Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mocking or Aping Westernization?

Think about it, which countries lead the economic and cultural race. I would obviously say it is the western countries especially Ango-Saxon i.e. US and UK. The soft power of these countries is very strong in far flung places including India and China. Take china, you don't see any young chinese wearing their traditional wears. On the other hand in India, American and British soft power actually overtake Indian cultures and economic model. India didn't come to media limelight when it was following the license raj model of economic principles once India embraced western models it suddenly come to the limelight.

In India, everything from west has some value. Even in Indian marriage system, it is the American or British educated bridegroom or bride which is most sought after. It is the American slang which is widely used in Indian elite universities and also Hollywood movies are widely watched and shared not Indian movies. The advocates of Indian culture and system actually takes back seat when it comes to reaping the economic benefits. My brother for instance studied in Tamil medium school, he faced horrendous problems during his Bachelors and also preference of job is very unfair to non English speakers in India.

I would say almost of all the Indian elites are western educated either from U.K or U.S but I don't know why they advocate the general population not to ape the west when they knew already that only embracing westernization brings value to people in India. For example, there are so many anti-English protest in T.N by some political parties when their children are enrolled in elite English medium schools in metropolis. I certainly think Indian elite don't want others to be elite, that is the reason why they mock the westernization.


  1. @ velan

    India was ruled by the british for so long, then came the american policies, recent one is Nuclear policy. I think Now a days in most of the economic reforms nativeness is coming into picture since china and india are focused as the next super power. Regarding the culture, may be the indians also want a open culture and want to break free!! it may be quite amusing to many but considering the number of divorce statistics in the family courts will give a pretty good picture of it. If u have it then flaunt it, this culture is also developing in most of the the people's minds.

  2. @Karthic true I agree with ur last statement. If you have it then flaunt it. But what if u don't have it that is the case of 250 million Indian people?

  3. @velan What is the underlying theme/message of this post.There are so many points (influence of US-UK over the rest of the world, perils of aping the West, losing Indian culture, the tamil medium student, selfish narrow-minded politicians) to debate in this post that I am unable to give a clear and concise comment.

    Only thing I would like to say is society is like the free market. Unless under a tyrant dictator, society will tend to move towards higher standard of living and keep up with modern times.

  4. @Jagdish The theme is very simple, I don't know which is actually good it is aping the west or mocking them. I personally think aping the west prove to be good for majority of Indians.

  5. imitating something else is stupid, but absorbing what is good in other cultures and integrating is sensible.
    we are talking about globalization, wherein it is simply impossible to draw lines across nations. but we will always be what we are in our hearts.(i hope!)
    btw, i am all for learning tamil, but as a medium of instruction, it does not help beyond a certain level.(unless we become something of an engineering powerhouse like germany, and other countries emulate us..)

  6. The reason why I commented as above is: Aping/mocking the west can be different based on context. Should we take up their culture and economic policies? Certainly not. Should we learn English and try to emulate Hollywood? Surely yes. In this regard, I second gautham. Absorb the good and ignore the rest.