Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Is there too much to think about? You’re in a world where men with limp wrists decide what clothes you must wear, and of course everyone wears designer wear. You’re in touch with more than 200 friends through a social networking website, and you’re up all night discussing ‘issues’ without meeting anyone for days. You’re wondering which nightclub your friends are headed, while you’re secretly hoping to work out your plan to Manali for this long weekend – but will your parents be convinced? You want to lose weight – to look great you know – while you drink only Diet Coke, but will it work?
But wait, step aside, take a deep breath, and pinpoint a single articulate sentence that correlates your life with the fact that this year – on 15th August, 2007 (to be precise) – the day your country celebrates 60 years of being an independent country – is relevant to your life?
And independence from what: Oh yes, you’ve heard your grandparents talk about the struggle, a Partition, a few riots perhaps; a foggy memory of school with handful of teachers, field day trips at monuments, history text books – and of course the news channels now on how things have changed. But how does that really matter, weren’t they ought to change just like the rest of things in the latter half of the avuncular 20th century?
They’re moments of patriotism that we all have, but only when the thin mist of misconceptions clears. But is patriotism – the love for your country, that is – symbolised on Independence Day?
It doesn’t necessarily happen with me. But it can happen on another day when the Indian team comes home after winning the cricket World Cup, but certainly not with street kids selling you plastic national flag on traffic lights.
History says that it wasn’t easy to be an independent nation. To collect the remnants of a country that had fragmented psychologically as well as physically – the British Raj did leave something for us to handle independently. I admire that we did some fine work then.
And even though in theory we have retained the integrity of the definition of democracy, when we’ve thought of our country, but in actual, why does it seem so unclear and distant to me?
I've noticed that Bollywood's too trying to grasp the youth with our political past, and while Rang de Basanti explored the question of youth and the disconnect, it failed miserably in a solution with an over dramatised end. And while Lage Raho Munnabhai did undeniable wonders on making us see Gandhi’s relevance more than the reason why he is on our rupee note. But that too is now settling again in our forgotten memory. How does it all fit in?

11 Comments:

Blogger LostLittleGirl said...

It'll never fit in. All these 'patriotic' days make me strangely delirious and overtly thoughtful. But I actually stole a flag from a gas station right now so I can't see myself being someone who's on the right side. But damn..it was fun. Hee hee

5:23 AM, August 15, 2007  
Blogger Sassy Satan said...

Why do we only feel patriotic near Independence day or Republic day? And even if one does feel 'patriotic', has anyone actually sat down and heard what the PM of the country has to share with you (even if it is crap)?

10:56 PM, August 15, 2007  
Blogger Saattvic said...

jerry, it does fit in. it fits in for me every time i stand at attention and sing the national anthem looking at the flag. i get goosepimples. it doesnt have to be independence day or republic day. it could be me inside my bathroom even, but it feels the same.

i think you could put it down to the following oft repeated but still very true cliche: you only value something when you lose it. yes, nobody's perfect. indian democracy isn't perfect. but try being imprisoned in your house for any length of time and see how you eventually yearn to get out. and how you resent the force that keeps you in. not that you actually WANT to get out, just that you should have that choice. imagine walking outside a public building and seeing a sign proclaiming 'dogs and indians not allowed'. not that you'd want to go into the building. just that you should have the right to.

that's what freedom is. that's what independence is. the problem with us is that we take it for granted. the moment you see it as something that can be lost, and reflect upon how losing it will affect your everyday functioning and your rights, you'll see it fir in.

sorry for sermonizing. i realize that i may sound like your grandparents. but it's something i feel strongly about. these thoughts aren't the results of memorizing and spewing out sermons given to me by old timers. no one ever gave me any sermons. i came to these conclusions by myself. and if they sound old fashioned and filmy, then so be it. fact is, i believe in them.

1:36 PM, August 16, 2007  
Blogger jerry said...

Lostlittlegirl: Stealing flags is damn cool! Heh eh...

Sassy: Umm no -- not all of it, briefs of it yes.

Saatvic: Well if it does mean to you, it's truly a great thing. You see, I'm only asking at the end of it. But as far as I see it, for most there's no sense for the day. you're right about the losing thing, but well its all human nature I suppose.

11:48 AM, August 17, 2007  
Blogger Renovatio said...

I liked the rendition of the anthem A.R. Rahman put together with all those brilliant artists...

11:52 PM, August 17, 2007  
Blogger Albert said...

I think saattvic is confusing independence and freedom with patriotism and nationalism.

Man is greedy by nature and wants to have everything under one pretext or the other. Patriotism and Nationalism are two of the many ideas and ways created by man to suffice his greediness.

I am irked by the number of times the national anthem has been played on the television and radio channels. I mean there is no end to it, and corporate and artists are using to propagate their brand. And people say it’s a solemn thing. What a farce!

5:19 PM, August 19, 2007  
Blogger munmun said...

forgotten memory... cool oxymoron..
but u seem unable to(at times) feel the essence behind things... why?

9:34 PM, August 21, 2007  
Blogger jerry said...

renovatio: ditto, think its brilliant and wonderfully patriotic -- but I-day?

albert: dude, that's somewhat it man. that's what i've written, patriotism musn't be confused with the relevance of independence day. the market seems to have captialised man on it.

mun: I'm an Outsider.

12:49 PM, August 22, 2007  
Blogger Renovatio said...

I honestly can't remember what I did that day or what I was thinking for some reason, and I was thinking some pretty intense thoughts. Weird.

1:18 AM, August 25, 2007  
Blogger medusa said...

it doesn't. fit in, that is, not when you put it the way you put it, but i dont know what is the other way pf putting it.

12:38 PM, September 02, 2007  
Blogger Saattvic said...

umm... actually i int confuse freedom with patriotism at all. if you read the comment gain carefully, the basic point is that if you stop taking freedom for granted, you will realize its value. and that will make you feel for the institution that gives you that freedom - our country. thus leading to partiotism. at least thats how it works for me. freedom for me is just another reason for feeling patriotic.

5:06 PM, September 11, 2007  

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