Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The right virtues

This is the time when I should have been in bed, sleeping, considering the fact that I have to wake up early. Infact, I was already in my bed trying to sleep but my thought wandered to the discussion we had during the lunch hour in the office today. I wasn't really a part of that discussion since I did not want people to get judgmental about the way I think. But I listened carefully to each and every word they said.

I don't really remember, how the discussion started but it was something to do with the "sankar" that the people of Indian origin, who no longer live here, have. My colleagues somehow despise those Indians who live, precisely, in the western countries and speak English with an accent of the west. The children who are born and brought up in the European as well as American countries speak with an accent which their friends from these countries have. One of my colleague thinks that the parents of these children are to be blamed since they did not control their accent and teach them the correct "Indian English" accent. Another colleague proudly narrated an incident of some child (some way related to her) who greets her grandparents by saying "namaste". Now, this colleague of mine believes that this is what "sanskar" is all about. I am sorry but I fail to agree.

The sanskars do not come by greeting somebody with "namaste", if you do not really respect the person being greeted. If you do not even know what "namaste" means, then what is the point for doing something which does not make sense to you. If this is how sanskars come, then I believe every individual living in India would become a completely "sankari" person. For instance, if, being an Indian, I am an English Language lover and I do not know what a a few words mean in Hindi, and I have read hundreds of English books but not even a single Hindi comic book, then would anybody be right in saying that I do not have any sankar. Only because I do not know the Hindi translation of "Snowfall", or I get confused between words like "aarambh" and "prarambh" (they still confuse me), then nobody can make a haywire statement about my sanskars.

The children who have lived in American and European countries, have learnt to speak their respective accents. I don't think that the children or the parents are to be blamed. I do not understand what is wrong if they speak in their own accent, which is a different from the Indian English accent. I do not even understand why do a lot of Indians consider other Indians talking with an American or British accent to be a show off. True it is that a lot of celebrities have goofed up big time by faking their accent, but it definitely does not mean that everybody else is a fake. And does that mean that a 5 year old, or maybe even a 10 year old, Indian kid living in US or UK, would be faking his/her accent too. Do you really think that the poor child understands the difference between the accents, or is wise enough, rather clever enough, to fake it.

I sometimes do not understand what has the accent got to do with the sanskar. I also do not understand why we, Indians, consider it to be such a big issue. I don't remember, but I read somewhere about this research which was conducted on some kids. The kids were born in one country but were brought up in different countries, amongst people with different cultures and ethos. All the kids learnt the values of the cultures of the country they were brought up in. There was one intense example under this research which said that a group of these kids was also sent to live with people who could not speak. And these kids, never learnt to speak or express themselves. And talking in American English, British English or Indian English is such a minute thing,

A person living in India, who is proficient in Hindi and Sanskrit could be less sanskari than a person living in the US, who doesn't know any other language except English. Sankars do not come by the language you speak, but they come by the virtues you follow. Yes, it is good to know your mother tongue, but it is not necessarily a way to judge a person's sankar.

I really think that the sankars imbibed in any individual are reflected through their actions and not entirely by their words.

19 comments:

@ease said...

sensitive issue... could have been dealt more smartly..!!
i guess you are writing such stuffs for the 1st time..??

Atul said...

u nailed it bang on the head! ... there is a false aura of 'i-am-holier-than-you' among a large section on us Injians ;-) ... and this needs to be shattered (if not broken!) ...

SEPO said...

totally agree. i hate double standards and Hippocrates!

Renu said...

yes...deciding sanskaars upon a single namastey would be too much to presume.

Chanz said...

@ @ease : yeah, u could say that.. I'll keep that in mind next time...

Chanz said...

@ Atul : True.. sometimes it really pisses me off... but that is how everybody is.. and the good sanskars demand that we should learn to be tolerant.

Chanz said...

@ Sepo : Ditto..

Chanz said...

@ Renu : I was hoping that you'd say something more since you are the eldest and the most experienced person I know in the world of blogs.

Blasphemous Aesthete said...

You're right, Sanskaar is not imbibed in language or the way we speak, but finds itself in the daily discourse of our routine.
And true, that a person who has not spoken or read even a single word of hindi can have more values than a 'considered pundit' at language.

Cheers,
Blasphemous Aesthete

Sakshi said...

Late comment sorry!

I agree with you in the letter and spirit of this post!
I believe that values come to you irrespective of the accents that you sport. And go tell your colleagues, if an accent counts and the million BPO employees have no dharam or imaan!

Loved the post!
Hugs!

Anonymous said...

snowfall means barfbaari.. bt d other one wld put the hindi learned scholars to think..d context is ur say nd opinion nd full respect to ur views..BUT..we all over here would hve loved if u wld hve put forth ur point in d discussion itself..we admire dat u were honest to urself nd everyone here but wished u proved where it counted d most..nd told us dat u differentiated..Remember"Kites Fly High against d Wind" oh..again english..i don't hve any "SANSKARS"

80abhishek said...

@anonymous:

If I am permitted to say something, i request you to please go through the entire passage again, I believe it is what she is trying to put emphasis on.. it does not matter where you are born, to whom you re born.. because sometimes it is like "chirag tale andhera.. "

criminals and in the other hand wise men are found in all the ethnicities.. any language.. etc..

it depends upon the person, what s/he wants to be.

so, its the choice of the individual.. to be one.
I hope I am less confusing today..

good day!

Anonymous said...

@abhishek - u r absolutuely rite..very well in consent of d context of d post..i hve no issues wid d context..my take is only dat she shld hve particpated in d discussion wid her colleagues nd put forth her views over dere itself..at dat very moment..as i 2nd sakshi for "go tell your colleagues"

supriya said...

True...Sanskaar depends on the way you express your greetings... "Namaste" and "good morning" can't be measured in lower or higher sanskaars! And thats ridiculous if people judge in this respect!

Karan said...

True . Something depends on the inner self and not on the outer self . And deep inside one know how "true" it is . Life is pure and these things should not be a gate-way to change !!

Sorcerer said...

Been a long time I came here.
:)
Yeah..Sanskar is our heritage the way we act it out.
Nice nice writeup..

Chandrika Shubham said...

Sankars do not come by the language you speak, but they come by the virtues you follow.

I really think that the sankars imbibed in any individual are reflected through their actions and not entirely by their words.

Very true. :) Nice post. :)

Atul said...

fixed the article! :-)

meerasrajan said...

Yes I agree with you. Sanskars are not the intellectual property rights of India..! I have instances of people from India who do not follow any Sanskars so why blame children brought up abroad? Sanskars or values ( the literal translation) are about individual and not about cultures.