Independence Day is here. So people, let’s get out our India-colored bandanas, paint our faces (and bodies) with the colors of our motherland, drink a bottle of Zinda dil Pepsi, listen to the Prime Minister’s soul-stirring call to the nation not to get down on its knees for terrorists, cheer for the “Men In Blue” against Sri Lanka ,SMS “Go India” to Bharat TV for a chance to win a year’s supply of Pizza Hut pizza, watch the DVD of “Gadar” if the cricket match gets washed out and then, no matter what happens, go and watch “Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna” in the evening (since it’s a crime to waste a holiday without Karan Johar).
I am an Indian. A real Indian. A patriotic one. I support the Indian cricket team regardless of whether Ganguly or Dravid is the captain (unlike some people who shall remain nameless). Whenever I hear “Aye mere watan ke logon” I stand up and try to hold the hand of the person next to me. Hell sometimes I get so emotional that I don’t mind if it’s a guy’s hand I am clasping. (Needless to say, a girl is always preferable simply because her soft hands remind me of my desh ki
mitti dhartiÂ …the one that ugle heere moti). And I invariably have a Raymond’s “complete man” sensitive moment as tears flow down my cheeks to the tune of the song, my mind awash with the memories of all those jawans and kisans who have laid down their lives for their country. I make it a point to forward any mail I get about the achievements of India, speeches of Narayana Murthy, anecdotes of our President and 1993 Toyota Corollas on sale. And for independence day, I play only patriotic songs on my IPod—-only not Anu Malik’s “We love you Oh India, tujhe na chorenge” cause that’s so horrid I believe that the Pakistani ISI paid for it.
However even on such a nice day, some people just don’t “get it”. You know the type—those that try to find logic in Hindi movies, who think Manoj Kumar hams, who write ” rescue” instead of “resQ”, those that wear an underwear a size too short (restricts the flow of blood you see). These people, while acknowledging the economic progress India has made in 59 years, put the fly in the ointment by pointing out that 600 farmers committed suicide in the Vidarbha region last year (a fact that the media and Indians in general doesn’t really seem to care about) and idiotically ask if this is the caring India our freedom-fighters (even the word “freedom fighter” gets me teary-eyed) fought for. Farmers dying–who cares—I prefer to see a boy being resQued from a well, thank you.
Now, Kisans—they a different thing—I can lay down my life for them. Smiling like Aamir Khan’s character in “Rang De Basanti”.
These “kabab-main-chaddi”s also question the fact that we live in a truly independent country— a country where the government can ban media they feel target their ideology and where the government can seize the equipment of broadcasters they feel are not transmitting in the “public interest” (i.e. their interest). They feel it reminds them of the 1920s/30s/40s when the Queen’s government imposed media blackouts and used draconian sedition laws on anyone who disagreed with our masters. Frankly if you ask me, as long as the government does not censor “Kkusum” and “Kahani Ghar ghar ki” and allows me to vote for my favourite “Indian Idol” I think it is doing more than enough to maintain my freedom and my ability to exercise free will. The so-called doubters can kiss ma ass.
Of course there is much not to like about India. Don’t get me wrong—there are still injustices. Like how Indians are treated shabbily by these bastardly NRIs —-see how Bipasa Basu was “physically and mentally” harassed by two organizers of the India Day parade at Edison (link courtesy: Rajeev). A keen student of history, I am reminded of the time one Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was physically and mentally harassed by a racist ticket collector in South Africa. And how he reacted ! By stripping down to a langoti, quitting his profession as a lawyer and arousing the nation into revolutionary action. I sincerely hope that this experience triggers something similar in Bipasa i.e. she stops wearing clothes (except a tri-coloured thong) and renounces acting. The nation will be aroused automatically.
The other problems about India I can think of, off-hand, would be how our cricket team lacks a genuine all-rounder, the endless traffic jams and bad road conditions (Shayan Munshi also thinks this is India’s No 1 problem) ,snotty desi girls who don’t reply to my offers of “franship” and traitor Indians who don’t “report as bogus” all those “I hate India ” communities on orkut despite my repeated mails.
I mean how any Indian can tolerate an insult to his motherland and not try to stifle the voice of her enemies, by twisting their windpipes, is just beyond me.
Whenever I say this, my “friends” tell me that it is precisely because of this attitude (i.e. of banning and muffling any voice that we don’t like to hear), that we as a country have not been able to become as “independent” as we should have been.
But as I said before, these people just do not understand the “passion” behind being Indian. Obviously, they deserve to be shot.
Anyways forgive my display of emotion. After all it’s my country. And today is the day it became independent.
Jai Jawan. Jai Kisan. Jai Hind.
And don’t forget the Pepsi.