Why do Indians Sound So Arrogant?

Indians are among the politest people in the world, coming from a four-thousand-year-old civilisation. How come others consider us as rude?

The question cropped in my mind when I read a news report about a Romanian Mayor calling an Indian Minister who was overseeing evacuation of Indian students from Ukraine arrogant and rude.  Was the Minister arrogant or rude?  Surely Not!

Most Indians do not undergo any vocal musical training at school, unlike in North America. They do not have to do presentations while at school.  Hence most Indian kids end up with only a volume control. I too have a similar problem in that I cannot modulate my pitch and tone.  To enunciate or to put across a point, I tend to raise the volume and it becomes offensive to a Canadian listener.  Some have told me off that I am rude.  With practice and help from our children, I have improved a lot.  Am I perfect in this regard?  An affirmative No!

All Indian immigrants in Canada do not sound rude or arrogant, but the candidates I have interviewed recently, I am forced to change my opinion.  These candidates give off an arrogant vibe and an arrogant look. They pad up their resumes to over a page with mostly redundant achievements and in some cases family lineage.  They act as if they know it all, have achieved all and are ready to join the workforce. They blow their trumpets. Their claims and lies fall shattered when they are asked to handle a real situation or a process.

The way one is greeted, business processed, merchandise dispensed at the store or on the drive-through in Canada, it involves exchanging a few pleasantries.  The conversation by the sales associate involves lot of those ‘magic words’ like please, thank you, have a nice day, etc.  Driving through a coffee outlet, I could often make out the nationality of the associate from their accent coupled with the absence of those magic words.  They do sound impolite and rude by Canadian standards.

Many Indian immigrants land with a false superiority or prestige.  It is all because of the social-media propaganda that all of NASA’s scientists are Indians; Silicon Valley companies are being run by Indians; all doctors in America are Indians; Indians are doing very well in USA and Canada; and so on.  Sorry, but it isn’t the truth!

Another opinion is that Americans or Canadians do not study and that it is all Indian students in universities, and they are the toppers.  Look at the award lists or achievers list of any North American universities and you will realise the truth. 

Next in line is the belief that North Americans are dumb. You must be right!!! That is why every time you switch on a computer or a cellphone or a tablet, look at the company which developed the software and that’s why they are the pioneers of modern technology and medical research.

Indians have only heard of a few hardworking and intelligent Indians in India or outside India. Other countries too have the same percentage of hardworking and intelligent people.  The political/ religious leaders pepper their discourses with some history, some mythology, some twisted facts etc. This leaves an impression in the mind of the youth that Indians are the best and have all the solutions for all the problems the world suffers today. This has made the youth less tolerant to the other religions/ castes/ creeds.  This makes the youth less accepting of others, their viewpoints, their beliefs, and their cultures.  A sure recipe to disaster!!

Various debates on national television are a clear indication of the arrogance of the anchors and the participants.  Many foreign panelists in such discussions have pointed it out (I too feel the same.) These anchors and participants (some Veterans too) have indoctrinated the Indian youth to believe that the rude and arrogant way they put across their viewpoint is an acceptable one.  This further adds to the rudeness and arrogance of the educated Indians without they themselves realising it.

Various propaganda or false information passed on to the Indian youth on social media have influenced their minds. Most youth do not read, but forward whatever they receive to others, believing them to be true.  Many adults (including Veterans) too engage in such acts to show their presence on social media by proving that they are ‘Virtually Alive.’ When a Veteran or someone a youth respects forwards a message, they lap it up as true and forward it to their friends without any analysis.  Lack of reading, analysis and opinion forming among university students make them narrow-minded. Thus, they become non-creative, lacking original ideas.  Look at any Indian social-media group – it is all about Forwards with hardly any Original work or opinions.

Many youths in Canada (including our children) hardly make any comments or post photos/ videos on social media.  On inquiry they said that they do not want their prospective employer to reject them for their social media posts.  They do not have friends too who post offensive or arrogant material because it should not surface during a background check.  Our son Nikhil did not want his posts to haunt him later when he gets into Canadian politics.

