Taboos in Indian Societies

We Indians are not only governed by rational decision making but also by the societal norms which we are encouraged to follow. A culture or a society guides the behavior and the thoughts of their members by agreed upon expectations and rules. These norms and taboos have a huge effect on our lives. The ways we behave, dress, eat, and drive as well as our sex life, are all governed by the norms and taboos of the societies we belong to. In Indian societies, there are numbers of taboos available which are being faced by people such as smoking, drinking, divorce, menstruation struggle, open discussion on sex despite of the fact that India is second populous country in the world, live in relationship, sex before marriage, sex education, love marriage, inter caste marriage, struggle with parent’s thought about career aspirations etc. If we take example of smoking, smoking is bad for anyone’s health but not for anyone’s character. In India, individuals who smoke are considered to have a very questionable character and if a woman smokes, people think it is a masculine trait and female should not do. Another issue that should be pointed out is divorce. If any couple gets separated due to any issue, people think that they must be involved in some another affair and seen not as respectable as earlier. Many married couples adjust with each other by keeping in view the thoughts like “what will people say” if we do so. Despite of spreading so much awareness about using sanitary pads, still rural females are not doing the same. In Indian societies, females are expected to remove themselves from people during the days of their period. In fact, periods are natural and a gift of God. Another issue is inter caste marriages. In this educated world, still it is not acceptable in Indian society. Marrying in lower caste or out of caste is not readily accepted. In extreme cases even the couple leaves the family completely. Some time love marriages can often lead to honour killings. Most of the Indian parents want their children to become a professional like doctor, engineer or lawyer. Sometimes Indian parents disregard the career preference of their children over what society will think. Being a chef or a hair dresser are not valued as being a doctor or engineer in Indian society. Even though both profession require hard work and some sort of education. We all agree that Indian culture is vibrant and a loud celebration of colour and happiness but the darker side cannot be ignored. To get rid of the taboos that make Indians intolerant, we just need to be a little more patient and open-minded when it comes to others. I agree that a mistake will always be a mistake, but declaring that something is wrong without even looking at its pros and cons will keep holding us back, now and forever. Let’s try to bring our country out of the idea that taboos are a part of our tradition and religion and do away with the beliefs that just leave India crippled.