Waiting for a “Cultural Renaissance” in India

Days after extended periods of shouting, slogan-bearing and strikes, centred majorly around the horrific Damini episode, there has been a lull. Streets are quieter, and life—at least the life we’re used to—goes on.

2012 could never have been so promising to the media in terms of ratings. As usual, the biggest source of social awareness was designed on the walls of Facebook, the gen-next’s caffeine fix. Posting lengthy, fiery status updates was “the done thing”, forum posts and emotional quotations were typed with fiery abandon, pictures of weeping women and girls waving placards were posted aplenty. People promised each other to stand up and protest. They tweeted and typed and signed e-petitions like there literally was no tomorrow. On the web, the emotions were making a smooth e-motion.

All this is well and good, but what really forms the basis of all this? What, actually, did we achieve? Have we done enough to understand that the problem lies within us—all of us? As much as we claim to understand what the victim went through, one point is definitely being overlooked: who are we and how are we different from the victim? This is the biggest challenge to the need for an ideal socially developed India.

Being the stakeholders of a rapidly growing nation, it must be clear that success is not just the summation of the rise in economy and lifestyle. The real sense of development lies at the level of self-realization. The century’s dawn must bring with itself the new hopes of cultural improvements and moral strengthening. It really would be nice to wake up to a Peace Pagoda—a world where we don’t pick up the paper and read of yet another child who was raped by her father. Or yet another girl who got acid thrown on her face because she decided she was in control of her own destiny.

The concern of the times is not just cultural strengthening, but also a shift of our viewpoint. The pattern of India, when it comes to issues like these, is most surprising. We have a very quick response, generally without prior analysis and thinking. But yes, we still lack the time to find out who we really are. Time better spent in social networking sites and self-righteous speeches. We must get that new phone. And judge our classmate for dressing the way she does. And protest the recent gang rape.

A real introspection of self would end up at an answer that the distance between you and me is very short, and can oscillate between the two extremes at any point of time. Limiting ourselves to observing the ideal factor in others would never lead to self-upliftment. That very sense of being ideal or trying to be so, is a breakthrough need for humanitarian appraisal.

A positive approach towards imbibing humanitarian values is perhaps the only way of achieving a serene and developed India. The sole meaning of life is to enjoy it, to be in peace and let others be. We have to believe that humans, irrespective of gender, caste and creed are composed of cells, emotions and values.

Respecting and believing in a human life with dignity, will lead to a better India and a dawn of period of cultural renaissance. That utopia that seems so unreachable right now.

This post has been written by Sandeep Satapathy and edited by Mithila Iyer. Sandeep and Mithila are interning with NTMN in our Youth Internship and Training Program 2013.

About the author

Sandeep Satapathy

Leave a Reply