Friday, January 27, 2006

So are you traditional?

So a colleague broke her shoe at work. Someone offered her superglue to hold it in place till she got home. She applied the glue and asked, "Do I have to hold it down till the glue sets?"

Someone suggested, "Naah! Just place a dictionary on it for a while."

My eyes almost popped out of their sockets. Place a dictionary on a shoe??? What a horrifying suggestion! That too, coming from an Indian?? And just as suddenly, I realised, I had judged her. What I think is horrifying may not be to someone else. Perhaps, to her, the book was just a heavy object to press the shoe down. To me, a book is a sacred object which should not be brought in contact with any kind of footwear. That’s how I have been brought up. That’s what tradition tells me.

And this triggered me to think about tradition.

About the things we do for tradition's sake.

About the things we refuse to do for tradition’s sake.

About the things we don't mind doing for tradition's sake.

Sometimes I get really confused about tradition. And about the reasons why I stick to some traditions and dismiss the rest as hogwash. Some traditions are crystal clear. There is a very clear rationale behind them. Some are not. So I tried to list down why we follow certain traditions and why we don't (and won't) follow others.

1. Sometimes we follow some traditions without questioning. We may be trying to make someone happy, or we may believe in them ourselves, or we may believe that bad things will happen to us if we don't follow them. I touch wood whenever I say good things because I’m scared of them going away.

My mom prays to God every day. My Dad does not pray but I think he’s a believer. But I don't worship any idols. I don't pray to any God. Perhaps living by myself has given me a 'No one can help you if you don’t help yourself’ attitude? Perhaps I think that it's selfish of me to expect God to grant my wishes just because I took out five minutes of my time to pray to him? Perhaps I won't like myself not thanking God every single day for the things he has given me, but only praying to him when I want stuff, or when I want Him to get me out of trouble? Perhaps I have reached the stage where I don't do things unless the rationale is clear in my head. I can't seem to sort this out, not till I figure out what my stand on God is, whether I believe in His existence or not. I don’t know. But what I do know is that I try not to dismiss people's religious beliefs just because I don't believe in them. And yes, I would go to a temple just because someone who matters wants me to. I may not know what exactly to do there, but I will follow instructions and not question.

2. Then there are traditions we don't follow. Because they don't make sense to us. There is no rationale behind them. My grandma once told me that in olden days, in her mother's village, the daughters-in-law had to wash the feet of her mother-in-law in a bowl of water, and then drink that water as a mark of respect. Horrifying, isn’t it? I don’t know if they still do it in some villages, but of course we wouldn't do it, would we?? There is just no rationale to it. And this is why I won’t change my surname after I get married till I see the rationale behind it. And I won’t wear sindoor or a mangalsutra when I’m wearing western clothes. I’ve seen people wear the combo and I don’t think it looks good. I will not blindly follow traditions. If it does not make sense to me, I won't do it.


3. Then there are traditions we follow due to habit. In my tradition, if your foot accidentally touches a book or the body of another person, it's considered disrespectful. You're supposed to ask for forgiveness by touching your forehead and then your chest, and by muttering the word "Vishnu". I was taught to do this since the time I was a little girl. And now it's an automatic response, something that has stayed with me in spite of my seven and a half years of not being in India. In public, I don't say "Vishnu" aloud, but I do say it in my head. Even in a crowded bus, if I step on someone's toes, I do that action, but in a fraction of a second, so quickly that no one even notices. And once in a while, I think about why I do that. If I don't do the action and say the word, does it mean I'm disrespectful? No, I do respect books and people. So do I really need to have an action to prove my respect? No. There is no rationale behind it. But I guess it's a habit I can't get rid of. And since it does not harm me in any way or make my life difficult, or get in the way of convenience, so I don't mind following it.

4. Then, there are traditions we follow, but we don't know why. We're always trying to figure out, but we can't. In our head, tradition is having a duel with rationality, and we end up confused. I have a friend who's been trying for years to figure out why he is a vegetarian. Is it because his parents are? Is it because he finds killing animals for food a sin? He would very much like to have the shrimp-paste based tom yum soup, but he can't. He’s had non-veg food once or twice, by mistake. So you can’t use the dharm-bhrasht (“corruption of religion” by eating meat) argument here. But yes, there are so many things like this that we are not sure about, so we choose to take the safe route of following tradition meanwhile, as we try and clear our head.

