Flipping through tons of matrimonial ads, printed on the pages of “elite” newspapers, in a bold syntax, you would find a “Fair Brahmin guy seeking for a Fair Brahmin slim girl”.
The only thing more disturbing than our obsession with caste is our obsession with fair skin.
Before you judge the centralized idea of my prose, let me relieve you of any bashing article against racism. However, my thoughts dig deeper to the cause of racism and hence we stop to explore the idea of how we aren’t really free yet.
How are we a bunch of colonized minds in a decolonized state?
You may have a pragmatic view when you speak against the regressive tones of our culture. You may have a good sense of art when you decide to switch to Hollywood because Indian television and movie industry is “too lame” for you.
You may have the incentive to explore the vastness and richness of every culture that the world has in store for you and I do realize that exploring opens up the horizons of your mind.
However, if you think the
- color of your skin is not light enough;
- speaking English determines how educated you are;
- wearing western clothes is the only way you can get empowered and free;
- using a fork and a knife makes you cultured; or perhaps
- demeaning the very culture you have been bred in, would make you look ‘cool’ then
I’m extremely sorry to break it to you that even after 72 years of Independence, you are a progeny of colonization.
How is our mindset deep drenched in colonization?
Orientalists, in literature, have proved that colonization had a deeper impact than just political or economic setback to every country that was colonized.
Literature and discourse of the Britishers left no stone unturned to prove that the culture of the colonies they had occupied was regressive and the people were ignorant, which is why they did a ‘favor’ to these countries by occupying them.
Gradually, it was fed to the minds of the locals that they were inferior to the Britishers and the western culture was more developed and superior to them. They were the “civilized” race while you know who were not.
The worst aspect of this strategy was that the locals etched these thoughts deep in their minds and sadly took every curse at its face value and believed them.
The educated Indians during the time of colonization were taught about British culture and its superiority, which is why most men started switching there behavior and style to the western culture and tried to “fit in”.
The effects of those have been rippling and trickling down from one generation to another and I’m afraid would continue to do so.
Westernisation of Cultures
I would speak in moderation and say that you don’t need to join the right wing ‘Bajrang Dal’ for the preservation of your culture or cancel the subscription of your NETFLIX asap and switch back to ‘saas- bahu’ sagas on your television.
The world is vast, and every new piece of knowledge would make you realize that there is so much more to know.
Globalization and exposure to the realms of the world are the very reason why we are able to question the regressive practices of our own culture.
Competing on a global scale has what made us developed in the first place so when I’m asking you to value our culture, I do not mean to tell you that you need to switch to ‘Patanjali’ because “swadeshi apnayein” is the motto.
I do not mean to tell you to dump all your English books because honestly John Greene is freaking awesome and I would sound tad hypocritical if I would say so in an article written in English.
However, if you reject the rich heritage of ‘shastriya sangeet’ over Bohemian Rhapsody simply because it’s Indian and boring, then we do have a problem here.
Can you reject ‘maa ka haldi wala doodh’ and drink turmeric latte in Starbucks? You can and you do. Pizzas are love but so are gol gappas and eating them does not lower down your “class”.
If someone reads Tagore rather than Shakespeare, let them be. If someone chooses to wear ethnic, let them pass without your judgment of how unempowered they are.
The idea is to realize that we are not supposed to “fit in” in the first place for we don’t need to. We don’t need validation from the west for everything we are and everything we will be.
Most of all, the idea is to realize that nothing makes us inferior. Our culture, our habit, our linguistics are what makes us beautiful, unique and US.
The idea is to know our culture before we explore the rest of the cultures of the world. The idea is to realize and mend the regressive norms within our culture so that nothing and no one comes in the future and makes our generation believe that there is something wrong with them.
The idea is to educate ourselves to believe that development has nothing to do with what the west follows.
Source: ‘Orientalism’ by Edward Said
Image Source: Google Images
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