Indians are often laughed upon for getting offended over the smallest of things. When Indians, go abroad and hear an insult they are asked to not get offended like a ‘typical Indian’. Why not?
There is a very famous story about Japan. The story goes like this:
A person who was not Japanese, goes to a bookstore to buy a rare book. The book seller looks for the book in his store and finds it but he refuses to sell it to the man. On asking why, the book seller says that if he sold a book to a foreigner which was in such a bad condition, it would show a very bad image of Japan and Japanese people. Therefore he asked for the foreigner’s address and said that he would bind it correctly and make it presentable and send it to him.
This story is epic. But when we talk about India and how the world perceives India, it is depressing. Here is one story that will help you see what I am talking about:
A young boy went for his graduation to another country. He made friends with people of different nationalities. One day, since their assignments were complete and they were all exhausted, they decided to go to a bar to drink and dance. After spending some time at the bar, the Indian boy ended up asking a girl out. There was nothing wrong with the boy’s looks, politeness or education. But the girl said, “Go away, I don’t date Indians!”
The boy’s friends laughed it off and asked him to not get offended because getting offended was what his country was famous for. Succumbing to peer pressure, he acted like he didn’t get offended but years later, deep down below, he wished he had given out a better image of an Indian. He wished he had stood up for the place he was born in.
Getting offended is not wrong. Getting offending by stupid things is. Someone insulting your country is not a stupid thing and there if you don’t get offended then you are stupid.
The image the world has about India and Indians is because we don’t stand up for our country. We let people take it lightly, we let them think we are a bunch of snake charmers! We aren’t. We will never be. Even though I am extremely tempted to narrate the dialogues from Namaste London and Purab aur Paschim here, I will refrain from doing so. Because those dialogues are not exhaustive of what India has.
India is not a perfect country, I agree. But which country is perfect? Even the most developed of the nations struggle with the same problems as ours. There is no reason to think that your motherland is inferior to others’. There is absolutely no reason to compare.
Start getting offended when someone speaks poorly about India. Start standing up, start speaking up. Instead of criticising the country, find out what it has given to the world (yoga, zero, shampoo, Sanskrit, ayurved etc.) and maximize it. Don’t complain without first doing something about the problems. It is the people and people only that builds a country. Do things you can be proud of, do things India can be proud of. Stop cribbing, start acting.
YOU are INDIA.