Monday, April 12, 2010

What's up with the Regional Pride?

I still remember when Madras changed its name officially to the Tamil version- Chennai. Before you knew it, Bombay became Mumbai, Calcutta became Kolkata. Now all this Bengaluru/Bangalore business. I fail to see the point of it all. I'm sure there are people out there who would consider me less Indian for it, and perceive this as a betrayal to our culture, but I really don't see why the names of cities change how much more "Indian" they are. If people would stop caring about all the superficial crap, and start focusing on ACTUALLY showing regional pride, they would pay more attention to how they can conserve their languages, explore literature, safekeep art. Isn't that what regional pride should be all about? Making it so that the culture is secure? And not worrying about outdoing each other and worrying about something as small as political bullshit? Bitter. Yes, I am. I feel that people sometimes thrive on bigotry, and come up with any reasons they can to create differences and unnecessary and unhealthy competition to set themselves apart. India has a lot of broken processes. Even with how much advancement there has been, and I'm just as proud as the next person, that in a time where US and Europe are reeling from the hits to the economy, India has emerged, not just as the "little country that could", but really as a country that has fought for and earned the right to be respected as a world power. India has a voice, and everyone is listening. But there is a lot that remains to be fixed. I wish there was more focus on that, because now is the time, it can really be done. Growing up in an India suffering from "Brain Drain"- the tendency of young, capable, educated people moving away (usually to the US), it is pleasant to see that plenty of people choose to actually go back to India, and there are a lot more people sticking around to give back to the motherland that gave to them. But, I don't know how beneficial that's been. I think all in all, India has become a lazier culture. People don't need to study as much to get a decent job. All the twenty and thirty somethings, continue to live with their parents (which is good in a sense, because there is a severe lack of space and housing), working, and with a large, disposable income that is blown on frivolous things. There I said it. And quite honestly, I am stuck somewhere between revulsion and envy of that life. And with all the brains that India has retained, and the drain having been clogged up a bit, doesn't show in practice. The poor remain poor, and the rich get richer. The middle class has been benefited for sure. I wonder if I would feel differently living in India.