Myths, India

1. India is a dirty, filthy place!
Guilty? No, not all of India is dirty, most areas yes 🙂 but no, not all of it.

2. All Indians are trained to hate Pakistan!
Guilty? No, surely not true. I heard this one on a India-Pakistan newsgroup. There is a general feeling of mistrust due to earlier wars and tensions. However, I think mostly everyone wants to just be friends, get on with their lives and solve important, real problems like poverty

3. India is a 3rd world country!
Guilty? Perhaps. The last time I checked, we were classified as developing. I am not sure how different they are, but yes we are third world in most parts due to lack of basic infrastructure. Yet, things change drastically when you talk about the various metros!

4. We all ride elephants to work! (interchangeable with Camels and other stories about everyone being a snake charmer)
Guilty? I wish :). However, there might be something about saving the ecology and environment that could support that idea. There is of course a widespread use of bio-gas and cow-dung for various roles.

5. Indian men don’t see our brides until after marriage and vice versa!
Thank god no, although I don’t deny that it does happen now and then. Thats the great thing about educated, middle-class Indian society, you get to make your own choices. However, many communities do have social pressures that disallow many of those choices.

6. Indians have a caste system!
Guilty? Yes, however that doesn’t mean all Indians want it. Many benefit from it, and so it won’t go away as easily.

7. Indian politics and politicians are rotten!
Guilty? As charged! We have a few good ones, many bad ones.

8. Minorities are not respected in India!
Guilty? When things can go wrong, they will. Our past is dotted with events that embarass and shame our heritage. Overall, I think minorities have made a considerable amount of progress, there is still a long way to go.

9. Indians are very intelligent!
Guilty? No! Hard-working? Yes!

10. Indian women are very beautiful!
Guilty? ermm… going by the last couple of years, I don’t think I am in a position to judge. Sweet memories of undergraduate studies on the Bharati Vidyapeeth campus still linger :).