5. Finally, there are traditions we follow because we like them. I like to wear Indian clothes on Independence Day. I like to do rangoli on Diwali. I buy cheongsam tops to wear during Chinese New year. I like to do henna on my hands because it looks so pretty. I would wear a sari at an Indian wedding because it looks gorgeous. Another great example I remember is going to the Birla temple when Dad was posted in Hyderabad. I have never quite seen a temple as amazing as the Birla temple. And I would go there again and again, not to worship, but to just soak in the beauty of the place.

Looks like I have not yet figured out my stand on tradition. So in the end, the question “Are you traditional?” often has me stumped.

Perhaps some questions really have no answer.



39 comments:

Anonymous said...

What came first, the chicken or the egg?














Answer: Neither. The rooster came first. LOL

Good post.

Raj said...

I'm second.

Raj said...

I follow the traditions which either seem fun or I feel like following them.

// Place a dictionary on a shoe???

Thats exactly what came to my mind as i was reading it. We are programmed to think lke that from our childhood :)

Rohit Talwar said...

A lot of traditions refuse to make sense to me!!


**Perhaps living by myself has given me a 'No one can help you if you don’t help yourself’ attitude?


That's the best thing ever. I'm trying my best to be like this.

Great going.

Ravi said...

I recall how I was taught never to leave a book open. The reason given was "vidya rani" (knowledge) would somehow vaporize & fly away from the book if it were left open.

Looks like I have not yet figured out my stand on tradition. So in the end, the question “Are you traditional?” often has me stumped.
Not only that, I have not figured out my stance on many other things. I fail to completely adopt any particular "-ism" like pacifism, elitism, feminism, activism, libertaranianism, traditionalism or modernism because even though there are some parts I like, some parts of these simply don't make sense.

priya said...

Me sixth!!!!
ive been nothing close to ur top ten!!
finally getting a chance to be featured in the top ten!!! :D

..p..

Suds said...

Very well written.:)... Talking about Birla temple. I was in Hyderabad for 3 months and that was our fav spot. It is beautiful.

Traditions. I guess as u said I am traditional in few things and not in some. I go to temple every year on my birthday don't know why. I go to siddhivinayak temple in Mumbai everytime I go to India. There is no reason but i just do few things. hmmm

Regarding Idol worship or praying to god when u are in trouble. That is human tendency. I do that. I know. But when u are down and nowhere to look I guess the only one to look at is him...:) Enjoy...

!xobile said...

yeh to fighter post tha sayesha..
but generally people don't like my views on such thingies
So i keep mum.

Vikram H said...

thats very kewl post Sayesha...But subscribing to your own logic, isnt removing the mangalsutra(while wearing western clothes) itself a very inconvenient thing??

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

Whoa! What a great post! Okay, I've radical views on this issue...I never, and I mean, NEVER follow such things, not consciously, atleast. Like you gave that example of that touching the forehead thing, I did have this habit till about 3-4 years back but it was just an unconscious one...somehow, it's not there anymore. I've friends who believe that they'd flunk or something if they don't respect the books in this way...lol...I never followed it and I've never flunked...(oh holy books! I'm thankful...hehe)
God? Don't believe in him/her/it...what's the point? Like you said, I trust my logical brain and I don't think my rationality permits me to believe in something like that...and so, I don't. I wouldn't even follow any tradition just because people I care about follow it or want me to do so. They gotta accept ME as I am. If they can't, their issue.
Oh, and it's awesome that you won't change your surname after marriage...great idea!!! :D
Pretty long comment, isn't it? ;) Hehe...wait till that Negative Creep comments...if he does, I'm sure that it'll be full of extremely anti-tradition views. :D

P.S.: Clueless, I still commented before you! :D:P

Shriedhar said...

Yeah,there are some ridiculous
old things still alive in our country.

but then there is a line between blind believes and tradition.

I treat all the gud ones as tradition n bad ones as blind believes.

After all it is ,we,who take them forward.So it depends on our intuition 2 carry them forward .

Eclectic Blogger said...

