India is the boiling pot of more than one billion people coming from different religious backgrounds and cultures. This has resulted in Indians having a unique and colorful identity.
With globalization India has changed itself from being introvert to more “world friendly”.
Anybody would agree that the India of 1980s was far different from the India of 2000s. Things that were relevant back then are obsolete today. Luxuries of yesterday have become necessities of today. Family system has changed. The working, social and educational environment has changed. Shopping destination has changed from Chandani Chowk to DLF Emporia Mall. All of these have given birth to a new India.
Inderjit, a senior officer points out, “Indians have become more confident and focused. We are financially way smarter now”.
First, let’s see the positives of this change. We have done away with social stigmas that existed. Inter religion and regional barriers have blurred to an extent. Caste system has been abolished, women are empowered to an extent and the common man has become more powerful. “India in true sense is free now. Today I can choose what to wear, where to study and whom to marry” says Prabhjot a Delhi University student.
The standard of living has improved. More Indians are going abroad on luxury trips. Today we provide the best of educational facilities and job opportunities. It’s not just the urban that is developing but the rural as well. Basic amenities have started reaching them. The trickle down effect seems to be working for India.
On the flip side, we have a whole class of Indians who may be successful but have a certain Indianess lacking. Indianess means warmth and honesty that represents India. We are becoming more materialistic and self-centered. We are willing to cross every limit to achieve our goal, whether we hurt or crush somebody, it’s all fair now.
Families have fragmented from joint to nuclear to super nuclear. Nobody today has the patience to deal with a huge family and their problems. More young couples prefer to go without children because “who has the time to raise a kid; after all career comes first” says Meha, an IT professional.
Due to the lack of attention from their parents, youngsters have changed the most. As rightly put by Karan, “Thanks to the unrestricted internet and television, children are growing at a dangerously fast speed. They are losing their innocence.” I-pods, phones and multiplexes seem to be replacing parents in their lives.
And to make matters worse, we hypocritically sympathize with the deteriorating quality of Indians while sipping mojitos in an air conditioned room. Making a comment on a problem is more like a fashion statement.
Then what should we do to rectify this situation?
“It’s not a math problem for which we can go to a professor or a disease which can be treated by a doctor. When cultures and traditions start losing their importance, we are the ones who can and should restore them. Modernization doesn’t mean cutting off our roots, but moving ahead in tomorrow with your past well preserved”, says Poonam Chiller, a high school teacher.
To sum up, cultures keep evolving and changing, however it would be fair to conclude that there seems to be a certain Americanization of the world. We definitely need to pause, reflect and figure what cultural practices we should retain and which of them are best done away with.
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