To be or not to be..that is the question

It is the year 2012 now, very modern very energetic, filled with prophecies of Armageddon, end of world and the whole human race as we know it. Over the years we have progressed ourselves from orthodox beliefs and indulged in modern thoughts and outlooks for the betterment of society and for upbringing one's self persona. Gone are the days when women were confined to the four walls of their houses and succumbed to all tortures in silence. Now they fight back and are at equal par with any men and we have ach

Let's first think about how modern are we? When this question is asked the first think that pops into my mind is a funny message, which says, earlier times mothers needed a good, well behaved, cultured, non-smoker, non-alcoholic man for their daughters. Now they need a non-smoker and non-drinker girl for their sons!!! Yes, these days we have become that modern.

Obvious question, if guys can, why can't girls too? We need equality, right? The powers to choose careers and life-partners have also fallen into the hands of women. Even the thought of our parents who had an arranged marriage, barely knowing the other person creeps us out. How good has one succeeded in embracing "modern philosophies"? Are we totally modernized or is there still the old cultures hidden which secretly say, no don't do it, that's not what we do.

Well if you ask a normal college student in Mumbai or any city, the answer is definitely that yes we have progressed, we are modern, and we don't keep orthodox beliefs, and have equality and so forth. In spite of all this we do see and read about so many crimes which include dowry deaths, honor killings, teen killing grandparents for money to drink and smoke!!! We have a beautiful life and are unaware of the misery that goes in others lives. There is a lot that is still happening in our country basically due to its diversity. No, I'm not complaining about diversity, I love it as it's the essence of our country. All these cultures, traditions laid down centuries before by man still play as deterrent to many citizens. Like you cannot marry a person from different caste, let alone from different religion, it ends in honor killings!! Is marrying any person from your caste greater than your own child? I could never get that, but then I was not born in that era when such philosophies polluted minds of many. Dowry deaths, another horrible tragedy, to kill for money. Modern now, are we?

Our country with its diversity and various cultures is actually very beautiful. Are we enjoying it? The same thought came to me while reading a novel "2states", even that left me thinking are we modern? Can people from two different states marry and live happily? Can there be uniformity despite the diversity? Well, that's what is said about India, unity in diversity. Proof…we sit next to people of different religion and are not racist and untouchability is removed. Yes we do that, is that enough? Does everyone really consider it? We don't know. We don't know if people are getting educated, atrocities are not committed against rural people, we don't know anything. We are comfortable within our lives and the people we know and hardly think about anyone else outside this sphere. Well, we have our own lives to worry, let alone think of someone else we don't know! We need social responsibilities, especially from youngsters. We need to be modern without forgetting our cultures and values. Difficult, right, but a balance is always the answer, isn't it? How can one expect a good country if youngsters are not interested in politics (the so called dirty drain), betterment of society, helping others, keeping good principles and morals? Nooo…now what youngsters think is, how much would I earn, will I get a girlfriend/boyfriend, which movie to download and do I have enough money to buy alcohol to enjoy this weekend? And if not, what lie will I have to tell parents to get money for my enjoyments? What great morals and principles! If I say this, the immediate response I get is, life is short, and shouldn't one enjoy it?? Well, life is short, one should enjoy but one should also make such a mark in life so as to be proud of oneself and also do something for the bigger picture.

Another fascinating episode that I remember now is question from my various friends belonging to non-law fields. This was when the whole section 377 came into picture. The question they asked me is, "what's your take on this, do u agree too? But you shouldn't, it's against nature!!" Oh God, are we modern? Can everyone cope up being modern in this generation? We have people who can't accept homosexuality, parents who can't accept love marriages or marriage without any dowry, people who control the way others dress!! I know people who don't see English movies saying it would corrupt their minds!

Well, yes, being a law student you have to have answers for every question ranging from Mr. Qasabs detention, his sentence to dowry deaths, India's economy, land issues, and the most popular.."Do you know the section for so and so crime?" Also "Is it right to extend legal age for drinking if we can vote when we are 18?"Even sociological questions like, women should not have or wear exposing attire, or on their choice of drinking alcohol." Yes all that should be answered, if you are learning law!

Why are people finding it difficult to accept certain concepts, they say we are not broad minded to that extend. So are the traditional beliefs and cultures still hidden underneath the modern façade? Should we be modern and accept everything with "broad minds" or should we keep the sanctity of our cultures and embrace the essence of India?

Obviously, its personal choice: to be or not to be?


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