Why do Indians disparage India? | SPJIMR

Why do Indians disparage India?

Anil Vishnu Vaidya

Author: Anil Vishnu Vaidya

Date: Thu, 2018-08-09 18:43

It was the day before yesterday that I was at Newark airport, waiting in line to board my flight to Mumbai. All passengers were waiting patiently in five queues. There was a ‘desi’, probably an Americanised Indian or may be an Indian, who says to his fellow travellers, "This is a Mumbai flight...has to be delayed. It's Indian time". And how wrong he was – the flight was of an American airline; it was run, operated, scheduled and managed completely by Americans. India and Indians had no contribution in the delay, which was on account of a missing pilot. This was formally announced many times while we were waiting for the flight.

We Indians are responsible for creating some wrong impressions by attributing bad things to ourselves. Secondly, we also demonstrate at times wrong behaviour, such as not joining conferences in time or not arriving for a meeting on time.

Shouldn’t we consciously change our behaviour as well as our utterances? When are we going to learn to hold our head high? I dislike, even resent, people who make such comments. In fact. I have seen some of the older generation American Indians who hold our flag high while there was this case of a younger generation disparaging India. It is up to this younger generation to demonstrate behaviour and the deeds that make can India proud, and also in turn benefit from this.  If you can’t help in that endeavour, at least don’t ridicule India.

You have no right to disparage India!  



couldn't agree more...and then we complain about westerners stereotyping Indians.

Another common action I see is agreeing to late night calls while I have seen my colleagues abroad more than willing for early morning calls IST. We have made it seem normal to show that late evenings are better than early mornings for us and now irrespective of the necessity we end up working through the night when the better practice probably would be to start work early and finish it on time.

How can a indian disparage india by disparaging it in front of other indian ! Its probably another indian's mind which want to see india disparaged. Maybe it was a joke on the airport. And being late is a part of culture of india (Not being late in emergency is also a part). Nothing wrongs in it! You have no right to judge 125(minus one) Crore people in a minute.

The above thoughts resonate with me and I would like share my experiences on the same. The attitude of some Indians who are settled abroad are really disheartening. They wear a halo and feel that they have a prerogative to belittle India as they consider themselves privileged to have migrated. I have experienced it first hand while living in USA during my college days, and subsequently thereafter during my four year work stint. I have witnessed incidences wherein Indian Americans project India in a poor light as being a backward country to fellow Americans. They often joke about the pace of development and infrastructure whilst ridiculing some of the rituals and customs. They find India dirty, polluted and unorganized. They often forget their roots and the fact that they would continue to be Indians wherever they go. They try to ape the western culture in an endeavor to shed their true skin. However, they conveniently follow practices like being late for meetings and then giving excuses, buying stuff from shops and returning it frequently, taking undue advantage of the free soft drinks at quick service restaurants. These habits often make them unlikeable amongst Americans as well. There is a pressing need to change this attitude and be proud of their origins. They are often oblivious to the fact that their success can be attributed to the values imparted in them and also the Indian education system which helps them scale greater heights. The onus also lies on the older generation to reprimand the younger folks and impart correct knowledge to them. India should not become a vacation destination for the younger generation wherein they come as tourists. It should be a place where they come to discover the rich heritage and strengthen their roots. This will help them represent India in a better light as global citizens. Be proud to be an Indian!

As rightly captured by you, we Indians are responsible for creating some wrong impressions by attributing bad things to ourselves. I would like to further step in and introspect the reasons behind. In my view, factors such as unemployment, corruption, inequality etc., which was predominant in later part of twentieth century had led to lack of trust over governance in the minds of people. The root cause starts right from the way the present generation were brought up both in schools and at home. After pursuing education from India’s top institutions, good amount of people had no inclination to serve the country and got attracted by the western world. People who pretend to be well disciplined in foreign nation change their hats when they land in India. For example, a person who puts a piece of torn paper into dust bins on a foreign nation doesn’t bother to through on the streets of India. It is also surprising to see changing behavior within the same country. For ex., person who maintains high standards at airport spoils the cleanliness of a railway station. Let’s hope on the generations to come. Kids in schools today are taught of high values, culture and patriotism. Every parent today learn simple things from their children. For ex., simple acts of self-discipline starting from keeping our environment clean, punctuality and patriotism are nurtured well in the minds of younger generation. In the recent times, the nation had witnessed a large number of NRIs returning back to India as entrepreneurs and helps build India both technologically and economically strong. By increasing employment opportunities, implementing transparency in governance and improving livelihood/lifestyle of every Indian help change the mindset of younger generations over a period of time. We should also admit to the fact that it is highly challenging for our country with world’s second largest population to bring changes in no time. It is in the hands of today’s teachers, parents, to cherish the children on traditional values, culture, and patriotism. Hope to see India clean, developed, people/value centric nation in the near future.

