Change the name of Defence Colony to “Raksha-Sewak” Colony and it immediately looses it’s charm, it’s perceived “High class” value and suddenly it becomes too “eww” for most Delhiites. You’d be on the verge of committing blasphemy , if you even thought of changing the name of malls such as “Promenade”,”Emporio”,”Ambience” etc. Try thinking of calling “Vasant Vihar” to let’s say “Vishnu Vihar” and see the “eww”-ness developing into most heads of south Delhi. Do wonder why GK is such a coveted colony rather than the adjoining Kalkaji, regardless of the amenities available in the colony. A counter argument of Sarojini Nagar, Chanakyapuri etc can be given, but factor in that those areas have already cemented their place in the psyche due to their association with “South Delhi” and already belonging to the perceived elite club.
St Stephens is perceived to be a better college than Deen Dayal Upadhyaya college, even before the discussion begins. Xavier’s college sounds almost always better than Shri Ram Lal Anand College, doesn’t it? “Ram Lal, you said? eww” is the general reaction.
(These are examples based on the perception power/ hypnotic effect of names alone, and do not include facts such as results, placements etc as this is not a discussion on which college is better in terms of education).
Let’s sample a few apartment names in Gurgaon & Delhi
“Ridge wood Estate”
“DLF *Insert XYZ name here*”
Change any of the above to some Hindi Name and you will find that the whole perceived prestige attached to it looses its charm all too quickly. I am not advocating a case for the names to be changed to something more local, as that would amount to blasphemy , but I wish to point out towards the inherent subtle perception that anything western is automatically good.
The term “intellectual” in layman’s language is associated with amount of English one can speak, and the more lucid the vocabulary, more is the “intellect” level , and depending on where you are placed on this spectrum, respect is accorded to you, regardless of whether there is any substance or notable content in the person’s argument, or his/her general understanding of what is happening in the country.
Recently a close friend remarked how she would love to have a christian wedding, instead of the usual bullshit “Pheras” around a stupid fire. I asked her to elucidate more. So she explained on the lines of “The dresses, the bridesmaids, the kiss, the champagne, its all too wonderful, neat and nice, compared to our standard Indian fare.” And in my usual nonchalant manner, I patted her on the back.
No where in the world, you will find people who talk with as much disdain about themselves as “we Indians are just like xyz or do xyz ,(with implied negativity)”. Yes, that is the expression. Notice how in most cases, we berate ourselves with when we talk with foreigners or even our own, trying to convince them “hey look at how much of an inferiority complex I have at my own identity and how I will bend down just to be just like you or fit into what is your definition of “good”, please notice me, pretty please?”
Stand up comedians such as All India Bakchod, Aditi Mittal, Vir Das, and the countless hundreds that exist now have made a fortune just making fun of us & our ways. I challenge anyone to find one Indian custom these people will approve of. An endless alumni base of my own Sanskriti School in addition to Shriram School, Modern BK/VV, DPS, Vasant Valley etc are just that, hordes of western wannabes. Westerners with Indian names and who know how to speak Hindi very well. Consider the obsession with shows such as games of thrones, the big bang theory, or the recent celebration of the launch of NetFlix in India. Again, I reiterate, watching these shows is not the point, the inherent subtle superiority complex and wannabe-ism is. ( I myself enjoy Supernatural, Saturday night live, songs by the lonely Island & the show Homeland).
Anyone who has ever studied in America is automatically subconsciously given a thumbs up by most of us, regardless of the place of study ,or maybe the person is a total imbecile in real life. But hey, he/studied in America, he/she has to be great.
And this is where the trouble really starts brewing. Any time New York Times or the BBC says anything about Indians, we consider it as the Gospel Truth, and revere it as the second coming of Christ, not once thinking may be they can be incorrect too.I have intentionally not referred to the second coming of RamaKrishna Paramhansa, since that is too downmarket and oh not so modern. (NOTE – RamaKrishna does not refer to Rama & Krishna, and if you are still wondering about this, oh well). See how much better Xerxes, Hermes, Poseidon sounds than Chandi, Bhuvneshwari, Bhairava etc.
