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January 24, 2012 / Vandita

Hindsight for shamelessness?

“Scavenging the past to trash it and trashing the present to scavenge whatever is worth giving the boot” is the cultural hobby horse of today’s thinking elite. Without an exception, the thumb rule to getting an entry into the elitist intellectual coterie is to malign tradition, the average and the ordinary. If you are happy with the present set up you have to be a dork, and if you come from a set that does not sneer at the orthodox you’re plain regressive. Today liberal is synonymous with the queer and the refusal to fit in, while regressive is synonymous with the hearth, the home, the home maker.
In a conference that I attended today, I was aghast at the intense anti-national sentiment of the very well placed comfortable Indians. I seriously could not relate to the nation that was sketched before my eyes. I live in North India and around me in a city like Meerut or Delhi I find young women going to work or staying back at home happy with their situation. Very few women I know resent their state but the media and the academic texts consistently paint patriarchy as naturally dehumanising vis a vis women. I have serious qualms over structures of thought that squarely blame the men and male-centric social structures for regression. Why would matriarchy be liberating? Are female-centric societies intrinsically good and guarantors of justice? It is incredibly stunning that Anna Hazare gets blacklisted because he’s a patriarch.
We’re Indians and we love to shout from our rooftops that we’re corrupt. I’m not corrupt and most of the people I know aren’t either – we risk getting classed as mindless and unthinking. After all the ordinary, the nice is boring. I touch my elders’ feet to show my respect, but therein lies a tale: respect per se is shallow and retrograde. To grab and to trash is the norm today.
We love identifying ourselves as the glorified excreta of the global backwaters for we want us scavenged, overthrown and trashed. Welcome to brand India where you have to be deprived and throttled to get defined as Indian.



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  1. Christopher Evans MD @ EDCNewMedia / Feb 13 2012 10:55 pm

    You are one extremely intelligent lady I attended a “Red Brick” university within the UK – Aberystwyth – (the oldest university in Wales) Prince Charles also studied there for one year before returning to Oxford i believe. My point is that your command of the English language puts many of us Britons to shame.
    Your thoughts are intrinsically challenging and i commend you for such a well written post. I agree that the stigma attached to male dominated societies somehow suggest that hierarchy and corruption are inevitable, where as the opposite would be true of a female orientated structure simply does not hold true. Francis Bacon once famously stated “Knowledge is power.” Perhaps if the leaders of our societies possessed more knowledge our world would be a better place for all it’s inhabitants!

    • Vandita / Feb 14 2012 5:11 am

      Thank you, Christopher!! Long time back, one of my professors had said, “You have nothing but the gift of gag” 🙂 But then, I guess, beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. True, knowledge is power, but what endures is humanity and respect for views that may be absolutely contradictory to our own.
      Thanks once again. Do keep me posted 🙂

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