Tuesday, August 5, 2008

INDIA AT 61

On the 61st anniversary of our Independence, I got this sms from a friend that very nearly summed up my thoughts about my India, in 2008. The sms duly adapted, read........H_indu, Musl_m, S_kh, _sa_, Ja_n, Pars_, Buddh_st, Punjab_, Bengal_, Madras_, Marath_, Kashmir_, etc. etc. See how we loose our _DENT_TY and UN_TY when we forget the 'I' for Indian. Happy Independence Day 2008.
India stands out in the world today as a country that celebrates pluralism and multi-culturism. I believe India is the only country in the world that comprises of many nations that have come together as a civilization and formed a modern political state. Our constitution gives us all the rights of a free country. These rights are very important to each one of us. However, with each right come a number of responsibilities. This is a lesson that we are learning, but very slowly. Some of us, including myself, get exasperated at our attitude towards rights and responsibilities. We tend to quote our experiences in the western democratic world and want India to be fashioned in the good that we have seen there. Well I hope that it would happen, but I also do know that it won't in my lifetime. Why? Simply because we are 1.1 billion strong with a diversity in every term that would terrorise any administrator. We have the poorest and the richest, we have all shades of black, white and grey, we have people practising all religions of the world, we have the most illiterate people and the brightest stars in the world, we have the cleanest homes and the dirtiest surroundings, we value our property and also our encroachments on public property, we question every rule and law even though we know why we need it when it does not suit us and at the same time we throw the rule book at some one who breaks the rules if it does not suit us, we teach honesty to our kids and are dishonest in our lives, we have political leaders who preach patriotism but are not patriotic.......the list goes on and on. Inspite of this, India is a unique country. It is, I believe, God's own favourite creation in which he wanted to showcase the ultimate in diversity and how this diverse humanity, and other life too, can co-exist in ways that are uniquely Indian. I love this creation of God. Long live India, my India. It has many faults; I don't like many things about it, but I love its majestic acceptance of God's will, always and everytime.

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