Or look at Journalists such as Ms Ghose, Ms Singh (ET), Mr Sardesai etc or any of the South Delhi lot. Or consider most of our academia, the “intellectuals”, or the media honchos who rule the narrative of this country. Quite a lot of time they are referred to as Paid journalists etc, which may be true in part but do factor in the ideology elucidated above, and these people epitomize such Western Wannabe-ism. So how will they ever support anything that is in favour of the nation, especially when it doesn’t appeal to their subconscious modulation of comprehension abilities since the time they started school? Its not about being paid or unpaid, this is an ideological war with the western wannabes hypocritical elites of Delhi, who happen to be sitting on the zeniths of journalism, and it ruffles their feathers that the middle class from other lowly towns get to have say in national matters.
Passionate BJP supporters, most of the time, do not realize what they are even battling with & their constant shouts are of no use. The corridors of Lutyen’s Delhi, the India International Center, GymKhana Club, St Stephens College are too powerful for anyone to step in and even suggest a change in their ways. For them anything in hindi or Sanskrit is subconsciously so inferior to their sensibility , rubbish terms such as “Hindu, Vishwa, Parishad, rashtriya, Swayama etc”, *wait a second*, that was too much Hindi, See?
The very top of the food chain in the narrative building & media ruling class is just these children, who grew up into their respective jobs, with pseudo intellects, phoney english accents, and if they could, they would, shed off their brown skin in an instant, wear a white one and give themselves a western name. Destroy their evil pagan roots, which they are anyways hell bent on destroying, because the white man told them too.
We were ruled for over 800 years by the Mughals, and faced tyranny worse than what ISIS is capable of, yet, when we even think of renaming just a road named after on one of the most fanatic & barbaric rulers( a man worse than ISIS), the doors of hell are open wide & loose. Why? Because the 200 years English rule post the Mughals, has dented the psyche of “Indians”. Vladimir Putin commented and very rightly so “Indians lack a sense of identity, and are confused people”. Regardless of the authenticity & context of the comment, I consider this to be true, nonetheless.
Therefore, we are in a churning period, or at least the narrative governing the country is, since established corridors of power which were never questioned for the last 60 years have been challenged are. Consider what happens when the father of Nandita Das is served with a notice to evict his fabled Lutyen’s bungalow, Ms Das instantly starts singing the holy song of intolerance, and the western wannabe herd follows, not once does it deter to stop and check that maybe its being led off a cliff , against the very cause it wants to fight for by lighting candles and changing display pictures.
The trouble with the upper middle class Indian, that no matter how many times you may share that video of the bald guy telling all of us that we are proud people, we are subconsciously ashamed of ourselves, and this very class sits on the top. The higher class ruling elite anyways spend much time abroad for them to be of any significance to the discussion. And guess who the lower middle class looks upon as inspiration, in turn having a perpetual cervical? The upper middle class, the western wannabes.
The day people stop according respect to anything just because it is in English or just because it is related to the west, & the day people accord the same respect to YajnaValkya, Panini, Parashar, Ved Vyasa ,Bhaskara etc as they do to Newton, Copernicus, Socrates etc this country will truly start to wake up. The very same things that were said millennia ago in Sanskrit, are being handed back to us in sophisticated English & some in the name of science, and we are crying tears of joy over it.(that does not imply everything new is to be discarded). An American psychologist remarked in the 60s, that we thought we were the first ones to explore certain levels of the human psyche, and then he reached India, only to find out that in this country they already had detailed maps to explore such terrain of the human psyche.
In conclusion then, is it correct to be an extreme fanatic about hindi, and the desi stuff etc just to be not ashamed of your own corporate drone self? Or be vehemently opposed to the west, or any contribution the westerners have made to the civilization, in order to protect one’s own ”Indian” identity? Short answer is Nope. This writing itself is in English isn’t it?