I found this photo on facebook and I have so much to say about it. (I hope I have not infringed on someone's copyright by putting these photos and lines here !)
(1) This set of photoes is supposed to be funny but I am not sure how many western(Americans, Europeans, etc) people will get the' supposed' joke. This is such a culture-specific and might I add 'asinine' joke that I think only Indian asses will get it.
(2) This photo is supposed to be funny and this reveals the lack of dignity of labour in India. Even today, people are ashamed to be doing certain jobs and do not feel proud of working at certain jobs...even if those jobs are honest.
A student fails in his exams in school or drops out of school and ends up working in a cycle repair shop.....in India. This is supposed to be hilarious.....that the student failed in exams because he was taught poorly, because of poor support, because of dyslexia, ADHD, MR, etc does not matter. The facts that repairing cycles is an ill-paid job, repairing cycles is not funny, repairing cycles is nothing to be ashamed of, does not seem to matter....a guy repairing cycles, is supposed to make you laugh. The idiots laughing at this guy fixing cycles perceive shame in repairing cycles to earn one's bread; however, they perceive no shame at all in corrupt government officials taking bribes. Can you imagine how disrespectful the ordinary Indian is to those lower down in the occupational ladder? Why everyone in India wants to be an engineer or a doctor and none want to be lower down in the hierarchy.
(3)Once again, a girl getting married as she failed the exams is supposed to be a hilarious joke.
A girl getting married because of or after failing in exams today, is something which is not happening with the same urgency as before. For one thing, guys in 2012 demand to marry a girl who has a degree at least, even if the dowry given to him is very high! For another, girls take the exams again as girls now want to have an education/degree and a job.
(4)The second photo brings to mind several things I heard from middle class family adults in the late 80s and 90s in south India.....when arranged marriages within castes was very very prevalent(it is still prevalent but declining in miniscule extent). Here are some of those nuggets of shit. The abysmal respect for girls and women is reflected in these comments.
a. That a plain looking girl should be married as early as possible, as it would be difficult to get her married later....when she is not only plain but older too.
b.A girl should either be studying or married. She should not remain unmarried for too long, after she has completed her studies, even if she is not interested in getting married.
c. I remember a nasty comment made by the younger brother of a girl who was doing Ph.D. He told his eldest sister, "Your younger sister was beautiful and so dad could get her a groom; You are not. You could not get a job either. That is why you are doing PhD now".
This was such a telling comment for me! It reflects the attitude of the people towards women, single women, plain women and their disdainful attitude towards women doing PhD! Asinine people in India seem to think that the only reasons a girl does PhD isbecause she could not get married or she could not get a job . That women do PhD to 'pass time' until marriage happens.
d.There is another item I would like to share here. I knew a tall beautiful girl who was married off at 17. Her mother was furious and anxious about her height and worried that she may not get a groom if she grew any taller and got her married when she just finished school! Can you imagine a mother being furious instead of proud that her daughter is tall ! How twisted can the attitude towards women be.
I can go on and on in this bitter vein but what is the use??? Unless asinine Indians change their asinine attitudes, India will be continue to be stuck in this mire of feudal thinking.