India is a land of culture, multi-cultural, if you want me to stress upon the diversity which India boasts off. But what is the crux of the word “culture” which we Indians boast off wherever we go and whenever where its required to show our “cultural” superiority? The answer is vague. Even I, being in this land of culture for 22 years, where I have been born and brought up, don’t know the exact meaning and implications of “Indian Culture”. Well, I am not writing this to mar the sensibilities of my countrymen, but the malpractices that are being outrageously and rampantly practiced is appalling and this is my slightest endeavour to raise a voice against such sh*t.
Elders are to be respected, loved and obeyed. Very good, every person must be instilled with such values and must not leave it to Oblivion to engulf as he ages. But this willingness to obey and respect doesn’t necessarily mean that the younger generation must give in to every demand of them. Be it in their choice of education, their profession, their workplace, worse, the organization in which they will work and even worse, their marriage, its all happening in India, thanks to our “culture” which has been technically, socially, psychologically designed, by our gerontocratic society, for the younger generation. And, the icing on the cake is, this “culture” is perpetual! As the younger generation gets older, moulded by gerontocracy, they now become the heirs of this legacy and try to create clones with even more vigour. And this continues, pushing India to a rigid mindset, orthodox practices (read malpractices) and vicious social barriers from where escape is impossible. Current state of affairs do prove it, citing the example of students committing suicide reinforces this fact, partially though, as its only a facet of this widespread, deep-rooted disease. Students are forced by their parents to pursue only studies and nothing else. If he fails to become successful, the entire blame has to be borne by the student alone. And to add to the student’s distress, the society aggravates his sense of failure by taunting his parents, his incompetence, driving him to a corner, ashamed to face anyone. Warning: the word “successful” is a trap! It only means the First Position inIndia! Utterly desperate! Breaking out of my sarcastic mode, I would cry and say “Unfortunate and a pity.”
I proudly laud those parents those who encourage their children to pursue where they (the children) are good at. As I believe, if you are good at something, you will excel one day or the other. The reason being, your love for the subject, because if you love something, then no task is daunting, no aim is unachievable, the pain encounter wont be as painful if you had disliked it. It would rather be a journey of pleasing experiences and a trail of stunning achievements! Filmmakers, social activists, writers have had a significant role in bringing about such a change in modernIndia’s mindset. Kudos to their earnest effort!
The pain intensifies as the child reaches his adolescence and makes a transition to the High school. Indians have a strange fascination for Science and Engineering, a morbid compulsion for parents to push their children and make them realize that life without Science is not worthy of living. Ridiculously strange! Don’t ask me the reason, as its still an enigma! The same story reiterates. Frustration, helplessness, jittery piles up, crippling the young adolescent. Some blame it on the “System”, I blame it on gerontocracy. Its true that the “System” should be blamed, but one cant change it overnight, when it has its roots deep seated in our society. The thing one can do is bring a change in one’s own family. Set an example, let the whole society see your daring mavericism! Sever those vicious tentacles of the gerontocracy-ridden society. The proverb “Little drops of water make a mighty ocean” will make sense, sooner or later.
Then a cascade of downfall or stagnancy or prosperity, completely depending on the grit of the student, determines his future. In any case he gets a job amidst this incredible, maddening rat race, then comes the time to get “settled”. The guy has been unsettled, rather thoroughly disturbed throughout his life, give him independence to choose at least his life partner. But no respite! Gerontocracy prevails and you are ordered to sacrifice the rest of your life to its never ending appetite! Numerous couples flee from such incidents if they are independent, some submit to their fate and some become victims and make newspaper headlines as they end their lives. Such has been the story of honour killings by the Khaps. Its controversy laden and so I wont be treading the path of Ajai Sinha.
Its depressing to see such state of affairs in the lives of almost every Indian. Why aren’t we let free to live a life of our own? Why can’t our parents feel what we desire? Why does the society label the protestors against the system as “spoiled”, “gone to the dogs” and innumerable debasing adjectives? Questions won’t end. Its better that we answer these ourselves and vow that these should never reiterate when we have our children. Introspect, break the shackles of gerontocracy, scrape it from the society, yet retain the noble values of the legacy so that we lead a better life and bequeath a harmonious life to the generations to come.