Tuesday, February 23, 2016

CULTURAL PATHOLOGY OF INDIA-13-ACCEPTANCE OF ABNORMAL AS NORMAL


When one looks around in many eastern societies, so many pathological behaviors are not recognized  as pathological. Some of these pathologies are even glorified as Good or benevolent behaviours! Here are some people with pathological behaviors (I could recall meeting in India.)These people went  unrecognized as pathological in the best-case-scenario and were glorified as 'good or great' in the worst-case-scenario. 

(1) ADHD in children: I have seen parents of ADHD kids who are initially, extremely proud of their kids as they equate the hyperactivity with intelligence ; One family I know thought of their hyperactive son as an incarnation of Krishna and even named him as Krishna because they were so happy with his hyperactive behaviour! He was an adult before they decided to seek psychiatric help and even then, it was hard to make them accept that he has ADHD and that he needed treatment. They could not get the belief of him as extraordinarily bright, active and 'Krishna-like' individual out of their heads!  The positive view of his ADHD probably did good to his self-esteem but the family went through a tough time when his behaviours got worse as he entered adulthood and their belief that he is an incarnation of Krishna was severely tested.

(2)Another example is that many men with poor social skills or shyness,  or men who do not interact with women are regarded as 'very decent' and 'good' while someone who interacts easily may be suspect! Even to this day, guys who dont talk to women , in small towns and villages are considered as saints while men who talk to girls easily and comfortably are suspected of being flirts or as having evil designs on girls.

(3) Several psychiatric problems go unrecognized and ergo, untreated in India. 
Asperger's and those at the mild end of the autism spectrum go undiagnosed often in Indian culture; 
many cases of mild depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive neurosis, several types of seizures, many personality disorders, borderline intelligence, are neither recognized or treated. The odd behaviours are accepted, tolerated, maybe even considered as more  'positive'  than 'normal' behaviours by Indians! 
Many personality disorders are unrecognized and therefore untreated in India. This happens even amongst the educated folks.  

(4) Chronic alcoholism and gambling are not recognized and treated as mental illness in India even among the educated and those with access to information. 

(5)Homosexuality is regarded as abnormal and unacceptable and I have seen at least 5-10 homosexuals (mostly men) dragged to a psychiatrist by their parents to 'make them heterosexual' because his marriage has been fixed !  I have been told, things like "He has to become normal by November doctor. His wedding is in November!"  This is an instance where what is normal is considered as abnormal in India. I think I should write an article of all the normal things considered as abnormal in India! There are tons of such stuff too!
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Now  I am going to talk briefly  about corruption in India and it's acceptance as the 'norm' by the vast majority... rather than considering it as abnormal, obnoxious and something to be dealt with. .
This acceptance of the wrong  as 'normal' in India drives me insane! Now that I have lived in Canada for the last 12 years, I have lost my 'immunity' to Indian corruption and find my visits to India intolerable. I had managed to live with it for the first 30 odd years of my life and now I have lost my capacity to tolerate and accept corruption and find myself unable to spend in peace, even a few days in India!


That you have to pay a bribe to get any work in the government offices done is considered NORMAL. If you find that a government employee is not accepting a bribe, or not asking for it, you wonder and start suspecting if there is something else 'worse' going on which you don't know of!
That you have to bribe the police to make them accept a complaint is normal.
A person  belonging to certain unfortunate castes being ill-treated is the norm and if he's  treated with  a little bit of respect, in the villages of some Indian states, he will die of fright and shock!
People taking their pet dogs out for a walk and leaving it's poop out in the street is the norm. If someone bags it and brings it home, he may be considered crazy! But I think this is changing now  in some cities, but I am not sure.
This list can go on for hundreds of pages. But I am stopping here.


There is a wide gap between Indian values and the values upheld in western, democratic and modern societies.
There is a wide gap between what is in the constitution and the professed rules in India and the actual practice.
In India, there is absolutely no correlation between education and good behaviour, good manners;
 No correlation in India between education and wisdom;
No correlation between education and common sense
no correlation between education and being practical.
In fact, I sometimes wonder if the Indian education system, makes up lose what little we were born with!









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