With the onslaught of pop culture in the past decade, a lot that wouldn’t have been in India is. The accents (American over British/British over American?), the food (they said bacon, so we said bacon), the lifestyle (selfies and brunch-with-girlfriends are staple; what are books?), the apparel trends (all tight everything and, of course, #CROPTOPS), the singular obsession with certain people (well done, Kim) and the slang (BTW jst wanna say their’s nothin wrng with this, TBH). People often point out that India is going through a massive Americanisation process, that everything that the Star Spangled Banner Company churns out, we will consume. As much as that would have been true a few years ago, it is safe to say that that isn’t the case at the moment. In fact, it’s worse. America isn’t the pinnacle. The culture from all over the world is being adopted by the most influenced demographic in our country (the youth), as in almost every other. If it’s cool, it’s to be had. Slang from America (on fleek, bae), meal styles from England (English breakfast only), music from Korea (South, naturally), et al. Above all, however, the general and unsaid disregard for most things desi. The question that underlying throughout this pop culture wave is one: who is cool enough to say that it’s cool? How did mindsets change so much that wearing ethnic garb became an event to be Instagrammed with the appropriate hashtags? Who decided that everyone’s Saturday night ritual is to go out and go out alone? What is to be understood if the only intense and deep conversations between two people are regarding a certain TV show (not naming names, but it rhymes with “shame of groans”)? And when we do read, how is it that it’s only a piece of “literature” that was conceived on an iPhone in the form of a sadomasochist fan-fiction? Bottom line: where did all the genuineness go? We can name almost all the states in the US but not know a thing about our fellow citizens from the North-East. We can talk endlessly about the upcoming 2017 elections in the United States (Donald Trump, amiright?) but be clueless about the differences between the Lok and the Rajya Sabha (“So, like, Rahul Gandhi…?”). We can change our profile pictures on Facebook to the LGBTQ flag, but hide the truth that some of us still won’t be as accepting if it was someone we knew. We can blame the government, yes. We can blame lack of progress, of course. We can blame capitalism (here’s looking at you pseudo-intellectual philosophers among us), despite being grossly misinformed. But aesthetically, what is it that’s stopping us from celebrating the richness of our own culture that has been around for centuries? Have we given in? Is the West better? Have we intrinsically admitted that to ourselves? Are we reduced at this point to share all the gross details about India in form of memes and listicles on social media and glorify the West in the same breath? Have you – yes, you, dear youngster in a country that has withstood and fought over a century of barbaric Western rule – completely missed the point?

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