India vs USA – The inevitabilities
Back in India the notion remains ingrained that the States would turn out to be the ‘World through tinted glasses’ with its myriad of entertainment scopes, scenic beauties, work culture and numerous unlisted avenues. Justifiably so, because that is exactly the way America has been pulled over our eyes. And, we never grew out of this. But your first footstep on this enormous land slowly starts to prove that whatever you have been offered, is the half-truth. Now, it becomes the question of finding out on your own.
Heading from airport to the residences, groceries to banks, cybernation engulfs the nation. Whether it’s a boon or a curse is of course a paradox, yet let’s explore. Only the tech-savvy strata would be benefited by flamboyant technicalities like call monitoring, online check deposition, online reservation etc. But travel a few hours forth and you would find that India is ahead in only in ‘time’ (strictly speaking, the time zone). How many people do we find in the queue just for some cash deposit errand in India? Not just a handful, as per the real time scenario. Does that pinpoint something in a matter-of-course way? It does. The vast majority in India need to be uplifted, injected with the ‘advancement’ potion and relocated in a different era altogether.
Coming to the bridge, let’s cross it now. The prominent metropolises in India are now enmeshed with flyovers, traffic rules have become stringent than ever before, transport facilities have bettered. Well, undeniably. Then why do news headlines get flooded with at least 15 accidents per day due to traffic collisions? Contrariwise, in USA accident rates are conspicuously low. Even in case of one, the responsibility of the incident is shared equally between the pedestrian and the driver. Goes without saying that this is not an often seen scenario in India, where even if it’s due to the sheer carelessness of the pedestrian, the driver falls prey to heinous public outrage. Be it the promptness of the USA cops (who are just a stone’s throw away just at the dial of 911) or the extreme laze of the Indian police who will think a dozen times before filing an FIR, it is for sure , that India needs transmutation on a serious scale.
The much vaunted lifestyle of the States however is belittled by the ‘expense’ factor. While renting a luxurious apartment in India costs 30,000 to 50,000 INR, renting just a 2 bedroomed apartment in the States costs 2,500 US dollars. Judging by the current rate of 1 dollar (equivalent to 60 INR), this is quite a pretty penny to shell out. The same scenario persists in the sphere of education. Even the very thought of pursuing higher education in USA is a pretty brave plunge for an average Indian earner. While a Bachelor’s Technology degree gets completed within a decent 4 lakhs INR, a graduate degree in even any of the unranked US universities amounts to 30,000 USD per year. Speaking of staples, though the food habit in America is totally different, but for an affluent family to survive, the cost on food items might be as high as 1000 usd per month. Medical expenses are sky-rocketing compared to India, and thereby survival without a health insurance becomes impossible. Transportation facilities in India is much more convenient. On the flip side, survival in USA becomes way difficult if you do not own a vehicle.
Pacing towards the social framework, USA and India stand poles apart. The social fabric in the States is outlined totally by broadmindedness and free thinking. While the typical Indian mind is infested with infectious parochial outlook. Perhaps, that is the very reason, why right in the 21st century, Indian parents are not liberal enough to allow their wards to choose their own spouse. The Indian society still has not grown out of several evils and is heading towards a more etiolated state with each passing day. Our politicians, more accurately, the eternal demagogues, are the neat icing on the cake when it comes to devastating the nation. At the back of our mind, we still have the categorization when it comes to career. You lose face when you are not a doctor or engineer. But this stands out in stark contrast when compared to the work culture in the States. No work, however negligible it is, is demeaned socially. There is no social stigma associated with AIDS in USA. While India is still struggling to incorporate sex education within the curriculum of primary education. Clapping our eyes on position of women in India, the very question of it brings a sigh. A country that witnesses eight rapes in a minute on an average, does the big talks of women empowerment. Risible! Whereas the question of gender equality does not arise in USA, since it exists already. Women are judged not on the basis of their outfits, ways or words. The pleasant fact is, they are not judged at all. Evidently, social layering is there in America, but it never amounts to large scale social, racial or cultural discrimination. Be it the whites, the Caucasians, the Afro-Americans, the Negroes, USA has substantially raised itself to the standard of a conglomerate nation. We barely see homeless people at every alley in the United States, but paupers infest the suburbs and even main streets of some of the much hyped cosmopolitan cities like Mumbai. The slums of Kolkata and Mumbai are living, breathing proofs of abject squalor that is spread out in every nook and corner of the country.
The debate remains in full swing when the comparison comes in terms of ‘education’. While literacy rate is below 74% in India, USA still has a bone to pick with India on this. Every year millions of outsourcing is done. ‘Brain-drain’ as we call it, has been an ineluctable nexus between USA and India. Yet, coming to proper terms, Indian students still hunt for a text-book answer for every practical life scenario. To be precise, their knowledge tends to lean much more on the theoretical side. Moreover, Indian students are inclined more towards scoring and earning a degree than learning new things. The reverse scenario prevails in USA. Firstly, there exists no age bar for education. Secondly, people are more keen on learning than on adding feathers to their caps in terms of degrees. Parents are liberal enough to allow their children to choose professions as per their forte. Hence, we not only find engineers and doctors, but also people from zillions of other professions swarming the ladders of success.
So, is it India, or is it the US? Who leads? We tend to overindulge in the discussion despite its hard hitting repercussions. But keeping basic pragmatism in place, it is advisable that we weigh the prevailing scenarios in both the nations. In few aspects India has taken the pace forward, and in certain other aspects, USA is already more than a few steps ahead. There would of course be some inequalities, overt or covert. But considering the relation, transactions, interactions and current state of affairs between the two nations we can think of a virtually coalesced nation which has no ‘lagging behind’ or ‘fast forward’ factor. The time is ripe enough to utter ‘India and USA’, not ‘India vs USA’.
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