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India…love it or hate it?

May 13, 2010

A long post. And one written with a sense of tiredness that has crept up unaware. The draft has been lying with me since quite some time. Wrote this when someone had written and written in quite a vitriolic manner about India.(old friends would perhaps remember)

Months have passed since then and yet each day one reads and hears about incidents that are eating up India from inside. A medieval India still in the dark ages. An India that thinks that caste based census is ‘okay’. First reservations, now this. Identities of ‘us’ versus ‘them’. Rural-urban. Rich-poor. Based on religion. Based on caste. Based on region. Based on language. Based on ‘gotra ‘ within that caste. The violence, the madness , the way educated leaders react to this insanity is depressing.

There has never been an archetypal Indian to stand alongside the archetypal Frenchman or Englishman.

Why is India still India??

OG had asked this question long back.

He had also answered the question . He wrote ,We in India celebrate and take part in most of the religious festivals and have read at some point or the other, the teaching of all religions.

So maybe, I can start calling myself an INDIANIST who believes in INDIANISM (Thank YOU OG!! for this brilliant piece)

Who is an Indian?

Someone who resides in India?

Someone who has a passport/election card/ration card/any other card that proves that you are a certified resident of this country?

We are a country that has more languages/cultures/religions/geographical variations than the rest of the world combined. (cliched but true)

Please do notice the use of the word ‘WE’ here.

Not my country or yours but ours. Hence the use of ‘WE’.

Are we diverse? As diverse  as ONE country can get? You can bet your last rupee we are!

We are a country of more than a billion people .

We rant, we curse the ‘system’, we curse each other.
We live, we love, we laugh, we survive.

And that by god makes us one damn country!

You know what else makes us one country?

Because India cried…nay shed tears of blood when Mumbai was attacked.

No issue of outsider then. No sir. We had our priorities damn straight then.

What else?


Kargil because that is all I remember. Or had I been born a few years or actually a few decades  earlier maybe  then I would have added the 62 war and the 71 wars as well.

Don’t give me reasons.

Just tell me…Answer this question of mine.

Did India fight for you or me or for us ?

Which India fought these wars?

The perpetual ‘outsiders’? Or at other times the ‘bossy’ northerners? The UP wallahs, the Biharis?

Or maybe it was the  Keralites?

Or those from Andhra?

Or maybe the Jats? Or how about the Punjabis?

Or the Marathas?

Or maybe it was the Gorkhas?

Or…..or …or…..

The list wont end but you sure will get tired of reading the names…Tired because nothing will irk you more than hearing about these various regional identities.

Nothing will irk you more than to know that there still are some who consider India and these identities to be separate.

More fool they!

I pity them..and pity them how!

Is it so difficult to understand that India IS all these identities and more?

That India can NOT be bound in rules/restrictions/definitions?

That the idea of India is one that has to be felt and not defined?

That India is in one’s heart or nowhere at all ?

India is you and me and so many others .

I have absolutely nothing against those who feel proud of their identities be it Marathi, UPiite, Malayali or anything else.

But do you have to do that at the cost of your Indian identity?
Do you only and only consider yourself to be from X,Y or Z state?

And even if you do, that’s fine by me.

But then please for god’s sake do NOT try to diss the Indian identity.

When you form ‘regional groups’ not just in the real world but even in this virtual world don’t you get even a pang? A tiny sliver of doubt perhaps? About what you are doing?

I can share recipes from UP with another UPiite..I can share some common stories of our ‘hometowns’…but I will NOT form friendships simply on the basis of which region one belongs to. And yet do take a look around and see how many are doing precisely that.

That you see is where it all stems from. From seemingly harmless actions, thoughtless words said on the spur of the moment.

It is the Indians who go and represent this country outside.

The words of someone who has written on the very same thing.

Dilip D Souza writes and writes brilliantly.

Patrick Harker, dean of Wharton Business School , told The Times of India recently that he finds in India an “incredible sense of optimism and self-confidence”.

It’s a “very exciting” time, he said, because of the “feel-good” factor he senses here. But I wonder if dean Harker, or anyone, asked some other Indians how they feel about the economy, or anything. Indians, for example, whose family and friends have perished in Assam recently. It’s our various sons of the soil, of course, hard at work soiling their hands. In Mumbai, they not only stop a railway recruitment exam, they even vandalise a railway office.

In Assam , they prevent Biharis from taking a railway recruitment exam. In Bihar , they “retaliate” by beating up Assamese students in trains. Back in Assam again, they “retaliate” for this “retaliation” by killing Biharis: 50 and counting as I write.

What’s left that’s Indian? In nearly 60 years, the spirit of Indianness we have found the strongest expression for is hostility towards other Indians. We become sons of some map-drawn tracts of soil when it suits us, sons who seem to have been brought up only to assault other sons.

Yet this Indian soil has nurtured each of us, made us all what we are. Indian soil, I want to emphasise. The perversity only starts there. In Assam , some sons of that soil call themselves ULFA; in Maharashtra , other sons of this soil call themselves the Shiv Sena. Both speak the identical language of “outsiders” taking away jobs that “rightfully” belong to “locals”. But ULFA is a “banned outfit”, regularly called anti-national. The Shiv Sena, we are told, is filled with fervent patriots. So fervent that they are an important part of the coalition that runs the country today: A feel-good thought if there ever was one.

In Maharashtra , the Congress chief minister and his NCP deputy also speak the same language. Actually, politicians in every state find it politically lucrative to do so. Sometimes they even do it outside their states. In 1994, the Sena’s Bal Thackeray went to Goa and urged audiences to “keep non-Goans out of Goa ” by implementing a permit system. The irony of this advice coming from a non-Goan seems to have escaped both Mr Thackeray and his listeners. Where is this logic, if it is logic, going to leave us? Will we pursue it even if it means more lives lost? Will we hold to it until it breaks us? What happened to those constitutional guarantees that any Indian can settle and work anywhere in India ?

The Constitution urged us to turn ourselves into an educated whole by instituting primary education for all, and that by 1960. Has that urging translated into reality? The Constitution guarantees justice to every Indian, unqualified by caste, wealth or religion. Would the victims of Delhi 1984, Bombay 1992-93, or Gujarat 2002, picking just three great Indian tragedies, agree that that promise has been fulfilled?

The truth is, the madness we’ve seen in Assam , Bihar and Maharashtra of late is hardly a matter the Constitution can solve. So what if Article 19 gives us the freedom to move anywhere in our country? More persuasive by far is the logic a son of the soil mouths. Logic like that, a son like that, has contempt for a document written half a century ago. Indeed: The theory of sons of the soil is pernicious, wrong, foolish and several other adjectives I could come up with. But not because it violates the spirit of a solemn public document. It is so because it destroys us: You, me, Assamese, Biharis, Maharashtrians. Indians. Sons of the soil. Humans.

I mean more than 50 Indian corpses across Assam , this thing called “retaliation”. With their recent cycle of retaliation, Bihar and Assam have lived once more through the mayhem that is the only thing sons of the soil ever produce.

Tamil Nadu and Karna-taka have seen some of the same, instigated by the dispute over the Cauvery. How long before Maharashtrians are beaten up in the north, in “retaliation” for what their brothers of the soil did in Mumbai? Does all this qualify as protecting the interests of sons of the soil?
There is no fault line among us Indians that we are not avidly exploring today. Maybe we must, maybe every nation has to endure such exploration as it matures; I don’t know. I do know that I am now afraid it will tear us apart before it wears itself out. In a real sense, the fissures put fear in me every day.

I am frightened, as a non-Assamese, to enter Assam . (As frightened, I’m sure, as an Assamese must feel to enter Bihar , or a Bihari must feel as he travels to Mumbai to take exams.) Frightened to speak my mother-tongue, Tamil, in Bangalore . Frightened to speak Hindi in Gujarat , where a friend and I, college kids at the time, were once man- handled for doing so.

The hatred that builds on either side of all those fault lines, that arcs too often across the lines, can have only one result: Murder. Bear witness, Delhi . Bear witness, Gujarat . Bihar . Mumbai. Assam .

Bear witness to this beast that is leaving a nation, even the idea of a nation, in tatters.


Do you remember this song ?(the one given above)

Do you know why it was sung and recorded and was beamed so many times in so many places?

Because Bombay was burning.(yes it was still Bombay then and not Mumbai)

Because Indians had become bloodthirsty.

For those who seem to have forgotten what makes one an Indian…and more precisely what it is that India stands for…
(and before ranting once again about nationalist neo nazis and how ‘only’ 14 languages have been included and how ‘your’ state has been misrepresented yet again…..please , please try to look at the sentiments , the thought that has gone in the making of this video.)

