Jul 15, 2012

Nature of Indians

In his article A Dust Over India, Mark Manson makes an observation about Indians.  He paints every Indian with a broad brush and this kind of observation is often wrong.

I have met many Indians who lie.  The most interesting are those (uneducated or highly educated, rich, middle class or poor) who lie point blank and believe it is okay to do that, even when they know it will harm someone, these are the desi psychopaths.  I guess that not lying is rare when it comes to Indian business arena and its slightly to significantly less prevalent in the personal lives of Indians.  Slum Dog Syndrome may be a factor in this habit.  If the nation of Pakistan may be arguably identified as a nation of terrorists/potential terrorists/terrorism sympathizers, what will the nation of India be identified as?

An American friend recently visited India.  I wished him a happy visit but in my heart I feared that he would see all kinds of shit on the streets of India and return with a poor opinion about India.   

Indians/Hindus can be quite petty (particularly some women) in their personal lives and interactions with other Indians.  In interactions with Americans, this pettiness is covert and is not recognizable at first.  I have met some Indians who speak the truth and are upstanding human beings and it is indeed a pleasure to meet these rarities.  I reckon that Gandhi may have been a rarity among these rarities.  I have met a few Americans who lie.  I have met many Americans who more or less speak the truth.  

Here's the excerpt from Mark Manson's article:
The local I got to know the best was Sanjay, the 20-something year old who ran a hostel I stayed in. He had studied in London and been all over Europe so he was fairly westernized. He and I would stay up late together drinking cheap vodka regaling each other with our travel stories. There was little else to do after nightfall in India but get drunk. And little felt more appropriate.

But what Sanjay told me about Indian people is bizarre but true. He said Indians will rarely, if ever, resort to violence. As a foreigner, you never have to worry about being robbed, or having a knife pulled on you, or getting beaten up by a gang of thugs and having your kidney carved out of you. And this is true. I’ve been to many shady parts of the world. But never did I once feel unsafe in India. Even late at night.

BUT, Sanjay said, an Indian will lie to your face. He’ll say anything to get what he wants from you. And most of them don’t see it as immoral or wrong. So on the one hand, they won’t stick a gun in your face to take your wallet. But they’ll hand you fake business cards and offer to sell you something that they don’t actually have, so that you’ll voluntarily empty your wallet to them on your own accord.

And I have to give them credit, they’re really convincing salespeople.


Indrajit Mukherjee said...

What that imaginary Sanjay guy said is partly true (but then, everything is just partly true). Some desis take pride in cheating because they think it's a sign of superior intelligence!
One Indian eatery-owner in the dowtown area cheated me once for $3.50, and he lost six regular customers as a consequence!

Anonymous said...

@ Indrajit, I went to this Indian restaurant in Parma. Paid with a credit card. When I got the bill I noticed that there were two charges for about $90. One was legit, one was not. This is the second instance of something like this happening in over 30 years. Honest mistake or something else? No harm was done becos credit card company cancelled one of the two charges.

Cleveland Desi said...

The eatery owner probably has no idea that his/her business lost 6 customers becos the superior intelligence probably is 3mm wide and 5mm deep.

Indrajit Mukherjee said...

If the 'error' is not blatant cheating, I generally give the benefit of doubt to the business. Otherwise I talk to them and try to sort it out.
Interestingly, the large companies often make deliberate 'errors' and make millions out of that. You may go to the BBB complaints page of Cleveland Clinic. So many people complained there that their money had been 'stolen' by CCF. I've had the same experience with them!

Cleveland Desi said...

Never been to the Clinic but UH has been good so far. Clinic has 165 closed complaints. Was your complaint resolved?

Anonymous said...

Laxman, Dravid and Strauss retired with dignity, Rajesh Kanna is finally dead, whats up with Sachin Tendulkar?

Anonymous said...

Why are those of you who are criticizing this author for his article not living in India if it's such a great place to be?