Change is the only thing that is constant in our world today. We have been experiencing change in all spheres of our lives and will continue to do so; thanks to various factors.
But there are certain things that haven’t really changed yet. And one of them is the tendency to stereotype.
we all know, a stereotype is a widely held but fixed and oversimplified
image or idea of a particular type of person or thing.
We are all live in the internet age, where information is just a click
away. But it is quite surprising that generalizations and preconceived
notions still exist in our world today.
Stereotypes about Indians
We Indians are constantly stereotyped about various things ranging from
our skin colour to our economic stature. Is there some truth to these
generalizations and assumptions, or are they totally baseless? This is a
Example: “Indians tend to downplay their abilities.” This statement is a
typical case of stereotyping.
But is there some truth to it? Or is it as false as they get?
In my opinion, the stereotype about us downplaying our abilities does
have a certain degree of truth to it. The expression ‘there is no smoke
without fire’ is applicable in this context.
We Indians are really capable people. But the problem lies in the fact
that we do not make full use of our skills and abilities. Sad,but true.
Here are a few examples-
Who invented zero? We did. Aryabhatta, an Indian mathematician, first
used it in his place value system.
Who invented the game of chess? We did. The earliest precursor of modern
chess is a game called chaturanga, which flourished in India by the 6th
Who invented plastic surgery? Again, it was us. Reconstructive surgery
techniques were being carried out in India by 800 BC.
Apart from the ancient inventions, there are many recent inventions too.
Hybrid electric stoves that save 70 percent of fuel costs, modified
lanterns that produce light equal to a 100-watt bulb but run on
kerosene, diesel or ethanol, etc are all recent Indian inventions.
But none of these recent inventions are outstanding. In spite of the
immense potential we Indians have, we haven’t achieved any major
And why is that? Simply because we don’t
What prevents us from doing so?
Is it just apprehensiveness, or are we really devoid of talent?
My answer would be that we are definitely apprehensive; we hesitate to
showcase our abilities and are also very lazy. We do not want to strain
ourselves and prefer to follow the herd.
As Steve Jobs said, ‘the difference between a leader and a follower is
innovation.’ And till we innovate, we cannot become leaders.
So, we are not leaders anymore. We have become followers- we follow the
treaded path and do not blaze a trail.
For example, let me take the case of the cinema industry. A large number
of formula films are churned out repeatedly, day after day. Remakes are
the order of the day. The formula for success has become cliched. While
there are a few offbeat films, the incidence of similar storylines is
We are afraid to experiment and hence remain mediocre. We are not
willing to showcase our abilities or utilize them to the fullest extent.
Indians also ape the west in almost everything we say or do. We seem to
have lost our originality through the times.
example, the use of and fluency in the English language has become a
prerequisite for success in our country. Regional languages have taken a
backseat of sorts and we are all running behind ‘English’, a foreign
language. I do not deny that knowledge of English is helpful and useful.
But the fact that it has gained more importance over other languages is
something that is not acceptable.
Due to the aforementioned reasons, Indians are stereotyped as people who
downplay their abilities.
How do we overcome stereotypes?
In order to overcome the stereotypes made against us, we have to find
how others stereotype us (if possible, getting them to stereotype us
For example, if we are stereotyped as a ‘shy’, we can begin
by coming out of our shells and interacting freely with one and all.
change a person’s view of our stereotype, we’ve got to be consistently
different from it. At the same time, we should be aware of our own
stereotyping blinding us to the true nature of other people.
It is his thoughts that separate the highly developed creature called
man from an animal. So as long as we don’t think out of the box,
innovate and start sharing our talents, we cannot really overcome the
stereotype about us Indians.
It is essential that we stop feeling shy about flaunting our strengths
and try to maintain a healthy balance by underplaying and overplaying
our skills. This can and will make all the difference in the world.