India stands for Mile Sur Mera Tumhara

The song’s lyrics are unique– One phrase, repeated in 14 Indian languages:

Mile sur mera tumhaara, to sur bane hamaara”, meaning “When my tune and your tune merges, it becomes our tune”.

The song itself ends by fading into the final notes of the Indian National Anthem.

The national integration video was intended to instill a sense of pride and promote unity amongst Indians, highlighting the different linguistic communities and societies that live in India — India’s unity in diversity, so to speak.[WIKI LINK]

Another Indian has tried to write the lyrics as best as he could…if any of you find any errors feel free to point them out , the link has been given.

Or how about this?


This one…a simple simple as it gets.

Look at how simple and yet deep the lyrics are

Hind desh ke niwasi sabhi jana ek hain,
rang-roop vesh-bhaasha chaahe anek hain
ek-anek… ek-anek…

All the residents of India are one though their colour,dress,language might be many..


Do try to get THAT through your thick skull.

And this?


The lyrics are….

Baje sargam har taraf se , goonje bankar desh raag…………….

OG writes     ,”We are all making visible and invisible boundaries around us, whether it be religion or sect, state or even Nationality.”

OG has a simple list…..ah!well simple for some of us that is…and tough damn tough for those who talk of breaking up India.

Here’s OG’s list

So what can I do personally when India (friends, family and government) does not let me forget my caste and religion?
1. Treat one and all as Indians.
2. I will never follow any meaningless tradition just coz my ancestors followed the same.
3. Try to preach moderation in Thoughts and Actions.
4. Define for myself what Secularism means…..

So here is my definition of a secular India. One which I hope we would achieve one day.

1. Common civil code.

2. Government forms not asking for caste.

3. No special preference given to any group.
4. Ban on all religious parties.
5. Ban on all hartals and bandhs.
6. Deal with rioters with the strictest force using every single non fatal weapon available to us like the stun guns, lathis, rubber bullets. Let the police force use even the pepper spray, I couldn’t care less!!
7. Live and let live.
8. Secular and peaceful India where everyone is proud to be an Indian.
9. Never use words like Vote bank etc
10. Peace with Pakistan as that is very important for a peaceful India.

India is all the artists coming together to sing one song irrespective of their various ‘other’ identities.

India wants to stride ahead…surge like never before..go where no nation has gone before..

The issues of plurality and of choice are immensely relevant to the understanding and analysis of the idea of Indian identity. In arguing for an inclusionary form of Indian identity,  Tagore or Gandhi did not deny the presence and contingent importance of other identities. Rather, in the context of political coherence, social living and cultural interactions, both emphasised the fact that the Indian identity could not favour any particular group over others within India. [link]

A friend had shared these lines here

We are liberation from 2000 years of injustice
We are the protector that was once the destroyer
We are the betrayer that was once the trusted
We are the chance to be free
We are still the darkest prison
We are the whole that we are part of
We are the whole that we are
We are the great provider
We are the great exploiter
We are that who divides
We are that who unites
We are peace
We are chaos
We are the passport
We are the army
We are democracy
We are an experiment
We are the great hope …


Do not kill this hope. Please.


68 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2010 9:29 pm

    Indyeah, That was such a wonderful post, and one which all of us can identify with.

    The frustration that you feel, I can so understand, when regional identities, caste identities have become far more important, almost everywhere.

    ‘Is it so difficult to understand that India IS all these identities and more?

    That India can NOT be bound in rules/restrictions/definitions?

    That the idea of India is one that has to be felt and not defined?’ That is so so true!

    Really makes me wonder if anything will ever change? Especially at a time when, instead of progressing we seem to regressing further.

    Wonderful, wonderful post.
    me- thanks for the kind words Smitha. Between Dilip D SOuza’s words and QI’s, I think a lot has been said that makes sense and makes one quite afraid of the future. I don’t know where we are headed. The way different identities keep popping up everyday is ridiculous and even more than that…dangerous.

  2. May 13, 2010 10:44 pm

    Another wonderful post from you full of mixed emotions. Definitely there’s something wrong with us and our leaders. . We are generally ignoring the big picture of The India while looking at the petty issues of regionalism, religion, caste etc. As u mentioned if we start believing in Indianism, a lot of these troubles will get solved. In Assam, Bihar, Maharashtra, Bangalore things got out of hands but i have reasons to believe that these days regionalism is almost in all the states thanks to our power loving politicians. . Again i also think that we should try to learn the language and culture of the land where we work. . I’m a fan of Mr. Bachchan. He has worked in Mumbai for so many years but his unability to speak Marathi is disappointing. . Let me clear that i’m not in favor of forcing anybody to speak in any particular language. . I just think it should be done voluntarily as an attempt to be a part of the land. Btw i didn’t knew that people are harassed in Gujarat for speaking in hindi.. I hope i have expressed my thoughts clearly..

    me- Thanks Savvy. Oh yes! you are absolutely right! regionalism infact all such divisive isms that you can think of are in our blood by now. And spreading like cancer.

    While I understand your thoughts regarding AB, I would also like to ask . Why is it necessary for him(or anyone) to speak the language of a particular region to ‘show’ his respect?

    incidents like this happen when we get too jingoistic I feel. This is why I am scared of words like proud in context of identities. Because when our identity hinges on another’s approval or acceptance of it (even forced!) then it becomes dangerous.

    If we were truly secure in our identity we would not force someone else to conform to our ‘way of life’.
    Sure, one can ask questions. One can debate. I know I do. One can take the legal recourse if one feels offended (or anything else for that matter) But no further. This is my personal opinion.

    The word Indianism was coined by a dear friend OG here. The link is in the article as well.
    And thank you for commenting freely. It was a pleasure to read.:)

    • May 14, 2010 10:21 am

      I meant INability!!!! wot a moron i am!!!! sorry guys!
      me- dont be so harsh on yourself Its okay. Understood it:)

      • May 17, 2010 8:44 am

        SAvvy, has anybody who has been propogating to learn marathi organized teaching marathi classes?

        you will be surprised i was gently persuaded to learn to read my mother tongue, because the same organization arranged for its classes.

        me- I want to learn marathi among other languages(main one being Bengali) few years down the line I will learn atleast two or three(atleast some broken version)

  3. May 13, 2010 10:47 pm

    Classic indy!!!!!

    can sense the pain too……….

    will be back to comment
    me-Re-read your posts after long.This is why you should write more.

  4. May 13, 2010 11:11 pm

    Indyeah, Hell yeah ! You know my thoughts on this. 🙂 I sometimes wonder, that where in History can you find an example of perpetual unity based on a common race,language,religion or some other damned thing. If we can put just a little thought , we will realized that Diversity is Natural , and it works . We are acknowledging the threat to our eco-system . When will we realize that even our social eco system is in danger ?
    me- Yes. I remember all the discussions and mails we have shared regarding this. And the anger and despair one felt as well. And the way we were and still are just unable to understand what makes people say things like that.
    We are acknowledging the threat to our eco-system . When will we realize that even our social eco system is in danger ?
    I don’t know Kislay. I don’t know. I just hope its not too late.

  5. May 13, 2010 11:40 pm

    Now I know why you take a month for posting an entry here !! It seriously takes almost the same time to read it too 😉
    me- I will test your GK:P

    wonderful thought provoking post Indy! This India of ours is always going to remain this way; some of us are hoping for a change while some of us are content with the way it is and there is also a minority that doesnt even care !
    me- Thanks Vimmuuu. The ‘don’t care minority’ is the one I am going to be pointing fingers at when the time comes.
    A renowned Hindi writer/poet Dinkar wrote these lines
    समर शेष है, नहीं पाप का भागी केवल व्याघ्र,
    जो तटस्थ हैं, समय लिखेगा उनका भी अपराध।
    Well I couldnt find any precise translation (maybe someone can help?) but someone else said it in these words.
    Today, if you keep your mouth shut and choose the middle path then History will not pardon you.

  6. May 14, 2010 1:57 am

    That was one punch of a post, Indy!

    I could feel the pain the anguish in each and every word you penned down here because that’s what I feel too. The very diversity which is the essence of our nation is sadly whats breaking us into pieces.

    Its so sad to even get this feeling of dejection hopelessness from our leaders and so called representatives when they should be giving us an assurance that we ARE indeed one. So much for leading by example!

    I genuinely wish each of our politician too reads this post and realizes that being a representative of India is what identifies him/her more than being a representative to a particular state or region or caste.

    The post made quite an impact. Very well written as always, Indy.
    me- Thanks a lot Deeps.
    realizes that being a representative of India is what identifies him/her more than being a representative to a particular state or region or caste. I wish too deeps. And yet how can they ever feel any of this when they beg for votes on the basis of these very things? Just feeling despair as of now.

    • May 14, 2010 1:35 pm

      ‘The very diversity which is the essence of our nation is sadly whats breaking us into pieces.’ Well said Deeps!