Respected Sir, The concern shown by you towards the disparages is very much right. Your blog points out some of the major disparities still lingering in the educated minds of the country. Attributing bad things to our countrymen and demonstrating wrong behaviour are rightly pointed out behaviours that let us down. The questions raised by you should consistently ring inside the heads of all people who cross the line. However, the biggest questions that follow are how that can happen? Can mere questioning by concerned citizens turn the table? Can these questions alone make everyone realise what he/she is doing? The foremost thing of a responsible citizen is to question when things go wrong. Appreciate your concerns because questioning is one of the acknowledgements of the issues in hand, irrespective of the dissent and the dislike of the questioner. Although the above concerns don’t generalize to any sections of the society, the latter portions of the blog point to the younger generation. Pleased to see your belief that younger generation can sort this out once and for all. However, I would respectfully disagree on the generalization done based on certain sample space only, although there are higher chances of people of every age group possessing the same behaviour and expressing similar utterances. The biggest support any younger generation can get is from the experienced generation, who knew the right and the wrong well, guiding for the right endeavours. With the emergence of several young men and women bringing several laurels, name and fame to the country, I strongly agree that the younger generation should hold the baton in spreading the understanding of the fundamental idea that “You have no right to disparage India”. Thankful to you for the blog that calls for right behaviour demonstration and right utterances. This is an eye-opener for all.

As it was rightly pointed by you . your thoughts reminds me of many such situations which I have come across practically on many occasions wither within my friends or colleagues circle during discussions . The thinking of most of the Indians who are settled abroad are really gets changed on most of the occasions. They feel that they have a every right to degrade India as they consider themselves privileged to have migrated. There are many incidences wherein Indians abroad , project India in a very bad state and as being a backward country to most of the foreign people . We often hear jokes being put on the development projects taken by the India and speed at which these takes place either wrt infrastructure and other major projects . We often find people commenting badly on India all bad state of conditions like dirty, polluted and unorganized state which matters much . They very often forget their roots and the fact that they belong to be India . People often try gets converted easily to foreign soil cultures and change their roots easily by following other country styles which is very disturbing whenever you see them in future . These habits often make them unlikeable by many foreigners as well. There is a need to change this type of behavior by all Indians and to be proud of their origins . Indians often forget the facts easily that their success has come along way and inherited from their ancestors and also the strong Indian educational systems they had , which has helped them to reach to this new heights at present in other countries . The ownership also very much lies with the Parents to keep on reminding the youth and children on Indian values and correct them if necessary at regular period to calibrate themselves to their origin values . India as country should not take the 2nd position in their minds and also should not remain as their ancestral remembrance spot where in they come and go as guests after very long gaps . It should be the place where they often come to re-discover their heritage and strengthen their roots . This will not only help them and their future generations to represent India in a better position and . They should feel be proud to be an Indian and create In my view , basic factors such as bureaucracy in govt systems , highly un-recognised jobs , high corruption ,bad infrastructure ,has led to lack of trust in the governance in the people of India . The root cause starts right from the way the new generation people were brought up both in schools and at home. People after completion of their higher education from India’s premier institutions , major percentage are showing less interest towards serve the country and getting attracted towards western world and going for higher education abroad . Once you complete the higher education instead of coming back to India they settle down there and showing less interest in coming back to India. Once these people gets disciplined on foreign soil , change their living styles once they land in India. Whatever they get accustomed to the culture gets their gets reversed once they come back . Let’s hope on the generations to come . Kids in schools today are taught of high values, culture and patriotism. Every parent today learn simple things from their children. For ex., simple acts of self-discipline starting from keeping our environment clean, punctuality and patriotism are nurtured well in the minds of younger generation

Dear Sir, I agree with your article and have witnessed some instances along the same lines. This has become a trend or fad largely in the younger Indian population irrespective of whether one lives inside or outside India. Your article has highlighted a very important aspect of today’s generation which needs to be addressed immediately to check the brain drain. However, I feel that we have to go deeper into the issue to understand and address the underlying reasons of such behaviour. After my interactions with people who disparage India, I tried to ask the question to myself that why do some people dislike the country which has given so much to them. After a lot of deliberation I came to the conclusion that instead of trying to improve in the area where we are lacking, it’s easier to pass on the blame to the country/others. When people see their friends or relatives living a lavish life outside India, instead of working hard, we say that there are no opportunities in India. Furthermore, I find that playing the blame game represents the lack of patience in the younger generation. We want everything now, without putting much effort or waiting for it. We ignore the fact that people who are living a lavish life outside have invested immense time and efforts to reach where they are. I would also like to highlight that it doesn’t matter whether you disparage India in front of an Indian; it is still unacceptable because when you are in the habit of demeaning your country, it becomes your behaviour and what becomes your behaviour is bound to come out someday. We do not realise that we are insulting our own country in front of outsiders because by then it’s a subconscious thing. To conclude, I would like to refer an article which mentioned an incident emphasizing the same. An American flight filled with Indians was travelling from USA to Delhi. When the flight was in USA, the Indians behaved politely but at the Delhi airport, the same people became rude and pushed each other to alight first. We only end up creating the very image of the country which we dislike.

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