Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Presenting the wonder called India

At the very outset let me tell you why I chose to call India a wonder, instead of a great circus. A country which integrates more than a billion people; who differ not only in how they look and what they eat but also in their perception and beliefs about their own motherland. A country which assimilates the ideological, cultural and cross sectional differences of a billion brains working in a billion directions. A country which stands witness to more than 5000 years of documented history, out of which have emerged saints and scientists alike. A country which taught the world the eternal priniciple of “Sarve janaha sukhino bhavantu.” My happiness lies in the world’s happiness. India, is just not a country in geographical terms, it is a world in itself. No other geographical territory comes close to what India as a geographical territory is. When I attempt to segregate these facts and join them to comprehend, I wonder! And I just keep wondering. Staring into the eternal space that has failed to contain this land into a definition. A circus, as it may seem to an eye of a foreigner who just sees India with a closed mind.

By this time, my own fellow countrymen will start thinking that I am being influenced by patriotism and taunt me saying- “Abe Gandhi ka bhoot jad gaya tujme!” Well, my country has taught me to integrate differences as a way of life and find a path to tread. But my intentions of writing this are square and simple. It is the countrymen who portray their country to the world. I believe that the true identity of a country lies in its people. India as an entity is being portrayed as a beautiful country with not so beautiful people. India as a country is being perceived as a great circus as opposed to a diversified culturally vibrant and a working democracy. It naturally is not so good news for the coming times. These vibes may just reduce India to another African nation which had an equal amount of cultural and civilazational history but failed to be a cohesive unit. That was something not to so India about them. When, the external factors have tried to loosen the cohesiveness in India, time and again she has given birth to men, who have exemplified their life with their integrity.

Are we part of the great Indian circus?

Let us do some analysis. For an onlooker, India is a country with people defecating everywhere. Every open wall is a urinal. Every railway track is a fully fledged toilet. Every road is a dustbin and every market place, a sea of humanity. A country where in politics is truly a last resort of a scoundrel. A country which starts its day by bribing the local babu. A country, which curses itself when the equally corrupted media shows reports on corruption. A country where in imitating the west is a matter of pride and studying Samskrut old fashioned. A country which is disintegrating in its own values and yet be known for its value system. To add on, I can give a thousand pictures of how we are being part of a circus called India. The real India lies not in the circus depicted, but in assimilating these facts and still surviving as a country, nurturing every hungry soul. What bemuses me is the power of this country to integrate in the ever disintegrating world, to stand strong in the winds of change and to assimilate everything that comes its way and yet be “India”.

Why are we the way we are? A student of scientific history will answer that India was ruined and looted by the various oppressions it has underwent in the last thousand years. Adding to it, the fertile land made the people all the more lazy. The abundance of water consumed the thirst of her people to achieve more. The population exploded out of proportion with none willing to control. When things went out of an amicable solution, Morarji Desai was heading the government of India. Power, irrespective of where it is, fantasizes men. He wasn’t aware whether to secure India or the Indian government. Well, after his attempts neither India nor the Indian government was secured. Both went berserk. Things began to get complicated. We had the power to frame rules after a thousand years and we did not know what rules are to be framed?! Poverty, began sky rocketing. The power to “adjust” is in every Indian’s DNA. We adjusted to road side toilets, made railway stations and bus stands our homes and begging became our second nature. No one seemed to notice it then. We were the part of the circus without even knowing our roles.

When India is growing at the rate of 8-9% a year leaving the world behind, the contrast appears to be stark. Some might divide us between Bharat and India. While India is shining, Bharat is still without electricity. Why is India being torn apart?

Turning the great Indian Circus into a great Indian Show

I believe unless you suggest solution to a problem you are not competent enough to discuss the problem. My solution to the problem is fairly simple. It is in taking personal responsibility towards the country. It is in accepting this way of life as a way of life of India. The problem is with respect to our identity. We constantly compare ourselves to our western counterparts. They live in a lavish lifestyle and we cannot. That is what differentiates us. A lavish lifestyle is not the only thing to live for. We are taught that an inner lifestyle is more important than the outer one. In our small homes, we are happy and contented with 3 square meals a day. We achieved new heights only to integrate and assimilate it amongst our own people. We never competed to be in the race, we excelled only for our own needs. We showed the way forward to a global, diversified and a heterogeneous world. And then, we lost out. Now is the time, to wake up again. Now is the time to tell the world that the great Indian circus is just not about the Indian ‘jugaad’, but it’s how things happen in India. Isn’t it wow!?

I would rather be a comedian in the great Indian circus than be a hero in a western opera.

Are you with me?

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