How do you explain India?

In the globalized times, amidst the rise of India and China, there lies a mounting international interest in the developing countries. Despite the anonymity of the achievements of the said nations amongst the western attire, there lays emphasis on the mystical characteristics with respect to India. Countless tourists worldwide, attracted by its historical and spiritual narratives, pay it a visit. So what exactly is India?

India, just like any other nation is a geographical expression. However, surprisingly, it embraces and enjoys an extraordinary mixture of ethnic groups, a profusion of mutually incomprehensible languages, all-important topography and climates; the diversity of religions (all global religions), and cultural practices. It includes extraordinaire economic development (historic and post-independence). Although, anything we say about the country, the opposite also stands true.

Some interesting facts about India not everyone knows:

  1. There are more than 2000 ethnic groups;
  2. There are 22 languages spoken and written in India;
  3. There are more than 720 dialects;
  4. There are more than 1652 mother tongues in India;
  5. India has all important topography and climates (including 4 major seasons);
  6. India has all global religions, confirming the diversity of religions.

Yet, it is more than a sum of contradictions. It inspires and motivates. To the people unaware, one cannot comprehend and come to grips with the level of magnitude and bewildering contrasts this land presents. The nation, being the largest democracy in the world is also home to the oldest cast system. A land steeped in spirituality (also superstition) is one of the leading figures in the world of information technology. The country that gave Mahatma Gandhi, the international persona of non-violence, is periodically convulsed by bloodletting- paradoxically abound.

It imbibes and embezzles the motto- “Satymev Jayate: Truth alone triumphs”, although whose truth’ remains unanswered, it remains combustion of right and wrong.

It has explored economic development from the ground, risen from the ashes, and ventured on to become a booming service economy while abiding by the bigger picture. A country bound by mystery, it has sustained the ghost of corruption and red-tapism in the mix of bureaucratic hurdles, idealism, and inefficiency. Yes, some vested interests have dampened its progress and growth, yet the extraordinary tale of triumphs are remarkably showcased in such a meager amount of time.

India happens to be an ever-changing land of cliché. It enjoys an extraordinary degree of change and ferment, including but not limited to- revolutionary political, economic, social, and cultural practices. In politics, the country has paved its way from single political party governance to a multi-party coalition system. In economics, it has leaped from a conservative approach to liberalization. In caste and social change, the country has witnessed remarkable convulsive changes. All this is managed through an accommodative and pluralist democracy.

Rich in history and culture, it is said that ‘if world trade were conducted purely in terms of cultural products, then India would have had a thumping annual surplus’.

Unsparingly, the country also lays infested with the serious issues of corruption, illiteracy, the laden gap in the gender ratio, poverty, throat-searing pollution, water shortages, the ever-expanding population, and the hinge of un-impressive politicians leading the impressive democracy. Yes, there have been caste conflicts, linguistic clashes, inter-religious riots, and threats originating from the separatist groups. Yet, despite the countless faults, the country’s democratic experiment has worked. Its political division has helped it diffuse each of these. It is reflective of the fact(s) that the representatives from the minority communities have held the major position(s) of the most populous state in India, and have led the Presidency of the country too.

It is globally the only English-speaking country wherein the print media is expanding rather than contracting while supporting the largest number of all-news television channels (electronic media).

Despite all the aforesaid limitations, combustion(s), and satires, what remains of the mystery in India? It is nothing less of a miracle of miracles. A place visited and admired by many. An intriguing land is nothing short of a mystique.

by boringbug

Statistics- Ministry of Human Resources and Development, Government of India.

45 Comments Add yours

  1. Natesh says:

    Beautiful post.This will change the mindsets of many people.I wrote something similar.Feel free to go through it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Natesh. I do hope that it is successful in changing or impressing upon people’s perception about India. I went through your post as well and admit- “we ought to be the change we wish to see”. :)


  2. She says:

    A hugely comprehensive post. Great work. I didn’t know half of these facts and I spent a fair time in India last year. Thank you for this. I saw a lot of the poverty-stricken side, which was very sad. Despite this, it was a country thriving with culture. It holds a place in my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I am glad that it was of some help.
      Poverty is indeed an issue here, however, suprisingly, it is rather highlighted as a point of attraction for western tourists when it ain’t ought to be.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. She says:

      No it really shouldn’t. It is upsetting that I could not help as much as I wanted to :( When people where I live complain about something as trivial as the weather it makes me mad; they have nothing to complain about. It sickens me to think Westerners go to see it as a tourist attraction! :O

      Liked by 1 person

    3. That’s really inspiring of you to be that considerate. Am sure everyone complaints about the weather at least once in their lifetime. The place I am right now at, has heat temperature soaring up to 46 degree Celsius, so I am one of those too. :D
      Although, on a positive note, the tourists provide people in these setups with employment. I remember interacting with a boatman at a river bank where one such slum is set up. He informed me that during peak seasons they earn up to US 50-100 $ a day. Although, the standard of living and the wages are a total mismatch.


