Is The Indian Youth Confused About Indian Culture And Values?

People always talk about how we should respect and uphold Indian culture and abide by Indian values.

So What Is Culture Exactly?

Our culture isn’t just our food, arts and traditions. In a broader sense, culture defines us—who we are as people, how we aim to live our lives, what sort of behaviour is acceptable or unacceptable and who should be rewarded or punished according to societal norms. Most importantly, our culture contains the implicit rules by which we live, viz. our values. Just as an example, one might say the United States values wealth, competition, individualism and religion. These pretty much constitute the essence of American society and culture.

When we think of Indian values, we normally think of personal values such as family, religion and respect for elders. However, ask someone to articulate Indian values, and there won’t be any clear answer. Do we value wealth or education?

Do we value democracy, where people have a greater say in how they would rather be governed or do we entrust faith in the hands of a selected few to whom the law doesn’t apply?

Do we believe in frugality, or do we want to show off our wealth?

Do we value our local communities, or do we value being part of India as a whole?

These questions don’t have easy answers. And there are conflicting responses to any of these in India we see around us today. Scholars, unable to account for this conflict, make profound statements such as “there are many Indians within India”. Some romantics even call this “the beauty of India”, where everything is unpredictable.

I call it CONFUSION.

Values can never be unpredictable, and they are consistent, even in volatile times. And what we are hoping for is a value clarification, especially for the new generation. A clear set of values will give a direction to people’s lives.

Similar Posts

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on Change.org has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below