My America

From : Ravi shankar

1999

Dear sir/madam,

Indian philosophy lays stress on austerity and unencumbered, uncomplicated day-to-day living. On the other hand, America's emphasis is on material acquisitions and a limitless pursuit of prosperity. From childhood an Indian is brought up on the notion that austerity and a contended life is good and also a certain other- worldliness is inculcated through the tales a grandmother narrates, the discourses at the temple hall, and through moral books. The American temperament, on the contrary, is pragmatic. while I fully accept the author's view of the American temperament, I find his analysis of the Indian mind too good to be true. Evidently, he has forgotten the middle and upper classes (economically) of the society. They match their American counterparts in greed (and all other vices!). I also seriously doubt the efficacy of the moral books or religious discourses. I have seen some god-fearing people taking undue advantage of their closeness to the temple authorities. Praying, attending religious functions and discourses etc. have become more of a formality. These activities no longer "purify" the persons undertaking them.
With regards,
Ravi shankar

The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

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