  7. May 14, 2010 7:17 am

    Maybe we should call ourselves the ‘Doordarshan generation’. It evokes so much nostalgia.

    The essence of India is not understood until we recognize the purpose of human life – to discover our innate divinity.Shameem Akthar’s blog has these words of Ramana Maharshi: “Wanting to reform the world without discovering one’s true self is like trying to cover the world with leather to avoid the pain of walking on stones and thorns. It is much simpler to wear shoes”.
    me- Apt name! Yes, we really are the Doordarshan generation I suppose. Whether we like it or not, many memories associated with it and many lessons too:)

    Pretty deep meaning behind those words. One we all can ponder over. Thanks for sharing the beautiful quote.
    On that philosophical note , which mortal has discovered his/her true self till now? We die trying.

  8. May 14, 2010 8:09 am

    A wonderful post as usual…I love your definition of secular India and I hope I see such a country in my life time…

    I think our leaders made a huge mistake by creating our states on ethnic and linguistic lines…It was done mainly for political reasons…British provinces should have been divided according to geographical continuity, financial self sufficiency, administrative convenience, and capacity for future development…Because of this mistake, we have the Shiv Sena claiming that Maharashtra is only for Marathis and the Assamese beating up Biharis…If the government goes ahead and declares Telengana a separate state, then it’ll only perpetuate the problem…The unlimited creation of new states will neither unify the people nor make them prosperous…

    me-thanks Sraboney.
    Actually it is OG’s definition of a secular India. I have linked his post. I loved it too. And I too hope the very same.

    Yes. big mistake na?
    Looks like a huge one in hindsight.:/

    The unlimited creation of new states will neither unify the people nor make them prosperous…
    I am unable to understand the logic given behind the creation of new states. SOmetimes I find I am convinced sometimes I am not.

    Everyone wants to have a separate state based on some logic or the other.
    If as they say, a state’s too big to govern properly or to be able to provide the proper infrastructure…then where do we draw the line?

    Till we have states the size of Delhi?

  9. May 14, 2010 10:18 am

    Heartfelt and poignant Indy …. I was discussing on Buzz re the Khaps, Muthalik style politics etc and another person said this

    There are a lot of Indians who ARE fixing local problems, we shouldn’t forget that! Otherwise there wouldnt be 9+% growth, the economy wouldn’t have survived the global crash….and many other things. Most of the achievements get swept under the carpet with the more visible shortfalls, which are many too. As they are in any country in the world. Indians will catch up…..we are just 60+ years old as a democracy. And we are not doing too badly, despite whatever the doomsayers may profess!! And there are a few tricks we have up our sleeve to show to the world 🙂

    It was very heartening. There is hope for us yet

    me- thanks Ritu. One of the rare posts full of despair from me. Never feel so despondent usually.

    The words give some hope atleast. However little. Maybe. Just maybe we will survive and come out of this stronger. Maybe.

    • May 17, 2010 8:51 am

      economic development and the political notions of indian democracy covered by socialistic feudalistic dresses where 0.5% of the population is enjoying 9% growth are 2 different roads. don’t u think ritu?

  10. May 14, 2010 10:18 am

    Wonderful post- as always!
    me- thanks Manju.

  11. May 14, 2010 10:57 am

    I am waiting for the time when Indyeah’s posts will be of 10 lines each….. 😉 For now, I am jumping in to read. Just wanted to say Hi 😉
    me- hah!when pigs fly:P
    Hello back:)

  12. May 14, 2010 12:14 pm

    When you form ‘regional groups’ not just in the real world but even in this virtual world don’t you get even a pang? A tiny sliver of doubt perhaps? About what you are doing?

    I can share recipes from UP with another UPiite..I can share some common stories of our ‘hometowns’…but I will NOT form friendships simply on the basis of which region one belongs to. And yet do take a look around and see how many are doing precisely that.

    Those lines touch a chord inside me, but I see this happening everywhere and it saddens me.
    me- I know Renu. Its a revelation to see some.

    Welcome back from your vacations. Hope you had a good time.

  13. May 14, 2010 12:30 pm

    Couple of days ago, the Census lady came home.. Everything was fine, until she asked for the caste.. We had no exact idea, about the exact caste.. So furious calls were made to parents, to get the information.. Finally, husband told his.. And when I tried to tell mine, she interrupted and said, “Only husbands..” I don’t get it.. Though I don’t believe in caste, but if it’s being asked. why not for in each family.. I haven’t adopted my husband’s surname. He’s is a Malayali, I am a Gupta.. How can we be bunched together under the same caste???
    me- How can we be bunched together under the same caste???
    Arre! We are like this only. Whatever the husband’s identity is, the wife’s is that too.
    And no.
    Questions on the matter are not allowed.

    And btw if one is not married then best of luck explaining your ‘status’ to em. Legally there’s no problem I think. But it gets awkward when they ask personal things. A friend went through this recently.

    • May 14, 2010 10:48 pm

      That’s a point RuSh.Me!
      These attitudes are so incorrect! This won’t even be accurate!
      This attitude is what made them assume that Sania will start playing for Pakistan once she marries.

    • May 17, 2010 8:54 am

      So does the poltiican guy want only one vote between the both of you?. i want to see the census lady’s face when you ask her this question.

  14. May 14, 2010 1:38 pm

    Beautiful post Indy .. I hv nthg more to add! It just stuck a chord deep down my heart and I so hope ‘we’ do not kill the ‘hope’!
    me-thanks Swaram

  15. May 14, 2010 5:37 pm

    Love it it! no doubt on that one.
    Here’s a heart that beats for matter what..
    And absolutely agree with Ritu that there is hope for us yet!

    Your post is absolutely touching, more so the DD videos!
    if only every indian could rise above petty things and feel the spirit behind these… it would be magical indeed 🙂
    For me.. they always inspire awe and there’s a surge of emotions… ‘rongte khade ho jaate hain!’
    Feels great to know that there are concerned ‘Indians’ who believe in the ‘Indianness’ and find common ground in that and not on the basis of other trivial criteria like region,caste… so on.
    me- Thanks a lot Priya.
    Trivial would be the right word for such things. I mean what have we come to? Fighting over who we are? And why we are better than ‘them? Whoever ‘ they’ might be?

  16. May 14, 2010 6:06 pm

    All these years I had the opinion that the corrupt/uneducated/aged politicians were the ones who were the reason for the problems our country is facing now. But people like Jindal also have fallen to the gutter, just for getting votes, like any other politician.
    me- I know Sandhya:( When Jindal said those things, it made one just gape in astonishment. I mean The Tharoor saga(whether right or wrong) was not enough and here was another one…where an educated guy (having studied in the ‘progressive’ United States no less, talks such crap?

    Honour killing, Khap panchayat were all there for so many centuries in our country. Now more and more people are getting proper education, but is there any change in the attitude of the people? Child marriage is still there. Inter-caste marriages are banned.

    Rajaji’s plan of ‘linguistic states’ has failed. As you have quoted, everyone wants their language and their people to be given priorities in their states.

    ‘Mile sur mera tumharaa’…is it going to be just a dream? Your 10 points for a ‘Dream world India’ is superb. Hope we Indians, including aam admi and politicians get together to achieve it, one day, Indyeah!

    me- Its amazing na how quickly the feeling of ‘superiority comes over one? I sometimes feel I might get sucked into it. What with the way I keep hearing ‘gaurav gathas’ of my country/state/clan/what not.

    The 10 points have been written by OG in a post of his Sandhya. I have linked his post. The points are absolutely brilliant. Amen to your last line Sandhya. May it happen just like this.

  17. May 14, 2010 6:06 pm

    Your post helped me give form to some thoughts I have had for a while now…. thanks!


    Quirky Indian
    me- You are welcome QI. As usual yours is an insightful and concise post. ANd one that says it like it is.
    Loved reading it.

  18. Vetrimagal permalink
    May 14, 2010 8:06 pm

    Wow!. Very true. This is nagging the minds of right thinking people, ordinary simple folks for a long time.

    Beautiful post.
    me- welcome here Vetrimagal. Thank you so much.

  19. Vetrimagal permalink
    May 14, 2010 8:14 pm

    One more idea struck my mind. May be I should translate it in the local language I know, so that general junta also may be haunted by the questions?
    Is it ok?
    me- Yes.Sure . Go ahead

  20. May 14, 2010 8:20 pm

    Very emotional and very touching besides stating the facts as they are. All the points you have raised points to only one fact. The damn politicians have destroyed this nation.For small political gains and to remain in power they would stoop down to any level. The pity is that now they know that we know that they know.But,they have created such such a situation that one feels suffocated.
    The regional problem started the day Nehru divided the country on linguistic basis.
    Whatever we see around us in form of corruption is only greed for power.
    Yet, there is hope.Indians have remained united in days of crises and I feel we are once again passing through similar times
    Let us stand united–lest they divide us further.
    me- I am not sure of how good or bad the decision of dividing states on the basis of linguistic lines was during those days. But whats done is done.
    Now why cant we just live peacefully?
    Our politicians are the main culprits as you said. We come a close second.