Sometimes there is no need to know what 'traditions' are or were.. just being good, doing good and thinking good will unconsciously make us follow all good traditions that ever existed.. that way we wont even know or practice the other blindly followed, illogical or stupid "so-called-traditions"!

ursjina said...

MM..difficult one dat is..now you have put me in the confused mode...who defines what is traditional..isnt it too subjective?..like what is traditional for me might be barbaric to another one..anyways..they kinda make good excuses also at times...hehe...im not even gonna open my mouth abt it...

Rohit Talwar said...

thanks! its 28th jan though! :)

thanks a ton for writing that on my blog.. sooo nice of you!

Negative Creep said...

Bahh!!! I'm too lazy to follow traditions... Navdeep already stole my thunder, so basically let me sum up my views... Tradition sucks... I'm an anarchist, and for someone who doesn't even believe in the government, asking my views on tradition is like a rhetorical question...

//Not only that, I have not figured out my stance on many other things. I fail to completely adopt any particular "-ism" like pacifism, elitism, feminism, activism, libertaranianism, traditionalism or modernism because even though there are some parts I like, some parts of these simply don't make sense.//

I know what you mean... so i'm just a me-ist...

And i don't believe in God either... all a bunch of bollocks.... anyone read the Fountainhead?? i don't just not believe in God, I HATE religion... All the nice religious people who hate BAD people, like Hitler or Mussolini, feel very safe, and think they're very good following religion, which has killed more people than ALL the hitlers and the mussolinis of the world combined...

And what's with the whole preoccupation with being good anyways?? There's no such thing as Karma... And the whole morality value system is screwed up... a nice guy who drinks or smokes or does drugs is called bad by all and sundry while a clean guy with no love for his fellow humans in his heart is the prime example of a good person... Damn, screw it... Nice post though....

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

ROTFL!!! See Sayesha! I told ya! Hehe...that Creep did leave an extremely anti-tradition kinda comment, hai na? :D

@Bhanuj:
Yes, I'm skilled at stealing your thunder, dude. Watch your head. :P

kaushik said...

hi:
this is my first time to shayesaz and i enjoyed every minute of it. infact i read almost all your posts!!

I believe the things you mentioned like not touching a book, another person are a part of our Culture. I believe that these are more out of respect than anything traditional. Especially in India, Respect is given lot of importance. Respect in all forms, be it taking care of your parents in their old age or be it taking good care of your book. It is in our culture. Would you call the habit of westeners to say 'thank-you' to shopkeepers a tradition or a part of their culture?

Tradition, I think, on the other hand has something partly to do with relegion. Tamilians take bath early in the morning, before 4 am on diwali day, because it is a tradition ( with the logic that on that particular morning, ganga water flows into south india).

But all said, there is no correct definition for culture/tradition!

and finally, I am 100% with you when you say that you would do something cultural/traditional only if it seems logical!

cya
kaushik

Negative Creep said...

Bah!!! Indian culture is OLD... Even a cursory look at Indian culture shows that it's anti-youth... Too much stress on experience and maturity... Every new innovaton, every new idea and every revolution is brought about by the young... Experience and maturity is just an excuse to not support change for the good, just because you're afraid of change... Be it any field, youth scores over experience... Science, almost all major breeakthroughs are made by prodigies before they're thirty... Business, look at the Indian economy today, it's youth that's driving it forward... our politics are still ruled by aging dinosaurs and look what state our country's political institutions are in... Once people get old, they settle down, they become fixed in their viewpoints and oppose change... That's why Indian culture is so reluctant to change while the Western culture is always assimilating elements of other cultures and thus always improving... Be it music, art, anything, youth is always more radical, less narrow-minded and hence has a much greater impact.... I hate it when people keep complaining about how Indian youth is ignoring our own culture, and aping Western culture... The western culture appeals to us because it is youth-centric and less conservative... Once we get old and settle down in our views, and sell out on our convictions, we'll appreciate Indian culture, but dammit, how can you bastards keep complaining about the lack of interest in the youth when our own bloody culture discriminates against us...


Phew, that felt good.... @ Kaushik, Thanking someone is not a part of culture, but just something decent people do, and it's not restricted to a certain people... Indians say thank you too, at least decent ones do... Idon't see how culture comes into the picture...

