Monday, November 13, 2006

É g a l i t é

Égalité is a concept totally lacking in India. If I ever make a decision to leave India for good, it will most probably be because of the lack of égalité. Loosely translated, égalité means equality. But it is more than that. It is a principle of accepting that each person is equally interesting.

In India, we live in the tradition of sucking it up to the stars. A person is either a star or a bozo, nothing in between. I will give examples - Sania Mirza is the face of Indian tennis, Aishwarya Rai is the face of Indian cinema .. I feel disgusted enough when such epithets are mentioned in domestic press. But when they are uttered on the world stage, I feel nauseated.

How about the girl in the neighbourhood who plays really good tennis ? How about the guy in the campus who sings really well ? How about spending some money to purchase tickets for a concert of the local rock band ? How about paying some money to buy the book written by the new writer in the town ? "What !? Does he think he is an Amitav Gosh or what ?" These people are greeted with a fickle smile - "Yeah, we have seen people better than that !".

This is the reason India will never produce anything great or in copious quantities. It is not just about the feeling of disappointment that is imparted onto the minds of talented people. It is the total sucker attitude of the entire population.

Such people can never realize a true democracy.


Manoj said...

"It is the total sucker attitude of the entire population."

The best lines I have read in months :P... can't agree with you more.

Tejo Krishna said...

true democracy - oxymoron isn't it ?

Kiran said...

Hi Tejo
you are right. nobody can define something as a "true democracy". By using this term, I just wish to raise a debate.

Tejo Krishna said...

I always had a doubt and still have, what is the reason for debating on some issue, I am pretty sure that it is neither gonna solve a problem nor direct us towards a solution ?

Kiran said...

the purpose of a debate ? hmm.. you can find one answer in my post below on the 'conjugate gradient method'

hkpt16384 said...

The media's frenzy to create images of superhumans & feeding off the frenzy is quite the same in developed nations as well. However, in India, the tendency to hang our collective faith and valuations of any area of human endeavour around a few icons assumes a different proportion, sadly enough. Back in the days when I was in college, most folks who never tuned to the radio for a good program of classical music by less known artists used to show up in the local auditorium after buying tickets for 50 rupees - when a Pt. Ravi Shankar, Zahir Hussian or an M.S. Subbblakshmi showed up.

To a larger degree, ever increasing masses of youngsters today are hysterically sucked into the vortices cultural drainage running through most of urban India: the apparent financial certitude of an engineering graduate and the pop movie culture invested and managed by the movie moghuls in the large cities. LIttle do they realize that their individul lives, lives of their families and lives of the communities they grew up in are reduced to mere numbers in the minds & products in the ever thirsing investment game of their corporate paymasters.

Given the impoverished state of India, few folks ever (in comparision with the large game of numbers that India always stands out in most superlatives with) invest their time and efforts in anything besides their immediate livelihood & the mass drug called TV. India never produces a great athlete, simply because there is no popular culture of giving into the sports and athletics. (Stastically speaking, if my sample space is small, my probability of picking the truly best is, like wise, small). GIven that a great 40% of the billion odd population has no chance of participating in a daily meal, I can only imagine how wonderful if all those 40% had a chance to compete for national level athletics or sports. So what are we left with - a rare Sania Mirza or a Viswanathan Anand becomes the lonely representative of a nation of a billion odd people - sadly loaded with the burden a being proxies for their missing billion odd brethern who would rather send their kids to the nearest engineering college and fobid their kids from playing anything that remotely resembled organized sports or whose only pipe dream is to get their children chained to the desks of the most paying corporations. As for Aiswarya Rai and Amitabh Bacchan, I would only wonder where the media will get their next breath from if these supercelebrities somehow disappeared from our thoughts mysteriously. Mr. Amitabh continues to be a darling of the masses despite being a huge tax evasionist (fyi: Mr. AB registered his KBC program in some remote location outside India to exempt the income from the program from Indian taxation & got full waiver from Indian IT).

Kiran, I would not easily dismiss that 'Indians will never do anything' - despite the failure of the media to highlight local and developing talent, the culture of a billion odd population rooted in eons of history is too large to be ignored by a few media headlines. Despite the 'massification' of popular culture by media & movies, I think there are enough strands of independent & native culture everywhere.

- Hari Tadepalli