Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Proud to be an Indian

Note 1: "Ab bhi jiska khoon naa khaula, khoon nahi wo paani hai; jo desh ke kaam naa aaye, wo bekaar jawaani hai"

Note 2: Happy Republic Day.

Proud to be an Indian

For those of you who didn't spot it, I'll spell it out. The sentence above, it lacks a punctuation mark at the end. 'Proud to be an Indian.' would mean that I am proud to be an Indian. 'Proud to be an Indian!' would mean that I am excited in being proud to be an Indian. 'Proud to be an Indian?' would be a question to people reading it (or, to myself) whether they are (or, I am) really proud to be an Indian. Honestly, I don't know, and hence, no use of a punctuation mark.

There is a disease rampant in India. That disease is called talk-big-ideals-and-philosophies-on-independence-day-and-republic-day-and-don't-give-a-fuck-any-other-day. No problem with that though, freedom of expression, right? Also, the fact that I am writing this on Republic Day would mean that I have this disease too (mild, maybe?). But then, freedom of expression, right?

Having said that, I will not rant about onions being dearer than petrol, or how illiteracy and corruption is destroying this country inside out, or how a common man has to fight each and every day of his life in this country to make ends meet, and then conclude 'kuch nahi ho sakta'. Nope. Not today. Nor will I brag about the rich culture, heritage and diversity we have in our country, nor how A. R. Rahman has taken India on to a global arena, nor how this country has ushered into the new millennium with a bang and might be on the road to become a super-power, nor how each ton that Sachin Tendulkar produces fills the heart of each Indian with patriotism, nor how Saina Nehwal became world No. 1 and made our country proud, nor how things are really changing and that there is hope for each of us, and then conclude how lucky I am to be born in this country and go 'Jai Hind!'. Nope. Not today.

As an extremely common man of this country, I would, though, like to mention one single observation, which, personally, triggers a thought-process in me about me and my Indian-ness every time it happens.

Ever been to watch a movie at a theater/multiplex, after spending a couple of hundred bucks, with a tub of cheese-popcorn? No sooner have you taken your comfortable seat than the message would flash - "Please rise for the National Anthem". Now, whether this practice of playing the National Anthem before the movie starts is right or wrong is a very different debate altogether. Let me not argue that. I accept that National Anthem be played right before you want to be entertained and your heart be filled with patriotism. BUT, do it right! I don't deny that the video is brilliantly made and is very compelling, and features some of the greatest artists India has ever produced (video embedded with this post). BUT, my concept of "National Anthem" is different. I want to be able to sing along, and I want to be able to sing it out loud, with my head held high, alongwith everyone else present there, and be proud. Not only will you find this rendition of the National Anthem to be totally un-sing-along-able, you will find no-one else present there humming the anthem with you! What. A. Shame. And to add insult to injury, Asha Bhosle adds a fourth 'jaya he' to the second last line of the anthem! And to everyone's disgrace, while the government mandates that the rendition of the National Anthem should be 52 seconds long, this video goes on for approximately 120 seconds! Hadd.

As a common man, may I ask just one thing. That next time you are some place, any place, and the National Anthem plays, please sing along, or at least try. That will make you proud, and make me proud.

Proud to be an Indian...


  1. Though there aint a need to express my admiration towards the style of writing you have, I was just thinking on the ideology that this blog was trying to portray. Is the blogger saying that talking of ideologies and philosophies on one day (meant for everyone to remember their country) a disease while humming the national anthem is something which should makes us proud?
    I would say that I somewhere know that the intent was not to censure the one day of thinking but make the other days a follow up of the thought process, but yet my only confusion comes from the fact that what actually is a better thing,
    “Someone who really does not give a fuck about the country standing and humming to the national anthem or the same guy talking ideologies on a day that is meant for making everyone remember the value of the country”.
    My personal thought would be that this blog really creates a sense of confusion in my mind over the impact of the two or rather either of the two actions as a proxy for judging patriotism.

  2. @Abhinav, yes, you got the intent spot on! :)

    Now, someone who really does not give a fuck about the country shouldn't (wouldn't) be humming the anthem in the first place, for the sheer disrespect to the country that would be, right?

    Same guy talking about ideologies on a day that is meant to remember the value of our country, again, won't happen. If he doesn't care, he wouldn't bother.

    Yes, talking about ideologies on one particular would work fine for the common man, as all they can and would do is talk, and is not applicable to leaders (like you) :)

    About the confusion, I apologise, the post does not attempt to prove anything, it is just random thoughts put together.