Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Narrow - Minded Indian

I met an IITian today in the library and struck a conversation with him.Talking of general things he asked me where I had done my schooling and college from. I have done my graduation from Lady Brabourne College, which is one of the top 5 colleges in Kolkata. The inception of this knowledge lay in the British era and it was formed exclusively for the education of Muslim girls. It is one of the very few colleges that have a separate department for Urdu and Persian.This IITian fellow had a notion that many Christian students study in  this college and when I corrected him saying that there are more Muslim girls, he spontaneously said - "How pathetic?"
He asked how I could study with Muslim girls, and I couldn't believe my ears as he asked me that.
"Why do you say that?", I asked him and he asked if I have forgotten 26/11.
"You blame the whole community for 26/11?"
"No, I know they are not all to be blamed but then they are an unbearable lot ,even in IIT we can't tolerate them", he said.
May be he has not forgotten the horrific day and feels strongly about it but he has hardly understood 26/11.
I hate to be rude with people but this time I was itching to be and didn't hold myself back as the words spat out of my mouth - "You don't call yourself a modern civilized man, do you?"

Ironically this guy did his schooling from St. Xaviers and then graduated from IIT and now is a research scholar there. As I shared this instance with my sister she said that there is no relation between being an IITian and being an Indian. She is right when she says that. But it is sad nonetheless. One might hold a dozen degrees against his bosom and yet continue to survive with a closed mind and heart. Phew such a suffocating way to live! The truth is that education is mostly found to be far from the holistic growth of an individual and caters to the ambitions of the students in measured spoons.

Its almost an year now since 26/11 happened and we have several debates and discussions taking place nation wide on the security issue and how much the system has changed. But read between the lines and one will find that the mindset of the people, which is at the root of all things, has remained the same if not worsened.

For me I have learnt a lesson, a significant one too. Next time when I will hear a Varun Gandhi make a hate speech, I will not be surprised and think of him as some kind of an alien. I would know that he is one amongst many.The illusion for me has shattered and I am glad that it has. But I am optimistic as never before and feel the urge to pray and wish with greater sincerity for the opening of the closed minds and hearts of the people. I say this with a firm belief that there will be voices in galore to join me in my prayer.


  1. I wish optimism was infectious, but unfortunately it isn't...if closed minds and hearts could have been opened by prayers, it would have happened a long time ago..just recently a friend of mine didn't want to watch the movie 'Kurbaan' as it was about muslims...very unfortunate indeed..having said that, I shall still join you in prayer..:)

  2. @Umesh: Your comments amaze and touch at the same time and that is why I always look forward to them.
    I know how it disgusts to see such shallow minds but then thanks to more sensitive people like you and several others, the wagon of hope continues to be a part of our life.

    I wish I had words to describe how beautiful it felt when I read those lines -"I shall still join you in prayer..."

  3. Good one Grace. Makes you think, all the inventions, all the growth, yet we seemed to lack the basic humanity. it is a sad fact that the earth is filled with impressionable minds, be it the time of hitler or now. i hope people realize one day that they have a brain of their own.

  4. @Harsha: Couldn't agree more with you.In fact its really funny that brain and heart are something people take so much for granted and never bother to even think if they actually have one.

  5. Sigh..I tend to agree with your sis..sometimes education does not bring with it wisdom. Sometimes education comes alone. Its hard to change those perceptions, because they are the kind who are closed and are not even willing to listen to another point of view...justthink a lot of that has got to do with their upbringing..
    Very nice post indeed

  6. @Rohit: Thanks for that feedback Rohit.Keeps my believe in sanity and sensibility alive and thriving.Yes upbringing really counts.Thanks for visiting.Going over to your blog now.

  7. Academic education hasn't got anything to do with ethics and morality, has it? Most of the terrorists are graduates. That's enough to prove the point, isn't it?
    And talking about the change in the system is a cruel joke. Only people who owns the system can change it. Who owns it, by the way? You know it, I know it. We have our answer there.
    As you said in the end, all we can do is be optimistic. But does that change anything, I wonder.
    A very thought provoking post. Thanks!

  8. I think in this case i will take your side.Person with whom you had a conversation on the topic can not realize the pain because he is born is a Hindu Family and no body is making him feel inferior regarding the cast.I have actually seen the pain of some people here in Jaipur during the Kargil War.They were harshly beaten by few among our society and then i realized what is their fault?Why are they suffering because of others.I am happy that you carry the same perspective like a Real India.Nice post !!One more thing you favorite Rajasthani place is there on my new post !! Hope you will enjoy it.

  9. Karthik:I guess I am fortunate to have had an education that led to a holistic growth and therefore have grown up believing and knowing "Education lays the foundation to character building" . The fact that most of the terrorists are graduates actually signals that education is not being offered and pursued the way it should be.
    The onus of changing the system definitely lies on the power holders but then are we doing our own bit? How many of us exercise our fundamental rights judiciously? I am not quite a fan of Rang De Basanti but there was one thing which I really loved about the movie.They sent across the message that blaming the politicos alone would not help, how many of us are willing to join politics and try to bring about a change?

  10. Unseen Rajasthan : Glad to read your biews and agree with you in spirit.
    Would surely drop in to see the pics. that was really very nice of you.

  11. Hi Grace !! No New post from past many days..Oh you are busy with exams??Unseen Rajasthan

  12. Hi Bharat! Hoping to be back soon. Suffering from writer's block I guess.

  13. Girl, I like your views soo much. I'm a Calcuttan too and trust me, people like Calcuttans are very few. I think, we're actually the least discrminating and more receptive of most, we honour people as people, not affiliations. And yes, there's adifference between education and literacy. education isn't guaranteed no matter how many degrees you hold. Whoa long comment! Contoversial, too!

  14. Guria : Its wonderful to have you drop in. Recently, I too was thinking of visiting your blog as I have often seen you on the friend's list of Harsha and Karthik.
    As for your comments, you have so beautifully put - "there's a difference between education and literacy".
    Hope to see you again.

  15. Goes to prove that all that education "on paper" does not actually educate a person to live in a society.
    Yes there are many like these who have the horse's blinkers and refuse to reason.

  16. @Haddock: Absolutely right.
    Glad you dropped in.