The only sin is mediocrity ~ Martha Graham
It has been rightly said that we live in an age of mediocrity and it is the only thing at which India seems to excel. I have been often termed as a “Grammar Nazi” by my dearest friends.
One day, when I corrected a friend for the hundredth time about the same little spelling mistake which bothered me infinitely, he said,” Nobody cares about perfect English. Let it go.” This got me thinking and I realised that it is in fact, true. Not just the beautiful language that I am so passionate about but in everything else too.
On further introspection, I acknowledged that that is the case with me too.
The Indian society nurtures mediocrity and aggressively prunes anyone who tries to rise above it. It has happened to us all. The Indian academic archetype clues us in.
The pride we feel after reading memes like this shows how okay we are with mediocrity. The irony is that being a land of engineers we are unable to engineer the much-needed development of it.
Many examples come to mind such as:
1.The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation(DMRC)
It was one of the only non-mediocre corporations that we used to be proud of considering that they used to deliver projects before their due dates.
Recently while interning on one of their sites, I came down within a week with typhoid.
They went from keeping the roads around their sites in first-class squeaky clean condition to not even maintaining their own sites properly. Nobody batted an eyelash till the number of accidents on their sites increased at an alarming rate.
2.The Government of India
It is probably the biggest and the most alarming specimen of the great Indian mediocrity circus.
The bar is set so low for a person to be considered a VIP in India that we are the only country with over 450 persons listed as VIPs.
One might argue that it is because of our large population and yet, China, which is a more populated country than ours has lesser VIPs than us. In 2015, the Indian Government decided to create a list of VIPs so that they get easy immigration at the US airport. Initially, this list consisted of over 2000 people.
The sad state of Indian contemporary writing with novels that are not even properly proofread being published and sold as bestsellers says something about us as a country.
The perils of the reserved quotas, pushing all kids to take up medicine or engineering and if God forbid they insist on anything other than science (that means commerce, not humanities!) to become a chartered accountant or die trying are slowly being acknowledged by the Indian society
Until a while ago, offbeat careers such as blogging, youtube-ing, stand-up comedy and even painting were considered strictly as hobbies.
The idiotic movies without even a whiff of a plotline that Bollywood creates are shown to the audience with great confidence and people queue up to watch them with confidence only proves that confidence is the prize given to the mediocre.
India is a country with a great amalgamation of a large number of cultures over a long period of time. Let us not let it be streamlined into a bunch of engineers and chartered accountants.
If we look at ourselves we will see that we have a country that has so much potential and we are letting it rot under the huge burden of inferior conglomeration that we ourselves have built.
Another even bigger irony is that we chase mediocrity trying to avoid competition, but the most amount of competition is in mediocrity itself considering 99% of people put the arm on it.
The smarter way to go is to let the students find their own passions instead of following the sheep mentality which only propagates uninspired work that is of little use to this nation.
Let us get rid of all that is run-of-the-mill and make way for a uniquely developed nation that we can become.