Too many desi uncles waste too much of their precious time lecturing youth on what is Western culture and what is Indian culture and exactly what proportions of these two are healthy for consumption. Culture always evolves and is never static – and the global communications revolution is far-reaching. One entertains doubts whether the preaching falls on receptive ears even within the confines of the speakers’ own households.
This week it is Uttarakhand CM Tirath Singh Rawat who indulged himself on the occasion of a workshop on substance abuse, by waxing eloquent about his sensibilities being abused by girls wearing tattered jeans, boys wearing the same, knees showing, not covering their bodies properly, running after English education, women talking about all the things they want to do in life when the most important thing is to look after their family and kids. It takes some pretzeling to follow the connections, but they boil down to an alleged scissoring of sanskars.
Lot of young folk have spoken up against the farce of reducing their sanskars to some denimy threads, or lack thereof. The lady in the ripped jeans who drove the CM to such despair has crafted her own equation with work and family, and this freedom is every Indian woman’s birthright. Surely this is a most important sanskar of modern India. Youth are navigating hybridities with confidence and excitement. They won’t be caged by stereotypes.
This piece appeared as an editorial opinion in the print edition of The Times of India.
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