An over stated word when it comes to Indians and foreigners talking about India.
Now maybe for most of you, the topic and the first words of this blog are pretty ironic, aren’t they?
“Hey” or “what’s up” might have fit in well?
The big question that’s been disturbing my mind ever since I pondered upon it is “why is being modern directly proportional to being western?” specially in an Indian context. Why western is the term being used, coz being western is highly misinterpreted by most of the Indians. Everyone knows Metallica, Bon Jovi, Guns and Roses, ACDC, Queen etc etc but how many Indians really know that which gharana does Pandit Birju Maharaj belong to or Ustad Imdad Khan? Leave aside the gharanas most of us won’t even know about their flair. Yes we know their names, but what do they sing or play? Lost? Expected.
Being modern is not defined by the state of present self but by the state of your mind. Wearing dresses or shiny shoes does not prove to be modern in any context. A modern thinking is what is really needed than fashionable clothing.
As Indians we think slangs and a bit of the English language will make them modern. However, how are you modern when you don’t know your own history, culture, geography and what not. Any westerner would know their past, then why we Indians get with the flow so much that we forget our own. Being informed, educated and aware is a state or modernity than what the present and the past generations have portrayed to be.
M K Gandhi, Pt. Nehru, Indira Gandhi, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Savitribai Phule, Kiren Bedi and many more are not just known as leaders but as modernists because they did not surrender their identity to merge with the world. They shined because they knew their grounds and rose from within. Their thinking spread across the lands like a wild jungle fire and not because they said namaste, but because the thoughts and statements that came out of them were modern. That is think is being modern than what most of us still assume to be.
With globalisation and networking the world has come closer. All our cultures, histories and knowledge about each other has improved. So why not embrace it gracefully than be a shallow ‘modern’ human in this age. We are all free, independent and we all have platforms to pen down our thoughts, but that does not mean we adapt to the west to an extent that we are called more of ‘western’ than ‘modern’.
© Blue Drop Pictures 2017