Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Indians besharam hote hain??

This conversation I had with sum1 at the dinner table tonight just came to my mind...mostly because this is the sort of talk that always gives me a sense of deja vu, as if I've had it with thousands others, just changing the "topic" we decide to tarnish. Coming to the conversation (I am presenting my dinner-table-mate's monologue) itself, it was an innocuous one: Indians kitne besharam hote hain...jabtak dande maar kar nahi nikale jayenge, tabtak apni jagah nahi chhodenge; sachin ko dekh lo, pada rahega team mein jabtak usko bahar nahi nikala jayega, ganguly bhi- dhakke dekar nikala gaya, same was with gavaskar n even with Kapil Dev. And look at any Australian or English or South African player...look at the Ashes this time, McGrath and Shane Warne are leaving (I, not being much of a cricket buff lately, dont vouch for the accuracy of any of the preceding data; however, I am interested in the general flow of things implied with which I agree).

Now, I have never believed that people of any one region or religion or color are any better or any worse than the other. There can be nothing in one's genes that makes him besharam while making the others' with lots of sharam. Of course, if any such besharami is evident then it must only be because of the society that the person grows up in. For, a sense of sharam or besharami is only developed in the society that the person has the fortune/misfortune of growing up in.

Now, since the earlier monologue does look to be correct enough (and not just in the general vicinity of cricket), does this mean that the Indian society makes us to be besharam ppl? This reminds me of something that I read in the Chinese media sometime back: "Indians will never ever let go of an inch of either Kashmir or Arunachal Pradesh, or let China become a world power (economically) without putting up a huge fight...Because, Indians are very PROUD people!

So, there are 2 conflicting premises available. One, that Indians are besharam people indeed. And two, that they are proud people. Now, for me to go on further, I need to select one of these. Did I believe in the 1st, I would not have started writing this blog in the 1st place, for it would have been an open and shut case. So, its to be the 2nd...for me to go on. Can I justify it?

I believe I can. And in this way: We have been brought up in a society where demands are aplently and means small, indeed much-much smaller than most developed countries. And so, we have, since our earliest memories seen millions fighting for a few seats in some college in hopes of securing a better future for themselves. We have seen the same fighting for grades when we get into the college for again jobs are few and good ppl aplenty. And not just in these matters; in our everyday lives, we have to fight for survival. And its not just us, we have seen our parents and our cousins and elder siblings do the same. And they gave us one small advice: Always keep fighting, if you want to have a good future, keep working hard and never give up. Guess, you must see what I am getting at.

The countries mentioned in that monologue-Australia, England etc. don't have the same problem. For there, the children know-if they dont study hard, they might maybe ride in a Volkswagen Passat and if they do, theymight own a Toyota Camry- both "biiiiiiiiiiiiiiig" cars, however.

And this small difference in upbringing and seeing the society around you gets reflected in bigger ways later on in a person's life. You might see and hear regularly of bright Indians completing their graduation at increasingly younger ages: 18,17...15! And also, you would hear of ppl from developed countries taking an year off after 12th...to explore their country; and after their graduation...to explore Europe or to explore Asia.

All this points to important differences in the 2 societies. Ours where we slog it out to assure ourselves a bright future, where we don't think of taking a rest for we are afraid of what might happen if we do. And theirs, where they are assured of a decent future and a decent standard of living in any case (any case, not of course taking the extreme into consideration). So, they are much more liable to experiment and explore. While we tend to follow straighter and more regular lives, initially because its absolutely necessay, and later....maybe, because its become a habit with us! (that I believe that this absence of constant fight for survival is one of the chief reasons and a chief cause of innovations, inventions and discoveries there and an absence here is a matter of another blog altogether).

I am no psychologist and neither a good reader of people's behaviours, so I have no credentials for putting forth the ideas that I have. Still, I believe that this could be one of the reasons for Indian cricketers behaving the way that they do. They have seen middle to lower-middle class lives earlier. They have risen and earned lots...enough to carry them through their lives...however, at times, old habits die hard. Maybe they just can't imagine giving up and so don't. However, those from the developed countries have no such baggage with them and can look forward to a life where they are not doing what they initially took their careers as. Where they have othet activities to indulge in. Indians maybe are not as brave...to just let go!

They might take up a vocation, not earning much but doing something that they've always wanted to and it would be seen as perfectly normal there, for many others would be doing the same. We would, maybe in the fight thru life, never even have stopped to think what it is that we love. We just go on slogging, not taking time off from what we set out to do. We just can't imagine not doing our jobs after a certain age (a certain young age) because well, everyone else around us is still working and we would be among a rarity...among a rare lot of ppl not doing anything. We wouldnt exactly be looked at as indulging in ourselves. We would be plain, unemployed.

And maybe its this fear that grips our cricketers too, where they can't accept that their best is behind them and that its now time for them to give up and look at a life away from cricket. And hence they try to stick around as long as they can...as I heard on the dinner-table, jabtak unko dande markar bahar nahi nikal diya jaata hai...


Amitabh said...

Why do Amitabh Bachchan and Hema Malini still dance around through Baghbaan to Baabul? Why does Dharam paji take up a lead against none other than Mallika who is famous for you know what? Why does Shahrukh take up so many ad assignments despite being called the King Khan of Indian celluloid? In my very own home, my Dad refuses to retire from work, although he retired from his service career sometime back. He has started as a consultant and is doing fairly well. It all boils down to the mental state (read fear) of being stamped as a retired person (read vegetable for the younger generation) awaiting you all know what, irrespective of the age. And then the financial concepts in India have always taught Indians to never rest with the money they have, irrespective of however well off they may be. This is indeed an innate fear-generated tendency of Indians to make and save money from whatever means are available to them. They somehow can never stop fearing that one day, all that they have earned is going to be finished and that they are going to see that day in their lifetime. Call them Besharams or what, they wont stop! That explains the actions of our cricketers too. Only, there are other angles like lethargy, being not answerable and accountable, being generally soft, complacent and lacking the killer instinct, having no fear of or pressure from hooliganism and frenzy of crazy fans, red tape and lobbies that make up for more than BESHARMI!!

akhil said...

Dude...if i got it right your article basically says that the reason for our carryin on and on is the lack of opportunities tht are on the offering and once we grab them we dont wanna let it go...True but who does...
I dont understand how can you compare a country like India with per capita income of $3,320 with say Australia havin a per capita income of $32,220(Both figures in terms of PPP)...This simply means that we just dont have the income to support our future needs if a common man stops working...Think about a common man..the day he stops working..do you think he is able to make ends meet with his pension n that too which gets delayed due to red tape n what not(read a cut for the govt official).

Talkin abt the Indian cricketers. Does greed explain their behavior. The stakes are just too large as you rightly pointed out. They are willing to even undo their reputation to earn that extra buck(here match fees which by the way doesnt depend on performance). So he sticks around for as long as possible,remember Parthiv Patel.

But does greed really explain this behavior. The apologetic condition in which many of our sportstar live and die. Who would want to go back to the same shit hole again. Not you, not me, not nybody. You just cant blame them.

So who to blame for this so called besharami. It's the system stupid.
Improve it. Come up with a good public safety net, improve the livin conditions of domestic players(better match fees, training facilities, better jobs) That will do the trick.
Let me end by saying that when its a matter of self preservation of you and your family...ego takes a backseat and common sense prevails which you in your article have simply called Besharami...
Think about it.