Many North American students take up part time jobs during their high school onward.  They work in restaurants, swimming pools, gyms, libraries etc.  They must volunteer in community activities as part of the requirement for high school graduation.  This exposes them to difficult situations where they observe or participate in customer management.  This trains them about what not to speak and how to put across one’s concerns in a polite and civilised manner. 

Politeness must be inculcated in children, and it must begin at home.  Parents must set an example, especially when facing a difficult situation. 

Kindness and politeness are not overrated at all. They’re underused. – Tommy Lee Jones – American actor and film director.

Good manners will open doors that the best education cannot. – Clarence Thomas – US Supreme Court Judge 

Divine Trade on Social Media

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Most netizens by now must be fed up with all the images of Gods, Godmen and their preaching which bombard their in-boxes.  Generally, no one wants to show disrespect to their own Gods and also to someone else’s.  The dilemma that most netizens face is that their computer systems or smartphones generally store these images by default in one folder, irrespective of the type of divine personality.  Hence these Godly images are cursed to coexist with the heavy volume of porn and nude images that one receives on the very same social media. 

The senders of these Godly images surely did not want to show any disrespect to their Gods.  Some may even be gullible enough to believe that their Gods would be happy with their actions to spread the message and image of their Gods, thereby making their Gods more saleable.  The only likely beneficiary of such actions would be the Godmen whose objective is to trade this divine merchandise.  Thankfully the internet does not reach the Gods, else He would have had a difficult time, sorting these messages out!

Further, these images take up a lot of bytes and is costly to download and store.  The prime principle of communication is brevity which ensures speedy transmission of the message.  The Generation Next have aptly taken to texting, to reduce cost and increase speed.  Here there is no place for any image unless unavoidable.  Most netizens sending such images on social media are generally new entrants and are still bitten by the social media bug.  As time passes, many are sure to overcome this thrill, thus saving everyone money and time.

Some netizens send images of their God with an accompanying story that when they forwarded the same to 10 people, some miracle happened and this person now wants you to send it to 10 more people so that you receive such favours, else some calamity may strike you.  This carrot and stick strategy again results in unwarranted traffic on the internet and sometimes it may end up as an information security risk.

Another trend observed is to publish a story about favours received by the devotees as a case of some divine intervention.  I once confronted an editor of a paper publishing such paid classified advertisements and enquired as to whether he did send a copy of the newspaper to the concerned God as well.  How else can you expect God to learn about the ‘earnest’ efforts of a staunch follower of His?

I requested the editor to educate the publishers about the futility of such efforts and instead if the wasted money can be paid to some charity, it would be of considerable help to the needy.  Such advertisements are neither needed by God nor is it of any use to anyone except the publishing house who rake in money at the cost of the foolish believer.

Let us for a minute consider that God too was a Facebook user.  Would He have approved His image or the divine article you just posted? Would He ‘like’ what you just posted?    Every God would surely like a post about Him to be True, Helpful to humanity, Inspiring, Necessary and Kind to every living creations in this world, coupled with humane love.

While posting anything divine about your God, always stop to think that there are many who do not believe or follow your brand of divinity.  There are atheists too who claim user-created religious content is offensive to them and many feel that it promotes forceful indoctrination into their belief systems.

Pope Francis on the 50th World Day of Social Communications, while welcoming Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple, to the Vatican said “It is not technology which determines whether or not communication is authentic, but rather the human heart and our capacity to use wisely the means at our disposal.  Communication, wherever and however it takes place, has opened up broader horizons for many people. This is a gift of God which involves a great responsibility. I like to refer to this power of communication as ‘closeness’.”

Social media for sure is not a creation of God and as Pope Francis said, it is a gift of God. We all have seen it evolve before our eyes.  Hence it would be the most inappropriate place for the Gods.  God is counting neither the number of ‘likes’ your post has generated nor the number of times His name is tweeted.  It is surely not a gateway to heaven, nirvana or moksha, but will merely help some Godmen and their cronies rake in the ‘moolah’.

