Busted! Myths about India

By Chahat Paruthi, first year Marketing and Management

When people think of India, so often they think of Slumdog Millionaire, the Oscar winning film, and forget the movie showed just one side of India. India is a fusion of urban and rural population and places – it’s not just about cows, slums, Amitabh Bachchan, and spicy food! Therefore, I, as an Indian, have taken the liberty to debunk some myths about India!!!

NUMERO UNO: TRAVELLING IS DANGEROUS

Many people believe travelling in India is dangerous, and so as a result, avoid experiencing the wonders of architecture India has to offer. The Taj Mahal in Agra, the Red Fort in Delhi, and the Char Minar in Hyderabad are all examples, to name a few. And if you’ve heard rumours about our medical conditions being horrendous? Well, we have the best set of doctors, so much so other countries want Indian doctors to work for them and perform grim operations and surgeries.

NUMBER 2: INDIA IS POOR

India is a country which isn’t black or white – it’s grey. We have a blend of people living above and below the poverty line, but isn’t this the case in every country? Even so, we still are a developing country, and what outsiders often don’t consider is our rapid growth in the technological and economic industries. If you ask me, this has important consequences for the next ten years, for it could reduce India’s poverty rate to 0!

THIRD IN LINE IS: ALL INDIANS ARE VEGETARIANS

Well, I will admit considering the density of our population, we have very little meat consumption. But, I cross my heart and assure you we do eat chicken, fish, lamb, prawns, and… I will stop here, before my mouth starts to water.

NUMBER 4: INDIA IS TOO HOT

If you have had a word or two with me, you will always hear me complaining about the cold, wet weather here, and how we had a summer of 55°C this year in India. But please, bear in mind that when I say this, I am talking about my hometown, Delhi. (But hey, I sure got to eat a lot of ice cream and snow cones!) India is spread over an area of 3.287 million km², and we have temperatures ranging from 50°C to -50°C. So, if you don’t like warmer (boiling) places, then Kufri might be the place for you (it even snows there!). Ponmudi and Chail are also suggestions for cooler places, and I can list a ton, but the word limit restricts me.

NUMBER 5: THE MYTH THAT INDIAN WOMEN DO NOT WORK OR STUDY

It was according to the early Indian tradition that women were bound to become housewives and have children, but thankfully, this has not been the case for more than half a century. Otherwise, we would not have had people like Kiran Bedi, Kalpana Chawla and Suchitra Mitra.

NUMBER 6: THE TAJ MAHAL IS THE ONLY TOURIST ATTRACTION

Red Fort, The Golden Temple of Amritsar and The Gateway of India are just the most famous examples of tourist attractions. In my opinion, coming to India is a whole new level of experience. You seldom find a country with such vast history – we have many statues and monuments.

NUMBER 7: CRICKET IS OUR NATIONAL GAME

We are just cricket enthusiasts. Our national game isn’t hockey or kabaddi. According to the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs, India has no national game.

NUMBER 8: THE EXTENT OF INDIAN FOOD IS CURRY

There are many types of curry-based dishes, but we also serve a plethora of other Indian cuisine. Dishes commonly eaten in the North are not the ones eaten in the South. And not all Indian food is spicy! All we have is more flavor in our food, compared to the rest of the world.

NUMBER 9: REAL INDIA IS DIRTY AND CHAOTIC

Because of wrongly published pieces by the media, travellers are made to expect the frugal life of locals. As such, most outsiders are unaware India’s vibrant cities also offer high-end accommodation, fine dining, nightlife, and top shopping experiences.

FINALLY,10: INDIANS AREN’T EDUCATED / CAN’T SPEAK ENGLISH

According to the Oxford dictionary, the “Indian English” is the purest form of English. English is one of the twenty two official languages of India, and India also has the second largest number of English speakers in the world. And lastly, we have the highest number of people hired by English-speaking countries to work in offshore call centres, as our speech is clear, and our English is good!

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