Gransnet forums


Come on, India! Modernise!

(28 Posts)
Bags Tue 05-Jun-12 07:13:52

And stop this ridiculous, caste-based repression of young love, then you won't need "Love Commandos"

JessM Tue 05-Jun-12 07:45:30

There are so many ways in which India needs to modernise. It sounds as if it is becoming more and more divided with the affluent and educated acquiring the trappings of modern life while the poor are as abjectly poor as ever and rely on international aid.
The country is also probably just too damn big. Thank you British empire. It suited their needs to have the whole of the subcontinent under one administration and then Mountbatten et al split it forcibly and insensitively causing horrible bloodshed.
And yes their obsession with "complexion" when assessing other people would be called racism in Europe and N America.

nanaej Tue 05-Jun-12 21:36:25

but I guess we have our own, albeit not so widespread or extreme, 'taboos' here... look at all the fuss when a minor royal married an ordinary guy some years back...

I know & know of people in UK and of English heritage who have had huge family rifts because they have married 'below' their class!

Butternut Wed 06-Jun-12 10:29:41

I did nanaej - well, according to deceased MIL! I think the right word to use for her displeasure was outraged.

I think the class system in England is alive and kicking, but has just become more covert than the caste system in India. A sweeping statement I know, but the complexity of this subject is huge.

JessM Wed 06-Jun-12 10:38:57

Yes that's true Butternut - there used to be very overt, rigid rules (Remember when Princess Margaret "married a commoner" shock
My MIL's parents married across a class boundary - she was from a kind of Forsythe Saga respectable solicitors background and he was a steel worker. Family cut her off.
Now they are more subtle.
But imagine if they daughter of a lord married someone from a council estate, or someone from a nice middle class family married a "traveller". !!!

AlisonMA Wed 06-Jun-12 10:50:47

I think India is working very hard to modernise. They have a wonderful education system and pay the poor to go to school and give them meals. You see small children in immacculate uniforms and no shoes going to school. They take their equivalent of GCSEs at 15 and A levels at 17 and then universities are very cheap. If you want to go abroad to university the government pays half and if you still can't afford it give you a loan.

Their attitude to intermarriage is far more liberal than those who came here in the 1960. We got to know our driver very well and he said he would be happy for his children to marry whomever they liked. He is a muslim. My DiL's mother walks out of the room when her other daughter brings in her fiancee because he is a hindu but then they live in Wembley.

We went for a meal one night and had the variety menu which was far too much for us and the waiter told us that it didn't matter that we left some of it because they gave it all to poor children for breakfast the next day. That wouldn't be allowed here.

Yes, they have a long way to go on many fronts but they are trying hard and education is clearly the way to go. I think they will soon catch up with China and leave us well behind.

We only went to northern India but did not see masses of wealth next door to poverty as we had expected. Yes, we saw both but not so much.

Anagram Wed 06-Jun-12 11:19:53

That's very interesting, Alison.
And you're so right about the food - our supermarkets aren't even allowed to put food into the outdoor skips without rendering it inedible first. Such a criminal waste!

Butternut Wed 06-Jun-12 11:27:58

Don't get me started on the food wastage from supermarkets, it drives me nuts!

nanaej Wed 06-Jun-12 20:50:13

butter MiL view not always clear when looking at DiLs!! Do you think any girl would have been good enough for her boy..... some mums (of boys and girls) would love to choose their kids partners for them!

Butternut Wed 06-Jun-12 21:07:41


goldengirl Thu 07-Jun-12 15:01:38

What is do we mean by 'modernise'? Are we in the UK so much better? Have we 'modernised'? What about the countries in Africa? Should they 'modernise'?

Bags Thu 07-Jun-12 16:40:29

If people are attacked for marrying someone their family doesn't approve of, yes. The modernising bit I meant is the modernising of ideas, such as allowing adults the freedom to make their own decisions based on what they decide for themselves is important to them, and not be dictated to by rules which may have had a sound basis in certain circumstances once upon a time, but which are no longer relevant. In short, yes, modernise out of class prejudice (or any other prejudice for that matter).

Yes, we need to improve too, but we in the 'west' (mostly) have improved in respect of what the article I referred to is talking about.

Or haven't we?

Bags Thu 07-Jun-12 16:40:46

Romeo and Juliet anyone?

Anagram Thu 07-Jun-12 16:43:01

Well, that was quite a while ago, Bags......hmm

Bags Thu 07-Jun-12 16:57:02

Exactly. We have modernised our ideas in this area. Some cultures have not. It's time they did. That's all. I think there are enough well educated people in India to start things off.

AlisonMA Thu 07-Jun-12 16:58:12

Bags It was certainly our impression from those we got to know in India that many feel such ideas are outdated. I think that some of the people who immigrated to the UK in the 1960s are still of the old mindset whereas many people still living in India have moved on. Of course there are still those who want an arranged marriage and therefore would end up marrying someone from the same background.

Bags Thu 07-Jun-12 17:00:12

At least it's good that such articles are being written. Just bringing such things to people's minds, including those in India in this case, who might be able to make a difference, is surely helpful?

Anagram Thu 07-Jun-12 17:17:18

I wonder if some of those immigrants cling on to their old ideas as a way of maintaining a sense of identity and keeping some control over their families, now that they're living in such a different culture?

AlisonMA Thu 07-Jun-12 17:23:06

I think you could well be right Anagram

JessM Thu 07-Jun-12 18:14:06

I can understand why the parents of girls etc find our culture terrifying, when you see how some of the white girls behave! They have a point.

Bags Thu 07-Jun-12 18:21:30

Well, yes, jess hmm and yes, nag, especially if they've come from a socially controlling society. Still, some customs are not so good as others (and that statement applies as much here as anywhere else). At least we (meaning all of us, here, there, and everywhere) can try to change things for the better.

nanaej Thu 07-Jun-12 18:22:56

I have seen too many white British girls in clothing that is lacking in modesty to say the least! Behaviour of raucous girls too is something that eastern cultures find difficult. images in the media..dancing on music dvds etc are all so anti 'modesty' it might be provoking more of a backlash.
Whilst some might defend the behaviour as just youthful high jinx it is not a pretty sight whatever your cultural background!

inishowen Thu 07-Jun-12 18:55:59

I often hear about supermarkets dumping food in skips, but at the same time I see them reducing things every day when they're up to their sell by date. There is a crowd round our reduced shelves every day at reducing time - around 6.30pm and again about 9pm. If they can sell this stuff why are they still dumping so much?

nanaej Thu 07-Jun-12 19:51:34

because they do not want to sell too much stuff at reduced prices. Throw it away and charge full price on new stock.

AlisonMA Fri 08-Jun-12 10:54:33

While we are talking about immodesty I saw the strangest thing the other day when driving through Birmingham, a girl with a moslem type headscarf wearing leggings not covered by a very short skirt and her bust sticking out. I think she was getting her cultures a bit mixed up!