    A nation so at a loss in coming to terms with its own identity. Trying desperately to search for it. A sadder sight is not to be seen.
    So many worlds colliding with each other in this ‘search’. Colliding in a bloody manner.

    If we keep having such politicians I am not sure of how long we can stand united.

    • May 17, 2010 8:59 am

      Language division was used by Nehru so that no groups should mix with each other socially. And the wisdom of indian literature should not be transferred to each other and so all attention be focused on the anglicised nehru – what say BKC?

  21. May 14, 2010 8:22 pm

    Excellent post indyeah,read this last night.

    me- Thanks Saritha.
    When our constitution was formed we had 24 states and 7 union territories.Now many states were divided stating many reasons and by this year many more states are going to add.It really sucks to see the same people who are ur neighbours suddenly talking about division between andhra and telangana which is formed just to attain political mileage.So much of unrest and who is the sufferer the common man. (I hope the no of states are correct).
    me- Yeah. I AGREE. It sucks. I hate it.
    Reasons can always be found to justify the breaking up of states further and further,. Language. Culture. Better governance. But the reality stays the same. One more crack develops in this monument called India.

    There are people who hate to say they are Indian/andhraite.Few days back i met a guy who has been living in US of A for last 10 years and he was born and brought up in andhra some 25 years back.He has spent 10 years of his life in USA and when asked where are u from,he proudly says i am from USA.
    It’s wrong to distinguish a person by his colour but one can make out who is Indian and who is not.You should be proud of coming from a country like India.You get subsidized education,ur laundry is done someone,you are pampered to core,etc…..and you realize all this when you stay abroad where you have to do everything yourselves the only difference is the dollar and the rupees. (May be this is a out of topic but felt i should share it)Wherever you are, you are indian first then anything else.

    me- No. Not really out of context. I get what you are saying.

    Those unsure of their own identity desperately search for fake ones and then spend their whole life trying to build a life around it. Trying to make it ‘real’. And maybe in their parallel universe they really are part of the new world.

    Maald has shared a beautiful quote on the same in the comment above.

    As I wrote in the article. I have no issues with anyone who wants to be known as hailing from only X,Y or Z region.
    Maybe the person you have written about wants to be known as a US citizen. He/she wants to give back to the adopted country that has given him/her so much. Thats fine., Maybe he/she is happier that way.
    Just don’t look down at India just because you are now ‘there’.
    Thats it. Thats all one asks.

    Instead we have people who go ballistic talking of desh ki dharti , desh ki mitti and what not. And they end up alienating the sober ones who are repelled by this ‘show’.

    On the other end of the spectrum you have examples like the one you gave. People only too happy to disassociate themselves with India. Trying to escape this thing called India.

    • May 17, 2010 9:01 am

      those who have forgotten his roots never get wings either.

  22. May 14, 2010 10:45 pm

    I have been feeling exactly the same way. And it’s disheartening too. I feel that campaigns that make us see ourselves as Indians first do help – so do posts like this. Every bit counts. I am also saddened by the way people everywhere want to know our ‘surnames’ and place of origin – I feel the more we mix, interact, move, leave our home towns and villages (and stop being koop manduk.kue ke maindak) more are we likely to make the task of divide creators difficult.

    I think we also need a lot more tolerance – even when others are doing something meaningless (but harmless) – we can ignore and let them be – we have filled the divides just a bit. Because what is meaningless to us might mean something to them.
    Why I say tolerance, is because if we are not tolerant somebody will find something that should be hurting our feelings and even the most unconcerned amongst us would then wake up to their hurt feelings and the chasms will only deepen.
    me- Supremely disheartening IHM.

    I feel the more we mix, interact, move, leave our home towns and villages (and stop being koop manduk.kue ke maindak) more are we likely to make the task of divide creators difficult.
    I so agree with this.

    Tolerance in the best of times and the best of societies is in short supply IHM. Europe and the way it is suddenly reacting to Islam is an example.

    I think tolerance calls for debates, discussions, rationalizations, countering those rationalizations…taking recourse to legal methods.

    What tolerance has not (and should not have) room for, is violence. Murders.
    Taking of a life.

    When violence takes place, then I say eff understanding and tolerance.
    First lock up the murderers and then and only then , will I have all the time in the world to ‘understand’ the issue.

    • May 17, 2010 9:06 am

      it is not surprising that successful business marwaris and gujratis just learn the language of the town/village they move into to build new business. i have met successful marwaris and gujratis speak chaste marthi and malyalam and the bihari dialect ( i forget what exactly it is )

      some like to learn languages and some just do not. it is like every other guy is not a water colorist. dosent’t take much sense to figure that out. – is it

  23. May 15, 2010 10:08 am

    Abhi, I read it. Will be back to comment and also watch all those nostalgic videos. I don’t remember ‘baje sargam’ one. I need to check.

    For now I will just say this: We should look for unity in our diversity not uniformity.The problem arises when we start comparing our country with those that have uniform religion and language.

    me- Its this very diversity that is at stake here. We are unsure of who we are, where we have come from. We want to not just hold onto our old identities(whatever they maybe) but also construct some new ones.

    The way things are going, what we will end up with is little countries with uniform cultures instead of one country called India with diverse ones.

    • May 15, 2010 11:08 pm

      Abhi, Our country is very different from all others because of our diverse culture. I wouldn’t term it as ‘little countries with uniform culture’. Every state has a different language and a culture of their own. One can be an Indian and also be a Punjabi, Bengali, Malayali, Marathi so on. That’s also their identity. In becoming an Indian you can’t forget these little identities.

      I will just give you an example: A friend once told me that when he went to Chennai for his first job project, his colleagues spoke in Tamizh outside and he felt left out. I asked my friend if it’s a crime that Tamilians speak Tamizh in their own state? The thing is it’s complicated and everyone needs to understand and let go a bit. Auto drivers speak broken English and Hindi to attract tourists but others need not do that so they won’t try. When we insist on such things, the resentment increases.

      I am sure that if a Tamilian went to UP with no knowledge of Hindi then no one would give a damn to understand him because it is a MUST for all Indians to know Hindi. yes, that’s the kind of impose I am talking about. It’s very difficult to explain but in becoming one, one can’t forget his individuality.

      • May 15, 2010 11:17 pm

        From what I have seen and this is just my perception.

        In the past couple of years, we as Indians have come closer. Because of the job oppurtunities mainly after the software boom, people relocated to remote parts of India and learned local culture and language. Learned as in at least have knowledge of locals more.

        There was a time when a teacher of mine mentioned Trivandrum as capital of Karnataka but today’s India discuss about regional food and culture as if it were their own.

        Politicians have always tried the divide and rule technique and it’s nothing new. People openly see the Orange brigade and forget the caste and religion divide created by “lesser evil” parties in the past 60 odd years. So I wouldn’t count such loonies.

        From what I see, we as Indians have come closer and also understand each other much better than what we did say, 15 or 20 years ago.

        • May 16, 2010 1:15 am

          Yes , Yes and yes. ABSOLUTELY 100% with you on all the points.
          Today we are much better as a country I feel. More close surely. (though still not as close as one would want)

          Many stereotypes have been given up. Many prejudices have been left by the wayside.

          All because now we know who the much maligned ‘other’ of the past is. We can see him, eat with him, fight with him. He could be our neighbor , our classmate, our colleague. And we look at him and wonder. Hey!He is no different from us.
          We are fascinated with his culture, language, dress. As he is with ours .
          We share a little of ourselves with him. He does the same.

          I dont want us to go back to the past at all. With the videos what I am trying to put across is that perhaps what these videos (and other such initiatives) were trying to achieve, perhaps those aims have not yet been fulfilled. And how we still have a long way to go.

          Politicians have always tried the divide and rule technique and it’s nothing new. People openly see the Orange brigade and forget the caste and religion divide created by “lesser evil” parties in the past 60 odd years. So I wouldn’t count such loonies.
          The netas and the loonies are whats troubling me Sols. They are the only ones. The way certain individuals are adding more fuel to the fire. The way they are the reason why such netas survive and prosper.
          I know I should ignore them but its tough to.

        • May 17, 2010 9:10 am

          oh yes, if i have to survive well in the part of US – I just might have to learn spanish nicely minus the broken words that I currently use. even US is coming down to learn – the world does go around.

