Is This Really A ‘Culture’ Thing?

Posted by Pallavi Gaur
January 28, 2017

“Is this really a ‘culture’ thing?”

I have been asking myself this question for the last few days, especially after the word ‘culture’ was used to justify all kinds of behaviour. The unfortunate incident in Bengaluru where apparently girls made a mistake by going out at night wearing certain outfits. According to some people in our ‘culture’, girls are not allowed to go out late in the night or wear certain kinds of clothes.

To be honest, I really cannot make people say sensible things, neither am I a ‘culture cop’ who can show the world what ‘real’ Indian culture is.

I am basically jotting down my inner voice, just to be able to ask what this ‘culture’ thing is! Where do these ‘culture cops’ go when a child is sexually assaulted (often by a close family member)? Where does this ‘culture’ go, when in a country that worships women as Goddesses in the form of Durga and Kali choose to go ahead with sex-selective abortion? What about those times when little children are employed as house helps? What about the dowry system? Do all of these things fall under our ‘Indian culture’? Why does nobody talk about ‘culture’ when these things happen?

I have no idea where this will go!

A director who is shooting a film is attacked by some people who think that Mr Director is doing ‘chhedchhad’ (distorting) with history. Even if that is the case, is this the way to show disagreement?

Isn’t “Ahinsa Parmo Dharmah” (Non-violence is the foremost duty) Indian culture? Moreover, people supporting this director, including some female celebrities are getting trolled, that too in a very disrespectful manner. Is this the ‘Indian culture’?

I think people play the “culture” card where they really have nothing else to justify their deeds. This is the reality and us Indians need to understand that culture is not a card to play. If according to some people, girls have questionable character for roaming around in late hours, why are men not?

How men misbehaving and assaulting with women are not questionable deeds according to ‘Indian culture’?

Culture is something that unites us, not something to be played as a card to justify illogical and criminal behaviour.