Does cultured mean civilised?

'Indians have culture but not civilization. Culture is how we entertain ourselves; civilization is how we entertain others. Culture is our attitude to beauty and ugliness, to power, to religion, and to family. It shows in our music, in what makes us laugh. Civilization is our attitude to mankind. It’s defined as social development of an advanced stage, but civilization never actually arrives; it is only reached for. It assumes there is high purpose to life, to wealth, to culture. It believes that man will exhibit the signs of his evolution. He will improve upon man. For this he must build—but what?...

Indians should buy their books from Landmark, their phones from Tata Indicom, their television sets and washing machines from Croma; and they should stay at the Taj. They should drink Tetley tea and Himalayan mineral water. They should watch TV on TataSky and get themselves insured with Tata AIG. Why?

Last year, Sir Dorabji Tata Trust gave away Rs201 crore. Sir Ratan Tata Trust gave away Rs153 crore. This is not CSR (corporate social responsibility) or other corporate varnish: It’s pure philanthropy. Witness its quality: Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Tata Energy Research Institute (Teri), Indian Institute of Science, National Centre for the Performing Arts. That is civilization...

The Tatas set up Teri, India’s first green industry initiative, in 1974.

Under R.K. Pachauri, in 2003, the name Tata was neatly excised from Teri and replaced with the word “The”. Now, Teri’s magazine and website are testament to the greatness of Pachauri, who will show up to collect any award you give him, including GQ Man of the Year. But that is our culture...'

- Aakar Patel, 'Parsis have civilization; other Indians don’t.'


Tatas have contributed a lot to the Indian society, GDP, employment and progress. However, the author (Aakar Patel) seems to have a problem in understanding the elite schools concept (Birla, Ambani schools).

They are targeting the kids of MPs, Bollywood stars, Babus.
Ray Titus said…
Note the 'context' to Aakar's take...Civilised vs. Cultured...Tatas vs. Birlas...Not Tata & Birla.

That's a disservice to the Tatas.

Popular Posts