Saturday, March 21, 2015

Whose Culture is it Anyway!



How can one describe the culture in a big and diverse nation like India? Today we have grown to understand our unity in diversity while the astounding truth is that we have united without any fragment losing its individuality. Our culture is our way of life and we have learnt countless way to live, woven by a single thread which is the pride of being Indian.  The fabric of India cannot be described any better than the words of Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore—
“Hethay arjo hetha anarjo hethay drabir chin
Shak hoon dal pathan mogol ek dehe holo leen
Paschime aji khuliyache dar setha hote sobe ani uphar
Dibe aur nibe milabe milibe, jabena fire
Eai bharater mahamanaber sagar tire”
I will not go in to the length of translating the texts but in gist our place is the confluence of all culture. Aryans, non Aryans, Dravidian, Chinese, Shaks, Huns, Mughols to name a few have all contributed in developing our culture, our belief, our tradition, our values, our way of life and above all our guiding light. But this also sets the norms that form the basis of our social rules and govern our countless societies.
In an ideal world, where everyone abides by their selfless moral conscience, there would not be any need for social laws. But unfortunately the real world is far from being ideal and today’s world is place best described as a place where dog eat dog. Here the survival is not for the fittest but snatched by someone who is cunning, opportunist and powerful. The civic society has surrendered itself to the community leaders and their henchmen for self-protection and willingly or unwillingly has handed over the sceptre of freedom and right of self determination into another set of people who are also strong, cunning and equally opportunist.
Our culture which belongs to each of us is now shackled by the skewed interpretation of old traditions and we are too weak or preoccupied to challenge it. We feel insecure and dare not be the rebel and at the same time, the very thought of putting our loved ones in the harm’s way make us shudder even in our deep sleep. Today we are caught between the devil and the deep sea and not knowing whom to embrace or abandon. We dream of a saviour, for a messiah to arrive.

But soon a day will arrive when we will take control of our own destiny and bring an end to the way people dominate each other. There is strength in the mass and nobody should underestimate the power of the common man.

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