Indian Culture: Strength and Weaknesses

Two recent news reports might have hurt many wishers of India. While the first was a study coming from the academicians, the second might be a poor unnecessary remark of a former cricket captain.

A study, ‘India: The Next Superpower?’ by the London School of Economics (LSE) lists several challenges, that are likely to prevent India from realizing the ambitions of becoming the superpower.

Ramachandra Guha, currently the Philippe Roman Chair in History and International Affairs at the LSE, is the foremost among the LSE group. He argues and gives seven reasons why India will not become a superpower: “The challenge of the Naxalites; the insidious presence of the Hindutvawadis; the degradation of the once liberal and upright Centre; the increasing gap between the rich and the poor; the trivialisation of the media; the unsustainability, in an environmental sense, of present patterns of resource consumption; the instability and policy incoherence caused by multi-party coalition governments”

I don’t know why Ramachandra can’t realize that the people of India do realize the dangerous consequences of the present situation on all his listed factors and are evolving ways and means to overcome the drawbacks en route its growth. I shall like to give just one example of this evolution. If we remember, the election just few years ago used to be a dreadful exercise many considering that as fares with obstructing voting, looting of booths, managing counting and violence. Indian electorate today is exercising its right without any fear and trouble at polling stations and election has become perhaps fairer than that in many developed countries too. Let Ramachandra not be pessimistic rather let him suggest the ways and means to overcome the challenges. However, it is not necessary to believe in the logic of LSE intellectuals and some differs.

Second derogatory remarks came from the former captain of Australian Cricket team who also was India coach, Greg Chappell in a report:

Taking at dig at overall Indian culture Chappell said: “The culture is very different, it`s not a team culture.”

“They lack leaders in the team because they are not trained to be leaders. From an early age, their parents make all the decisions, their schoolteachers make their decisions, their cricket coaches make the decisions.”

“The culture of India is such that, if you put your head above the parapet someone will shoot it. Knock your head off. So they learn to keep their head down and not take responsibility. The Poms taught them really well to keep their head down. For if someone was deemed to be responsible, they`d get punished. So the Indians have learned to avoid responsibility. So before taking responsibility for any decisions, they prefer not to.”

I wish the former captain would not have made such remarks, and Indian cricketers must reply that in words as well as from their deeds.

Let the celebrities maintain certain amount of positivity and constraint in their inferences about India and its people.

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