Negative Creep said...

And this reminds me of a quote i really love :

" The world is full of unrealistic motherf**kers, motherf**kers who thought their asses would age like wine. If that means it turns to vinegar, it does. If that means that it gets better with age, it don't. "

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

^^EASY, dude!!! Chill...you've some particular hatred for Indian culture or what? It's not THAT bad...just some weirdo, conservative ideas...that's it. Hehe...okay, understatement but still...! Sayesha might freak out when she reads your quote...even I digested it with some difficulty... :P

Negative Creep said...

^^ I don't have hatred for the Indian culture... i just hate the conservative bastards who don't realise that it needs to change, and resist that change... Also, i pretty much hate for the most part, the typical Indian mentality... Now before the neo-patriots come looking for me to beat me up, i love my country, i just wish i could kill about half of it...

spamtaneous said...

birla temple is so un-traditional... its called "birla mandir"

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

@Bhanuj: LOL!!! You and your kill-everyone-on-this-earth ideas...

@Someone who has time to waste and who'd love to read a take on the Great Indian Matrimony System:

SEE THIS!

Rays Of Sun said...

Sayesha, THIS IS FREAKY!
Even before I could read further, I stopped at "Placing shoe on dictionary"
Believe it or not! This post was saved in my drafts in blogspot, as I saw the almost the exact same thing in my class on wednesday.
The only difference was the girl who kicked her school bag was an american!

Harshi said...

Liked the way you touched on this topic. You sorted it all out very well. And the process of presenting is what I like. As for the answer to the question...

Am I traditional?
I am stumped too. :-)

I definitely question things too.
But it'd be interesting to think of things I don't question...

DeePDiveR said...

@ creep: dude its very wrong to point at 'Indian' culture in particular to be old and traditional, archaic or bad as u say...u see thats applicable for any culture/tradition be it Indian, American, British,Slovakian or Martian...tradition implies conflict with newer ideas and the exuberance of youth. Havent u forgotten that women in america dint have the right to vote??? And now?? The good thing about tradition in general is that its there to challenge youth and glean the best out of them...see if we didnt have tradition the driving force for our innovations would nullify. And this is much more pronounced in case of Indian tradition becos it allows people to change...dont know how well u know about the vedas but they have been composed in such a foresighted manner that they have allowances for changes in modes of life...how else can u explain the changing face of Indian youth today?? If u havent seen rang de basanti/dch i suggest u go and check it out...there's nothing untraditional abt them yet they appeal to the youth...I am an Indian and am really hurt if anyone abuses my country's culture. i try my best to prove him wrong by providing logic and rationale...and not hurtling abuser friendly words which i am ashamed to put up on the screens. I got that from my Indian tradition...didnt I?

For Sayesha...amazing post! I admire your ability to respect. Why dont u spread this magic of yours so that people wanting this virtue could gain! ;) ;) ;O

Just another ... said...

My thoughts too when I read that line ... "Place a dictionary on the shoe"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It's true that I do certain things just because someone really close to me asked me to do so.

Sayesha said...

#Anon,
Errr... thanks? :?

#Raj,
Yeah, I agree... small things like this just stay with us forever, don't they?

#Rohit,
Thanks. :)

#Ravi,
Oh yes! My Dad would always walk around closing my open books after I'd finished studying, and tell me to always close a book after I was done. :)

//there are some parts I like, some parts of these simply don't make sense

Totally agree with you there on the -isms.

#Priya,
:)

#Suds,
Yes, that's precisely my point. We seem to follow tradition at random, making it extremely difficult for us to answer the question "Are you traditional?" I guess there is no absolute definition of 'tradition' anymore...

#Ze Ex,
Arre wah! Aaj pehli baar waat nahin lagayi meri?! Tu toh serious ho gaya Munna! Chal bata de apni views, Negative Creep se toh kuch kam hi hongi! :)

#Vikram H,
There's a difference between finding something inconvenient and being plain lazy. I am not so lazy. I would take that ten seconds to take the mangalsutra off than choose to wear it with jeans :)

#The Girl,
Yes, I think we seem to be in sync with quite a few things... I would like to get rid of the forehead touching habit thingie too... cos it does not really mean anything... as long you're respectful dil se... you don't need an action to show it... kya karein... aadat ho gayi hai :)

#Shreedhar,
I agree... we are constantly filtering out things that we have been brought up with and perhaps in the process we are re-creating and re-defining 'tradition'.

