Summary Becoming Indian ñ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB

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‘Those who have never been colonized can never really know what it does to the psyche of a people Those who have been are often not fully aware of or are unwilling to accept the degree to which they have been compromised’ Till just a few decades ago much of the world was carved into empires By the mid twentieth century independent countries had emerged from these but even after years of political liberation cultural freedom has eluded formerly colonized nations like India In this important book Pavan Varma best selling author of the seminal works The Great Indian Middle Class and Being Indian looks at the conseuences of Empire. If Mr Varma's earlier work Being Indian was descriptive of the status uo how Indians are and how possibly they came to be this way Becoming Indian is profoundly prescriptive The author expresses his heartfelt anguish at the withering of the vibrant Indian cultural ethos due to colonization by the British Under the assault of Macaulayism the author asserts the Indian elite's acceptance of the supremacy of western culture language and philosophy meant that India's subjugation by the colonial power rule was complete and this has cast a long shadow over subseuent sub continental developments According to the author excessive lionization of western achievements and culture and a simultaneous disavowal of Indian culture customs and languages have reduced the Indian social ethos to a caricature with blind imitation of western cultural and social s as its defining characteristic It has engendered an obsession with English and thus has arisen a situation where facility with the language has become the yardstick for education and refinement Inevitably and tragically in a society steeped in ineualities this also implies English has become a tool for social and financial exclusion While this is appalling enough the author says the promotion and elevation of facility with English to the level of aspiration has come at a great cost a weakening of the socio linguistic and cultural moorings for the elite who have access to English education and have adopted the language and an ingrained sense of inferiority for the rest who do not but aspire toThe author concludes by asserting that tis’ a sad state of affairs and needs to be addressed urgently lest we lose our millennia old cultural and linguistic legacy completely and become an ersatz uninspired and uninspiring unthinkingly imitative repository of western values and culture neither comfortable in our own skins nor accepted as euals by those we seek to emulate

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Becoming IndianRavado as an emerging superpower we remain unnaturally sensitive to both criticism and praise from the Anglo Saxon world and hunger for its approval And outside North Block the headuarters of free India ’s Ministry of Home Affairs a visitor can still read these lines inscribed by the colonial rulers ‘ Liberty will not descend to a people a people must raise themselves to liberty It is a blessing which must be earned before it can be enjoyed’ With passion insight and impeccable logic Pavan Varma shows why India and other formerly subject nations can never truly be free and certainly not in any position to assume global leader. Well written though at time uite long winding and excessively indignant about British slights on Indian culture architecture and literature What defeats the purpose of the book is the author's recommendation that all children in India must be compulsorily taught Hindi even those children whose primary language is not Hindi Substituting one kind of cultural imperialism for another is hardly a solution to identity issues and regional issues in India To summarise Pavan Verma makes a very good case to empower our own cultures not culture culturesrather than be perpetually in awe of western attitudes and opinions but would lose an discerning reader's respect when he talks about how every Indian should know Hindi

Pavan K. Varma · 6 Summary

Summary Becoming Indian ñ PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB æ [Read] ➲ Becoming Indian Author Pavan K. Varma – ‘Those who have never been colonized can never really know what it does to the psyche of a people Those who have been are often not fully aware of—or are unwilling to accept—the degree to which On the Indian psyche Drawing upon modern Indian history contemporary events and personal experience he examines how and why the legacies of colonialism persist in our everyday life affecting our language politics creative expression and self image Over six decades after Independence English remains the most powerful language in India and has become a means of social and economic exclusion Our classical arts and literature continue to be neglected and our popular culture is mindlessly imitative of western trends Our cities are dotted with incongruous buildings that owe nothing to indigenous traditions of architecture For all our b. A biting evaluation of the deep and continued impact of colonialism on Indian culture and psychology Verma laments the fact that Indian languages today are forgotten mangled or cast aside as low class in favour of English He talks about the lack of care applied to the preservation of Indian art music history and culture although European style artistic sensibilities are in vogue in modern India He characterizes many Indians in the past and today as sad parodies that mimic the very people that once subjugated them He talks also about the deep rooted conviction that Colonial rulers felt about their inherent superiority an attitude which prevails todayI felt that there were many nuances of Indian history culture language that I could appreciate better after this book because the author chooses to share a rich and interesting repertoire of detail He also makes a lot of ironic observations about everyday India which make you wake up to things that you already knew but hadn't perhaps thought about or stopped to uestionSome choice uotes dominant cultures consider their domination normal even morally good and uplifting and have the means to project this message globally everything that is precious to you must belong to one of two poles exotica or spécialisés study Everything precious to him must be a part of your normal education At times however this book does feel like an extended bitter diatribe which few practical solutions For example his suggested way of saving Indian languages is to educate kids solely in their native language until 6th grade which is when you can introduce English not sure this would do much to ease the babel problem given 20 official languages and not necessarily conducive to Indians fitting into the globalisation revolution Some sections also do drag as he has a tendency to list an overwhelming number of examples to illustrate every tiny point Overall Becoming Indian is an insightful and interesting read that provides much food for thought Not particularly pragmatic but does at least make us uestion the attitudes that prevail today