An Observation…


One thing I’ve noticed over a couple of years is that Arts grads are more likely to support the idea of India as a “developing” country, and are less appreciative of Indian culture, and are more likely to be apologetic about their heritage.

Actually, I should rephrase that… Engineering grads are more likely to think of India as a country with a lot of potential, and are more back-to-the-roots, and proud of being Indian.

I don’t know too many non-engineers who are not Arts grads, hence the first statement. Sorry if that sounded too prejudiced… it’s empirical evidence. Plus, I’m too zonked at the moment to hit backspace.

About wanderlust

just your average books-and-music person who wants to change the world.
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9 Responses to An Observation…

  1. theG says:

    Nope, don’t agree with that. It will also be engineers who would be amongst the first to run away from the country, when they get the chance. Too prejudiced.

  2. Prajeesh says:

    Can’t comment on the first statement. DO agree that engineers are “more back-to-the-roots, and proud of being Indian.”.

  3. the Monk says:

    I’m not sure about the first statement, but one reason why you find that engineers are more likely to be proud of being Indian is probably because of the sense of community one develops from living in a hostel (I’m assuming that the majority of the engineers you know are from NITK; in fact, it may not be necessary at all that engineers who are not from top colleges feel the same) where you have talented people from all over the country staying together. I know what you mean, I totally get the sense of sheer capablity that living with smart people brings.

    Dunno about arts junta, though, hardly know any. 😀

  4. The Optimist says:

    I am new in this space. And honestly i really dont think that the field of study has got anything to do with patriotism…
    Neither does leaving the country ave anything to do with loving it. Dont many leave their moms and stay separately after marriage.. 🙂

  5. Karthik Ram says:

    Don’t have sufficient data to refute your observation. But sure can interpret it differently. Engineers are gullible enough to be led by their noses. To believe what they are told. Be proud to be indian… we are the greatest nation in the world. We are not developing, we are developed. We have T3 broadband. And a space program.

    Artists, on the other hand, are more inward looking and not afraid to question their heritage, even criticise it. Maybe they understand that much as there is to be proud of, there is more to be ashamed of. And nothing is so sancrosanct that one shouldn’t examine. Or perhaps they appreciate that all value is arbitrary.

    I am an engineer but am a researcher too. I put spin on data.

    Ok… dumb question… but what exactly is back to the roots or being proud?

    Yes it was prejudiced. Poor empirical evidence as well (issues with sample selection and something called the reviewer bias). And perhaps Ctrl+A Del would have been easier than Backspace.

  6. dushy says:

    Was it Nakul again ? [:)]
    -The non-engineer and the art stu whom u know more than anyone else??

  7. wanderlust says:

    ah, comments!
    @theG:
    i agree engineers are the first to abandon ship, but that’s only because of them finding it easy to find a good position abroad. others merely prefer to curse the darkness. and nri engineers seem to be more likely to wear ‘i love my india’ armbands than the rest.
    @the monk:
    inclined to agree a bit there. but what i was getting at was more than just that. you don’t find the same sort of attitude from people from st. stephens, i find. and they too are smart people from all over the country. at best, they become elitist and view themselves a cut above the rest, nothing more.
    @the optimist:
    this is based on empirical evidence. there seems to be a correlation, though there ideally shouldn’t be one.
    agree with the leaving and loving bit.
    @karthik ram:
    i guess i hadn’t made myself clear. i didn’t mean pop patriotism.
    what i see in ‘artists’ is that they don’t hesitate to believe the worst about the country. what’s more, they are actually willing to, and don’t see any other way things can be.
    but what gets my goat is that these folks reject outright anything even remotely indian. nothing indian can ever be good, or even good enough.
    when they look inward into indian culture, their prejudice stands in the way of their objectively analyzing anything. so eating with hands is bad, disinfecting with cowdung is bad, wearing a dhoti is backward. along with this, they apply double standards…so eating with chopsticks is sophisticated, toilet paper even more so, and wearing a kilt is perfectly acceptable.
    there is nothing wrong with asking for change, but doing so blindly and ignorantly is certainly not the way to go. chemical pesticides may be a widely accepted way to rid plants of pests, but that is no reason to call the practice of shaking pests off the plants backward.
    ‘artists’ seldom go for the holistic approach to looking at indian practices and culture in general. years of listening to seductive myths like marxism and communism have also trained them to feel radical change and ‘modernization’ is the only way a nation can ‘develop’, whatever that means.
    engineers on the other hand are used to going for whatever works.

    being proud.. so far, it means being able to say “i’m indian” without a sheepish apologetic grin.
    back to the roots… i meant paying more attention to our ‘meaningless’ customs and rituals, mostly in order to make an informed decision on whether to keep them or reject them.

    ctrl-A + Del… now why didn’t i think of that?! too zonked after a long workday, i guess.

    @dushy:
    sharp, aren’t you! this is the thing with people who know your backstories.
    but no, not this time… considering it’s been close to two years since i had a hint of our favorite arts stu, more so since there’s a geographic boundary of late.
    it was someone (an indian arts grad) giving me an insight into a different culture, and there was this air of self-deprecation about the lecture that so totally put me off.

    and two years on, i can really not claim to know nakul more than anyone else.

  8. adityabheemarao says:

    hmm . could it be due to the _current_ technological capabilities of India..
    where as India’s strengths in art, literature, and culture that is spoken of are mostly of the past, long long ago in fact.

    reminds me of Amartya Sen in The Argumentative Indian where he debates if, and why Indians should be proud..
    hmm 🙂 now thats coming from a non engineering graduate, .. 😀 (and someone now currently residing in India) lol

    an entirely related question could be why a great majority of the good candidates in India (in the recent past) chose the engineering stream..

  9. wanderlust says:

    current technological capabilities…. i’m sure there are Zimbabweans who are more patriotic.
    im talking of the unconditional love you feel for your country.

    as for your related question… it seems the most lucrative option so far, that’s why. a decade or two ago, it used to be the IAS.

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