Issues with Indian Culture
I read a Buddha quote, “The truth is still the truth, even if no one believes it. A lie is still a lie, even if everyone believes it.”
And I realized that similarly our society follows rules or rituals but that doesn’t mean it’s right just because everyone is following them. We need to see where the problem is and what we can change to make things right. I see a lot of problems in Indian society. But things are so inbuilt in us that it’s hard to change. I am going to point out some of the points which need to be discussed.
- Gender inequality: I can write a whole different article on just this topic. The whole upbringing of a child is different on a gender basis. First of all only two genders exist in our society, just a boy and a girl. And if there is some other gender, that will not be acceptable in our society. People can even abandon their kids because of their fake reputations in society. We all know about female foeticide, child marriage (difference in min age to get married for boy and girl), lack of females in many working sectors, pay gap between genders, dowry, etc. Now a lot of people say, things are changing or improving, females also giving competition to boys, and boys also suffer sometimes. I totally agree with it. But my point is still there is the difference in upbringing, for example for a girl they keep in her mind that she should know cooking and cleaning because she has to get married and has to do all of this in her in-law’s house. And on the opposite side, they don’t teach any of this to a boy. And the result is boys don’t get mature enough according to age. And girls mature early in their age. This is the common trend we can see, I am not saying it’s true for everyone. And as a result, girls have to deal with a big child in marriage. She has to take care of everyone, it’s like they want a free maid. Most of the time she doesn’t even get respect in return. She has to sacrifice her career, so she can take care of kids. She will live where her husband lives, doesn’t matter where her job is. By default, it’s set in mind that she can sacrifice anything for others. Because that’s how she was raised, such things have been taught since her childhood. We celebrate her on women’s day, and the very next day we disrespect her and follow the same trend.
- Expectations: It’s not just about me being a feminist. It’s about every single human being who suffers because of unrealistic expectations for being a girl or a boy or any gender. Our gender decides by sex, and not by our reality. Noone tries to know our real personality. Everything gets decided by our family since childhood, from gender to career to our partner and even our lifestyle. Some may argue that our parents care about us, they want the best for us. I agree with it, they love us. But does that mean we don’t have any choice to make decisions for our life on our own? Even in Bhagavad Geeta, it’s written: “love is unconditional”, if there are conditions then it’s not love, it’s just “moh” (attachment) that binds the person and not frees them. And there are boundations, we are deciding the whole path of our child since he/she is born. We decide at what age they will marry, we decide when they should have children, there’s always a right age for everything in our society. I know it’s not true for everyone. Some are following their dreams, living life on their terms. But still, most of the people are controlled by their parents and society. Most people don’t have free will. And eventually, they get depressed because their parents don’t accept them. We hear a lot of suicide cases nowadays. There is always a choice we have to make between parent’s expectations and our own will. I know they sacrifice a lot to give us the best life, but at the same time, they make us sacrifice a lot to meet their expectations. That’s not true love.
- Education: Although education is really good in some cities and schools, still most of the schools follow the same robotic pattern where they just focus on marks and not on knowledge and other activities. And because of that we never get to know our hobbies or passion, our likes, and dislikes. Parents keep pushing their kids to do better in exams. Noone tries to focus on the uniqueness and talent of the kid. If I’m not good at studies, they will see me as a dumb kid. It doesn’t matter how smart I am at other things. Throughout life, we just keep trying to get good marks so we can impress our parents and teachers. If I am good at maths and science, I’ll be an engineer. If not so good in maths, then doctor. Max, you can go in law and not more than that. If you are not good at both, it means you have to take commerce because you can’t study much. And by any chance, if you take arts means you are just doing formality of studying. People will accept you as dumb only. Again I am saying it’s not true for everyone. But in most cases, if a kid wants to do something different, they argue first complete your graduation become an engineer or doctor, then think about something else. And till then it’s too late that we don’t even realize what is our passion. We have already fallen into their trap. Then they have a whole lot of events planned for us like marriage and all. And again no free will and depression come into the picture.
- Sex: I am not talking about the history of India or the Kama Sutra. I am talking about the current situation in India. People who live here must know how the situation is, you can’t talk about sex in public or even at your home. There is a dialogue in Pk movie, “if people are shy of having sex, why do people celebrate the wedding and tell the whole town that we are going to having sex?” It’s funny though. Most of the marriages are arranged. People don’t have sex education. Even if there is a problem in your sex life (or marriage because you can not have sex before marriage), then there is no one in your family you can talk to openly. Without any prior experience or knowledge or education, you just go into the marriage. And we listen to weird sex cases that happen in marriages. Youth is changing and getting smarter, they go to hotels and prefer live-in, but the problem is they have to hide things from parents otherwise they will be disappointed in you. And according to psychology, we hide things when we are ashamed of them. And the whole point is this only, why we need to feel ashamed for having pre-marital sex or being homosexual or anything else.
- Dowry: I wanted to discuss this point separately. Because it’s not just about a girl. I listened to boys’ perspectives too and they also suffer in some way. A daughter’s father goes through too much because of dowry. Sometimes he has to sell property, take loans, and borrowing from relatives. Traditionally it used to be a gift for a daughter from her parents. But with time it converted into the greed of the groom’s side. Nowadays we just can not blame boys’ families. There is greed on both sides because females also have expectations that their husbands should be rich, have property, well educated. And there is a common belief that if you have a government job, then your value and respect are highest. Boys’ family will ask for a handsome amount of money, also female’s family will be ready to do anything to get married their daughter. It’s a cycle we are trapped in. As females, we have a lot of expectations of how our husbands should be, and if any boy meets our expectations then he feels entitled to get those extra benefits of dowry because he has worked hard to be deserving. This is the general situation we see all over India, only a few are exceptions.
I think these are enough topics for now. If I get more (like casteism) maybe I’ll write the second part of it. I am pointing out negative things about India, doesn’t mean I am not patriotic. I love India and especially what I love is our ancient knowledge “Bhagavad Geeta”, “yoga”, “meditation”, “art”, “music”, diversity, etc. Most importantly, I love Indian food and love among family members. But there are few things we need to change in our culture. And first I believe we need to change ourselves, “Be the change”.
Thank you for reading till here.
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