      • May 16, 2010 1:03 am

        Sols I think I have not been able to put my point across the way I wanted to in the post. Let me clarify why I wrote the post.

        Its a long comment but bear with me. I am trying to sort out my own thoughts as well.

        I wrote the post months back in response to a comment. The comment was something on the lines of how some states were BIMARU states and how unfair it was that states like ‘prosperous’ Maharashtra should have to support those states.
        Only thing was this guy didn’t say it quite so politely. He said it in an irresponsible and provocative manner.

        Had the comment been made politely or atleast with a little restraint, I would have been able to understand his POV or would have tried to.

        (and I dont even want to go into the argument of how ‘prosperous’ Maharashtra exactly is. Because if this guy lives in that illusion I will let him live like that. Or else it will turn into an ad hominem argument .
        Meanwhile I will concentrate on how I can contribute something to Maharashtra along with other Indian States to make it better and to alleviate poverty.)

        Anyway right or wrong, I wrote this post while fuming at such people who made provocative statements on public forums knowing fully well that they would get volatile reactions.

        I decided to not publish the post because I felt it was written in anger . Not the best way in which to put one’s viewpoints across.

        I have edited most of the original post. Left out some things written in anger.

        But even then my lament was the same.
        Why cant people live and let others live with dignity?

        If people from UP , Bihar , West Bengal, Orissa etc are migrating to states like Delhi and Maharashtra because of employment opportunities surely it is not their fault. Its the fault for their governments.

        If people from Maharashtra (or any other state for that matter) ‘feel’ that ‘their’ jobs are being taken away, then they should question their government.

        Instead of getting violent and threatening those who have come merely to earn a livelihood.

        Yes, the governments of these BIMARU states are to be blamed. Because it is only because of their incompetence that the people of states like Bihar and UP have to go out of the state in search of jobs.

        But in all of this, what of that thing called India?
        What about that promise made to me by the constitution of my country that I can go where I want and work and live where I want?

        Should someone from W. Bengal, Orissa , Bihar and UP wait and keep questioning their respective government even while living in conditions of mind numbing poverty
        So they go. To work as labourers, as help in homes, as guards, drivers, thela wallahs.

        They go because they have no other option. Their state government has failed them and so has the government of this country.

        Shiv Sena jumps in to ‘kick’ out outsiders, Lalu jumps in to ‘protect’ his people.

        And both the scumbags have never even lifted a finger to help their states or the very people whose interests they claim to be protecting.


        One can be an Indian and also be a Punjabi, Bengali, Malayali, Marathi so on. That’s also their identity. In becoming an Indian you can’t forget these little identities.
        Exactly what I have written about. In more or less the same words. I agree with you completely.
        What I have written is that people in trying to be a Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Malayali forget their Indian identity. And thats fine really.
        But its not fine when the forgetfulness increases to the extent that the idea of India looks to be in danger.

        That line about little nations with uniform culture was written not in context of the present but rather in context of how the future night be. Because the way everyone wants a separate state now because of x,y,z reason …this is the only scenario that looks likely to me.

        Identities within identities. Where does it end? Its like a vicious circle.

        Tomorrow I might want a separate state for Hindus or Brahmins or Kshatriyas or any other identity I can come up with. I might ‘feel’ I and my ‘community’ members are being discriminated against and hence nothing less than a separate state will do.

        Exaggeration. But in India, might well be a reality I think.

        I will never advocate that India be a country with a uniform culture/language etc. Far from it. The thought horrifies me.

        But can we tread a middle path? I hope so.
        Because one has to ignore claims of Hindi being imposed on the rest of India. This is only because of a few idiots and (then serious) grievances in history when anti- hindi movt was at its peak.

        As well as ignore those who ‘insist(and forcibly I might add) that one has to , absolutely HAS TO speak their language when in their state or else they will think that one doesn’t ‘respect’ their culture.

        Because if one doesn’t do so this is what happens.

        When states of a country and their inhabitants start insisting that ‘outsiders’ ‘respect’ their culture, pretty soon a Country emerges that too ‘insists’ that foreigners start ‘respecting ‘its’ culture.

        When we insist on such things, the resentment increases. Absolutely agree.

        I am sure that if a Tamilian went to UP with no knowledge of Hindi then no one would give a damn to understand him because it is a MUST for all Indians to know Hindi

        But isnt this a generalization? Isn’t this like saying that everyone who lives in certain northern states insists that anyone coming to those states HAS to learn Hindi and nothing less will do?

        Hindi in its purest form is spoken only in one state. UP (though even Hindi has many forms now) All other states in the north speak other languages.

        But even if one were to accept that Bihar and UP speak Hindi which other states do?

        The way I defend Maharashtra and marathis saying that maratho manoos parallel is wrong and that most Maharashtrians are not like this and that they are as peace loving and inclusive as the rest of India, in the same manner I would also insist that anyone coming to UP does not have to learn Hindi and it certainly is not a MUST. People in Northern states are not looking to impose Hindi on all those who walk in.

        This’ imposition’ mindset has been created because of certain politicians and people like that pathetic Abu Azmi who brought in the Hindi issue to get votes.

        I am repeating myself but when I say that all marathis are not bigoted and that infact it is parties like Shiv Sena which are taking advantage and creating a rift.
        Can I then also say in the same manner that there is no imposition whatsoever on anyone coming to Hindi speaking states? That inhabitants of these states would not insist that people speak their language? That they too are a much maligned lot just as the marathis are? Just because of a few divisive and parochial political parties.

        I go to any other state besides UP and Bihar and Delhi and I have to struggle to understand their language. And I keep on picking up new words.
        Is it fair to say that two states(not counting Delhi since ‘outsiders’ are not welcome there as well says Ms Dixit plus its mainly punjabi or punjabi mixed with Hindi spoken here ) are ‘imposing’ their language on the country?

        If incidents of the past have left a bitter taste in the mouth ( Hindi imposition by few chauvinists and the resulting anti -hindi movt and other things) can we try not to let it obstruct our view of the present?

        I dont want us to become One. Not at all. I simply want people to stop trying to play the game of one upmanship. To stop proving that they are superior and others are inferior. To stop siding with murderers(khapis) or criminals or those who are corrupt simply because he/she ‘belongs ‘ to their state or religion or caste.

        We are one country with different cultures. We should remain this way. But the diversity should be a source of delight not become a reason for yet more rifts.


        • May 16, 2010 2:02 am

          I gave the reason as to why I wrote it in the first place.

          I published the post however with mixed feelings of anger and despair over a few incidents.Two of which I have written abut below.

          I saw people in real life trying to justify khap panchayats.

          So why were they defending Khap panchayats?
          Well …..inbreeding, genetic defects were some of the ‘scientific’ reasons given.

          Some said that gotra was an essential part of Hinduism and there was a ‘point’ to what the khap panchayats were saying. (hmmm… I can see now how JIndal must have been convinced)

          Obviously these individuals were all Hindus.
          So educated Hindus were trying to convince me and others that sagotra marriages were ‘harmful’. That gotra has a historical basis for a reason and that khapis are a misunderstood lot. Sure their methods might be wrong but their points were ‘valid’ they said.

          Speaking to such people is like banging one’s head against the wall.

          A few days back I saw people defending Tharoor. Whether Tharoor was guilty or not is besides the point . what was disturbing to note was the tendency of educated individuals to defend Tharoor not because he was an educated politician from whom better was expected.
          No. They were defending Tharoor blindly because Tharoor you see , was a malayali like them. A son of the soil so to speak.
          How could he do all these things??? The fanboy/girl club was in full flow.

          All common sense flew out of the window.

          Ofcourse there were many others who defended Tharoor brilliantly. But they did so on the basis of facts. Not on the basis of which state Tharoor belonged to.

          But all this left me wondering at what our education and inclusiveness has done if we still act in this manner.

          Defending things and people and incidents . All because they are from ‘our’ religion or region or caste or because we speak the same language.

          • May 16, 2010 3:08 pm

            “I am sure that if a Tamilian went to UP with no knowledge of Hindi then no one would give a damn to understand him because it is a MUST for all Indians to know Hindi.”

            You mean to say that he can continue to speak in Tamizh when with UP locals?

            I wasn’t making a generalization. I was making a point to that Hindi speaking friend of mine who insisted that everyone in Madras spoke his language. Why? Because Hindi is our National language. NOT.

            Impose is just not right, Abhi. And at some level this is what created a rift (if any). As long as I can survive, I am fine. I don’t need to insist that people behave in certain way to suit my taste. I am fine if some people feel closer to people from their state. It could be because of comfort in communication, same food habits or interest in same literature. There are many learned people from regional states who are pundits of local literature. With whom will they discuss? Of course with people who speak the same language?

            I am a Malayali who has zilch knowledge in Malayalam literature because I can’t read it.Of course I don’t fit the bill but those who do find similar interests.

