the bags in your wardrobe or the watches that you own. It is the thought process and the way we think towards our own people. What you should find disgusting isn’t using mobile phones that are made in India; it should be people denying others of basic human rights because ‘that doesn’t go well with our traditional culture.’

"Westernization without modernization is like eating raw ladyfingers and our society looks like raw ladyfingers eaters."

Written by Durva Bhatt
A bibliophile who is fuelled entirely by caffeine, sarcasm, fandoms and random thoughts.

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