Most Americans have a misconception about India and the Indian culture before they actually experience it firsthand. The prevalent image of India among most Americans is that of an impoverished and overcrowded country that is full of illiterate people.
However, if the views of a senior professor of Cal State University, Sonoma and famous author Jonah Ruskin are to be believed, this image is slowly changing and the Americans are realizing the might of India in both the economic and the social segments.
Talking to India Today, Jonah Ruskin, who had arrived to attend a program of the English Literary Society of Agra, said that India is very much like the United States in terms of developmental goals and economic progress, but still, the cultural ties among Indians are very strong.
The nationalist spirit of Indians is focused towards the development of the entire country whereas, in America, this spirit is concentrated towards personal economic growth.
Ruskin said that the authors have played an important role in making the United States a democratic society. He said that in the past decade, social media has increased the awareness of Americans towards literature.
The youth of America search for excitement in literature and books based on exciting topics have been best sellers.
Commenting on the political situation in the United States, Ruskin said that both countries need to change their views towards each other, although the current administration in the United States seems to be taking the country in a single direction towards the right.
VIEWS OF AGRA TOURIST WELFARE CHAMBER SECRETARY, VISHAL SHARMA
Asked about his comments on this, social activist and Agra Tourist Welfare Chamber Secretary Vishal Sharma said that there is a marked difference between Indian and American cultural values and although superficially the Indian society may seem to be modelling itself on the lines of the American society in terms of clothing, nuclear families, capitalist instincts, but still the Indian core values remain the same.
It is these values that differentiate India from the United States and keep the Indian family united despite the so-called 'invasion of western culture'.
He said that both the United States and India are moving on the same path of development. While the United States is quite far ahead on this road, it won't take India that long to catch up.
It remains to be seen whether these core values that form our society remain intact in this race, or they get left behind.