In behavioral science 'Assertiveness' means standing up for rights' which is a very approximate meaning. It's true meaning is 'Expressing our need / opinion without hesitation or fear. The opposite of 'Assertiveness' is 'Inhibitiveness' which means 'Bottling up feelings without expression' or fear of asserting for rights.
In India vast majority of us are 'Inhibitive' unlike in the West where most of them are 'Assertive' who stands up for rights firmly expressing their views. Assertiveness is the key ingredient for success in life because Inhibitive person is ignored and taken for granted.
Why in India most of us are 'Inhibitive'? Again it is the result of parenting. In India we have a false paradigms of expecting younger ones not to make eye contact with elders or not to sit in front of them or cross legs which is reprimanded as disrespect. Constantly we snub the child in the name of controlling them which is referred to as "Put Downs" in psychology. Through 'Put downs" we destroy the confidence for expression and end up as 'Inhibitive' adults who display poor competency in Leadership.
Hence as parents, treat your child as an adult and encourage them to express freely and never ever "Put down" or ridicule them under any circumstances.
Whole of my HeartNC