A ‘Western’ Opinion on Indian Affairs
From: Daniel Baines writes:
Dear Arise India,
I am a white British person of Christian origin. I am moving to India next year for work. So, I decided to research India.
I have been reading your website, and I am impressed.
It is interesting to see things from the Indian point of view. A lot of the things you say about Western culture sound completely strange to me, because they are written from the viewpoint of Indians, and placed into the context of India. However, when I make allowances for this, it makes a lot of sense.
I do not drink, I do not ’stay up all night partying’ and I respect women. However, most people in my culture are not like this.
Your website shows Indians are frightened of the influence the west is having on their culture, and I agree. But it might surprise you to know that in England, we are frightened of the same things. We see people having less respect for family and morality as time goes by. And our Nationalist groups don’t like it either.
I think that the world is suffering collectively, and that ‘Christian’ and ‘Indian’ culture have more in common than you might think. As Indians, you will not be aware of the anxieties and troubles in white Christian ‘homelands,’ and may not see how alike the ‘true’ people pf these lands are.
I think the big problem that we ALL need to focus on, is global capitalism.
In England, we ARE Western, so our new and changing problems cannot be blamed on the influence of Western culture. The problem has to have come from somewhere else.
The problems we see in England are the devaluing of morals through the influence of money and big business. I read an interesting article on your site about adverts which treat women as sexual objects for the sale of products. I dislike this use of women too, and in the west, we have realized that the problem is big businessmen. They try to appeal to the most basic sexual instincts because it is the easiest way to sell products. These problems, wherever in the world they come from, are imported to countries all over the world, including India, not because true Western people want to destroy cultures, but because our big businesses want to find new markets.
Examples like these can be given for everything, from the decline of traditional music and art to religion, in both our cultures.
I hope this email will help you to see things from a more balanced persepctive, and to understand that you cannot simply blame ‘Westerners’ or ‘foreigners’ or ‘Christianity’ or even ‘Islam.’ These things ARE a problem, but the more important problem is much much deeper. What lies behind these problems are the same problems for all of us.
First of all please accept my apologies for replying so late. On behalf of Arise India team I want to thank you for such a genuine email. We are so glad to know to your unbiased perspective and respect for Vedic culture. Reading your email and to know about your cultural values was a learning for all of us here.
I hope you will take this email as an open discussion and will try to understand our point of view which you already have been doing. I will try reply to your doubts in the best possible way.
We are writing all our articles from Vedic point of view and not an Indian perspective. Concept of ‘India’ is a recent phenomenon. Few 100 years ago whole world was one and everyone was living a Vedic lifestyle but most of them live in India now. So each and every concept and principle we talk about is applicable to everyone and it has no boundaries of India or England.
Vedic literature has references of how every country today was a part of ‘bharatvarsha’ which have taken a new name with time and other influences.
Thus, when we use the word ‘Western’ we don’t refer to Brits or Americans per se but we refer to the ‘modern’ influences. These ‘modern’ trends are seen in India, America, England and many other countries as well. Of course not all modern things are bad and if they are directed in a proper way for humanity they are like a boon. But the culture of exploitation and greed as opposed to service and selflessness is contrast of traditional Vedic culture. Unfortunately most of this culture has come from beyond the shores of India and have now taken deep roots within our soil. Therefore you are right that it is not England or west but Indian and common problem everywhere. We thank you for your observation and we shall clarify these points in our future articles.
Hope this email helps you to understand us better.
Arise India Forum team
Reply received to Arise India email from Daniel
Hello Arise India,
Thank you for your email. It was a pleasant surprise.
I think I understand your points, although I apologise if I have got anything wrong. A few hundered years ago, traditional culture was indeed prevalent in England, so I see your point. It may have originated from a common source. In England, signs of this remain in my Grandparent’s generation. The old consider the young to be decadant and immoral… which they largely are. The number of young people in the UK who see other young people as immoral is very small indeed, but there are still some of us left.
I read an article on your website about a book which said the ‘Aryan’ or ‘Caucasian’ race moved from near the Indian subcontinent, separated, and settled in Europe. This was a totally new concept to me, and I admit, I was doubtful about the claim. However, I researched it. I was surprised to find that many Indians use the term ‘Aryan’ to describe their race. The only time I had heard the word ‘Aryan’ before was to describe my own white race. In my research, I found a map here http://www.bradshawfoundation.
com/journey/The map shows the origins of Europeans being directly from the same branch of human migration as the Indians.
I’m now currently visiting my friends in Maharastra. I’ve been here a few weeks.
Straight away, I’ve noticed some very odd things.
Most advertising here in India shows white European people. They show topless white men and barely dressed white women advertising everything from deodorant to real estate. It didn’t seem right or relevant for this advertising to be in India. The modern cultural problems did originate in the West, (even though there is still some resistance from a minority of westerners.) I also find the boring repetitive western electronic music playing in shopping malls all over Maharastra. This is the same sort of music that has music videos with dancers waving various body parts into the camera.
This blatant advertising of white westerners, prmoting Indian products and business, seems to have a psychological effect on the Indian public. It is telling them ‘look! Westerners are great. All things western are the future. Love westerners. They bring us all these wonderful products that we all enjoy.’ This must be dangerous for India, as it is telling Indians to become more like the west all the time. But the west is far more down the path or moral destruction, and its the wrong path to go down.
Anyway, I had a meeting with the CEO of a large Indian clothing chain the other day. I used the opportunity, and asked him ‘why are all your models western, when your clothes are sold to Indians? It doesn’t seem real.’ His response was ‘money. Indian models work under contracts which tie them down to working for only one firm. Western models are different. You can get them more easily, without contract problems. And you only have to pay them for one job, not a long term arrangement.’
Again, I am sure that it is ‘big business’ and money greed behind the cultural problems you are having in India. It is interesting to uncover these things.
Hope this helps,