India: A mystery land

My this trip to India was one of the longest for me. I had enough time to see India from professional as well as personal and non-professional sides. India is really a mystery land. I remember that the first president of India — Rajendra Prasad — called it a land of diversity. And he is right. But I also find it a land of more than just diversity — a land of mystery.

In terms of technology, it is pleasing to see what is happening in Bangalore and how Bangalore is a vibrant city. One can find people who are working on the cutting edge problem in different companies here. But even in Bangalore, the most basic technical facilities expected in a modern city are not to be found. Andf once you go out of Bangalore to other places, the technology awareness and technology availability and utilization goes down drammatically. It is tryly surprising to see this difference. One can not help but think that the research labs and companies in Bangalore are rare islands in the country.

On entirely different side, things are equally amazing. Having attended some social functions, parties, and discussions it is clear that one hand girls and boys are becoming quite free and the society, in which I grew up where it was rare for a boy and a girl to be friends, has progressed far beyond that. But the newspaper headlines were full of gang rapes and rapes in different cities; girls are not allowed to go out of their houses even in modern localities of major cities, and dowry is becoming higher and more common. And to top it a famous actress and the most pospular Tennis players are in News for making comments about premarital sex! Even the high court considers the case related to statements made related to premarital sex!!

Another mystrious thing to me is the poitics in the country. How could the same country have so many enlightened analytical people, yet the politics be influence, and in some cases dominated, by people like Lallu Yadav! This is definitely much more than the diversity that Rajendra Prasad used to talk and write about — and yes he was also from Bihar.

On one hand, I like to consider that these are the signs of a society in a rapid transition. But I can not help and think that these may be more deep. Whatever it is, I find it to be a mystery about the society which I am most familiar with.

2 thoughts on “India: A mystery land

  1. Vijay

    Typical comments of a foreigner ! Its funny to see these comments ..
    though sad but the truth is man is an animal. There are rapes and murders in Irvine, LA, NY and India.
    THere are bad social practises in every part of the world. We ask dowry, some other people just dont marry. We call people untouchables, other just kill them for the skin color. Thats society and like animals, it evolves.
    We elect two PhDs to the top office in the country and also elect Laloo. Of course the enlightented world elected a wonderful guy who was a drunkard with 2.0 GPA! Of democracy represents people, it up to you to pick which side you want to represent.
    I guess one should travel to India more often to see the good change.
    Regarding technolgy, please note technology is not all about computers, networks and fast cars. See how cell phone is killing the PC market in India. Check on the eSeva centers across AP.
    Check how Indian railway reservation works. Check how we use Non GM crops and yet feed a Billion stomaches. Check how cheap drugs from India are fighting AIDS. Technolgy again like every thing evolves with the environment.
    I just hope foriengers STOP generalizing about MY country.

  2. Ramesh Post author

    Dear Vijay,
    Sorry that you were offended by my comments — these were comments that are of a person who is as much Indian as you are and also cares for India as much as you do. If you noted, my this and previous several posts are about the great strides India is making.

    Maybe Nani Palakhivala was right on target when he said (in his book ‘We the People’) that we Indians like to close our eyes to our problems and don’t like to hear any criticism and that is the reason behind many of our problems. We don’t want to see problems and hence never solve those problems. Even Kabir says in his poetry that ” Nindak niyare rakhiye nandan kuti chavay …” (Keep the critic in your courtyard by making a nice house for him …).

    My dear friend, in place of requesting foreigners to STOP talking about MY country, because I care for my ‘motherland’ I’d request them to talk more about what is wrong with MY country so I can correct where I see problems.

    I hope you see this ‘foreigner’ patriot’s viewpoint.

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