Western influence

Western influence

2 mins 21K 2 mins 21K

Catherine was French. She spent 35 years in Kolkata; although heavily accented, she could speak Bengali with a native comfort; because she spoke in the language of Rabindranath and Bankim, her register made us listen to her as though we’d listen to a song we lost through the years. We loved listening to her, most of all because what she spoke at various conferences and seminars on social reformation and transformation also made sense. Her core competency was Bengal, has read all the classics and also the contemporaries. More than a writer, she calls herself an activist.

"It’s over to Catherine now. Catherine?"

"Thank you all very much. Yes I have been asked to talk about the ills of western influence; we see the younger generation dressing and talking like the West, partying and drinking like them; indeed it was never our culture (she stresses on the possessive adjective). I have promised to make this session more interactive, I will not speak much. I will ask you two questions, maybe uncomfortable I don't know (she seemed so authentically French here) and then ask you to respond; with an open mind. So please 'lend me your ears'."

She looked serious and sad. Her questions dropped as two pins in the middle of the silent audience.

Q.1 Who is ensuring the accessibility and why?

Q.2 Why does India encourage night shifts for children to work at a time they should rest? When these children get tired and want to enjoy at pubs drinking, partying to communicate something stark to the business world, who criticizes them? Does the western world also get influenced and do night shifts?


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