If at all, what do you hate the most about being Indian or being from India?

If at all, what do you hate the most about being Indian or being from India? by @GetLifeBytes

Answer by Anshul Agarwal:

Look at this young man-

Sarvshreshth Gupta

Image Source: Goldman Sachs’ Analyst Death Toll Rising

Sarvshreshth Gupta, 22, rechristened 'Sav' at workplace, committed suicide by jumping off his apartment building in San Francisco last year in April. He attended Wharton Business School and was an analyst at Goldman Sachs. He killed himself after going sleepless for two nights straight for he was overloaded with work.

They say that stressed life at Investment Banking killed him. Sure it did. Here is what he said to his dad-

"Papa, I do not get enough sleep. I work twenty hours at a stretch.” During certain weeks, he was working on weekends too. “This job is not for me. Too much work and too little time. I want to come back home.”

Source: "A Son Never Dies" by Sunil Gupta – Moving Letter from a Father of an Ibanking Analyst

But he didn’t come from a background who couldn't cope with the pressures of the workplace. He grew up with the pressure to excel in academics as well as extra-curriculars. He attended an elite school, spent time reading encyclopedias, books brought by his dad from all over the world. He was enrolled in a sports club to learn Squash/ Lawn Tennis/ Table Tennis/ Swimming, to ensure that he did not feel inadequate at any point in life. Participation in debates, writing competitions, poetry, and such, was natural.

Here are some excerpts from his dad's blog post on his death (pay special attention to bold words):

“As he grew up and was enrolled in a formal, elite school, my task was to drop him and pick him from the bus stop. While we waited for the bus to arrive, I would read out from general knowledge books and encyclopedias to him… From the beginning, I inculcated in him the spirit of competition, of winning… As my son got into his preteens, I started taking him to our sports club, the Siri Fort Club. There I introduced him to Squash, Lawn Tennis, Table Tennis, and Jogging. I was so ambitious and enthusiastic that I wanted my son to learn all these games, my effort to ensure that he did not feel inadequate at any point in life. He did become the proverbial, ‘jack of all trades.’… From mid-January, he started complaining, ‘This job is not for me. Too much work and too little time. I want to come back home.' As probably, any parent would react, we counselled him to keep going, as such difficult phases were inevitable in a high pressure new job. “Sonny, all are of your age, young and ambitious, keep going.” In third week of March 2015, he submitted his resignation, without consulting us, and called us. Not something I wanted him to do, at this stage of his career. I desired, that he should complete his one year at Goldman Sachs, learn something about corporate life and then decide. By a quirk of fate, he was asked by his company, to reconsider his resignation and under pressure from me, he rejoined.

Source: "A Son Never Dies" by Sunil Gupta – Moving Letter from a Father of an Ibanking Analyst

What actually killed Sav was not the pressure at the workplace, it was the pressure that he felt within. From the values that were inculcated in him – intense competitiveness, and being number one. Pressure to excel in everything you do or to become the jack of all trades. Pressure to run the rat race because 'everybody does it, so you can do it too.'

Sav wasn't alone to bear the brunt of overcompetitive parents. Kids, as young as 10 yrs old today, are becoming suicidal owing to the mounting pressure of doing their best in everything they do. They are forced by their parents to develop extra-curricular interests, are enrolled in badminton, tennis, gymnastics, swimming and more such sports. They are signed up for special classes to hone dance, music and drawing skills. They are even sent to supplementary batches for advanced academic preparation for the next session. All in the name of 'being number one,' 'being ahead of the game.’

They (parents, school) are trying to make an Android work like an iphone. It starts as early as when they are three to four years old. Parents impose their desire to achieve what they could not in their own lives on their children. In the process, the message that is sent to the child is that no matter how much you try, it's never going to be enough. By the time the child reaches 10 to 12 years, many of them turn suicidal. Many even start experimenting with drugs.

In one case, class 5th student Rahul, had been starting his day at 6 am and heading back home only at 7.30 pm. Bogged down by a hectic life, the class topper's performance dropped. In the first signs that something was amiss, he was unwilling to go to school, then he started locking himself up in his room. In another such case, a class 8th student, who was being sent for special classes for academics, swimming and dancing simultaneously, started avoiding school altogether. He started complaining of headache and stomachache and turned from a high performer to a non-performer.

…mounting pressure to excel in academics as well as extra-curriculars… bogged down by hectic schedule… children hardly spend two waking hours at home… trend has been triggered by 'competing parents'… the whole process ends up killing the unique personality of children and pushes towards unhealthy competition.

Source: Times of India, 24 June 2016 (image below)

Source: Times of India, 24 June 2016

This is what I hate the most about being Indian. Parents demanding their kids to be number one in everything they do. And to have the pride, satisfaction, happiness and arrogance of this feeling. In an effort to prepare them for a big life, to win all wars and battles, they develop their kids into the type of person who is constantly pushing to excel in all walks of his life. A person who feels constant stress, lives with perpetual anxiety, feels little control over what happens with his life, since he has put the control outside- on outcomes of these events. This inner torment is enough to break the kid eventually.

1. Demanding kids to be ahead of the game.

"Sharmaji's son is settled in US and is doing very well."

Be ahead of the game

2. Ensuring that the kid does not feel inadequate at any point in life.

"I must prepare him to face the challenges of the life. He'll never be disappointed if he always wins."

Focus on winning

3. Inculcating the spirit of competition, of winning

"Come on… it's a man's world. You need to toughen up."

Spirit of competition

Even if you perform well, you won't be satisfied with yourself, unless you stand first. Sav only wanted to acquire the qualities his dad desired in him, since childhood. He wanted to prove to his dad who brought him up with such sincerity and involvement, that 'Papa, I love you.'

When I wrote an answer to Anshul Agarwal's answer to What are the most important things I can teach my child?, with 9.6k upvotes, a lot of people asked me in the comments 'what is wrong with asking your kid to always do your best?' The comment itself reflects the unhealthy disposition of Indians.


Disclaimer: All the above illustrations are made by me, and are not collected from the web.

More such posts can be found here and here.

If at all, what do you hate the most about being Indian or being from India?

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