This post is mainly meant to address two questions that Nita has asked. One is as comment to my previous post. The other is on her blog anygiventuesday.blogspot.com. It deals with Indians working and living abroad.
First, to kill this debate on domestic violence and women’s rights. I am slightly tired of all the feminist nonsense I have been reading and hearing over the last week. While I agree that western women have a lot less tolerance for incompatibility than their subcontinental counterparts, I do not wish that attitude to spread in India. The west is far from being a role model for India. We can envy Japanese technology or American business but I really do not think we must look to the west in issues concerning home and family.
This is not to say that Indian women must tolerate any nonsense from the in-laws or to say that she must endure any amount of hurt. But, a little bit patience and forgiveness wouldn’t hurt either. I would not have appreciated my mother’s actions had she walked out on my dad a year after her wedding citing incompatibility. It is easy to say that two people are incompatible. but the question I would like to ask is, “Why do they decide to get married in the first place?” No-one forces them unlike in the Indian context. They fall in “love” and decide to get married. That too, after years or possibly decades of living together. Where does incompatibility suddenly occur?
To some, I may appear to be overly critical of the western attitude to life and marriage but this is what I believe in. Some amount of adjustment and tolerance is essential to make any relationship work. It may be friendship, business, relationship between siblings or marriage. Too much individualism is the bane of western society. My experiences with family life in the west have been, by and large, negative. I will not use it as a benchmark that determines my own behaviour towards my family.
That said, I come to my second series of thoughts. This is on why people go abraod and work. As Nita puts it, they take a calculated risk. Some succeed and some do not. Rashmi Bansal’s opinions are definitely biased. I have no objections to that bit of Nita’s letter. Where I beg to differ is her assertion that Australia has given her things that India could ever have. Australia may have give her all the material comforts in life, money, a car, a house and a dog. And whatever else people living there possess. But having lived abroad for a year, I still feel that there is no place like home. I can do what I want to, live the way I want to live, and have loads of money to blow….but for me….France is still not home. And it will never be. It lacks the warmth and care that MY home back in good old Chennai can give. Yes, Chennai is dirty, polluted, has roads that are actually potholes masquerading as roads. But still…it is home. I would not ever agree that Australia, the US or any other country can be as good as India is.
Professionally, India may be far behind the west today, but I, being the eternal optimist, firmly believe that the day India will be comparable to the west and to Oceania is not so far away. It will happen. With or without the help of Indians who toil away in foreign lands but content themselves with criticising India for its ills. But, I will be happy the day my home proves Nita wrong. The day will come.