Sometime ago, we at Caleidoscope sought your opinion about the emergence of a “Global Indian” amidst us. The Global Indian mindset is too complex to define. To get a grip on it, we asked some pertinent questions and here are some of the enlightening thoughts expressed by our readers:
1. India can be termed as a country where, the medieval and the modern go hand in hand. Can we reduce this stark contrast, if yes, how?
Abhishek Mukherji (services industry professional) –
We can never reduce this difference. The primary issue in the country is lack of education, hence lack of jobs and lack of progressiveness.
Shabber Sait (Businessman based in Bangalore) –
This stark contrast has more to do with political strategies and bureaucratic negligence. Major part of the rural India – which is treated as a vote bank – has remained backward due to the lack of will from elected representatives and high-handedness of bureaucrats. Politicians don’t visit their constituencies even once after getting elected, which gives the bureaucrats a free-hand to indulge in corrupt practices. Education and rising awareness in villages will soon make people fight for their rights, which is what the political parties don’t want to happen.
Mohammed Ibrahim (A global Indian living in UAE) –
The ‘stark contrast’ is the summary of what is fundamentally wrong in how our society is structured. The needs of the elite are catered to, while the poor are disregarded. Building sky scrapers are preferred over laying water pipes, building hospitals, schools, etc. The elite are actually a minority; the real India is still the average person who cannot hardly afford three meals a day.
Ambika Chauhan –
The bipolar-lifestyles concept is what that gets us into troubles. I believe in respecting our traditions and culture, but I do believe that the positive factors from the ‘Modern Culture’ should be introduced among people who continue to get baffled by such new trends. I believe that through videos, classes, interactive sessions that focus on the youth, we can educate them about the pros and cons of adopting the new culture and merging it with the Indian values. If we can’t encourage people to practice the Western norms, we can encourage them to accept those at least.
Devangini Mahapatra (design consultant) –
In India, variety is definitely the spice of life. Unlike any other country across the globe, there are many urbanites for whom a ticket to a movie every weekend is no big deal, while about half the rural population would not afford to watch a Hindi movie in theatres. The complexities in the urban and rural parts of India can be met through a more diversified, population, socio economic and culture-based reach of infrastructure. This will need planning at various levels for both rural and urban India, so as to bring them on par with global standards.
2. Does the Global Indian really connect with and understand the issues plaguing India? Does he/she just have an opinion like everyone else does?
The global Indian is frustrated today. He/she is well travelled and can see the difference in the countries that he/she visits. Social awareness and participation is far higher today. The generations that passed by, neglected core issues pertaining to public policies and left them to the political parties. The Global Indian is also opinionated and does not hesitate to speak up or stand against injustice.
The great majority of global Indians are, essentially people who left their home country in search of better lives, simply because their homeland failed to provide them. The average expatriate population that brings revenue into the country, is equally nostalgic and patriotic, simply because they see the real worth of their country from a third person’s perspective. They do have opinions about every socio-economic situation back home; whether or not they act upon their opinions is a different thing.
I believe that Global Indians would mostly have a balanced opinion about different issues that loom over our country. Global Indians most likely have seen extreme conditions: right from the urban, electronics-ruled, convenient life; to the villages, the ‘backward’ mentalities, the lack of provisions and basic necessities. So a person who has experienced a little of everything would have an open mind and better solutions to the different problems in India.
No, unfortunately, the Global Indian at Cannes, or the one leading the NRI life, or even a college kid in Mumbai busy chatting on Facebook, is unaware of the real problems plaguing India. They think lack of electricity and water in rural India today is a Lagaan-type dramatisation of issues.
3. Does the latest update on Section 377 about Homosexuality change the opinion about the Indian society?
The SC verdict speaks more of how outdated our judicial system has become today. We are still following the laws that were drafted in the 1960-70s. The judicial system of our country needs a revamp.
When it comes to matters of sexuality, it is always comes down to individual choice. The nation should not have anything to do with it unless it affects another person. Just because a man prefers to have sex with another man, it need not be deemed as right. But, given that argument, if it is with mutual consent he or she should not be denied any rights as a citizen. If religion comes into the picture, it is a whole different story. Homosexuality is an anomaly of nature. It is a subject that concerns a very minute percentage of humanity. There are far worse reasons of concern for us. We as a nation should not worry about an ‘image’ but instead hold high what we believe is the right path.
Anamika (Teacher in Boston) –
This does not really change my opinion of India. India has a long way to go in so many areas. Yet, in so many ways it is an amazingly tolerant society, particularly if one considers the several different types of diversity it has carried along over thousands of years! Homosexuality poses problems in many countries, even in the ones that technically accept it. It again rests on individuals to believe in “live and let live”.
Sangita Garg –
No, people have become more tolerant about the changes that take place on a social front. Again, this is a universal issue not specifically limited to India.
I believe that it just goes to show how our society refuses to roll with change and believes that one still needs to be controlled by higher authorities, even when it comes to personal choices. Being gay was considered taboo anyway, making it illegal just brought our country to a new low.
Continued to “The Essence of being a Global Indian – Part II”