How US studies India and Itself

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The US/West has a fundamentally different approach towards viewing itself and India.

It views itself from a top down approach - Starting from a study of the American state (constitution, government, etc), moving on to a study of American nationalism (revolution, civil war, world wars), moving on to a study of American cultural theology (white man's burden, manifest destiny, Christian theology), and finally onto problems in American society (racism, sexism, immigration, treatment of religious minorities).

However, it views India (go to any India-studies class in the US) from a bottom-up approach - Starting from problems in Indian society (treatment of women, Dalits, religious minorities), ascribes these problems to Hinduism and Hindu theology (caste system, Hindu patriarchy, upper caste "chauvinism"), which is considered the fundamental block of Indian nationalism (Hindutva, wars against Pakistan) and the Indian state (constitution, government, etc).

The top-down approach gives Americans a holistic picture of their own society. Whereas the bottom-up approach gives Americans a completely distorted picture of Indian society. The problems in American society are considered flaws whereas the problems in Indian society are considered features.

And America uses this worldview to embarrass India on global forum, proposing that India needs the West to "save Indians from India". What this does is it makes Indians (especially Indian-origin Americans or "Westernized" Indians) ashamed of being Indians/Hindus. Plenty of them not only reject Hinduism and Indian-ness but they also end up spewing hatred towards themselves in order to appear "modern", "civilized", and "acceptable" to their American brethren.

This obviously creates friction and resentment among Indians towards the West in general and the US in particular.
How US studies India and Itself How US studies India and Itself Reviewed by Kanthala Raghu on 7/20/2017 Rating: 5

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