Thursday, September 09, 2004

We aren't the best, until so says the west

'Ash gets waxed at Tussauds'. Sorry, it was too difficult to pass that opportunity. This has to be the corniest headline I have come across in a while. Actually, tabloid journalists do have a flair for pun and wit, even if the content matter is disgusting at times.

However, I was thinking of something else. We seem to be blown away by the so-called recognition that Aishwarya Rai is getting. It is with a degree of redemption that we observe her 'acceptance' by the western world, her break-through in Hollywood, her appearance on American TV in a L'Oreal ad. I am singling her out because she is a shining example of this trend. We are so uplifted morally when Bradman singles out Tendulkar as his replica, and write letters of frustration when Wisden leaves him out in their top 100 innings. (I agree with Bradman's assessment, but that's besides the point). We hold writers like Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy in high esteem because of their success in the West.

I am not making a point here, just raising a doubt. Are we a bunch of under-confident people who need to be told by the West that we are good? Is the hang-over of the burra-sahib mentality from the Raj days still omnipresent? Are our movies good only when they make it to the Oscars? Are Indians bright only when they make it to the finals of the Spelling Bee? Is our food good only when it makes its presence felt in the Western world? Do we need the Western media to pat us on the back for being the vibrant democracy that we are?

I think we as a country still suffer from an inferiority complex. We are over-awed by the power, stature and grandeur of the west. We look upto the West for everything, forgetting conveniently that the sun rises in the east. Take Japan as an example. Their attitude is one of self-confidence and self-awareness. We are like that kid in class who is waiting for the most popular guy to take him in his group of friends.

I think this needs to change. India has seen a resurgence off late, which is unparalleled in its history. No need to follow the class leader. Form your own group, and watch your following grow. I think its time that we moved away from pandering to the Western pallete to believeing and doing our own thing. Move away from asking them the question "Am I good?" to telling them "I am good"


Avinash said...


Anonymous said...

i finally found one! palate, not pallete. *glee*