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Remnants of another culture that still linger on.

Rajiv 55 / 400  
Apr 9, 2015   #1
Imperialism came to India from the English just as it did to the United States. There, it was put down decisively in the Civil war. We appear to have taken to it, without even examining whether it conflicted with our own values.

When we step out of our home in the morning and the person cleaning the lobby says 'salaam', and we ignore him completely, or nod with eyebrows arched as though looking downwards. That is imperial behavior. When the driver steps out to open the car door for us with a polite 'good morning sir, or ma'am' and we only mutter in reply, or patronizingly, that is imperial behavior. Sitting in the back-seat, we preoccupy ourselves with a newspaper or the mobile, as a way of dealing with the forced closeness with the person driving our car. Or when we talk with a vendor outside, we have the window half closed -- it is still the same.

It was the North -- the war is often called as between the North and South America. It was the North, led by General Lee and others, that won. South America, being not the present continent known as that, but the states falling in the southern part of the present United States of America. It is a sad thing about war that started on ideologies, it certainly isn't so for those fighting it. The ones who, lying in the trenches, know that any moment they could be blown to bits, or severely incapacitated. These men are quite oblivious to the reasons the war is being fought. The soldier once committed is only that. His death and dying though is no different from how you and I would experience it ..suffer a similar wound or shock, or impalement by a bayonet or a shrapnel, be burnt by fire or whatever..

These soldiers were mostly too young, and neither educated enough to believe in the ideology that started the war. They were given concrete things to grasp in their minds. A loyalty to their general and their fellow soldiers, or that they must not lose their ground. It came down for them to some piece of land to defend, or seize from the enemy. But that wasn't the reason for the battle. The reasons, in the minds of the higher ranking officers, the generals, and those with capacity to understand, were quite vivid. The losing side would lose everything, and more than anything else, their ideology.

What were these ideas of the Southerns so abhorrent to the Northerners? There were really no such concrete ideas differentiating the two sides. The emancipation of the slaves though it became a symbol of the war, I think many would agree, wasn't it! The ideology separated in Europe itself. For and against the King's rule ..that is, of the imperial order. As the colonialists settled in different parts of the United States they were already splitting into these camps. The black people were exploited by both, equally. It is that those of the north, realized that they had to relinquish the notion that some humans can be treated with lesser rights.

If you can remember the first few times when you visited United States and the newness of things there. If you can recollect, not just the vast buildings or the sprawling landscapes, but that feeling itself, of a freedom from some constraints we even would have carried from here. You know then that this is what triumphed in that war. It has given birth to a new culture, quite different and opposed to the earlier one. It wafts into Europe where the young specially embrace it ..and the intellectual freedom it carries, and it is making it's way into India.

Am I leaving you with the idea that Indians are welcoming the change ? Quite the contrary. Any one who has not lived abroad looks askance at this new thinking. It fills them with a dread. Not just as change, but because they feel it lacks a moral center. And then they dig their heels further into the earlier imperial way.
ririchwang 6 / 5 4  
Apr 9, 2015   #2
Hi, your writing has given me knowledge about Indian's culture change.. well, i noticed a little error in articles using. "The" is used in front of "specific" things.. hope my simple suggestion will help improve your writing^^

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