I think he initially hesitated to say this, but after some familiarity & comfort, he opened up & said that India has good talent but is unfortunately very underdeveloped.
I was quick to remind him that India was actually a superpower till the 10th century, and pointed out to him that it’s all due to the 500 years of Islamic rule & 300 years of British rule, which broke our civilization, and resulted in such underdeveloped nation.
And also, started explaining him about all the breaking India forces like missionaries working overtime to keep our nation backward.
As I was explaining him this, we were stuck in a traffic jam & I noticed him keenly observing a guy on the street spitting pan-masala right there. He asked me “You see how that guy made the street dirty? Is it because the Islamic rulers & British imperialists had taught him such habits 500 years ago?”.
Frankly, I had no answer and tried to mumble something. The very next moment, he saw a vehicle on the other side of the road jumping a traffic signal, leading to chaos & more traffic jam at the other side.
He pointed it out to me and asked me “You see how that guy violated the traffic rule & caused a mess? Is it because the British taught him to break rules 300 years ago? Or is it the breaking-India-agents who are brainwashing him into breaking traffic rules?”.
My entire body became numb. I couldn’t say anything. He told me “You guys seem to be an expert in passing on the blame to everyone else but yourself. It is you people who have no civic sense, no respect for rules, no respect for your surroundings, but you people know how to easily blame everything on some medieval rulers, British rulers, missionaries, breaking-India-agents etc. How many years has it been since you got independence? 70 years?”
He added, “Look at us. In 1945, our Hiroshima, Nagasaki and almost half of our country was completely destroyed, but within 20 years each of us owned responsibility, and developed. And here, even after 70 years, you guys are busy blaming others while the fault is actually within yourselves?”
That’s it. I had enough of it. I felt humiliated, really pissed off & remained silent throughout the journey. But at the end of the day, when I mentally revisited everything that happened & introspected, I felt that what he said was right.
Unless we stop blaming others, and we ourselves gear up, become disciplined, respect our nation, respect rules, respect our surroundings, etc, we cannot improve. And this change should come from within us.