I had the chances of visiting other countries during my career and in recent times. Nothing teaches one many things like travel more especially international sojourns. From the patience to wait for long hours to board the flight to the ordeal of conveying our messages to the other country men if they do not speak English. Even in the US, the English they speak is something different from what we speak in India.
These are not surprising things to me. Mainly the cleanliness, the clear roads, the vehicles moving without honking the horns even if there is a terrific traffic jam and the pedestrian walks without encroachments are certain things which make me feel surprised. Those countries also have the poor and small vendors and selling on the streets but not to the level of Indian cities where one has to snake their way on the footpaths.
My recent visit to Pattya and Bangkok revealed three important facts about human lives; there are three things which can never be removed from a human being; alcohol, sex and meat. In the holy land of India we may not consider the last thing as a vice but only by a section of vegetarians, but the other two are considered and professed as ‘definite vices’. But, in those countries these are not considered as bad practice. They take it as part of their growing and life. Contrastingly, we never fail to philosophize but blatantly violate and do the same in secrecy and open in certain cases.
How long India will keep preaching the evils of drinking and sins of sex but practice them with impunity? Can the world keep away from these two strong enduring enticements?
But, in this sacred land I find many drunken brawls and the men on the footpaths fully unconscious while in those places I find none even at the dead hour of the night. They keep the public places clean and follow the traffic rules with sincerity. But we never feel ashamed to pee on the street corners and defecate in the open places and kill people on road accidents with drunken driving or over speeding every day.
So it is obvious the concept of morality varies from country to country and person to person. How long we are going to pretend that we follow Gandhian principles in the changing world of material comforts and growth? How long we say that we are the ones who taught the whole universe the moral codes while our great epics like Mahabharata and Bhagavata Purana are replete with sex, bigamy, incest, extra marital affairs and explicit overtures of different types?
However, artifice is our asset. Pretension is our prerogative. Hypocrisy is our culture. India and Indians belong to a rare breed of double standards from the rest of the world.