A 39 year old Swiss tourist, with her 29 year old companion lost way in a central Indian jungle. The woman was gang-raped and the companion beaten up, and robbed. This happened, adding another glorious chapter in Indian cultural superiority. This comes barely a couple of months after the Delhi Gang-rape.
A supremely hypocritical culture, where people can pee in public, but not kiss.
Here’s what everything is wrong with India, Indian mindset, and culture. And not only India, this mindset is noted in every other South Asian culture, every other South Asian country.
Yes, Indian villagers. Apparently they are pure, and it is the city, corrupt Westernised liberal capitalist city dwellers that is harming the pure Indian culture. Where have we heard those type of talks before? Yes, the Talibans.
Well, Indian villagers, just like their counterparts in all other South Asian countries, are no better than Talibans. It is South Asia after all…how different will be the mindset of Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankans and Afghans?
The “Indian Renaissance”, (The whole of British India, not the one we see today) which started during the British rule, by Raja Ram Mohan Roy, was due to the Western liberal democratic education system. Otherwise India would still be in the dark medieval age with Jizya tax and Sati. Those who deny that, deny history.
We owe everything modern to the British Empire. However much we want to deny history, from an anti-western “revisionist” point of view, the fact that we have modern education, technology, railways and industry, English language which helps us in being World leaders in different sectors like service, manufacturing and trade, doctors and engineers and modern medicine, is due to the Western education system and Indian cultural Renaissance from 1860 onwards. The freedom that we have, the democracy that we cherish, the liberty that we espouse, all due to the Western education and thought process.
Two hundred years after the whiff of fresh air that was Western education, we risk going back to the dark days of cultural conservatism again. The forces of Tribalism, Religious Sectarianism, Chauvinism, Conservatism, Historical revisionism, and Fanaticism are pulling us back to the dark days of Feudal Subcontinent, a rotten, static, stagnated, socially backward time of superstition, Witch burning, casteism, social stigmatization, where Science, human rights, equality of sexes and modern progressive thoughts were not welcome.
And yes, to call a spade a spade. It is a fight between the urban, western educated liberal secular cities, and the culturally conservative villages. Regardless of Hindus, Sikhs or Muslims, Sub-continental villages are a den of fanatic male religio-chauvinist extremism and cultural conservatism. A simple fact check and stats would show the difference in crime pattern in villages and cities.
It is about time, we acknowledge the truth.
To stop the practice of “Sati”, we needed men like General Sir Charles James Napier, who knew when to use force to wrong a right, a system, which was vile, evil and despicable. Here’s what he said, “You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.”
We stand at a similar crossroad. And to stop another evil, like crime against women, we might need to use force again, and take up arms if needed. The war is against cultural conservatism, and forces which are pulling us towards the medieval dark days, all across South Asia. We need to amputate that gangrene, to save the rest of the body.