#Eclectic,
//just being good, doing good and thinking good will unconsciously make us follow all good traditions that ever existed..

Well said, but not always easy... especially when you're dealing with others... say the older generation... you may not find something good... and they might... in situations like this, we often don't analyse but do things so that they're not unhappy... For example, I love the spicy MOS cheeseburger, and it has beef in it. I don't find anything 'bad' about eating beef, but my grandma does. So I will never eat it or mention eating it in her presence.

#Ursjina,
Yes, I agree... it's a grey area... and even if we come up with out own definition of tradition, it's a grey area... :)

#Rohit,
I know it's 28th Jan. When I posted, it was already 28 Jan in Singapore :)
ps: Thanks to ROS for telling me! :)

#Negative Creep,
I think you're perfectly right to have your own views on whatever you want, but perhaps you may want to tone down how much you criticise and dismiss other's views and traditions.

#The Girl,
Sigh...

#Kaushik,
Welcome to Sayeshaz. Good to see you finally commenting.

I don't think tradition and culture are mutually exclusive. In fact, a lot of our traditions go into making our culture.

A person will never ask you "Are you cultural?" It will always be "Are you traditional?" which is different from "Are you religious?"

Anyway, great to hear such diverse views on the subjects! :) Hope to see ya around :)

#Negative Creep,
You know what? I'd advise you to go watch 'Rang De Basanti'. There's a dialogue in there that's like a slap on our faces. "Why dirty your hands cleaning your own house. It's so much easier to sit and complain."

And how can you dismiss the entire older generation because of some corrupt old politicians? You're living in a land of freedom because of that very older generation. If you'd been around when India was a slave to the British, you'd have probably shaken your head and headed to settle down in a western country to do your hang-banging in peace without having to worry about your country.

You're only what.. 17? If you have such negative views about everything in your country, I shudder to think of what will happen when you actually get out there in the 'big bad world' and struggle for survival.

This may sound like a lecture to you... I can't help it... like Anupam Kher says in Rang De Basanti "SMS generation hai... chaar line se zyada kuchh bhi bolo toh lecture lagta hai."

Having your own radical views is fine, but belittling others' views, especially those because of whom you exist in this world with your radical views, is perhaps not a good idea... think about it.

//Indians say thank you too, at least decent ones do... Idon't see how culture comes into the picture...

I agree with that. :)

#The Girl,
I've said what I had to.

#Negative Creep,
So get out there and do something. Your complaining is not helping anyone.

#Spam,
Yeah, it's got a very beautiful, modern structure kinda feel to it... ps: Ooops, you mean I can't call it 'Birla temple'? :O

#ROS,
:)

#Harshi,
Yeah, try the categorising thing. You will discover amazing things about yourself. :)

#DeepDiver,
I'm amazed at the similarities in our comments (even the example of Rang De Basanti!) :)

#Just Another,
Yeah... there are so many reasons why we do certain things without questioning, isn't it? :)

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

Actually, I think that the Indians are progressing. The West is NOT. They call OUR views orthodox, OUR ideas backward, but they don't look at those of their own kids. Fine, we may not find public kissing, much of pre-marital sex or any such thing in India but atleast our ideas are changing. I go to these youth forums managed by the UNICEF where people discuss so-and-so issue but if you see the posts there, you'd see that the Indians have far more progressive and open minded views about things...as for the "progressive" kids of the West, more than 70% of them are homophobes, sexists, racists, anti-women's rights and most of all, right-wing Conservative Christians (no offence to anyone here). It's usually the Indians and the others from Singapore, Malaysia, or Middle East etc. who take a liberal stance on things. You guys won't believe but a guy from the U.S. said that if women get raped, it's their own fault for not following what "god" said and for wearing immodest clothes. Another said that rape is justified because men can't control themselves. So, women are responsible. A GIRL said that since the Bible says that Eve should suffer, so, she thinks that women are meant to be subjugated. She was from the U.S., if that means something.
And for Bhanuj who was grumbling about the older generation, just be aware that hey'll be dead in a few years' time. Then, India is there and you are there. Do what you can. The West? May their "god" bless them and may their "oh-so-open-minded-that-the-brains-fell-out" soul rest in peace (but the American President doesn't like that either).

