Driving on the wrong lane is a punishable offence in India. Sporting a weird hairstyle is not. However, for the most of us, the former is but a walk in the park as compared to the cardinal sin of growing ones hair long. For India, dear ladies and gentlemen, has a government sworn to extreme liberalism and parents that would make Stalin seem like a kindly Santa Claus.
I am not going to question the science here. Parents believe that long hair is bad for boys and I’ll let that be. If a father gets his 15 something boy to lose his locks, one can understand. What does the poor 15 year old know about the evils of long hair? The problem starts when the boy turns 18. Going strictly by what the Indian laws say, the lad is now sane enough to vote and find himself a wife. But the parental opinion on the correctness of hairstyle remains as strong as ever and so does their conviction that there boy still cannot decide the way his hair should be.
Another body of science, one which most parents strongly subscribe to, berates the impact of the opposite sex on teens. These parents make sure that the knowledge is passed on and by the time the kid reaches 16, the theory is so ingrained in his/her system that the a mere word with a member of the other sex feels like guilty pleasure. In fact the typical Indian parent is never really comfortable with his kid having a relationship, even when that kid is 21 and not a kid at all.
The two examples above don’t matter much in themselves. What they do show, however, is that the Indian parents like to have an overbearing influence on their kid’s lifestyle. The point I am making here is that Indian parents are staunchly anti-individualistic. There single most important aim is to mould their children into this ideal Indian boy/girl irrespective of the child’s attributes, skills and preferences. He should earn a certain amount, choose the safest career path available, be unwaveringly loyal to the family and leave matrimonial decisions to the parents. The saddest part in all of this is that parents are mostly successful in their quests and originality is bled out to the last drop. Then they proclaim that the Indian culture is the strongest in the world. The more I think of it the more I am convinced that our culture is one of our biggest weaknesses.