Rather than beginning the day by posting our God’s image on the social media, we should rather begin each day with God. It is astonishing that those who indulge in this form of worship are unconscious of the pettiness of the whole concept.   God is all knowing and all powerful and the least He needs is your reaffirmation of faith in Him through the social media. 

To Post or Not To

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In a judgement by Chennai High Court (India), Justice S Ramathilagam ruled: “What is said is important but who has said it is very important in a society because people respect persons for the social status. When a celebrity forwards a message like this, the common people will start to believe it.”

Social media is a collection of online communication channels dedicated to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration. Some of the prominent examples are Facebook,  Twitter, Whatsapp, LinkedIn, and the list is endless.  There are many blogs, chat groups, email groups, etc, which add to the blogosphere.  A number of militant groups around the world are using social media for intelligence gathering, propaganda, recruiting, and also for communicating with other militant groups.

Social media platforms have become part and parcel of our everyday life and also play a crucial role in our society. Every day, thousands share photographs, videos, information, documents, etc through them.  Obviously, they have become an effective tool in the hands of cyber criminals, militant groups and intelligence agencies.

What are the norms to be followed while posting on the social media, making any comments or forwarding emails?  Some suggested tips  are:-

Ensure Proper Security Settings.  Every social network platform has security settings that can be easily set by the user.  It is for the users to ensure that their profiles are as secure as possible.

Ensure Your Children and Spouse are Security Conscious.  Always go through the contact list of your spouse and children with them and delete all contacts they and you do not know personally.  Advise them that in case they receive a Friend Request on any social media site from anyone they do not know, never to accept it.  There have been many instances all over the world where in terrorist groups and enemy agents have used social media to harass the family and friends.   Similarly, do not add strangers as your Friends.  It is also a good habit to cull down your Friends list, at least twice in a year.  You may also delete those friends who did not respond to your posts and also those whom you think are a nuisance.

Trust Factor.   The most important aspect regarding communication is the credibility and trust your friends and the society bestows on you.  While forwarding any mail or making any posts or comments, ensure that this trust is never betrayed.

Accountability and Responsibility.   In this is an age of unparalleled transparency, with the social media providing an open window into individual’s personal lives and minds, it is nearly impossible for anyone to disown a statement or opinion expressed on these public forums. Every netizen is both accountable and responsible for all their actions on the social media.  Any post once made, becomes the ‘property’ of the social media.  Even if you delete or edit the original post, the original still remains somewhere.  The new generation in Canada do not want any of their photographs posted or tagged showing them smoking, drinking or partying as they feel that their prospective employers might dig into the social media.  Some political leaders are now haunted by some ‘innocent’ photos of their youth their friends posted on the social media.

Uploading Photographs.  Post only those photographs that you feel are a must and always give a comment as to why you are posting the photograph.  In case you cannot write a line or a few words as to why you are posting it, it is better to avoid posting that photo.  Posting too many photos is never worth the effort.

Disable Geotagging or Location Based Posts.  In case not disabled, it would provide adequate fodder for the snoopers to gain information about the user’s exact geographical location, thereby revealing much more than one can even imagine.

Awareness About What You Post.   There are hundreds of your friends, their friends and acquaintances, reading your posts.  They may come from different backgrounds, beliefs, religions, customs, etc.   In case your post is likely to hurt the sentiments of any individual, group or a community; it is always better to avoid such posts.  Whenever you post anything against any religion, group or community, always think of your colleagues and friends, then decide for yourself about the respect they may have for you after they read it.   Always think before you post.

Respect Privacy.  The Indian media does not respect privacy and that does not mean that everyone should follow suit.  During the funeral of martyred Colonel MN Rai, Yudh Seva Medal at Delhi, the media and the netizens went berserk with the video clippings and images of the daughter of Colonel Rai saluting the mortal remains of her brave father.  That was a private moment for a daughter and everyone got to respect it.  The Chief of the Army Staff consoling the daughter was also a very private moment for the Chief and hence need to be respected.

