Colonial Hangover: A Complicated State For An Indian

Posted on August 14, 2012 in Specials

By Shaifali Agrawal:

Right now one is witnessing the entire third world waking from the hangover of colonialism. Craze for westernization is the consuming the Indian youth. After ninety years of colonization, our minds have been colonized through and through. Their culture, language, personality, everything captures our attention. The idea of ‘white is superior’ was cropped in our minds and took hold of our subconscious. Even after sixty six years of independence, we run after western brands, flaunt our love for Hollywood movies, ape their hair-styles, and rant about the Indian traditions. But as a citizen of India, we feel it our duty to criticize everything western.

One can watch Hollywood movies which contain love-making scenes in houseful Indian cinemas and multiplexes but one cannot kiss in public on an Indian street. This normal day scenario in a metropolitan city of India shows how we are in awe with everything western due to the colonial prejudices but still somewhere rooted in the Indian traditions.

It is an extremely complicated state of affairs that a citizen of a country as such goes through even when the country had gained freedom long before he/she was born. An Indian citizen sees himself in a muddle between defending his own country by criticising the west and also finding himself following the westernisation himself.

Without confidence, optimism, and self-reliance societies remain mired in dependency. The psychological effect of colonialism is so huge that a person spends his entire life struggling between endorsing one’s own country as a duty and placing it above the foreign countries that ruled them; and at the same time, (unintentionally) trying to westernize his life.

A rising sense of self-worth is the key to progress. One needs to gain confidence in one’s own traditions and history. But ironically, it is etched in our minds that ‘white rules’ and we again try to ape the west to gain confidence, to look like we belong to the superior class which is definitely a wrong way to go.