« Traditions and Culture of India »
( 684 Words )
India is a country rich in traditions and culture due to its civilization as one of the earliest in human history. Over the course of the last thousands of years, history has witnessed the births of many of the world’s oldest religions in India. The teachings and principles of the Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Islam had helped shape the social values and structures in India. Some of these values are still evident and some even prevail in today’s India because they have passed down from generations to generations.

Recently, I have read two very interesting news articles about Modern India. One of them titled “Ancient splits defy modern life” and the other named “If you want my vote find me a bride”. As the title of the first article suggest, it deals with how the class and caste system still affects people in democratic India today while the second article talks about the rising issues of female feticide and un-proportionate gender ratio in Haryana, India.

For centuries and centuries, the Varna and Jati system had provided a rigid social structure for India. By casting people into Varna and further divide them into Jati at birth, the system provide a clear predefined set of rules on social roles, functions and duties for everyone. These set of rules thus dictates what they can do and can not do throughout their lives. In such system, one can only move up to a higher class in the next life if and only if one fulfilled all the duties in this life. This system may provide some sort of stability to society, but it is against the very basic ideas of equality in a democratic government. Thus the Indian government has passed laws to prohibit the discriminations against a person based on his or her Jati. However, in rural areas and even in some smaller cities, Varna and Jati continue to have a negative impact on the lives of millions and millions of people in India as the news article concluded “Despite the realities of modern life, it is still hard to move up a notch in society if you are born into a low caste in India”. A society based on class and caste is rudimentarily flawed, unjust and outrageous. It basically puts limit on everyone in its society. It discourages individual potentials, development, and achievement. It crushes hopes and dreams. It provides little social stability at the cost of social advancement. It is at best a tyrant that enslaves a nation. Hopefully as democracy progresses in India, people will be forever free from the chains of Jati.

In states such as Haryana in India, the gender ratio gap has widened so much to a point where female can be thought as the endangered sex. Why? Is it because nature or God is not doing their jobs right? No, not at all. It turns out that female feticide and sex-selective abortion is a common practice in India due to fact that Indian families values sons more than daughters. Every father wants to have a son to carry on the heritage of a family. Every grand mother wants to have a grand son before she dies. It is in the roots of their thinking that a son is always better than a daughter. Daughters are simply troubles so that parents arrange to marry them at young age. Due to this traditional view on women, it is not a surprise that heavy sex discrimination against women still exists in modern India. According to a law maker in the news article, “the society pumps inferiority complex in a girl child right from her birth”.

It is important for a nation and its people to follow and continue their traditions and heritages. However, there is no reason to blindly carry on traditions that degrades human dignity and humanity as a whole. A system that divides a society, A bias that lead to the mistreatment of women, are those the traditional values that we should always keep? I hope the answer is a big NO from all the people in India.