Modernity, from an Indian perspective

First of all, let us look at the definition of modern.

Modern - A person who advocates or practices a departure from traditional styles or values.

Now, let's look at how our Indian youth consider something as modern in their daily life.

Dressing sense : 

For guys, to dress in rapper style, wearing jackets and monkey caps under the sweltering Malaysian sun is considered modern. Not forgetting their dog chain lookalike bling.

There is also smartly dressed category, the donning of branded shirts and pants and sporting expensive and trendy accessories. Then, there is the funky style, guys who don't tuck in their shirts at the back, sporting piercings, tatoos and spike hairstyle. Guys with stubble, unshaven look and goatees who dress neatly attract females' attention for all the right reasons. First impression is the best impression.

For girls, the lesser the cloth covering their body, the more modern they are considered to be. Married women who don't wear their thali and metti is considered to have come out from their orthodox shell. For some females, following latest fashion in clothing, feminine accessories and makeup can be called modern girls. Girls who sport short hair with a vixen, sultry look can be categorized as modern. 

Conduct :

Drinking, smoking and clubbing are considered new age norms, which is contained in modernity. Getting piss drunk and swaying and jerking on the club dancefloor, coupling up, making out in free sex culture are hallmarks that herald advanced lifestyle. Basically Western culture is considered modern by denizens who populate other parts of the world and Malaysia is not an isolated case. 

Western culture came to our shores in the 70s in the form of hippie culture and entertainment from the United States which inundate our mass media and social networks. Losing virginity before marriage is considered cool and, the order of the day in these so called modern times. Sexual abstinence in pre-marital stage and chastity have been given wholesale to times gone by.

Body language :

The way one talks and the way one walks speak volumes of their tendency towards modernity. Making eye contact, straight gait when walking, holding head up high and strutting like they own the world is a modern body language. Speaking clearly and confidently with active gesticulation and the ability to adapt is also considered as modern.

But, adaptation can be described in an opposing context. Let me illustrate a case scenario. A girl from a backwater estate goes to Kuala Lumpur to pursue her tertiary education. From a wide eyed damsel, she morphed into a 'Raw ah adikere Rangeela' within a few months and get screwed all over in the name of modernization. 

Being modern doesn't mean you should lose or compromise your values, virtues, convictions and principles. Being modern means taking in new things and applying them in your life while having your pride and dignity intact. Sleeping around and dancing half naked and getting stoned in night clubs ain't modern. It is self destruction for both guys and girls and it is something that needs to be drilled into our youth's hard heads. 

I am not saying that having fun and socializing is wrong; I'm merely saying that we should be civil while clubbing and whatever self indulgent stuff we engage in. Harassing, invading the personal space of others as well as disrupting the peace of others after getting piss drunk are anything but honourable. The Chinese drink too but not a squeak comes from their indulgence. 

Becoming a modern person from streamline conservative usually springs at puberty, where curiosity and discovery of all things new are at their peak. I too, am experiencing all that and I've had my share of slip ups. The important thing is, to learn from our mistakes. 

But, being modern transcends dress code and conduct and body language.

Thought process and attitude towards outdated, redundant, obscure and partial establishments is where true modernization dwells and it is something that Indians here need to follow through.

The idea that women are inferior to men is a backward thinking. A guy who recognizes girls as his equal is a forward thinking, modern guy. The belief that male and female can see eye to eye and work together shoulder to shoulder is progressive thinking which is of course, modern. Confidence plays a critical role herein,  Bharathiyar has expounded this idea in the beginning of the 20th century. He became an iconoclastic and the emancipation of women exercised his mind greatly. That is something to exemplify.

Attitude, as in holding your own while yielding to brand new stuff and concepts will do wonders to your psyche. This is what I am discovering lately. You might be wronged and humiliated but whether you choose to crumble under the pressure or learn to deal with it without losing your core values is what is needed to be hip and happening. Confidence is sexy.  

To be modern, you don't have to wear bulky business suits and miniskirts. Whatever you wear, which comprises of your outfit, conduct, body language, thought process and attitude should suit your physique, congruent to the place you intend to go and in accord with your motive or goal.

Now, you are all set to rock the world modernly!

1 comment:

  1. Good read, I guess I am the remaining few who doesn't mind being conservative. But I totally agree, being modern has been wrongly adapted in the minds of our Indian youngsters.