    4. She says:

      Yes, it is true that everyone has a license to complain sometimes, especially when it is 46 degrees!!! I suppose I just refer to people who complain about very small things frequently when they have so much in their life to be grateful for, and even when you explain to them how lucky they are, they continue to moan about the little things, such as it being a bit cloudy outside. It is just saddening that people do not appreciate what they have sometimes. It is good when tourism brings jobs.certainly agree with that. A lot of people would struggle to survive without it.

      Liked by 1 person

    5. I understand where you coming from. My apologies, I was trying to be a bit humourous with that comment.
      I agree, it always hit me in the guts when I say no to the children begging on the streets. It’s a sad reality that we are forced to live with.

      I remember trying to go the areas to teach children during my free time. The support I had received from those people was surprising (it came with the cons as well).

      Liked by 1 person

    6. She says:

      :) XD I can be a bit dense sometimes when it comes to jokes. Sorry. I am about as lead-headed as they come sometimes. I’ll blame it on my blonde hair XD

      Liked by 1 person

    7. Haha, I am sure it ain’t as obscure as being a red-head, brunette and white-head (am not aware of any other colours).
      So, it comes as part and parcel of being a human.


    8. She says:

      It does indeed.

      Have you heard the saying about blonde girls in the west? There is a joke that they are all lacking intelligence. Not true of course!! (Not being biased at all😂🤣😁) But I like to sit back on it as an excuse occasionally😂🤣😆

      Liked by 1 person

    9. Hahaha. I got the reference. That includes the red head too, but then again Indians have a biased preference for blonde.

      I particularly remember a joke which goes as- “what can strike a blonde without her even knowing it? A thought.”
      Although I realised how demeaning it was.


    10. She says:

      Hahaha! That’s a good One 😂🤣😁😆 I have never hear it apply to red heads through. Did find it interesting how everyone in India was fascinated by taking my picture. Was a little overwhelming sometimes. Couldn’t even stand at a train station without a crowd of thirty people!!! What is with the interest in blondes I wonder.I suppose blondes do look different, but never thought too much of it before visiting India 😊 lovely place though. When you speak to the people, they are wonderful.

      Liked by 1 person

    11. Haha. If I remember correctly (no disrespect intended), the jokes go in the order brunette> blonde> red head. I wonder why people came up with this though.
      Ah, Indian’s paramount have been fascinated with fair skin since time immemorial. It was further contributed to by commonwealth history and mindset. So this garners extraordinary attention fair skinned tourists.
      Also, being a female it sound like an everyday scenerio here (the gap in the gender ratio). Barring certain areas, the place and people are beautiful indeed.


    12. She says:

      No offence taken at all. I am not sure where the assumptions are rooted😆 I have reason to believe the blonde jokes generally are more relevant to those this bleach their hair than naturals. I guess it shows they care most about looks so academia may not take such a priority, as a guess. The unusual attention in India was certainly an experience. It is somewhere that holds a special place in my heart nevertheless. Beautiful people through and through. Never met a bad hearted soul. I didn’t realise there was such a gap I the gender ratio. Why is that, do you know?

      Liked by 1 person

    13. Haha, I get where you coming from. We probably have similar jokes for people from different regions, some kind of common characteristics which are imbibed while growing up. So that might also be initially a reason for such jokes.

      Ah gender ratio is a deeply rooted problem. Since India is actually a unification of states and/or kingdoms, some enjoy better civic life while some states still have to grow a lot in terms of civics, human rights and education.
      I think probably the social concept of a girl and the cost of her marriage, and importance of a guy to keep a family running has significantly contributed to the reduced girl birthrates.
      Though this seems to be improving a lot.


    14. She says:

      Wow, that is a real shame. Culture is so vastly different around the world. I am glad things are changing for women in India. Must be hard to find a partner with fewer women around 😯

      We have different jokes for people who come from different areas too. Some of them are quite good😊

      Liked by 1 person

    15. Oh it is. The thing is the the country is so vast, that you find everything out here. Every socio-political reasonings to variety of cultures.

      Haha, I am sure many of the guys from northern india are facing the heat (absence of female partners). Though the other states are considerably doing fine.

      I remember traveling to UK when I was young. I learned a few Scottish, Irish jokes. And yes I was surprised at the Paki slang(s).


    16. She says:

      You do live is a vast country, both in size and variety. It must be a very interesting place to live😊

      I am glad you have been able to travel and see other countries. A lot of people I have spoken to from India have said they want to travel but have yet to see any country but their own. It is such a shame. I hope they manage to live their dreams.