Chain eMails and Chain Status Updates.   One often gets these chain e-mails or posts which says that to receive the blessings of a particular God or Saint, forward it to ten of your friends.  Some demand you to forward to ten of your friends else  you will die a horrible death and the list goes on.  By tracking these emails or posts, intelligence agencies, marketing agencies and cyber-crooks  collect information about you, your friends and their interests, beliefs and political leanings, etc.

eRumours.   Next time you receive an email or a post which sounds it might be an eRumour – when in doubt -check it out. Here are some quick ways to check the facts before forwarding or sharing it:-

  • Contact a reliable source, such as a government agency, a professional society, a company or an organisation with expertise on the subject. Many would have already given clarifications about these rumors on their websites.
  • Verify the source and if you cannot easily verify the original source of an e-mail – either the original sender or the alleged source of the information – it is likely to be an eRumour. The perpetrators of such eRumours often falsely attribute misinformation to a seemingly legitimate source.
  • Some eRumours claim to be based on television news stories or are written to sound like news articles. Most news outlets post recent stories, so you can check them out on the TV’s website, even though many news the media channels put up may have their colour.
  • Visit a myth-busting website that lets you search by key words or phrases. If your topic turns up, you will have more information in seconds. If it does not, you can always submit a new rumor for review. These myth-busting sites have searchable archives. You may even bookmark them for future reference.

Share or Forward Only if You Must.  Many times one receives a post or email about a social cause, encouraging those who read it to share it with their friends.  This sharing or forwarding goes on in the network and the chain help spread awareness about the cause.   The intention of the originator was right, but one gets annoyed to see everyone sharing or sending you the very same message.  Sometimes one may notice something of value worth sharing. Hold your horses for a few hours (minutes)  and you will in all probability see someone else sharing it.  During this ‘hold’ time, analyse as to what part of the post has value and write it while you share or forward the information.  Any sharing or forwarding without this value addition is mere ‘post officing’.  Most forwards or shares is accompanied by statements like ‘Amazing Photo’, ‘Stunning Video’. ‘Excellent Article’ and so on.  Always mention as to what you found amazing, stunning or excellent so that the recipient may be benefited from it.  It may be pertinent to ask oneself these questions prior to making any posts:-

  • What is the purpose of the post I am about to share? Is it to draw attention to myself or lift me up in some way? Am I trying to make myself feel better or get compliments?
  • Is what I am sharing genuine and honest? Am I sharing it for the sake of sharing?
  • Would this post be an encouragement to others or would it tear someone down?

Email Forwarding and Plagiarism.   Forward only if you must and in case you have a line or two to write about it to give it some value addition. When forwarding, trim all unwanted ‘fat’ like forwarding history, unwanted blank spaces, etc. Ensure that the ‘meat’ is intact. Always try and use the ‘BCC’ option for multiple addresses. In case you are copying and pasting someone’s email into yours, always credit the source, else it is plagiarism and infringement of the copyright and intellectual property.

Tone.   The social media is based mostly on textual communication.  There is neither any body language for the receiver to perceive, nor is there any visual contact.   Thus the tone of your written expression conveys a lot more than you think.  It is very easy for someone to misunderstand you and presume that you are being sarcastic when you are not.  Further, everyone has their own style of writing and the reader has every right to perceive it in the way they think.  Use of emoticons can reduce suck risks to a great extent.   Putting a simple smiley face at the end of a sentence can do wonders by relieving the tension.

Use Messaging for Private and Personal Matters.   Avoid posting any private or personal matters in the public domains like the Facebook walls or photo sharing sites.  Many aspects are meant to be private among family members or your co-workers or friends.  No one is eager to hear about such matters from a public forum.  If you need to inform your friends or your family about some important and personal news  like a demise of a family member, do not declare it out in the public domain.  It is better to make a telephone call or send an email  or a message about it.

Putting Down Others.   In the blogosphere, every netizen is entitled to their opinion and are always free to express it.  Hence there is no need to put anyone down just because you disagree with that person or you dislike the person or his ideologies.  At times people criticise their friend’s friend who replied to a post, whom they don’t even know. It is embarrassing both to you and your friend.  It is always preferable to execute communication in the correct spirit.

When in Doubt, Do Not Post It, Always Throw it Out.