The talkative Indian

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Amartya Sen in "The Argumentative Indian" writes ---

Proxility is not alien to us in India. We are able to talk at some length. Krishna Menon's record of the longest speech ever delivered at the United Nations (nine hours non-stop), established half a century ago (when Menon was leading the Indian delegation), has not been equalled by anyone from anywhere. Other peaks of loquaciousness have been scaled by other Indians. We do like to speak.

Yes we do. "Do you want cream in your coffee?". "Yes, because I don't like dark coffee and it tastes good with cream. Maybe a little sugar too". Where just an "yes" or "no" would have sufficed, this is an answer you can expect from anyone in the Indian subcontinent.

We do like to write at some length. No e-mail is ever in a monosyllable. I wonder if our Western counterparts find that hard to cope up with. Is it good to be so long winded always? According to Amartya Sen it is. What I found interesting was Sen's analysis of how this talkative and argumentative tradition has actually shaped our culture, social and secular India and above all contributed to Indian Politics (1977 emergency) and democracy. A good read in all.