      Liked by 1 person

    17. That is indeed true. I consider myself one of the privileged people here. Although, I missed out on the Stonehenge and I aim to visit it someday.
      Presently I have been trying to cover my country. The entirety of eastern states, beaches in the south and Himalayas in the north are in my bucket list (if I can term it as one).

      Liked by 1 person

    18. She says:

      I have traveled to a lot of countries, but I have never been to the Stonehenge either. I imagine I will see the giant stones on Easter Island before I see stone Henge. I think sometime you forget about the things that are practically on your doorstep XD

      I wish I had manged to see more of India. I was lucky enough to see the golden triangle, Varanasi and the Himalayas, although it is a shame I couldn’t reach Darjeeling before leaving. I would like to go back and see the south.

      Where are your favorite spots in India? I have heard the beaches in the south are quite beautiful!

      Liked by 1 person

    19. Haha. I have been fascinated with Stonehenge to the extent that I literally forced my friend to visit it during his studies (since I couldn’t). It happens, I am yet to explore my home town too.
      I haven’t been to Darjeeling, although I have seen the videos to boast the fact that on good days it’s beauty is comparable to that of Switzerland (although the view from mount pilatus is one of a kind in the world).

      From tourists point of view, Delhi, Jaipur, Jaisalmer and Ahmedabad in North West, the Khajuraho temples and Orchha city, Konark Sun Temple in Orissa (central India).
      I would recommend Goa, Pondicherry and Kanyakumari for beaches in the south. They are safe and beautiful.


    20. She says:

      Yes, I would love to see those beaches. I was lucky enough to see Jaipur, Agra and Orchha. Really interesting places! Goa is known worldwide as a great destination, but I have heard is is a bit too touristy now and a lot of the original charm has been lost.

      If you are ever in Europe again, I recommend going to Scotland. There is some of the best scenery in the world. It tops even Switzerland, in my opinion. It is far more rugged where Switzerland is pristine, and the water seems black where Switzerland’s is glacier blue.

      Liked by 1 person

    21. I recently explored the town of Orchha and Khajuraho. Such mesmerising gigantic structures.
      Agra’s Taj Mahal cannot be described in words. Just like the beauty of Eiffel tower.
      The beaches at kerala and Pondicherry are worth paying a visit too. Although none of them are as comparable to Malaysia’s langkawi islands.
      Yea, Goa has been exposed to commercial encroaching for too long. Although October is still the best season for visiting it.

      I dearly missed out on Scotland. I remember seeing its pictures. Iceland and Greenland are also in my to travel list. 😂
      I hope I do get to travel these places.

      Liked by 1 person

    22. She says:

      Iceland is a wonderful place. Best way to do it is to camp, because they have a rule where you can set up tent anywhere. I camped on old lava flows beneath volcanoes, next to glaciers and on the coast of lakes full of enormous icebergs. It is a wonderful place.

      I have looked into Greenland and but it is very expensive for how much there is to see there. I could go some other places in the world for a month for the money it would cost for one week in Greenland.

      It is possible to travel into the Arctic from Scandinavia, if it is the Northern territories you are interested in. I journeyed up there this winter. The seas are all frozen and I learned to drive huskies and reindeer and snowmobiles to get around. Everything is pristine white. Very nice place. Nothing AT ALL works int the cold though. My phone, all my cameras dead in moments becuase the batteries cannot hack the low temperatures.

      Taj Mahal really is lovely, yes! It was a shame that when I visited it, for the first time in history, it had scaffolding around parts of it. It was still magnificent nevertheless.

      Yes, I also hope you manage to go to all these places!

      Liked by 1 person

    23. Thank you. You are such an inspiration. I doubt I shall be able to survive in such climatic conditions, considering the fact that I come from a place with moderate climate.

      Ah, traveling is indeed an expensive hobby. I hope your words do come true. (Can I be jealous of you?)

      Liked by 1 person

    24. She says:

      Oh no, please don’t be jealous. Just strive to be a complete person. Jealousy eats at people and leaves an empty core an no ambition. Be your lovely self. Save some money, live your dreams, and then tell me all about it!!! :)

      Liked by 1 person

    25. That’s sweet of you. If you say so and if I live long enough, I’ll definitely live my dreams.

      Liked by 1 person

    26. She says:

      If you live long enough??? I hope there is nothing wrong!??!

      Liked by 1 person

    27. Haha. No, it was a metaphorical manner of conveying that the bucket list is long enough to complete in a short span. XD

      Liked by 1 person

    28. She says:

      Phew!! Well, that is good :) I think these things need to be tackled in small pieces. I know I will never see all the places on the planet I want to see, but I am prioritising for now. Sadly, it is finding the time when I am able to travel which is the biggest problem. I hope one day to have some form of business that will allow me to travel and work on the road. That is the dream!!!

