What is culture? Culture is like a multi faceted object, whose every side has something unique and different. The word culture has different meanings for different people. Culture of any kind and any place is something vibrant, dynamic, thriving, mutating, deviating all the time. Similar to the U.S., India has become a melting pot of many cultures and traditions and to think otherwise can be considered destroying the promising upliftment of new generation cultural norms and ideas.
Indian culture is so diversified – we can preserve it only when we realize that the next person has the right to his beliefs and traditions as much as we do, irrespective of religion, creed or caste. Otherwise, we’re just insulting what we have in our hands.
In the evolutionary system, based on democratic values and of course human and environmental compassion – progress is made by facing the facts and truth than to turn your back and trying to run the other way around.
Today I am forced to say it, but to my utmost grief the varied Indian heritage is facing a threat not from any foreign body or element but from its own people. We ourselves are slaughtering our own culture by embracing the new so called “modern” culture. By doing this we are putting an end to this hereditary saga which has been passed down from several generations.
The traditional Namaste and Namaskar have been slowly replaced by the hollow Hi and Bye. Today’s generation lacks the values which were once found in every Indian family. What else can be the best example other than their treatment towards the parents?
Today’s youth look up to their parents as a resource providing medium only meant to satisfy their whims and fancies. And when they grow old and it is their turn to repay them and take care of them they draw a blank. It is often read in newspapers about bereaved and senile parents abandoned by their young children.
This is the state of Indian culture today. Here the question arises whether culture can co-exist with the changing trends. Well, if this question was put to me, I would reply, why not? This great titan among cultures has been adapting to the changing times. It suffered but patiently bore all the assaults heaped on it. It flourished and prospered during the medieval periods. Once again today it has found itself in shackles.
Is this the end of this great saga? Has the time come for this great culture to be lost, forever, never to be regained?
My reply to this would be a solemn no. I am sure that if we act now and embrace it like never before it will survive. It has faced several onslaughts like this in the past. We need to preserve this glorious heritage and add all we can to it and pass it on enriched with traditional as well as modern qualities to the next generation.
To preserve something so unique we need to understand that every culture should be given its own space and at the same time ensure that we do not put our religious and personal interests before the all important task of preserving the secular and sovereign fabric of our country. But not every culture is meant to be preserved like a spicy mango achaar (pickle), or monument. If any culture has strong base and values, it will withstand the test of time, but if it’s not willing to open up to ideas that may enhance the culture, it will collapse.
A culture is only as good as its progress, its tolerance, love and people. With the element of time, some traditions and values change and this is a concept that will never change. Change does not mean that we will lose our traditions. It means correcting our wrongs and eliminating those things in our culture that may hinder human development, human rights and humanity.