India is a fast-developing country with a changing global face. However, some myths about it remain strong. Let us examine the top five myths about India that prevent people from getting to know this country better.
- Poverty – India is a third-world yet developing country. While it is true that a vast number of its people live under the poverty line and face extreme conditions, it is also equally true that a fair percentage of people have the wealth and comforts for respectable living. Poverty is a reality in India, but it is a myth that the entire country is poor and starving. A rapidly growing middle-class, which forms a large part of the population, has access to world-class amenities and the best of technology, fashion, and lifestyle products.
- Disease – A popular myth about India is a general view that disease is all-pervasive, waiting to catch the unprepared. While hygiene appears to be a weak point when one views images of overcrowded slums, open drains, and mounds of litter, India is not a disease-infested country with no means of protection against germs and viruses.
- Traditional – Traditions in India define its multicultural amalgam of behaviors, habits, rituals, and ceremonies. However, it is a myth to think that its traditions make it insular to progess and progressive thought. The idea that traditions in India make it a regressive country is patently untrue. Indians have a progressive outlook and their openness and ability to absorb the good qualities of other culture while retaining their core tenets of identity helps the culture survive and thrive.
- Snake-charmers and mystics – This is probably among the most famous myths about India, probably even older than Indian temples. A popular myth is that India as an exotic land of wily snake-charmers and other-worldly mystics. Yes, snake-charmers and mystics are still a part of the country, but they do not dominate or define the identity of India.
- India is a Hindu State – Of all India’s modern myths, this one is most patently false. Despite its Hindu majority, India is a secular country that is home to almost all world religions and cultures. The country does not have a prescribed religion. In fact, everyone is encouraged to follow their religion and respect others’ rights to follow theirs, be it Christianity, Islam, Sikhism, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, animism, or what have you!
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