Anybody interested can check out the "progressive" West HERE

@Sayesha: Well said...and it wasn't a lecture...woh toh mom deti hain, usually about padhai. :P

Harshi said...

Sash, you liked Rang De Basanti? Am hopefully gonna watch it tomorrow! :-)

Nath said...

Tradition for tradition's sake can be dangerous. I don't think there's anything intrinsically sacred about traditions -- they're just social customs designed to guilt people into fulfilling what earlier generations decided were moral obligations.

This would be just fine if morality was a constant, but it's not. Every generation thinks it's the first to get right and wrong fully figured out, and tries to pass its ideas on to its barbaric (as they see it) descendants. Tradition is simply one of the more effective ways of achieving this.

It is possible to reason about ethics. There's simply no need to rely on black-and-white rules written by people with different ideas of right and wrong from myself.

lil _kath said...

Traditions makes one country unique and can be different because of many religions too.It's up to us if we believe it or not, but we must respect others tradition definitely.
BTW,i believed some but mostly doing it because i'm just used of it from childhood and afraid of mom's tiger look hehe..^_~
Happy Weekend Kawaii...and "Kung Hei Fat Chow"(Happy Chinese New Year) to all your Chinese friends there in Singapore.

tata,
-kathy-

harshit said...

I encountered recently a situation when i did the thing with the book when i accidently struck my leg to it, and a fellow indian said: " U still do it :O ?"

I wrote a blog related to this stuff...
http://filofarts.blogspot.com/2005/12/religious-barb.html

Negative Creep said...

Hehehe, i so love playing the devil's advocate... i'm sorry if i came on a little strong there, but i stand by every thing i said there... First of all, i AM doing something about it... people who say that you should stop complaining and do something about it are just passing on the responsibility... what i said made you at least think about my viewpoint... The most important part of change is ideas... All right, we'll stick to facts... @ Navdeep, i can see how Indians are a progressive people... I mean how could i miss it... Khushboo, the Tamil actress who dared to publicly state her ideas on sexuality and "denigrate Tamil women" was just publicly humiliated, forced into apologising, had court cases slapped on her, had public effigies burnt, and was harrassed by politicians and media alike... I can see the progressiveness, i mean at least we didn't lynch her, right?? Hurray for "progressive" India... Don't even get me started on the right wing parties and conservativeness, homophobia and sexism in India... For a country where caste politics rule the roost, it's pretty hypocritical of you to call another country racist... The India you and i know is just a very small percentage of our population... We're not representatives of India... We have no idea what India's actually like... me included... I also love how Indians get all riled up when an Indian criticises his own country or culture... But when some eminent foreign personality, preferably white, or even better, American, says soemthing disparaging, it is only left upto the media to express its indignation, we as a people just let it slip... For all my negative views about my country, i will not let somebody who's never even lived here diss my country... Now i'm not saying you people will either, but a lot of people do... It sickens me to see that we're still enamored with white skin, that fairness is still a major criteria when it comes to beauty, for us, a brown skinned people... And i do not like the U.S at all... Except for the North Eastern cities, and California, most of the US is a rural area full of bumbling conservative idiots... The fact that they relelcted Bush confirms it... But i find it really funny that you gave all those examples of "shocking" viewpoints of American citizens... That's 3 people... Do you have any idea how accepted all those ideas are in India?? A minority i admit, but a significant minority, and much larger than in America, or as you call it The West... Why don't you come up with some examples that disprove what i'm saying about Indian society instead of raving against the West... after all, that's what you took offense to, right?? Compare European culture and compare our own... Europe has always supported philosophy, thinking, even when Christianity had a hold over it, there was always someone willing to help the free thinkers and the radicals, The renaissance was a European phenomena, we never had one, They evolved, they changed, they questioned... They did not follow blindly, they did not let them be lead... And to counter all the arguments about the Indus Valley and the Vedas and Indian culture being older and wiser, i agree completely except for one vital point... We stopped evolving... Our culture, our traditions have changed little in the past millenium and what change there has been has been for the worse... How long has it been since the Vedas were improved upon?? How many Indian philosophers, scientists, thinkers, whatever, can you name from the past millenia before British occupation, that is... The few philosophers there were, preached theology in the guise of philosophy and i have nothing but contempt for theology... Indian philosophical thought reached its pinnacle with Buddhism in the 700s and even that was besmirched by the priests and theologicians when they took over the ONLY positive religion ever to prosper and brought it down to the levels of Hinduism and even worse, Christianity... When was the last time Indian philosophical thought came up with a Frederich Nietzsche or a Franz Kafka, or anyone like the hundreds of philospohers with diverse thoughts and ideas who were eminent in Europe throughout the last millenium?? I backed up my convictions with logic, let me see you do that...

