How come that every time some one asks a questions about India, it can only be answered with: “Well, it depends on how you look at it…” or “Do you speak about Urban India or Rural India” or “It is difficult to generalise about India…”?
It is because India is such a diverse and huge country. Historians and scholars have written about the improbability that India stays together as a country. They say that India is too diverse, India is too large and India has too many conflicts.
However, India has managed to stay together as one country since its independence in 1947. There are many different factors that play a role here – political, historical and cultural. If we look at India today there are a couple of factors that play a role in defining idea as India as ONE country. One of these factors is cricket, the national sport of India, that is extremely popular in the whole country. Another is the fact that India is a country on the rise economically, defined as “Shining India” by the Hindu Nationalist Party BJP in 2003.
Shining India and Not-So-Shining-India
If we look for “Shining India”, we will find it. We will see the economic success in the huge metropols with lots of high rise buildings, flyovers and metro lines… However, (as earlier stated) we cannot generalise about India. And if we take one more look at India, we will also see a part of the country that is not shining so much. Outside the large metropols in the rural areas, we see people who live in a very traditional (oldfashioned?) manner with no modern equipment in small villages.
Even inside the metropols, we find huge contrasts. For example street kids with their dirty hair and clothes begging to barely survive. They live under the flyvovers constructed so that large airconditioned cars with drivers can take global Indians from their large air conditioned houses to glass covered 10th floor office rooms, where they do business with the rest of the world.
Three sentences of advice
When we do business, live or work in India, how can we understand a country like this? Here are three sentences from Culturewise that can help you in the process of grasping India
– India is in principle too large and too diverse to be one country
– Despite of that, India is ONE country
– Therefore, remember that you CANNOT generalise