There is absolutely no need to reiterate that the Indian culture is very complex and will take perhaps a lifetime to fully grasp. It can, definitely, not be described in seven points.
But Minister of Culture, Mahesh Sharma, does not think so.
In an interview to The Telegraph , the minister explained to everyone what Indian culture is in seven simple points.
Here are the five points, just in case you were confused about what exactly Indian culture is:
1. Three generations cooking in the same kitchen and eating on the same table.
2. The relationship between parents and children and the respect they have for each other.
3. The emotions Indians have for each other and the relationships they respect...
4. My (Indian) values and books should be read before you read novels.
5. Before youth go to gain wisdom from Thailand, Dubai and Singapore, they must gain wisdom from our own museums and heritage.
He ended up citing only five and said he will explain the other two later.
These pointers are debatable to say the least. But then he further added (what we should have seen coming):
" Western culture is not bad but it may not be good for us. Here, 15-year-old children don't leave their parents. A 14-year-old girl wanting a night-out may be alright elsewhere but not in India. "
We, however, do have seven questions for you, Mr Minister of Culture:
1. Do you think cooking and eating together and emotions constitute a culture?
2. Do you not think that maybe there is more to understanding a culture than these trivial pointers?
3. How many of the museums that you so proudly boast of are even in the condition for a visit?
4. Could you, maybe before telling what people should read, try and understand that not everyone can? That for a large section, having a decent meal is more of a priority than upholding one's culture?
5. Do you not think that by giving these five pointers you have acknowledged that neither do you have any understanding of the Indian culture nor of India?
We will explain the other two later.