Culture: The totality of socially transmitted behavior patterns, arts, beliefs, institutions, and all other products of human work and thought.
Tradition: The passing down of elements of a culture from generation to generation, especially by oral communication
Heritage: Property that is or can be inherited; an inheritance.
I thought I'd refer the free dictionary online to check the real meanings of these words. Am sure you'd believe that I had better things to do, than refer to the meanings of these words, but the headline in the Times of India day before yesterday made me recheck the meanings of these words. [ If you have not read the news paper dated, 20th March, 2009, good for you.. Please don't bother reading it...., you'll also end up referring to the meanings of these words....]
Don't you think, you've heard these terms associated with our homeland, India, almost always?? All the Indian books, academic or non-academic, fiction or factual, fable or history talk about the pride of our homeland... and I have always believed in the pride that our country has held high.
If you've read about India, and been in India, you'll surely appreciate the highest respect that our country has always given to women.
India had certain practices and beliefs which ensured that womankind retained their stance and respect in the society. No one took womanhood for granted. No one even spoke about the mutual respect that a man and woman needed to give each other. It was an unspoken truth. It was an accepted belief that men and women respect each other. Whatever be the relationship the woman had with the other, - friend, brother, father, husband, son, there was a level of respect that all these men enjoyed, and still enjoy all the time, at home, work, or a public place. The same goes with women too.. A sister, friend, mother, wife, or daughter, all of them had a special respect in the eyes of the men they know in the family. Respect and courtesy were the terms that were really loud in our culture, and tradition.
Given that, why is India on the headlines for some insane and ridiculous unethical behavior???
I am no journalist to analyze the news about the sad fate of the girls in the headline, and I don't really want to, but I must tell you that we'd better strive a little to get some sense into ourselves - our fellow gentle men, ladies, and children... the sooner, the better... We cant just keep saying : These things always have been happening.. and there is nothing that can be done about this...
We should try a little to understand our traditions and cultural practices.... we have always tried to ask too many questions about old practices and beliefs that in effect, we have come to accepting just about any amount of deviation from Indian standards.
Am sure, a lot of us do not know much about what exactly Indian standards are, because, we have never really read much about it in our education. All the time, the focus is on more practical aspects of physics and chemistry and botany and maths and zoology. All the school and college projects are around these.. Currently there is no focus on Moral education at all after school days. Institutes can do something about this.
Legal studies take care of law, but I believe some basic laws can be taught in college, whether or not you are a law student.
Let's get some course or subject centered around our motherland.. We learn European, American and Indian history in our class ten history class, but all the time we had learnt only about the wars waged and never about the practices/culture/tradition of a specific country.
Even if all of these seem a pointless babble in front of the insane act in question, we really should think a little about what are we doing to ensure that our country's values and culture remain tall always.
Currently Indians are a lot confused between modern ways and unethical ways of life. You do not have to be orthodox, but it is okay to be a little conservative... You can be modern, but it is also important to know when modernity steps on to the boundaries of our culture and personal values.
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