Indian Culture is backward because of systemic hindrances in our society which prevent any new thought from growing. A common phrase which is the reason for corruption, incest rapes and unaccountability is “You should never question your elders, because they always think what is best for you”, “It is rude and offensive to question your elders because they have more life experience than you”. All these statements leads us to not question or correct anything we feel is wrong with our society, parenting systems etc.
We often ask what is the reason for the excessive rapes happening in the country and why are women harassed day in and out? Patriarchy is the not the culprit alone. One thing is which we have ignored or forgotten, which is prime reason for all this harassment culture- “Bollywood films”. For over half a century the only way to procure a woman`s approval/ affection is to stalk, harass her till she gives in as preached by our lovely stars from Bollywood. God forbid if she still does not budge forcibly kiss her or the worst of all, rape her and she will eventually fall in love with you(“Raja ki Aayegi Baraat”). We worship some of these actors so much that no matter how messed up they are in real life, we will forgive their actions (A famous actor has a history of assaulting his girlfriends, he has been convicted in two serious offences by trial courts). Women have become caretakers of screwed up men.
This patriarchal culture hurts men a lot. Those Rohtak sisters incident, accused three men were acquitted in the end but their lives have been ruined. Men often suffer all through their lives with depression, due to domestic abuse as children, later from post traumatic stress disorder, etc. If woman cries on the street she will have 100 sympathisers, there are numerous organisations and laws to help them. But if a man does the same he will be ridiculed and mocked to the extent that he may commit suicide. Even after that people will consider him weak.
Ours politicians keep such incentives that people want to remain backward so as to entitle benefits which they do not need, such is the systemic loss, that acquiring things by merit is over and gone. Nobody believes in acquiring merit to get something, our society values success, not how you get it. Even today the second question after asking a person`s name is their caste or lineage? Every action of our lives is dictated by a religious book which has not been updated nor has a mechanism for updation since centuries. The language in it can only be understood by people who devote their lives in understanding it and misuse this power to satisfy their selfish needs. We forget as humans that religion needs humans to grow, not the other way round. Believe in virtues, not in theology. Menstruating women are considered untouchable and are not allowed in temples but our society judges and shuns women who cannot bear children, What an irony.
Our education system focuses on rote memorisation aka follower-ship rather than analytical, critical or creative thinking. Thus when we grow up as adults, we resist and nip in the bud anything that tries to changes our archaic thinking because it takes great courage to be vulnerable, humble, unlearn and relearn new practises.
India is not the greatest country in the world but I firmly believe that it has all the capabilities to be one someday.
This answer may sound quite negative but couldn't help it considering the question. Indian culture has some wonderful things too, for now I have reserved them for an appropriate question.
By Utkarsha Naidu, Law Student