Is Indian Culture Obsolete?
If I were to picture myself as a twenty-year-old Indian today, my answer to this question would have to be a harsh one. I would have to ask my elders how in over half a century they managed to bring the nation to such a state of degradation. I would feel both anger and contempt for the hordes of politicians and bureaucrats who have been dutifully bleeding this country white and have turned the daily life of honest Indians into a hopeless hell. But I would also ask the many good, honest, capable, cultured people of this country why they have done so little to stem the rot, why they have contented themselves with throwing up their hands in despair and pleading helplessness—or, at best, with giving fine lectures on every ill India is ridden with. I might even be cynical towards programmes such as the one which has brought us together tonight, asking what they achieve, if anything. And I may possibly be tempted to do like many of my friends : go abroad, leave this hell, and fly to some “heaven” across the seas, where you do not have to pay a bribe at every step, where you do not have to prove that you are “backward” before you can move forward, where your talents can be used rather than crippled—in a word, where you do not have to feel ashamed of your country.