By Chirag Aidasani:
If you are a person from India, you definitely would have received the old classic “Ye aaj ke bacche” speech mostly from your grandparents or even your parents for that matter.
They just love to give us that speech, be it family functions, gatherings or even randomly when we are at home. It is mainly directed towards our new age practices such as giving up traditional clothes for trendy jeans and t-shirts, eating fast food like burgers, pizza etc. which they deem as “Western” or in a more desi slang “Angrez ki Aulaad”. But lets give a proper terminology to these set of practices. I think the more appropriate term to use would be “Metro Culture” or “Modern Culture”. And it is this metro culture which incurs the ire of the traditionalists branding it a culture borrowed from the west to destroy our Indian ethics. But I feel its unfair to brand these so-called ‘culture destroying’ new age practices as “Western”.
The West, historically, was conservative too with religious doctrines dictating people how to live their lives. Only after industrial revolution or more distinctly, the roaring twenties, the people started to deviate from traditional and archaic beliefs and looking towards a more progressive society.It happened first in the west that doesn’t mean it should be branded “Western”.
In India,the youth are becoming more fast paced and modernized.Concepts such as casual sex, homosexuality, live in relationships etc. which were completely taboo in the society are slowly finding acceptance now. Even 20 years back, homosexuality would shock and disgust people (It still does but its more digestible now) with even Bollywood movies of the era patronizing the male macho behavior and degrading homosexual behavior with the term “Chakka” which also was simultaneously used as a derogatory term to depict men who are not brave or not macho.
The women were expected to stay in the house and take care of the family. But now, many women even in small cities are leaving their homes and working too. The numbers are small but increasing nevertheless.
The point is that India is rapidly changing. Our true moment of modernization began with the liberalization of our economy.Globalization and the booming of our economy is also pushing our society towards a more progressive one. The only thing that we, as the youth, have to do is embrace this modern or metro culture but also not be swept away by it. This culture may be highly progressive but may prove to be destructive too. It may completely deviate one from the culture of the land. We should welcome progressive thoughts into our mind but also not loose contact with our rich and vibrant culture. Only time will tell how we, the youth, will be modern in our outlook as well as retain our culture.