So… I had an interesting Twitter argument.
There is a problem in Indian culture. Most people are not educated much about it. All they see is the filth, the poverty and the lack of any sane rules. People see the dirt, the misogyny and the terrible things only without the flip side.
I am not speaking about Indians who are poor, we are discussing Indians who are fairly well off. Most poorer Indians aren’t hanging around Twitter to argue things such as Ireland being “aryan” so Indian (Eireland is named after Eriu). By that logic Scotland is Indian due to it’s national dress being a pleated lungi.
This came from a provocative message.
British people went to the USA to murder Hindus. I was puzzled. Maybe he was confused about the Indians in question… But on asking his entire argument was based on “some” Native American words (like Maya) being the same as Hindu words (Maya in Hinduism is Illusion).
I found this silly. Not only do Indians suffer massive stereotypes at the hands of Americans who often jokingly ask “Dot or Feather” without realising that it only demonstrates ignorance.
This concept is “Everything’s Indian”. Indians rarely learn the truth about Indian culture. School textbooks are often white washed for political purposes to portray all Indians in a fantastic light. Every local boy is clean cut and polite, every cause is just and every invader is a card carrying villain.
So books gloss over the atrocities committed by Indians in the 1857 revolt but embellish those of the East India Company. They glorify Subash Chandra Bose without mentioning the Japanese managed to beat the Nazis at the Atrocity Game and that any such deal would have made India slaves to a government even less humane than the Brits.
You have men being cheated of their lands. All the Hindu kings are brave and lose because of Muslim subterfuge. All the then Muslim kings are brave and lose due to myth and legend.
And in this the real history of India is lost. Indians learn about the zero and are told to be proud of it but they don’t realise why. They are proud of the Taj Mahal but don’t understand what it’s political significance and why it was the doom of the Mughal Empire. There are Indians who think that Indian soldiers were effectively Jedi Knights and could deflect bullets but not one is able to tell me how such a force would lose to some poxy brits with boom sticks.
And it ignores the Indian love affair with gunpowder and guns…
See this is the problem. Indian culture is so poisoned by people who think like this you end up embellishing existing culture and ignoring the rich and diverse culture of India. In the post Khadi period Indians were rather shabby at dressing and dressing for success was not a thing. So Indians were enthralled by the Western Business Ideal. Men (and Women) looked powerful. Indian men and women looked like the same whether they were village farmers or high powered lawyers.
So “real” Indian culture is hidden away. It’s denigrated constantly in the minds of Indians and I suppose a lot has to do with colonialism.
So they embellish Indian culture to the maximum. And they do so wrongly. They would rather use India’s late 17th and 18th Century Rocket Artillery to imply that Indians were first into space. They would rather that Indians could fly. They would rather that Indians had special powers.
These are people who are proud of Ramanujam but cannot understand why. No mathematics class sits kids down and explains the elegance of the self taught genius. They are proud of Bose but don’t know what a Bose Einstein Condensate is.
There is a lot to know and to be proud of what your culture entails but you aren’t going to improve it by stealing that of others or making things up.
And there is a trope about this. An Indian trope. It is called “Everything Is Indian”.