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Rafale Shastra Puja : If Santa Claus isn't absurd how are our traditions?

"Why would any tourist visit India if it becomes a copy of the west? Rajnath Singh's act was not a ‘tamasha’. It was an instance of one proud Indian wearing his traditions on his sleeve"

 

Shivam Singh

In one distant part of the world, every year in late December millions of kids go to sleep hoping that when they wake up in the morning a beardy man in crimson attire would have kept gifts for them in socks they had hung outside the previous night. And yes, this man goes around the country on a chariot pulled by reindeer. That’s Santa for you. And we celebrate him across the globe. But drawing ‘Om’ on a jet is superstitious.

When Donald Trump will be travelling to Japan in October, he will be meeting the new emperor of Japan, yes an emperor in 21st century. And his schedule includes watching two hefty wrestlers compete in a sumo match in a milieu reflecting Japanese culture. And this is how world’s most technologically advanced country is welcoming world’s most powerful man. They take pride in their past. But squeezing lemons under the tires of Rafale is somehow more absurd. England still continues to have a queen. The country loves its monarchical heritage. Several of African leaders turn up in local attires at world events. They might be economically backwards but sure they can afford suits? Cutting of ribbon is cool but somehow breaking a coconut feels archaic. Why?

Why everything that the west does is considered the standard and when somebody from amongst us tries to wear our traditions proudly it is termed primitive. What kind of colonial mindset is this? Why can’t we all value our own traditions? And it’s worth reminding that our traditions are far older. The Shastra Puja that Rajnath Singh performed in France should only make us proud. He has reminded the world how different we are. His act has emphasised India’s uniqueness in front of the world. Why would any tourist visit India if it becomes a copy of the west? His act was not a ‘tamasha’. It was an instance of one proud Indian wearing his traditions on his sleeve.

Our traditions are our identity, just like our culture. We consider the world as our family. And families around the world split when the children grow older. We are what we are and that’s what makes us different. India is known for its culture, tradition and diversity. Let’s not lose it to obsession with the west.