There's an extremely interesting controversy-cum-debate raging in urban India today: Whether or not pub culture should be encouraged...whether it goes against the Indian values of what culture should be and so on....
As expected the Media is twisting facts, putting words in mouths and basically fanning the fire to see to it that people of India have a completely deluded picture of what "freedom" means, what exactly is "responsibility" and what "moral" or "immoral" constitute.
And now, my two cents...
As far as my memory goes, I don't remember anybody being lauded or hailed as a hero or even someone to look up to if he or she visits a pub, exercises his/her so called "freedom" by drinking and splurging moolah by going regularly to pubs/discs/whatever. What freedom are we fighting for over here? Freedom to get drunk? Freedom to put oneself in smokey bars and pubs to inhale carbon monoxide( and God knows what else)? Freedom to be out "partying" with inebriated men and women? Is this the freedom that young Indians are fighting for? Ridiculous. And this is apparently a "choice". But these very bunch of "freedom fighters" do not realise that after they become parents, their kids are going to be out "partying" too. I cannot somehow imagine a parent not being concerned or in fact mighty worried about his/her kid out in a pub, exercising "freedom" and making a "choice" by going and drinking at a pub/bar/disc! Is this generation THAT myopic??
Now one might argue that one has complete "freedom" to spoil one's own health by drinking. What has the moral police got to do with individual choices. But in any case the "I, me, myself and mine" syndrome has swung now to the extreme end! One does not stop to think that every action and inaction has an effect on the society as a whole. No matter how much we disscociate ourselves from society, the fact remains that all individuals are a part of society and we are interdependent. Just one person alone without assistance and encouragement from others can't do nothing! So, it's only sensible that one is aware of the choices that one makes. And I fail to understand how health is not an issue in the mind when one chooses to indulge in pursuits which are clearly harmful! Healthy individuals make a healthy nation. It's so simple. And a healthy nation means a prosperous nation.
It's really not about Indian culture against western culture. It's just about beind sensible. Atleast little sensible to start with.
Yoga, Pranayam, Secularism, Hospitality, seeing Omnipresent Divinity, Respect for elders, Ayurveda, regarding the body as a temple...these are a part of the amazing Indian culture. How about starting with atleast the first two in the list as a primer to our ancient culture?
Personally I don't even regard going to a pub as "culture" of any sort. But maybe it's time for Urban India to experience Indian culture too. That way they can make a more "informed" choice.