I speak with an accent, I admit. So do you. So does she. And him. And them. And everyone we know. Can we really speak without an accent? And sound neutral? The thing is, we never notice how we speak until it sounds different from others in a given context. I don't know how you would classify my accent. Indian, I guess. So when I'm in India, I sound like everybody else. But here, I often have trouble getting myself understood, especially over the phone. So I deliberately soften the consonants and skim over the words.
Wait, I'm coming to the point. It is this. Why do so many people - especially Indians - have a problem when other Indians sound different from how they think they should speak? Why do we come down so heavily on others whom we claim to speak with a 'false accent'? I know I have this habit of mimicking others without realising it. I used to use a lot of 'achhas' and 'haans' when I was living in a place where that was how people spoke. Now, I've gradually worn down that habit. So if we subconsciously or even deliberately pick up accents so as not sound too different from others, what's so wrong about that? Also, please tell me what's so virtuous about saying things like 'I still speak with an Indian accent despite having lived abroad for 10 years'?