Clipart from Clipartheaven.com
I am even appalled at the question, because Vedas are from India but we don’t chant them anywhere else except at specific rituals or in ‘permissible’ spaces, not like this.
There was a time when knowing to chant the slokas from the Vedas were considered very prestigious, and that was probably around two decades ago. Since then the number of youngsters wanting to be priests or just learn Veda chanting has come down considerably.
So what’s in today in India among youngsters?
- I don’t know my mother tongue – that’s the coolest thing to say and it’s also supposedly funny to say that. There are tons of youngsters who refuse to learn their mother tongues or pretend like they don’t know it or speak with a deliberate English accent. This is associated with being classy – as belonging to the upper class!
- Why is that? – because speaking your mother tongue makes you ‘verni’ – the meaning of which they do not know as being derogatory to Indians.
- It is not cool to wear Indian clothes! In fact there are pubs / restaurants in India that classify themselves as ‘posh’ that specifically state ‘Only western formals’. This was one such place – http://www.worldsbestbars.com/bar/hyderabad/city-center/lost-society. Glad to know that it is permanently closed!
- There are clubs in Bombay, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai and Bangalore which ‘DON’T ALLOW’ Indian clothes! Literally, Angrez chaley gaye, inko chod gaye!’ And obviously the members of this club are somehow known as the ‘elite’ who don’t belong to India? I wonder why these clubs or members of these clubs are never called ‘anti-nationals’ by the BJP!
- We are all up in arms for religion and some perceived notion of culture, but have been quick to give it away for generations. The trend now is to laugh at ‘several’ Hindu gods or ‘several’ wives of Krishna, without understanding the meaning and philosophy behind it. Sanskrit Slokas haven’t been written denotatively, they have always held connotative meanings. So there are philosophical meanings behind what ‘appear’ as truth. But who has the time to figure them out, it’s easier to laugh at them!
- We are all after ‘immediate results’. The first question a youngster asks today is ‘What will I get if I do this?” Not that one shouldn’t ask the question, but doing something just for the joy of it is missing in this approach.
It’s interesting how when we leave India, a lot of us want to go to the roots of our culture. It’s great, at least we do it then! But people in India are sitting on the wealth of our ancient civilization, hope we don’t dilute it. It’s thanks to Chennai, the Bengalis, some North Indians and the South Indian middle classes who at least attempt to study certain aspects of our cultural heritage. It’s up to us to keep it alive and reap its benefits, otherwise we will be creating a generation of ‘rootless’ wanderers in their own lands.