Friday, January 28, 2011

This Republic Day

For the first time in life, I have not seen the parade on TV or gone for a flag hoisting - things I have not missed till date.  Every republic day and independence day in the past ten years, I have religiously attended a flag hoisting either in college or the university.  If I have missed any, it would be because I was traveling.

This time around, the feeling was missing.  Not the sense of patriotism, but the sense of pride in my country.  The pride that I had, that I am an Indian.  The scams, the Kashmir problem, the Binayak Sen case, and increasing knowledge of caste and creed prejudices that remain entrenched even in urban centers made me pondering.

When I encountered the same issues personally, I felt disgusted and helpless.  I kept quiet not in acceptance but in the knowledge that the person standing before me professing that the caste I belonged to was somehow lesser,  was a fool and a bigot(forgive me for such strong use).  However, it also told me that education, no matter how high(the people whom I encountered were from very well off families and highly educated) does not necessarily educate.  I have not forgotten the incident - no.  The thing that helped me ward it off was the confidence I had that I am lesser than no one.   For that I have to thank my parents.  However, I have to confess, that it did eat my mind as to how I was lesser being talented and educated.  I continues to-date.

So, every time I read the paper and find a similar incident, I understand how someone from a less economic background, impoverished and insecure would feel.  It also told me that this country is not free.  More than half her people suffer, from discrimination; a feeling of being lesser mortals, a feeling of having been left out, sidelined, neglected.

Then there are the poor.  When people are becoming richer and richer on one side, there is a large population who live day to day.  They suffer, quietly.  The independence and republic day is just another day to them.  A day of work.

Whither independence ?  Of course I am happy that I am not under foreign rule.  No doubts about that and I value what my forefathers have done for me.  But then, what have I done ?  Have I done something ?  Not yet.  So, what should I celebrate ?


2 comments:

Sindu said...

celebrate tat al dese scams r cumin out... n tat dese ppl cudn get away easily wit wat dey did.... dunno if dey r so stupid or d ppl who found out wre intelligent.??? either way its a welcome one :) n finally ppl r awakened by al this... things will change.. n lets hope d best 4 future :)

reynaldsuz said...

I felt the same as you did. Sometime I would imagine myself being Hitler, wanting to kill these people who would make India a worst place to live in.