Sunday, August 15, 2010

For thy sake

Patriotism is not short, frenzied outbursts of emotion, but the tranquil and steady dedication of a lifetime.-Adlai Stevenson
I remember cribbing about the way we celebrate Independence Day on this very same page, last year. Like I had mentioned before I always fail to see any merit in holding a flag-hoisting ceremony followed by eardrum-splitting patriotic music(which includes songs from Bollywood movies) being played for the rest of the day. Add to that the innumerable sms forwards stating 'Feel proud to be an Indian. Happy Independence Day' (Happy Independance Day/Happy Independenz Day) that you start receiving as soon as the clock strikes midnight on the 14th of August. Clearly reluctant to shoulder the guilt of not responding to the text messages and thereby openly disregarding the significance of the most important day in your country's history, you hit the reply button and type in a 'Happy Independence Day to you too.' Sometimes without realizing what independence actually means.

How our opinions modify with the passage of time! Right at this moment I feel a little bit ashamed to think of how blissfully ignorant I had been in the past.
For those of us born in a country free from the shackles of a colonial rule, it will always be a near-impossible task to fully understand the meaning of the word 'independence'. What our history books or random news paper articles have taught us over the years can never compare to the experience of coming face to face with a sign saying 'Dogs and Indians not allowed'.(Pahartali European Club had such a signboard and was targeted by Surya Sen and his associates in 1932 for this reason)
Sitting inside an air-conditioned room fully equipped with the amenities of a modern-day 21st century lifestyle, it is an all too easy task to complain about the government's irresponsible handling of the CWG funds or laugh at the Independence Day celebrations all over the country.
But do we ever pause to think about the brighter side? A constitution that had awarded all the men and women, rich and poor, of all religions the right to vote from the beginning- how many times have we actually felt a surge of gratefulness towards the architects of such a constitution?
Even in France, the women had earned the right to vote only in 1944 and the liberal U.S. was characterized by legally mandated discrimination against African-Americans for centuries.
We have our fair share of corrupt, power-crazed politicians and bureaucrats, scandals breaking out over misappropriation of government funds, internal troubles and security threats, places like Kashmir and the north-eastern regions in a state of perpetual political unrest. We have more problems than we can afford to deal with. But then which country doesn't?
An Independence Day celebration is a way of looking back and remembering our glorious past. Even if we do not buy ourselves a flag of the nation(to dispose of it the very next day), even if we do not sing along when the national anthem is being performed or help circulate sms forwards, we can celebrate just by recalling the fact that our country remains one of the few to have earned its independence through non-violent means. Remembering the ideals of those great men and women who had sacrificed their all for the greater good, keeping in mind our rich cultural heritage and principles of secularism and equality we need to draw strength for the future.
For the future will be what we make of it. And harsh criticism, an attitude full of scorn and sarcasm will never help in shaping a better tomorrow.



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12 comments:

dialoguewithyou said...

A beautiful reflection of what all we need to be thankful of on your country's independence day.
Every country like every person has it's flaws and shortcomings, but we need to accept them along with it's merits and continue to play our role :)

A wonderful thought provoking post :D

Naveen said...

I came to know abt ur blog through blog a ton..Interesting...though independence day may not hold much importance in our current state..it surely is a way to remember all those patriots and freedom fighters who did a lot for our country and take steps to ensure everyone does something to make our country a better place..well written..keep up the good work:)

Jaspreet said...

Couldn't agree more on this! i NEVER forward those messages because it is meaningless and is going to do no good to our country in any way.Instead of cribbing about what all is wrong with our system ,it is high time that we should learn to appreciate what we have and start acting towards achieving a better and brighter tomorrow.

Ananya said...

Exactly...we should aspire to make this country a better place to live in. Instead of complaining about what we don't have, we should try to achieve it ourselves. That's the minimum we can do for our beloved India. A great post :)

Anish said...

I agree with you to an extent...I hate this outward show of patriotism...

as for every country having their probs-an example..Germany in 1947-after a crushing defeat in world war 2..their economy was shattered...and Japan was reeling under Hiroshima and Nagasaki-look at Germany and Japan now..and how much have we progressed in the last 63 years?

the true patriots were the ones who gave their lives for this country and gifted us this freedom....and for wasting the golden freedom-we are to blame...I know that no country is perfect...but no country with so much potential is so lagging either...

neat and organized post...

and I think instead of celebrating Independence Day we should pay our respects to the people who lost their lives in train accidents and to the rebels...and the people who died fighting for freedom...

Selenium said...

And upon such reflection of our country's past, my mind can't help but draw a growth graph upto our present time.

And then the second me wonders -> "Kya hoga is desh ka?"

Well, let's be optimistic and Happy Independence Day. We are able to go to schools and colleges to study and get internet connections because our country became free 63 years ago :)

reetam said...

we live in flux. values, definitions, beliefs. all of it changing over shorter and shorter periods of time. we numb ourselves to turmoil depending in which page of the newspaper it reaches. still, india moves forward. bit by bit, making numerous blunders along the way, but we've come a long way, haven't we?

all that said, i still love watching roja on tv that day. some channel or the other almost certainly airs it.

♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ ayu ♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ said...

belated happy Independence day to your country~ :D

Nethra said...

We wanted or not, we were born here so why complain? We should appreciate our existence and that can be done only when we start appreciating things around us. I like our culture except for few things. So, I'm happy being Indian (only a happy person can be proud).

By the way, how did you celebrate the independence day?

♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ ayu ♫ Ƹ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒ ♫ said...

yeah youre right..the word 'independence' is somthing worth treasured for countires like us who experienced years of colonialism

RE:@sammy: haha/bartender is as ive said not so popular no wonder most otakus dont know it..i just happen to watch it bcoz of an anime review ive read in the otakumag im collecting..:P it's really good..though it may not/it varies to the type of otaku watching it ^^

anyway, just inform me about what anime are you watching..it's my pleasure to talk something about animes with you hehehe :D

Bikramjit said...

exactly High time we drop this charade and false claims of PATRIOTS and LOVING THE COUNTRY and all that nonsense we say ..
when we are not interested in the good or the bad things about our country ...

we need t wake up and start doing something FOR THE COUNTRY big or small whatever it is ...

people say i like this in the country apart from a FEW Things .. WELL this is our country Those few things we dont like have been created by US the indians so do something to change them ... saying i dont like is not gonna work

Sorry took lot of space
a good post though :)

Ritu said...

I find merit in your way of thinking. I also feel that we as a nation have to do things for our country and the country in turn has to do things for us .... only then will it be a strong nation

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