      Liked by 1 person

    29. Haha, you stole my words here. I wanted to be engaged in a field where I get to travel to exquisite locations. Although, work occupies half of the time.
      You can become a travel blogger, writing memoirs and/or travel blogs of your visits. I have heard that it attracts good sponsors.

      Liked by 1 person

    30. She says:

      It is a possibility, I guess you are thinking along similar lines perhaps? The problem is making enough money to sustain travelling. Travel is sooo expensive.

      Liked by 1 person

    31. I agree with you. Until I get burdened up with the family responsibilities, I might be able to live some of them.
      I tried budget traveling last time which included staying in hostels. It was a peculiar experience.

      Liked by 1 person

    32. She says:

      If you don’t mind me asking (as I think this might be a culture difference, which I love to learn about), what are these family responsibilities?

      No, I am not very keen on hostels either. I like my own company too much, and quite often they were not very clean. I also do not like sharing a room with eight other people who keep you awake all night. I am very fond of camping :) either with a tent or motorhome/ caravan I have done some travel also by hotel, but I felt as though the experience was cheapened somehow, or that I wasn’t seeing the ‘real’ country. Things are changed to accommodate for tourism where hotels have built up. AirBNB is quite good, if you can find a place in the locals’ area.

      Liked by 1 person

    33. Haha, don’t apologise for naught. There are some cultural references, indeed, like people in India tend to get married by 25-30, and are made to tend to their families (like children, parents etc).
      Although, it applies worldwide, I have heard from many professionals that once they had children they couldn’t focus on traveling.
      I had the same presumptions about hostels, but there are some agencies which provide you with beautiful experiences. I found Zostel(s) quite good in terms of facilities and gentry.
      Camping and tents have been one of a kind experience. Although I have never been in a caravan.

      Liked by 1 person

    34. She says:

      I suppose our culture is similar. We tend to be married by around 30, although, is some cases, much later. Then people have children.

      The change taking place these days is that so many people are making the choice not to have children. I think there is a feeling that the world is fairly overpopulated, and some feel they would like to do their bit to save the planet. In my opinion, if you are not fussed about having children and the world is overpopulated anyway, then leave it to the people who have a calling to be parents. It makes sense to me.

      Perhaps I will look into Zostel. The ones that provide the option of your own room are not too bad. Caravans are great fun! It is living like a tortoise, or travelling with a hard tent with toilet and running water and a full kitchen. I have a caravan, she has travelled thousands and thousands of miles with me. She is a little old now, and I am sorry to have to think about selling her when we have done so much together, but keeping her does not make financial sense. I named her Bella, because she is so pretty inside.

      Liked by 1 person

    35. This culture is developing in the metropolitan cities in India, otherwise majority gets married by 21 (on availability of bride and groom). I think not wanting to have children can also be attributed to the inflation and the rising cost of living.

      Although, India and China’s population growth rate doesn’t seem to support such thesis. :P

      You are so lucky and well organised to have had a caravan in your year long journeys. I agree, it’s difficult to let go of things when we have sentiments and years of memories attached to it.
      I am sure Bella will comeback to you in another form and shape (probably a new caravan).

      Liked by 1 person

    36. She says:

      Sadly, I doubt I will get another caravan. I am travelling too far these days. She just isn’t getting the use she once did. I loved my time with her though (oh wow, now I am talking about her as though she were living XD!!!)

      Very interesting what you say about India, I am glad people are leaving it a little later to marry and have a family. Do arranged marriages still take place most often, or is it choice now?

      Liked by 1 person

    37. Ah, I understand. It’s not easy parting away from the things that have been in your possession for long.
      You just need a good excuse to buy one (except for the cost). Rest will be history.

      Haha, well if it wasn’t for arrange marriages then India’s population would have dropped by 50%. It’s still the heart and souls of the Indian cities, towns and villages. I doubt if it’s going away anytime soon.
      The thoughts I represent are barely 2% of the 1.26 billion people. XD

      Liked by 1 person

    38. She says:

      Wow, the thought seems quite foreign to me. I couldn’t imagine being told I would have to marry a man I didn’t know. Although, the west does have a staggering divorce rate XD

      I hope you will have a choice, if you want one.

      Liked by 1 person

    39. So true. There are marriages in which the bride and the groom see each other for the first time on the day of marriage itself. XD

      Haha, I am the privileged few who has the freedom to decide upon my own life. Hopefully by the time I reach 30 I’ll be busy traveling rather than concerning myself with this.


    40. She says:

      I am pleased that you have that freedom☺ it is something we take for granted here. Yes, I hope you will be free and travelling, but mostly that you will be happy!

      Liked by 1 person

    41. That’s too kind of you.
      I guess the freedom comes with the fundamental human rights (:P), which ofcourse people here aren’t completely aware of.
      Happiness indeed is a lifetime goal.

      Liked by 1 person

    42. She says:

      And a fantastic life goal to have. An incredible one to achieve :)

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s