            You and I don’t share same native tongue but we do share a common language. I am more comfortable in Hindi and English as compared to my native tongue. There are also other factors like our Defence background and upbringing.

            The religious groupism you mentioned already exist. People are comfortable among people of their own religion and that’s why we have apartments that don’t allow people of certain religion. I know it is sad but then there are others who aren’t prejudiced and I believe latter are more in number.

            You say that you wrote this post because of one guy’s nasty comment. That one person doesn’t represent US.

            As I already mentioned, I find India much closer today. The little things that you mentioned aren’t that bad at least from where I see. There are times when I feel alienated in certain conversations because that includes something I have no clue about then I try to understand it and if time doesn’t allow then I just let it be.

            It’s my day to be non-PC. 🙂

            BTW you know that I am a Tharoor fan girl, right. 😉

            me- What I meant to ref to was this
            because it is a MUST for all Indians to know Hindi.”
            Who says this kind of crap?
            And if they do, then I would like to kick their A### !

            We both already have kicked a few I believe:)

            As you said the guy because of whose comment I have written this post doesnt represent ‘us’, in the same manner this friend of yours who made this statement doesnt represent the general thinking of people from these states.

            I mean seriously which delusional world do people live in if they think Hindi is a national language? Or that it should be? One more reason to kick some a###!

            If one goes to another state then whether he/she speaks or doesn’t speak the language of that state should be a choice. (And I think anyone smart who wants to survive and earn a livelihood will learn and adapt oneself to the culture of a place)

            Kick a### of those who forcefully ‘insist’ that one speaks their language.
            Kick a#### of those who say blithely that hey! I don’t want to learn your language . I will ONLY speak my own thank you. Such morons deserve an equal lashing.

            (BTW AB is a moron in certain ways I believe, because to keep insisting that he doesnt ‘need’ to learn language of Maharashtra and that he is ‘proud’ of speaking Hindi is nothing but giving fuel to the fire. The guy is a public figure and is bleddy irresponsible!)

            Agree with you on imposition not being right. Have written my thoughts on it already in the earlier reply.

            You are right I know. About people finding some common things to discuss. Finding some comfort in similar food, language etc.
            Human tendency I suppose. As you mentioned when it comes to being a defence kid, even I discuss certain things with people from same background. And I get nostalgic about same things from defence.

            That is not the problem.Problem is when the group- ism issue gets out of hand.

            I like your comment because of this.The little things that you mentioned aren’t that bad at least from where I see
            A note of hope.:)

            And on Tharoor?
            haha! Oye! 😀
            You are the first person to stand up for things that are wrong irrespective of its affiliations. Regional, religious or otherwise.

            Last I remember, you were among the select few who didn’t go ga-ga over Tharoor and how he was dhoodh ka dhula hua AND you could also could see why that Outlook article on Sunanda Pushkar was sexist and disgusting.

            I think you,Ushus, Leo and Happy Kitten were the only ones who were sane (among malayali crowd I know on twitter I mean) during the entire drama.

          • May 16, 2010 3:19 pm

            Again, I would just repeat that if we allow diversity to thrive then we will remain united. Imposing uniformity is what causes resentment in all.

            India’s only problem is poverty. The real divide is between the rich and poor. Rich are getting richer, poor poorer. The only language and religion is money for them.

            All other problems are politically created and seem severe than it actually is.

            And on that note, there won’t be further retort from my end. Thanks for this wonderful post.

          • May 18, 2010 3:09 am

            This is our actual and probably only problem.

            All others are trivial and only raked up by some fanatics and politicians.

  24. May 15, 2010 11:09 am

    Sorry to be late here Abhilasha…I am still to return to the blogging world fully.

    As always, you ask honest questions, answers to which our chosen leaders should have been finding for Indians. You are tired because instead of finding answers for India and Indians, they have found answers for themselves, along almost every dimension, and are discovering even more of them. That is why, where convenient to them, they persist with colonial instruments that make a mockery of freedom, and what they should persist with, they dump, giving outrageous reasons, no matter that the country might go back into the middle ages.

    If India still survives, if India still has hope, it is because of Indians like you…
    me- It is always a pleasure to see your words here Sir.

    That is why, where convenient to them, they persist with colonial instruments that make a mockery of freedom, and what they should persist with, they dump, giving outrageous reasons, no matter that the country might go back into the middle ages.

    And we, the aam aadmi has no say in the matter. I hope India survives Sir.
    We all have our differences but surely not even in our worst nightmare would we think of breaking up India..

    Netas are looking for votes. Any which way. If it takes murder so be it.
    Who will be left to give them votes if things go on like this? An exaggeration I know, but surely the way we are busy hating and killing each other it doesn’t appear that far fetched.

  25. May 15, 2010 11:43 am

    Its a lovely post, coming to remind everyone of the wonderful cultural harmony we had and still have somewhere in our blood. We were described the best for following peace with so many religions and cultures as our backbone. But as you have pointed out, there seems to be a sect of ppl who are falling in love with their regions and trying to show cruelty to ppl of other regions.

    Beautifully written…I love those songs which you’ve put up here… 🙂 PPl watching DD for a long time would have seen it all. But now, no youngster watches DD, so they’ve no idea abt these songs or how they were so relevant in making every Indian proud of his heritage of cultures.

    OG – WOW !!! You shld start writing again… 🙂

    me- Thanks Uma.
    This new found love for hitherto undiscovered reasons that ‘unite’ people of a particular region or caste or speakers of a particular language is alarming to say the least.
    And the only way to prove one’s love for these new causes is by putting someone else down. By ensuring that the world accepts your superior status. Dont know where we are headed with such thinking.

    Our generation grew up with these videos and songs because that was the need of the hour.
    Ours was a nation trying to find a common ground so that all the different cultures could co-exist happily. In a prosperous manner.

    We were trying to cement our bonds with each other. This nation wanted to drive home the message that we were one. We didn’t need to be uniform, we just needed to let the others be.

    I think we were assured that the task was more or less done. That this generation would be imparted the right values by the (as Maald says) ‘Doordarshan’ generation. That the questions of Identity and country had been answered.

    But it looks like we failed.

    Maybe we should play the videos on an infinite loop?

    A pathetic joke I know, but my tired mind can think of nothing else.

  26. May 15, 2010 6:54 pm

    United we stand… divide we fall. Very well said Indy 🙂
    There is so much of bias and regionalism….. Wish people will understand the need of hour is unity and not such division.
    Yes even I too am scared at times to talk in my mother tongue in Bangalore especially when there are riots going on 😦

    me- Just a quick word. No worries:)

    me- Our the way we dress, the way we talk, the way we eat should be a source of wonder not something that divides us further. Unity is something that cannot be forced. Unity will be a natural outcome when people along with their various other identities also realize that they are a part of a country called India. It doesnt mean they have to show the chest thumping kind of desh bhakti. (which repels me but thats another discussion for another day)
    It simply means that they should try and not put their regional identities above everything else. Try being the key word here.

    Thanks for the words Shilpa:)

  27. May 15, 2010 8:58 pm

    Congrats for the spicy pick and a well deserved one too/ I loved the way you brought out this very poignant topic . We are not Indians , we are not humans either we are just models of some caste, creed, gender that’s all we represent. I told the lady who came for census I was a global citizen and a human thats my caste and she just smiled ” we have no option like this mam ” was her reply you got to choose from what we got. well , that says a lot. I refused to put myself under any caste and certainly not under my husband’s. It irked him and I was told to get something cold for her sternly 🙂
    The songs reminded me of something , the kind of lump in throat feeling we used to have singing patriotic songs even from films our kids don’t . India is just a name on the map Indy .. hope it changes
    me- Thanks Tikuli.
    A global citizen and a Human? She must have been surprised with this thought:) Love this thought.
    I dont know if I am a global citizen yet. Never been out of India long enough to be able to realize it.

    But these identities of region,language,caste etc I am unable to understand because growing up I never once thought that all those people I met in the Army were anything other than Indian.

    Yes. India is just a name on the map. How I wish things change.

    • May 16, 2010 3:54 pm

      By global citizen I meant I do not believe in the borders, they too are just on the maps for me. One world , one planet you see

      I know the feelin of being an Indian Indy but I will go beyond that think are you happy to be just Indian ( don’t use your defense background) I would not want to be tho I love the country

      • May 16, 2010 4:31 pm

        By global citizen I meant I do not believe in the borders, they too are just on the maps for me. One world , one planet you see

        Again let me say I love this thought:)
        I think I interpreted India is just a name on the map in my way. While you were ref to something else:)

        When I wrote I am not sure if I am a global citizen yet, I said it with certain doubts in mind.

