Yet, the Indian mindset, our mentality remains the same!
Large scale Indian migrant population today.
Large scale racist, religious abroad, violence against fellow Indians in the Indian states!
Has the dominant Indian mindset changed?
A caste society might become progressively a class society?
Indians seem to be living blissfully unaware of the world outside, also the country inside. There is violence, racist attacks against Indian students, across the global arena where the Indians these days are jealous migrants!
Inside India, our selfish political locals has crafted a political culture of exclusion,anti-North,anti-Hindi,anti-Brahmin(TN),anti-Biharis(Maharashtra),anti-“foreigners” as ULFA does in Assam. So, where is India in all these chauvinistic politics, this fascist mindset? So, what Indian mindset we are witnessing or aspiring for? Who can ask such questions? Who can answer such questions either? So, every one of us seem to be living for ourselves, our families, building our own little dynasties?
Even those who hold forth from public platforms, the NRI intellectuals, the Nobel Prize winners like Naipaul, Prof. Amartya Sen, don’t even mention for once the racial riots, the racial violence against non-whites, the Indians, the Bangladeshis, the Pakistanis and the Caribbean migrants who live in such large numbers in UK.In the USA itself to be black, brown and Muslim is a threat! In the Russian campuses, Indian students are routinely attacked, this year four murders of Indian students. All these globalize violence doesn’t seem to mean anything to these NRIs, who otherwise live cozily, in a cocoon of their own imagined worlds.
So, the new globalizing world new emerging India a false dawn? Or, what else? Some hard questions that need to be asked and answered.
There doesn’t seem to be any easy answers! I have devoted quite a lot of my time, in fact, it has been one of my major preoccupations, all through my adult life to observe and find out the major strength of the Indian character, Indian mindset. A society with such a long civilization past, such a diverse culture and religion must have had something that much distinguish and differentiate it from the other civilizations and culture. We think of other such civilizations. We can recall any number of worthy character traits for a Greek conception of many and his duties, the Greek conception of what constitutes the highest character and highest morality. So too to the Roman civilization.
In contrast what it is that distinguishes Indian mindset is the Indian character. In this case, the question assumes greater significance for us, even now, for this generation. For without asking such questions which I am afraid even some of our great minds of the recent past, Tagore, Gandhi and Nehru, didn’t seem to have thought about it, as far as I know.
But I thought I should face this question squarely right now and ask myself without being deterred by the formidable nature of such a question. Of course, I don’t think I have an immediate answer. But I must at least have the satisfaction that I have ventured to raise such an issue. It is for others to join me to think somewhat collectively so that we in India will have something to rally round around a critical issue of national importance, for us, for this generation and for the future.
Yes, new classes are already forming; a new political class is emerging, so too the educated lower and middle classes becoming knowledge workers and knowledge entrepreneurs, millionaires and billionaires. So too the new empowerment of the women might change the family values. Less patriotism, more a love of the migration, less beliefs in morality and truth, more faith in the easy money, so too the new criminal classes, within the political system itself. What about the unchanging Indian mindset?
Yes, outward changes, social and economic and even political, are faster and easily noticeable. But there are certain changes, about our ethical and core beliefs, our mindset, the old middle class mindset of submissive nature, obedience to authority, might change or wont?
While we see so much comment, so much of book writing, certain theories of change, there are certain uncomfortable questions; we don’t seem to have yet become a sensitive society. We yet don’t care much for the outside world, even outside our own cozy circle, of kith and kin. Our new generation politicians are so obsessed with dynastic politics; no shame will deter them from resorting to corrupt ways of living, making wealth so blatantly. All the 60 odd years of freedom hasn’t given us any sense of introspection, we don’t wink at the large scale corruption, and we don’t have Lok Pal or Lok Ayukta in place. What does this suggest? What is the message? Do, we have any indication of the changed mindset? If at all, our mindset has only become hardened towards any sense of shame. We don’t seem to have any sense of honor? Or, self honor.
Life in India is still very cheap. There is no sense of sharing. There is no sense of a mature and caring society. Indian mindset provides unlimited areas for explorations. What Macaulay, what other outside observers like Abbe Dubois said of the Indian character seem to be still valid. So much of religion, religious activities, and religious extremists haven’t helped to break down the barriers and go for a more egalitarian and a secular, enlightened society.
Let us admit that we are still a culturally, civilisationally, an inferior people. In the West, there is so much transparency’s much openness, so much the rule of law. Not so here. Is this a correct assessment? Readers have to ask these questions and find the answers further introspecting.
Intellectuals talk these days about identity. The so-called identity crisis seems to be real even in Europe which finds itself difficult to integrate. But in India? No one seems to bother about what the current changes mean for the Indian identity. People are simply not aware, the middle classes, in their greed for quick wealth and quick migration and quick material prosperity is the least bothered about their own identities. The violence that we find in day to day national life is all about petty greed’s, against demolition of trader’s encroachment or abduction or underworld dons etc. Even our political violence has selfish motives, to gain political mileage at the cost of the innocent party workers!
Identity crisis as such I don’t see in the average Indian mindset. Even the political leaders are least bothered. The academics? Oh, the less said the better. They just exist. That’s all. The NRI intellectuals. They have their identity well-defined. They will sacrifice anything, all their personal honor to just get the Greed Card of “Resident Alien”, willing to undergo any humiliation to get this expatriate status.
So, where is national identity? National honor? We, Indians, as a dominant class, a nation, live double lives. We earn for recognition abroad and so too inside India. Any recognition. We want now hold dual nationalities! We maintain two bank accounts, one in foreign banks, the other in Indian banks, preferably, both the accounts remain unidentified, unaccounted! We live to draw our World Bank pensions and yet also wield power in the name of democracy?
There can’t be a more dishonest nation of people and leaders!