Indian culture vs Western culture has always been a hot topic of debate. India is a highly diverse country with a lot of mixed cultural history. Western culture has always drawn people from around the world. People tend to get fascinated by Western ideologies, cuisine and clothing. It would not be an exaggeration to claim that in the contemporary times it has turned into an obsession. Indians are the prime casualty of this western obsession and this demands an analysis of how and when did our nation became a victim of it.
HOW DID IT BEGIN?
India remained in the chains of colonization for around 200 years. Many including the French, the Portugese and the British were in the front of this race of colonizing foreign lands to serve their imperial interests. Even though the Independence struggle of India turned successful in throwing out the British Raj, the western essence remained behind with us. This was the result of the inferiority complex, purposely entrenched within Indians to justify the British Raj. We were stamped as barbarians, incapable of self-rule.
Thomas Babington Macaulay or ‘Lord Macaulay’ is credited for bringing English education to India. The education he brought hailed the British superior culturally and morally. In February 1835, Macaulay circulated his work ‘Minute on Education’ in which he wrote, ‘A single shelf of a good European library was worth the whole native literature of India and Arabia’. British raj hammered in the Indians a sense of amazement for the Western culture. And this sense of inferiority and awe of the western world has kept our minds colonized even today.
Western Culture Vs Indian Culture
Western culture has had such an impact on our society that it is beginning to pose a dilemma for many. It has given people a new perspective on how to spend their lives. Western culture places a greater emphasis on individualism, whereas Indian culture shifts borders for the same depending on the situation. People in India are more family-oriented; there are large joint families, and people care about the society in which they live. Whereas people move away as soon as they can in Western culture, which focuses on individual growth.
With the coming of the Economic Reforms of 1991, Western cuisine became immensely prominent in India, particularly among the younger population. Nowadays, kids are not as keen to consume traditional meals as they are to eat Western food. Western food stores and restaurants are also having a major effect on our country.
These examples show that individuals have increasingly started to question their roots and become more interested in Western culture. The disappearance of Indian culture is truly saddening. Tradition-followers are being considered as unfashionable and orthodox, which is not usually the case.
WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE?
India needs modernization, not Westernisation. Westernisation refers to changes in cultural practices, ideas, and cultures, while modernisation refers to transforming a traditional society into a premodern or modern society. We need to move forward, but moving forwards does not necessarily equate with moving westwards. Indians need to realize that our culture is in no way inferior to that of the west. Our profound history and scientific knowledge dates back to the Indus Valley civilization and even before. All we need to do is to look deep within what we used to be before British colonisers set their feet in this land of ours. The colonial mindset needs to go away.
Another thing that must be remembered is that the problem is not the Western culture, but the dominance of it. We need to fight the dominance, not the Western culture itself. All the cultures in this world are precious, no matter to which land they belong. The goal is to recognize the importance of the Indian culture which is gradually fading away. The objective is to revive our traditions not to destroy the knowledge of the West. To know more about the Values of Indian Culture- https://skchildrenfoundation.org/values-of-indian-culture/