        When I write I am an Indian, I do it with the conviction of having tested myself in certain conditions.
        I have lived among people from various states both in the defence and outside and never have I felt that I needed to find my ‘own group’ and neither have I ever brought the issue of my being from a particular state into the conversation. My identity my whole life has been that of an Indian. Nothing more, nothing less.

        Why I am undecided on the issue of my being a global citizen is this.
        If I have never lived among non-Indians how can I say with utmost conviction that my identity as an Indian does not come in the way or that I will not search for little groups abroad who make me feel ‘safe’ ? That I will be able to adapt myself to that culture without any fear of losing mine?

        I am pretty sure I could be a global citizen. But I can say it with conviction only after I have lived for sometime among non-Indians.

        for eg How can I be sure that I will not react with ‘My India proudest chest thumping kind of a war cry ‘ every time some incident takes place in Aus, UK or US wherever I happen to be living?

        When it comes to ‘saying no to violence’, peace and a yearning for an equal world then I think by that definition most of us are global citizens.

        • May 17, 2010 12:33 pm

          I also meant the same when I say India is just a name on the map. we cross over the imaginary lines drawn by people hungry for power Indy. we cross over the fact that we are Indians, Women ,Educated or otherwise , we look at each individual as human nothing else. Just like I would not look at a friend’s caste,creed , gender, social status or nationality while connecting with him/her.
          By global citizen I did not mean the exact meaning of citizen it is a tern I use 🙂 it just means I wont want to be tied up or tagged by some nationality which could prove a hurdle in my oneness with other humans across the globe.
          I have a name that does not tell who I am other than just being me.

          I know this is a dream state of being we live in a society, a state, a nation , a world governed by such restrictions and we beed to follow rules at least somewhere to move with the herd but in my heart of heart I have put a X over that.

          As for the proud cry and the living with non Indians .. see it is my thought so pls do not take it otherwise I request.

          Why do you need to shout out to show the love for the land you love , it could be done by other means too. imagine a chaos where everyone is shouting a proud cry for “their country” .would you feel proud only if India did something and not for any other part of the world?

          I am not good with words but I am trying to explain my view. Non Indian is a term Indians use when you rise above that it is just like living with any other person :).
          Well it is a sensitive topic Indy .This issue of Indianness bothers me like any other issue. Here we are chanting the Iam a proud Indian and when it comes to the real hard ground work and bringing a change in the system in our mindset , in small little things that would make this planet a better place to live , we buckle.
          may be I am drifting from the topic. one world is just a step next to one India and that goes for all nations for all humans not just us.
          sorry if I crossed my line or hurt some sentiments here Indy but thats what I feel

          me- Tiku the my India proudest chest thumping war cry line was my sarcastic take on some NRI’s who live outside India and still curse their adopted land (US,UK, AUs, or any other)that has given them so much.
          As well as those who sit in India and do nothing else except live in delusions of India being the greatest country in the world.

          Frankly I dont care if anyone is proud or not of India ‘Proud’ is a term I hate .
          Its just that when people defend leaders because the leaders ‘belong’ to their state or when people defend gotra system simply because it is their religion they are defending ( even when there have been murders in the name of gotra) THAT is when I feel sheer despair.

          Tiku usually when any person (in this case, me) talks of Indians being divided along caste/language/regional lines and how Indians should forget these things and stand united, it is automatically assumed that the person is nothing short of a nationalist neo nazi (a term I have come to know over the net)

          On the other hand if one says that please lets not forget our other identities and how it is imperative that one can be a Punjabi, Bengali etc too THEN it is assumed by trigger happy kind of people that the person is talking of dividing India!

          I understand your apprehension regarding all the desh bhakti talk when people go overboard. I totally get that.

          But forget going overboard, yahaan toh desh bhakti hi nahin hai Tiku. Not desh bhakti per se but that feeling of I am a citizen of India is missing.

          Only religion bhakti/caste bhakti/state bhakti/language bhakti!!

          Going overboard ki chinta toh tab hogi na when people first think of themselves as Indians?

          How do we expect to be human beings of an equal world when we even refuse to consider other fellow Indians as equal? When in each sentence we bring our regional and other identities? When we think of other Indians as outsiders?

          ‘We ‘ here doesn’t refer to you or me. It refers to those who put their religious or caste or linguistic identity above the Indian one.

          one world is just a step next to one India and that goes for all nations for all humans not just us.

          ABSOLUTELY AGREE. My thoughts too. And what I have been trying to say.

          Arre no crossing lines or saying Sorry Tiku.

          Discussion and debates when they are polite and civilized are a source of delight.

          You are not good wth words.?
          ( wonders if Tiku has lost it You mean to say all those post have been written by your ghost?:P )

  28. May 15, 2010 9:30 pm

    We need your anger, and ours. Because without strong emotion there’s no hope for change.

    And India is too vast for me to give any pithy answer. But it does seem like an adhesive miracle that keeps us all lurching towards the future, bursting at the seams. My prescription for myself is, be a good citizen. Each person counts.
    me- But it does seem like an adhesive miracle that keeps us all lurching towards the future, bursting at the seamsloved the way you have described it.

    Be a good citizen. So simple and so effective if done right.

  29. May 16, 2010 1:10 am

    A moving and inspiring post! You did it again, Indy!! What can I add to your already so-beautiful post? Just that, people are going mad. Advancement in technology, increase of material wealth.. all this is just making people restless and crazy, instead of bringing about contentment and peace. People are blood thirsty. All they need is an excuse. To hurt. To kill. To destroy.

    me- Thanks Pal.
    All they need is an excuse.
    Yes. excuses that range from the absurd ti the dangerous. depressing in the extreme.:(

  30. May 16, 2010 12:53 pm

    Hi… Found you through Vimal.

    I loved your post. And about how strong your patriotism is, towards our country.
    It sort of incited me to believe in my country. Yes I personally am patriotic, but as you said, it’s not about me or you here, it’s about US.

    I believe we as Indians, are the purest nation, we’re so passionate about our country, we are as united as diverse.

    All the things that go on in our country, some good, lots bad. Define us. We are one nation who stick up for the truth, who stick up for ourselves.
    India, like a lot of countries, is not about the brand, we don’t promote our country but we believe it is our sacred motherland.
    Flexibility and adaptability run through our blood…
    I think after all the hindi movies say,
    hum sacchi mein, is desh ki mitti se bane huye hai!

    me- welcome here Niveditha.
    Flexibility and adaptability run through our blood…Amen. I wish we get more and more flexible, more adaptable…that we stop being so insecure in our identities that we need to form groups to validate our identities in some perverse way.

    Love or hate, this is the country one has been born in. And if we cant learn to be Indian citizens how in god’s name do we expect to learn to be global citizens?

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts here Niveditha.

  31. May 16, 2010 1:21 pm

    It’s my first visit to your wonderful,patriotic and a very happening web-page on the internet.

    Loved the ooze of the positivity in your words that truly depicts the frustration any one who dearly loves his/her motherland would feel.

    You’ve brought your point of view in a very powerful presentation of all the beautiful features that highlight the goodness of it’s people and the willingness to stay so, but something that has marred by one of the countless reasons/issues.

    Loved your web space and the wonderful work you’ve been doing so far 😀 😀

    Keep up the good work!!
    me- Welcome here Chatterbox:). Sorry was unable to reply to your tweet. It moved down the page due to too many @ tweets.
    Thank you for your kind words/. Not a very happening webpage I am afraid. More like a dormant one. 😀

    I have just rambled on in this post. Wanted to convey something else and as usual wrote a mish mash of other things.
    But yes, was and am in despair about where India is headed if this state of affairs continues.

  32. sreekumar kv permalink
    May 16, 2010 1:35 pm

    I have absolutely nothing against those who feel proud of their identities be it Marathi, UPiite, Malayali or anything else.

    But do you have to do that at the cost of your Indian identity?
    Do you only and only consider yourself to be from X,Y or Z state?

    And even if you do, that’s fine by me.

    But then please for god’s sake do NOT try to diss the Indian identity.

    Can you please explain what this Indian identity is.

    me- Welcome here Sree.
    Lines from the post.
    Is it so difficult to understand that India IS all these identities and more?

    That India can NOT be bound in rules/restrictions/definitions?

    That the idea of India is one that has to be felt and not defined?

    That India is in one’s heart or nowhere at all ?

    India is you and me and so many others . Hope you got your answer. I don’t believe in definitions. I do believe in feelings and emotions. All of which are impossible to define.

