My stomach churns when tourist types judge my life in India and try to induce guilt. As an example – A friend and I went for dinner with some visitors from DK. One of them asked how we could morally eat at that expensive place when there is so much poverty around us. He added that we were lucky to be born privileged. Many expats blog about how India makes them rethink with their own existentialism, with customary pictures of “Look! I played Holi with poor people in India”. Few are quick to judge Indians who live above the poverty line.
My dear bleeding hearts, especially the tourist kind, please remember India is a COUNTRY, not a cause.
It is a COUNTRY, as empathic as we are about the problems that ail it, we have a real lives to lead here. So we work, earn and even oh! my god! accumulate wealth when we can. Most times we spend that wealth to satiate our own worldly desires. Is that a very difficult concept to understand?
Sure some are born rich. But most of us work very hard to hold jobs/run businesses in this country where opportunities are low and competition high. Should I give up restaurants, holidays, shopping? Should I be embarrassed of my indulgences when millions sleep hungry? Should I stop employing my maids and my errand boy because you tsk! tsk! their low wages. Perhaps they will be better off unemployed and hungry?
I think not. Unlike your prejudiced single trajectory view of India, India to us is a land of gazillion realities. We have the world’s poorest, there are those on Forbes richest, overpopulation, high mortality rates, a secular country with many instances of religious violence, people dying on the streets in a country where health tourism is on a boom, low levels of education and yet silicone valley would wither if all Indians quit. We accept it without apology, prejudice or pride.
Most of us exist in our alloted parallels. Few work selflessfly for the changes they want to see in the country. Most simply go to work and earn. If you have managed to feed and shelter yourself, you have already done the country a great favour.
If everyone were to be a full time bleeding heart, India would perish. It is the daily wage workers, the entrepreneurs, the middle class, the rich, the ones whom you judge so blatantly that drive the economy. An economy that will someday, hopefully divide the riches more equally and banish poverty.
My point is, I appreciate your feelings, please help if you can, but do not judge me because I am not a statistic in the sum of your ONLY preception of India. Dont judge me because I am not a cause you can pick.
Judgemental bleeding hearts annoy me even more than those suckers who come to India to seek Nirvana. ( A post on them some other time.)
And about that dinner, as you might expect, an animated discussion followed. Dont miss the irony that he was dining with us. Since he is from a developed/rich country is he more entitled to an expensive dinner than us, citizens of a poor country ?
Dear bleedin heart, spawn of a welfare society, SHUT UP! I probably earned my beer more than you earned yours.
To annoy you further, one time, I ate so much, I could not stand up.