Saturday, July 11, 2009

Dark side of India

It all began when I visited my friend, where she was occupied with her routine work so I started fiddling with some things around and found a eighth standard German text book. I started turning the pages and reading in bits and pieces and for my surprise I found a chapter on India. I wanted to read it and know what the Germans thinks about we Indians and our great India.

As I continued reading, I was shocked to read as it was more about Indian Slums than any other thing about India. There were some so called Interviews of kids dwelling in Indian Slums and it stated that these kids especially from Mumbai never go to schools, infact they are never allowed to go to schools because they have to take care of house-hold things, look after their siblings and support their family by working day and night. They are left without any choice except to work in some restaurants, washing cars, selling flowers or sometime are thrown to beg. Kids complained that even if their parents are interested in sending them to school, the school authorities didn't allow them just for the reason that they do not have a an residence address as they live in the so-called unauthorized and unrecognized slums to register them in schools. They cried out their sorrow to these Foreigners for help. They told they are ill treated by their Employers, they are slapped and hit every time. They just needed to take all these pains to support their parents.

Girls in particular were lot in agony. They told that they were discriminated, parents were very partial towards them. They had to work more than their brothers and their brothers were fed more than them, just because he was a boy and if he is fed properly he would support their families in near future. They thought being a girl is a curse.

I was totally shocked to read this article in the Eighth Standard German text book. But the inputs of the text is not everything about India. I do understand those things detailed in the book do happen in India, but why German students have to learn about the slums of India? Why not the rich history, culture and colors of India? Is this how Germans perceive about India?


  1. Good first posting. Isn't the perception of Westerners about India too stigmatic? The recent Slum Dog Millionaire did also has the same perception about India?

  2. Kudos for your post! Although what the western media portrays of Asians in general and Indians in particular is true to a certain extent, a lot of it is highly exaggerated. Even our domestic media is dependant on western propaganda to fill their news slots.

    What about the western portrayal of Islam? You've not mentioned anything about it! I think as a follower of this great relegion (in fact the greatest of all), you should also ponder on this. In fact, we, as Indian Muslims, are doubly challenged on this phenomena. Although I appreciate and even more, respect your efforts in identifying the western demonisation of our great country, it would add more credibility if you could also do the same on the west's portrayal of Islam. Moreover, a great size of these people (slum dwellers) they interview carry Muslim names. Remember 'Slum Dog Millionaire'?

    You are rightly alarmed at reading exaggerated things on India in the German textbooks. How about the nonsense they write in our Indian text books on Islam? I guess to know that it is nonsense we should first know our relegion well. Most of the kids these days blindly believe what is taught to them. No doubt the west is biased against Indians, but if we as Indians point a finger at them, it is like the pot calling the kettle black!

    Anyways, keep up the good work. We look forward on more thought provoking posts by you!


  3. Really nice posting. These kind of postings can at least make few indians to realize about the people who are really suffering with those kind of problems.

    Try to post more and more articles which makes people to realise about the Human relation ship, Culture..........,

  4. @Seema,

    Nice post dear....Way to go... ;)

    @ Ozzy,

    Slumdog Millionaire : It is an adaptation of the novel Q & A (2005) by Indian author Vikas Swarup...And the real character in the fable is an Hindu but no clue why Danny Boyle,has changed it to Musilm...

    And about the contents of Indian text books, I have seen stories bout great rulers, Hyderali, Shivaji,Tippu sultan so & so but nothing offensive, may be media/news papers... Every thing on this earth has its pros & cons its just a two sides of a fence...

    None of the religion sayz I am great, greatest of all, its the people who believe or fallow or create who do it....
    Ultimately we share common ground,common air,common light,common water,common everything....

    we are global citizens.....

  5. Cheers to you Seema...

    you started off in a big way...


    I appreciate your view ....
    We certainly are global citizens, infact there is no point in limiting ourselves to our own WELL ! so cheers to you as well...