Vantage point

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

There You Go, Tully

This post on Cafe Hayek (link via Amit Varma) describes perfectly the sentiments I felt a few chapters into Mark Tully's book 'No Fullstops In India', and the reason I chucked the book.

He describes the royal treatment he is gets at a wedding he attends in an Indian village. Later on he laments how Indians, especially those in the cities are "losing their identity" by "copying the West". I find a link between the royal treatment and this desire for a status quo.

And to all those people, especially self-styled care-takers of Indian culture, let me say this. Before throwing around terms like "losing one's identity", they should understand that "identity" is the most intensely personal concept in this world. A person defines, discovers and shapes his own identity, and is proud of it. By hinting that anyone "loses one's identity" because of some changes made in lifestyle or thought process, the very definition of identity is turned on its head. All these changes are made out of choice. And those changes are more a part of identity than some empty symbols that status-quo-ists tend to idolise.

So don't go sick worrying about others and their identities. Think about your own. Is your identity one of a person who wants to sermonise others on how to live their life?