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Getting to Consumer Culture in India.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on June 16, 2006

Thanks to Niti Bhan, I jumped into Dina Mehta’s fascinating blog and its insights into the various cultures of India—the cultures of business, the cultures of consumption, the cultures of technology and more. Not the usual “culture” you expect from this kind of discussion.

Dinah has a second part to her series. Check it out.

This is what she has to say about attitudes towards rules and regulations:
No rule is absolute, everything can be worked around, finding loopholes in regulations is perceived as smart
Paying hard earned money to government as taxes is considered dumb.
Attitude towards wealth - Goddess Laxmi resides in your house in the form of wealth; if you please her and are attached to her she will flourish, if you let her “slip through your fingers,” she will desert you.

Bribery is rampant everywhere: from acquiring a birth certificate to getting into a good school - it is ‘commission,’ almost like a service charge paid to the concerned person for doing your work.

This type of approach to rules and regulations has deeper cultural roots; Brahmins had to be paid ‘dakshina’ - fees to conduct rituals to invoke the gods, they were ‘brokers’ to reach God
Indians paid ‘lagaan’ - taxes in the feudal system, which went first to the Rajas and then the Moguls and British
Hierarchies are important to Indians - but at the same time, knowing how to work around them and the system is considered smart and right.”

Fascinating. Niti is my guide to India. Her blog is must reading.

Reader Comments


March 6, 2007 3:08 PM

I am a freedom fighter who participated in Mahatma Gandhi's Quit India Movement and was imprisoned by the British'
With these credetials,I believe that the blog of Dina Mehta reflects the reality of modern India.Why?It is another question


November 7, 2008 11:36 AM

article is not giving the real human socity the cause of consumer culture is lie in basic instinct to collect and applicable to all as global not only in india.

azwar khan

March 30, 2009 3:53 PM

hi evryone to adab


May 18, 2010 5:59 AM

Dear Individual Americans, your Govt and Corporations lie. The PTB make this outsourcing seem inevitable when it is not so. I ask you to voice your opinion and take it to the streets and withdraw buying their products. NOW!

I live in India, supposedly outsourcing heaven. Woe betide, if we allow ourselves to be treated like globally-exchanged commodites.

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