Here's a nice comment by Supratim about why we don't think critically or independently in India, and why India survives primarily because of the systems that the British rulers of India built for us. The autopilot, he show, applies not only to our bureaucracy, laws and democracy, but to our city plans and even drainage.
It all starts with our "DNA" – our educational methods.
A slightly edited extract of his comment is provided below, followed by my brief comment:
Taught not to ask questionsWe are taught to always respect our elders, to never question them. From childhood we are indoctrinated to not question. The Guru-shishya parampara of ancient India has degenerated into rote and blind obedience. This may be the genetic feature that Vishal was searching for.We, Indians despise/hate westerners – who question their parents, their elders and their teachers, even if the questions themselves are framed respectfully and with a genuine desire to either learn or to point out a fallacy.Memorising, not even rote learningOur education system builds upon this and takes it further into rote learning (actually, memorising, rather than learning) and an emphasis on grades.I will give you a couple of examples:1. My niece who is in the first grade in the US does projects virtually all the time – you choose a topic, you RESEARCH it and then you make a presentation to your class – can you see how you are being taught to be self-driven, independent thinking and problem solving from such an early age? OTOH, my kids in first grade had a pile of 12 textbooks that they had to memorise and regurtitate in the exams? So what are they teaching in India? To become dictaphones.2. The British built the drainage systems of Mumbai and Kolkata some 150-200 years ago – these drains, even today with the population of these cities having increased over 100x, probably 500x, work quite comfortably in taking out the sewage water from these two cities, except in exception circumstances? Can you see the vision at work here? They built systems that are still capable after 200 years.OTOH, we have the examples of Bangalore and Chennai, which became metropolises much later under Indian "administration", essentially having no drainage system worth the name, so much so that even 2cms of rains will flood these cities.[There is] no easy solution – except the passage of time, and greater exposure of Indians to the "systems of western civilisation".
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