Tradition and Modernity: Friends or Foes?

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  • Topic: Sociology, Liberation, Traditions
  • Pages : 3 (785 words )
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  • Published : November 17, 2011
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Modernity in the Indian sense is, in any case, a command from the West. India did not get enough time to develop an indigenous idea of modernity because of the intervention of colonialism. At the time of Independence, urban India had inherited a rather basic problem: this was a contradiction between imposed modernity and age-old traditional values. There were, as a consequence, three options for the average Indian urban man: whether to embrace the Western model of modernity; or to go back, if possible, to her traditional roots; or to try to create a synthesis between the two. It was colonial education that brought to us a historical understanding of our culture. Western education gained currency which taught us to value our past and it became fashionable to talk about our heritage—Jyotindra Jain, Former Director of Crafts Museum, New Delhi.

Jean Baudrillard, a major theoretician of the European present, characterizes the present state of affairs, at least in the Western context, as “after the orgy”: the “orgy”, according to him, was the moment when modernity exploded upon us, the moment of liberation in every sphere—political liberation, sexual liberation, liberation of the forces of production, liberation of the forces of destruction, women’s liberation, liberation of unconscious drives, liberation of art. It was an orgy of the real, the rational, of criticism and of anti-criticism, of development and of the crisis of development. There has been an over-production now of objects, signs, messages, ideologies and satisfactions. When everything has been liberated, one can only simulate (reproduce) liberation, simulate the orgy, pretending to carry on in the same direction; accelerating without knowing we are accelerating in a void.

The impact of technology is fast changing our everyday too: the major difference may be that we are not in the age “after the orgy”, for, our revolutions have not succeeded, but have aborted, got stopped midway, our utopia has...
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