Is resignation to circumstances inherent to Indian culture?

One of the most striking things about Indian culture is that we rarely resist. For hundreds of years we have been ruled by the Mughals and the British, but apart from the independence struggle early in the last century and in 1857, there’s not much record of resistance from the masses. A few rulers did resist foreign rule but those weren’t people’s movements.


I am currently reading Jawaharlal Nehru’s book ‘Discovery of India’ in which he says (Page 62, The Quest)

“There was poverty and the innumerable progeny of poverty everywhere, and the mark of this beast was on every forehead. Life has been crushed and distorted and made into a thing of evil. And many vices have flowed from this distortion and continuous lack and everpresent insecurity. All this was not pleasant to see; yet that was the basic reality of India. There was far too much of the spirit of resignation and acceptance of things as they were.”

60 years later, it’s still the same thing. The spirit of resignation now manifests itself not just in poverty but also the apathy of people towards many other matters that are crippling the nation.

Today is Dassera, the day the Pandavas from the epic Mahabharata took up their weapons again. We don’t need to take up weapons like the Pandavas, but we do need to stop accepting things as fate and try to change things for the better.
Wish you a very happy dassera!

  • Sujay

    well, it seems strange but true that we rarely resist.
    the other day i was watching a documentry on british television and it said that one of the prime reson is our undiluted belief in our customs and traditions. we have grown under the philosphy that if there is something bad or evil we do not have to punish or correct it, it would be done by god either in this life or the next.
    that makes us passive onlookers who are accept things as they are without any questioning.
    thats why even though we are a democracy for the past 60 yrs we still do not have basic amenities like water, electricty, shelter, food.

  • Sujay

    well, it seems strange but true that we rarely resist.
    the other day i was watching a documentry on british television and it said that one of the prime reson is our undiluted belief in our customs and traditions. we have grown under the philosphy that if there is something bad or evil we do not have to punish or correct it, it would be done by god either in this life or the next.
    that makes us passive onlookers who are accept things as they are without any questioning.
    thats why even though we are a democracy for the past 60 yrs we still do not have basic amenities like water, electricty, shelter, food.

  • I think that resigning to circumstances is there in Indian culture from almost ancient times. Whenever things go wrong we tend to put the blame on our fate and even on Gods and do not come forward and take any initiative to correct it…

  • I think that resigning to circumstances is there in Indian culture from almost ancient times. Whenever things go wrong we tend to put the blame on our fate and even on Gods and do not come forward and take any initiative to correct it…