India has a collectivist and high context culture, where people prefer to live in close knit groups, stress on group goals instead of personal goals and give high importance on how the group around sees them, as opposed to the individualistic and low context culture existing in the west.
All cultures have their own traits and characteristics. That is Ok. But the problem occurs when this gives rise to individual depressions, crimes and oppression in the society. Students beautifully demonstrated by acting out four different situations where our collectivist culture had appeared as a bane:
- A 12th pass student who has cleared his IIT-JEE entrance but is also brilliant at acting. He wants to pursue his career in acting but his father shots down his idea by saying, 'Kya Kahenge Char Log!'.
- A young girls is raped. When she tells this to her parents, her parents tell her to keep silence about the incident and not file a complaint giving the same reason as, 'Arre, Kya Kahenge Char Log, agar unhe pata chala to!'.
- Husband of a newly married family dies. His parents and society blame the girl for bringing him the death. She lives in despair throughout the life. When someone suggests to remarry the girl, the answer is, 'Kya Kahenge Char Log!'.
- A couple who is not able to conceive after many attempts when suggested by the wife that her husband should go for a medical check up he responds, 'Kya Kahenge Char Log!'.
I have always wondered - kon hain ye char log. Probably, so have you. But at times we are the one's who are included in that 'char' log. Let's be supportive for our friends and family. I just wish that next generation is not raised in the fear of this CHAR log.