Hypocrisy

We believe that “mamatha”—a mother’s affection—is a sacred emotion, and yet unflinchingly inflict horrors upon our women. We take bribes, and then hope to wash away our sins by thrusting thousands down the slit-eyedhundisof our temples. We speak of compassion, but show little for the household help who toil away in our homes. We study “moral science” in our schools (whoever coined that phrase?) and are tested to see if we got the spelling right when we have the essence wrong.
We learn about civics and citizenship, and yet are often asked—and ask ourselves—why we have such a strong sense of family, but such a poor sense of a larger community: How can our homes be so clean, and our streets so littered with garbage?
Clearly, I am generalizing here— there are thousands of Indians who would justifiably take offence at being called hypocrites, and for good reason. But they are a minority in today’s India. It’s almost like we need to exfoliate these oppressive layers of crusted wisdom that have settled upon our consciousness, and discover our own morality for ourselves. To see the relationship between values, thoughts and actions, and agitate over the inconsistencies that we see in ourselves. To acknowledge that words like “honesty” and “caring” and “respect” are most powerful when displayed in action, not recited by rote.
Getting rid of these layers takes an enormous amount of introspection, a ruthless sense of honesty, and the courage to act upon the schisms when we encounter them. These will be painful. I have also seen a discrepancy in the views of the people who support that women should wear what they like, they should go to disco parties, they should be free to consume alcohol, etc and can follow ‘western’ ideas in general. When asked if they would welcome such a behavior by their mother, sister or wife, there follows a long silence which reflects the inherent hypocrisy.