Ghar Waapsi : The True And Only Ghar Waapsi...

“Ghar Waapsi” has become, sadly, the flavor of the season, with the Media going gaga over it, thanks largely to some disturbing antics of some sections of our society. If we are focusing on returning to our roots, the question arises is just what are those roots? How do we define those roots? The question arises, what is the true Ghar Wapsi? The true return home? Are we, the people who are supposedly at home, truly at home? Or are we in some land that is neither here nor there?



Saying that people should return to their roots is fine, but are we ourselves close to our roots? Is our society – be it Hindu, or Christian, or Muslim or Sikh – really truly back to their roots in national terms, in cultural terms? Have we fully jettisoned our various inferiority complexes and hang-ups? Let us take a lookat some of the more delightful aspects of this society of ours :


We are in a world where anything to do with culture is considered being fundamentalist at worst or old-fashioned at best, where jabbering in English is a sign of education and intelligence, where listening to western music is considered the in thing, where any attempt to portray or look at Indian culture is termed exotic and quaint, where you can find Shakespeare in any book store across the land but will not find one single copy of the Vedic texts, Upanishads, or anything else ancient or medieval Indian literature, not even the Baburnama or the Akbarnama, Abhigyaan Shaakuntalam, Kabir or anyone else.


We are in a world where you are termed naive and foolish for not having read western classics and books, where people look down on you for not watching the latest hollywood flick, where people freely insult themselves and their country by terming our films Bollywood {which was originally {and still is IMO} an insult}, where you find the most ludicrous and idiotic scene of constant, never ending non stop comparisons with The West on everything, except the economy : which is compared with China!,


We are living in a society  where you have to be as good as the West in anything and everything, where you are termed old-fashioned, quaint, or caricatured simpleton for going the culture way, in a world whose schools teach Dickens but not Indian classics, in a world where the education system goes gaga over Western developments and culture while completely omitting Indian developments and culture, and in a land supposedly Indian and yet requiring spoken English as a prerequisite for success!


We are living in an environment where reading itself is considered passe, where a well-read man or woman with a passion for reading is considered impractical and a liability. We are in an era where people dont read religious books, or are not interested in historical and cultural aspects of life and society, where the focus is on materialism. We are living in a world where being decent, good and honest is considered a sign that a person is bookish, impractical and a fool, and where the average Indians knowledge of his or her roots and history is abysmal!


We are in a world where the focus is on gratification of the self, not on the society and the community, where the focus is on feeding the body and making its environs comfortable; not on feeding the mind and developing its finer aspects, in a world where living with a partner without social sanction is considered a sign of development and being oh-so-modern, where sleeping with several partners is considered being modern, and having several girlfriends a sign of modernity, achievement and development, and not a sign of decadence!


If we are truly get back home, it is far better to forget the conversions issue, which can give rise to needless tensions and passions, thereby disturbing the equity that is increasingly to be found in Modern India,  a land where everyone is free to practice his or her own religion, a lovely land where each religion is free! And if you have to right historical wrongs, why not go after the incipient and far more damaging westernization of our society?


If people are so concerned about historical wrongs, why not right the Colonial rape, which was demonstrably damaging, vis-à-vis the exaggerated wrongs of the Muslim period? How many of us have actually read The Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta? The Ramayan? The Mahabharat? The Upanishads? The Puranic texts? Let alone reading - which is an educated activity for enlightened broadened minds – how many among us display the stupidity and the inferiority complexes and open westernization noted above?  


The true way forward, one that represents real Ghar Waapsi, will be if the Indian {The majority} can place equal {Not even greater} but equal emphasis on Mother Tongue with English, where we read Shakespeare with as much elan as we do Kabir; where we watch Hindi, English and Vernacular movies and songs with equal relish without needless comparisons and condescending treatment. The real Ghar Waapsi will be when the Indian appreciates – truly appreciates – Indian Culture, and foregos some of the above small minded habits.


The true Ghar Waapsi will be when the Indian stops giving bribes, recreating the India that was observed in writings of the 1600s, which show a stunningly honest land. The true Ghar Waapsi will be when women get their due in India, as was the case in Vedic times. The true Ghar Waapsi will be when the Indian stops drooling over Western Culture, and faces the West with pride and confidence, confidant and calm, effectively saying : This is me, this is the way I am, take it or soak your head!


The true Ghar Waapsi will be when we can find our ancient and medieval literature in equal volumes and strength on book shelves, when we can actually try and decipher the wonders contained in our ancient literature without the fear that we will be the butt of jokes and condescension, when we can place greater credit on our Mumbai and Chennai film industries, when we can place our own film awards as more important an event from our perspective, rather than devaluing and insulting ourselves by doing the reverse!



That represents the true Ghar Waapsi… the question is, will it happen?


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