Where is the Indian Patriotism and Leadership?


I watched ‘Bose-The Forgotten Hero’ sometime back, a movie that released in 2005.  At the end of the movie, I was left wondering, why is this generation of Indians not patriotic? Why is the feeling of ownership, the sense of belonging to a nation, missing in most of us? The Indian freedom struggle saw immense patriotism but now it seems to have died. Honestly, I am not a hard-core patriot either, but when I introspect I manage to get a few answers.
I belong to a country which has a third of the world’s poorest people, where corruption prevails everywhere, leaders think wearing skirts and eating chowmein leads to rape, terrorist attacks are forgotten in two days and martyrs in one. These facts are definitely nothing to be proud of. Don’t get me wrong, I am no India-hating hypocrite, I am simply pointing out the things which actively prevent one from being a patriot.

Recently, I came across an article about a RAW agent posted in Pakistan, who helped our country immensely during the war, was caught and finally breathed his last in a Pakistan jail in 2001. The result of such outstanding work was: the Indian government refused to recognise him as a citizen; his mother was given a compensation of INR 1200. 
How can a country show such apathy in a situation like this? And this is just one example, there are a million others. With such occurrences, the feeling of patriotism is liable to die out.

It’s quite ironical that almost every one of us is a fanatic when it comes to our religion or our mother tongue, but when it comes to our country we lack that something substantial. Today, religious loyalty is greater than patriotism. And let us not even delve into the small section of people who go out on streets to confuse jingoism with patriotism.

Another deterrent is that we Indians are unable to define our identity vividly and even after sixty-five years of independence hang from the labyrinth of dogmas and doctrines of secularism, communalism, regionalism, Marxism, Leninism, Maoism and what  not. The simple doctrine of patriotism forgotten and buried in books of Indian history.
Swami Vivekananda, considered as India’s most influential patriot had devised a revolutionary concept of patriotism which he called practical patriotism. He said that patriotism does not mean mere sentiment or even emotional love for the motherland, but a passion to serve fellow countrymen. Until and unless that feeling arises in us we cannot call ourselves patriots. Supporting Indian cricket team in a match against Pakistan, wearing kurtas or singing patriotic songs does not make us one.
The Indian Army is now facing a shortage of officers, so is the Indian Civil Services. Despite the fact that both provide great pay package and other facilities. So what is it that refrains the youth of the country to take up these jobs and work for the country?

From a country of great leaders we have now degenerated into a country of demagogues, struggling at every point. We lack the likes of Bose, Gandhi, Nehru, Bhagat Singh, the ones who could ignite that feeling of inheritance. Nobody sees a role model in the likes of Rahul Gandhi and Mayawati, and well, if you do, I’m sorry to say, you need a reality check.
In a speech, President Obama said “There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.” He got the most roaring applause from the audience.
When was the last time we heard an Indian leader talk like that?

A Free Man: A True Story of Life and Death in Delhi-Review


Not everyday a Journalist ventures into the streets of the Delhi Sadar Bazaar and least of all has conversations with the daily wagers while smoking, drinking or having tea with them. The book is centered around the life of a alcoholic, chain-smoking painter Ashraf who dwells in Bara Totti, a labor market in Delhi. Sethi is sure that Ashraf’s story is different and keeps pursuing him to tell all about it, initially in vain. There are times when Ashraf’s revelations and philosophy come as a surprise. His musings offer deep insights into the struggle and, poignantly, the solitude of poverty.

He talks about freedom, saying the employer owns the work not the laborer. He says “Azadi is the freedom to tell the maalik to fuck off when you want to. The maalik owns our work. He does not own us.” Although the freedom comes with loneliness, Delhi he proclaims is a big city and you can barely have good friends there. Nobody can be the best buddy, they are just “okay-okay”  friends.

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Ashraf’s friendship with the author encourages the other dwellers of Bara Totti to talk to him and give interviews although most of the people fear the media guy, with the strange voice-recorder. He talks to the chai-walla, a mad-man and other labors. The conversations with these men expose a part of world we have never seen and barely know anything about its existence. For these people living in luxury isn’t the aspiration, surviving is. They have dreams of being rich but those dreams barely ever come true.

The book tells a lot about Delhi’s liquor laws, the nabbing of beggars in the national capital, TB hospitals  and a lot of other practices. It is enlightening, touching and humorous at the same time. It is a well-written, compassionate view of migrant laborers in Delhi and their lives. Aman Sethi’s A Free Man is one of the most compelling arguments for the hypothesis, that Indian non-fiction is at a far better place than the fiction.

Being Twenty


 

After two years on Teenage Babbling and turning twenty I felt the need of a new blog. Being twenty will be a fresher, newer and re-vamped version of Teenage Babbling.Honestly being twenty and nineteen are the same.

I am just another girl, a lot of people will contradict that saying I am a tomboy.I like being optimistic and am a little confused, maybe a lot more than little. I like being onto something all the time.

Apart from writing and following NEWS I love reading books and listening to good music. Driving and swimming excite me like nothing else. You can call me adventurous, I want to try all the adventure sports at least once, although until now I only have one in-the-middle-of-the-city bungee jump to my credit. A lover of cheese, friends think even my pick-up lines are cheesy because of the high intake of cheese.

Being twenty is fun, nothing goes wrong when you are twenty. You are neither too young nor too old.Through this blog I want the world to know what I think of it, what are my sane and insane thoughts and sometimes you have bear with my ramblings. If you have been reading my previous blog you probably know about my thought process, if you haven’t, well then it is not too late, Being Twenty is right here for you.

Looking forward to write more often and more than that hearing from all my readers.

Signing off

Srishti Kush