And Sayesha, my point is not that the generation is at fault... There's always a sense of disenchantment, and disappointment with the previous generations for not doing more than they did, but what i'm referring to is the older generation when they GET old... You forget, it is the youth of the time that was the most instrumental in gaining independence... Not that they weren't at fault considering they chose to follow a cunning politician like Gandhi... I hate Gandhi, and his little pet, Jawaharlal Nehru for what they did to our country... We had a chance to make a new beginning, but Mr. Nehru and his system of beauracracy and politics just bogged us down and still is... He had a chance to learn from the mistakes of others but he did not... As for Gandhi, am i the only one who can see how much harm he caused us?? The only reason we got freedom when we did, was because of Hitler and WWII which weakened the English... If it wasn't for WWII, they'd still be holding on to us, or at best we'd be an English dominion... Indian revolutionaries were making headway, and if they had the support of the people, we'd have been free much earlier... Gandhi united the people, that is a good thing, but he united them uner the hypocritical and idealistic banner of pacifism and that was the worst thing to happen to our freedom movement... If for a moment, you can stop idol worshipping him,and just think logically for once, not only did he slow us down, but more lives were lost because of him, than a revolution would have entailed...

@Deepdriver, your post made the most sense... Not that i agree with it, but it was logical... And i'm sorry for crossing the limits of decency, if i did, but if you look past the obscenities, then maybe you'll realise that i have a point too... I agree that Indian culture was "supposed" to be more open to change... But if you look at it objectively and honestly, without the moral indignation of taking my post as an insult to your personal integrity, can you honestly say that it HAS changed as it should?? The vast majority of India is conservative, unknowledgable, and worst of all extremely resistant to any sort of change, any new ideas, and as is evidet, even criticism... I love the idea of Rang De Basanti and i'm planning on going to watch it... BUT lemme just point out that that is NOT Indian youth... that's just an extremely small percentage of our youth... It's not even urban youth, but just a percentage of the urban youth...

Anyways, that's what i think... I may be wrong, and i know some of my ideas might be contradictory, or not properly thought through, but that's because my point of view is always changing, always evolving, and i haven't yet been able to find the time to put it all in perspective... But i do KNOW that i'm on the right track...

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

@Bhanuj:
First of all, it makes no sense fighting on someone else's blog.
Secondly, let me just make one thing clear: I DID NOT SAY THAT INDIAN CULTURE IS PROGRESSIVE. I said that the YOUTH are. That's a youth forum. How many people do YOU know who are completely conservative losers? By people, I mean, your friends, classmates etc. and not oldies. There might not be many. I'm talking about OUR generation, not that of our parents or the ones before that. India's present generation is changing and that's what matters because we have the maximum number of people in the age group of 15-25.
As for Gandhi, you probably know what I think of him.

Rohit Talwar said...

ROS told you? Are you also on orkut by any chance?

Negative Creep said...

@ TheGirl... I'm not fighting... I'm just discussing... and that's the point of a blog... exchange of ideas... i've seen discussions on the comments page of an article run longer than all of the articles of the blog combined...

The Girl Who Sold The World said...

@Rohit: Hehe...I know it's for Sayesha but I remember reading in one of her posts that she was at Orkut and she mentioned something about weird people there...lol.

@Creep: Hehe...the length of your previous comment wasn't not less either.

Gaurav said...

hi sayesh long back this blog on traditions was written somehow i read it now only..thought of putting down a few things visit the blog you might get a few answers...enjoy