Welcome to the Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium where Anu, Ashok, Conrad, Delirious, gaelikaa, Grannymar, Ramana and I write on the same topic. Please do visit the linked blogs to get different views of the prism, colours of the same topic. Today’s topic has been chosen by Ramana.
I am a woman of the 20th century who has stepped into the 21st with all my values set and running.
I am an Indian woman for whom tradition, culture, ritual and family are the four pillars that enclose the space that I dwell.
I have windows on all four walls that let in illumination and fragrant breezes about other worlds.
I have a door on hinges that open inwards and out, that I can lock up or throw open to kin, family, cultures, learning and lore.
I grew up reading in an alien language—English—that I have made my own.I have imbibed a lot of western thought that helps me to process Indian thought, literature and philosophy. Yet my Hindu practices, thought and values are deeply ingrained and affect my every action and behaviour.
Western values are today the norm for the younger generation in India—‘me’, ‘mine’ and ‘myself’ are some of them. The passionate single minded focus on achieving heights of success and wealth at any cost has taken centre stage. Clothes, gadgets, overt signs of achievement are the necessities that our youngsters and society denizens aim to own.
Good habits and values of the West like standing in a queue, respecting time, place and privacy are some values that have not been imbibed. Family, respect for elders and duty to kith and kin and society seem to be taking back stage.
I do not mean that this is a blanket behaviour…but urban and Western media influenced kids are adopting such practices. Physical exposure, openly exhibiting sexual behaviour, lack of fidelity, fleeting/temporary commitments, single parenthood—all these that are being shown in movies, TV and magazines are being imitated.
India too had its inequities—values and morals were prescribed and adhered but there was an undercurrent of dissolute behaviour and sexual and gender exploitation. Today, lines between Western values (that are freely demonstrated in the public through media) and modern values are becoming blurred all over the world. In fact they seem to be reflective of each other.
The strangest thing though is that the West has understood that its values in the past hundred years or so have created a dysfunctional, fragmented, unhappy society. They are going back to traditional values and habits and looking for alternate philosophies like Buddhism and meditative practices like Tai Chi and Yoga to cure the unrest in minds and bodies.