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India Abroad January 13, 2012
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I am sure we can rattle off the names of
all the great people of Europe.
When we do not speak up or stand
for our rights, we are taken for granted.
It is time we turn away from this Euro-Western-centric attitude and embrace
our ethnicity, our culture, our part of
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When it comes to criticism of India, it
is not the criticism itself, but the constant comparisons with — insert successful, rich Western country here —
that bothers me.
Have you been criticized as a child?
How did you like it? Would you like to
be compared with another suitor and
be put down by your wife? That’s not a
very pleasant thing.
One letter writer wrote that her life
was much better here with all the comforts available in a first world country.
Duh! It is a bit unseemly to make such
comparisons — it is like a child who
goes to a rich neighbor’s house, sees all
the nice toys the rich child has, comes
home and criticizes his parents.
All the letters have been about creature comforts. We Indians have been
lucky that ugly divorces, drugs and
alcohol have not yet hit our country.
Let us count our blessings.
I do not mean that we should not
criticize at all, but that we should be
fair when we do so.
Comparing the creature comforts of a
first world country with a poor country
like India, which had its riches looted
by a colonizer, is very unfair. We need
to also give India time to recover and
prosper. It takes time to lift millions
out of poverty, and the numbers are
very encouraging. It is one thing if your
child comes home with Ds and Fs, but
if he is studying hard and his grades are
steadily improving, is not that all you
can ask for? India’s high growth rates
are the envy of every country in the
world, except one, which is doing
The harsh truth
I disagree with Vanamali Thotapalli
(Letters, India Abroad, December 30,
2011). The question of something
being fair or unfair doesn’t arise in a
context where we’re dealing with the
truth. Unfortunately, no one likes the
harsh truth, and Indians in India, espe-
cially, don’t like it when NRIs point out
their shortcomings, which are in fact,
Thotapalli wants to say that India’s
status as a poor nation excuses the cor-
ruption. First of all, poverty does not
cause corruption. Money and power
corrupt. I completely disagree with the
statement that, ‘As people get richer,
corruption will reduce.’
It is also unfair to say that all people
there are finding it difficult to make
ends meet. Clearly, this is not true;
there’s great disparity. Wealth is not
evenly distributed, that’s the real prob-
lem. Those who are living comfortably
are not bothered to change society and
are more worried about securing their