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 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.