  33. Happy Kitten permalink
    May 16, 2010 2:02 pm

    Am late here.. but glad to read your touching post after a long time…

    Though you started the post in a not so hopeful manner, I am glad you ended it on a positive note.. could not have taken it otherwise 🙂

    There is hope and that I am sure.. and Indian shall prevail….bcoz for most even if they are proud as a Bihari, Malayali, Bengali etc.. being called an Indian is indeed special and they will never part with it…

    Would I be a Malayalee if I was not an Indian? yet how easily some forget this fact…
    me- I love your sane thoughts on many matters….you are among the few, who I believe are able to look at incidents irrespective of their ‘connections’ regional or religious or otherwise..

    Yes, being an Indian is special. Hard to describe what it encompasses. Unable to describe it to a friend who asked the question above. It just is a feeling.:)

  34. May 16, 2010 7:36 pm

    Very well written.

    But the fact is Unless and until , hundreds of millions of people remain in poverty…..talking about nationalism is somewhat MEANINGLESS.

    You wrote an extremely well thought out piece.

    why? Because you love India and think about its development.

    More imp0rtantly , all your basic needs had been taken care off…….you worry about the GREATER GOOD because you dont have to worry about your basic needs- food , clothing , shelter , job , active social life , family , good healthcare ,kids education, retirement plans etc

    Imagine a farmer who lost just lost his land for an industrial project or an unemployed youth or a school dropout …..they does not give a rat’s ass to India……..

    In order to develop India or to develop an “Indian” sentiment…..first and foremost is REMOVAL OF POVERTY. Thats what China has done.
    me-welcome here IP and thanks for the kind words.

    I agree with your points . There can be no talk of a ‘greater good ‘ on an empty stomach.

    I was however delusioned with the educated set of Indians. The ones whose basic requirements have been taken care of and yet they refuse to rise above petty things.

    Removal of poverty. How can it happen as long as netas keep asking for votes on the basis of our various identities? Hindus, muslims, dalits….

    And as long as they keep asking for votes on the basis of these identities how will they ever focus on the real issues? The biggest of them is poverty as you said . All netas do is keep dividing us further. We are nothing but votebanks to them

    Why would a Shiv Sena or an RJD be interested in removing poverty? That is where they get their votes from. By exhorting people to vote on the basis of regional identity. Pitting one against the other. Promising that as soon as they push out the ‘outsider’ jobs will be theirs for the taking.

    And so it goes on and on.

    • May 17, 2010 9:21 am

      I am going to create one more state on the basis of people speaking Bambaiya Hindi. Apart from English, and the language that we speak at home and the state language millions in India speak it. I am going to create a big state and put a fort around it and …

  35. May 17, 2010 2:31 am

    welllllllllllllll! long, very
    have to read in a less stressed work situation.
    find me on
    just a riddle
    we need education, recognition of it in various forms;
    so support kass
    ves or vesa
    or whatever
    you the young can!

    me- RedBubble is an amazing site Ves!:) thanks for sharing.
    You had to gimme a riddle didnt you? 😛

    Yes. been spreading the word about your site Ves:)
    Hopefully it will go from strength to strength.

  36. May 17, 2010 4:36 am

    Long yes, but i don’t sense any tiredness at all. I LOVE this post. Beautifully articulated, and wonderfully precise. I consider myself a follower of Indianism too. Since I have moved out, each day I realise, how much diversity our country packs in, over any other nation in the world. How amazing that is, and how sad it is that we are gradually letting it break us apart. If only we could appreciate our diversity, and understand how truly precious that is, and preserve and respect the individuality and uniqueness of each Indian. Lovely post.
    me- Thanks GM.
    GM that is what I mean. That diversity is beautiful but it shouldn’t break us apart. It should be a source of delight and wonder no? You are right. Our diversity is truly precious.

  37. May 18, 2010 10:11 am

    wonderful post indy!!!!!!!!! truly………..

    I am here finally…………

    we see a hundred different problems affecting us but we all still live with hope…….. I just read today about the naxal massacre……..

    high time people realized that thru violence, they are just hurting their own cause……

    we still have the half the world’s poor and hungry kids….. and all we are bothered about is our own needs…. me including……

    our stock of food is high, but it hardly reaches the needy………. and we fight about regionalism.

    but I have an interesting thing to tell u… something which made perfect sense……. and gave me a lot of hope

    I was reading about how kerala acheived 90 plus percent literacy rate…. coz at the turn of the last century, kerala had the most orthodox rigid culture in india……..

    what I read was that about 40 years back, people in thousands took to the streets, visited every single house, every single one to personally educate people about how education can change everything…….

    what this taught me was that for change to happen now, it would take everyone’s effort………. people doing their bit…..

    I think I have stated this earlier, but we need a revolution…… not like the one the naxalites want, but a revolution in our minds….. that we need to achieve more……….

    great post my friend…..
    me- thanks OG.
    Kerala is a brilliant example of how education can bring about long lasting changes…
    DOnt know when the silent revolution will happen or how…maybe it already is taking place? inb the efforts of those who work tirelessly for causes they believe in…without any fanfare or hoopla…but I wish it was more visible…so that sometimes when things look bleak one would have something to hope about

  38. May 18, 2010 10:19 pm

    A well written post Grandma… but these days I feel I am not proud when I say that I am an Indian… instead I believe the whole world as one and I belong to this whole world and not to any particular piece of land…

    In a book I have read that Each nations border is determined by war… I think thats the case with our nation also… there are lot of lives we have in determining what belongs to our nation and it happened worldwide… 😦 😦 and still happening…

    if some intellectual didn’t divided this world into pieces I won;t have a problem in roaming all over the world… but now we are confined to a piece of land(thank god.. ours is one of biggest country) and here too… senas and others says the son of soil… which soil??? everything is under the same sky…

    When a problem arises no people were able to cross borders and live peacefully…. I hate the person who created this concept of owning the lands and nations…
    me- which soil??? everything is under the same sky…
    love this line Kanagu…indeed which soil? whats mine and whats not? Equal beings living in an equal world that belongs to everyone. Its a beautiful concept..explored by so many thinkers and philosophers in the past..and yet we as human beings refuse to learn…

    we continue to rant about being a son of the soil..
    my post is about one simple point Kanagu..
    If we cant learn to live harmoniously as one nation, how do we expect to live as citizens of the world? First lets build a united India and then a united world.

  39. May 19, 2010 1:27 am

    Coming back to this one, Indygurl. V close to my heart!! The weariness lingers in my heart too… more so when I heard and watched on TV, the enthu. of the elected MPs while congratulating the PM, on his approval for asking the caste of a person too, for the census!

    Wl be back!!! Lovely to see this space come alive!! 🙂 🙂
    me- been ages since I spoke or wrote to you..missed you…((hugs))

    the caste issue is just well…makes the heart so very weary as you write so rightly….

  40. May 24, 2010 9:41 am

    Such a great post with lot of points. I love the new definitions that OG has put out and your additions. Life would be much much simpler and safer if we take the religion part out. My contribution to your bullet points would be to take each extremist(whether it be religion or politics or any other crime) and give him/her a day job.
    me- You certainly have a point Lakshmi… unemployment is one of the major factors..more jobs would most definitely go a long way in making the situation better.

  41. June 8, 2010 11:18 am

    Every time i read your post, i think how much crap i write while you turn out so many meaningful posts. Every word you said here, i cant agree more. I am staying in mumbai and in the office too, some local colleagues still have this hatred. Its pathetic, i think these people are actually sick and need to be treated. If murder wasnt a crime some of these politicians would never get a chance to stay alive for even a second.
    me- Ani this hatred that you write of..this is exactly what I am referring to…and its not limited to one state or a select group of individuals…

    Its there in all of us…simmering inside..
    We all look at the ‘other’ as some invisible enemy…the one in whose absence things would be hunky dory..

    If only he would just go! we think to ourselves..

    Bhaiyya,ghati,chinky,gulti….I am tired of reading the terms..just damn tired.

  42. June 13, 2010 6:31 pm

    Wow Indy, I’d almost forgotten how passionately you write. Brought back memories of so many wonderful posts that you’d written. It is indeed a sorry state that every person stands up for people of his own region / religion / caste / language etc.

    Was glad you brought back the old songs that we held so dear to our being, the old songs that we thought defined India and Indianness.

    The brutality of vote bank politics has ruined it for us And surprisingly, we have a lot of educated and well meaning people who support the sons of the soil theory.
    me-And surprisingly, we have a lot of educated and well meaning people who support the sons of the soil theory.
    you know Rakesh., is PRECISELY this that you write of that has me so down in spirits. Precisely this.

    It is not like I woke up to the brutal reality one fine day and started groaning about it.
    It is because I saw ‘educated’ individuals..leaders as we call them…’enlightened’ minds at work…in the blogworld…in so many places…minds that are justifying the horrific truth.
    I feel like smashing in a face or two.

  43. January 16, 2011 4:52 pm

    Absolutely wonderful post! loved reading every bit of it!

  44. January 18, 2011 8:40 am

    Smashing post!!!


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