Monday, June 14, 2010

My country is the greatest.

An article by Priya Ramani on ‘our pseudo-nationalism’ got her a lot of hate mail and generated quite a buzz in the Twitter world. She wrote:

Recently I’ve become increasingly convinced that I’m not an Indian….. I have no furious loyalties to the Baganapalli or Alphonso. In fact, I can think of at least six fruits that I prefer to the mango. I have never eaten an entire paan or a pot of mishti doi (though I have tried both) and I don’t spit in public or private (except for that one time I tried a meetha paan)…. I don’t understand that other national obsession, cricket, either. White is not my favourite skin colour. I don’t read Chetan Bhagat or Paulo Coelho. I feel depressed every time I wear a salwar-kameez

I don’t think we’re the greatest people on earth. I don’t understand our sense of fake pride and nationalism. That whole chest-thumping Jai Ho phase? I never got it. Most of the insightful books and films/documentaries about India have been written/made by outsiders.

I agree with her about the chest-thumping and the constant proclamation of patriotism that we keep indulging in. When Sachin scores runs, he is not doing it for himself, but is sweating it out for his motherland. When Amitabh is acting, the last thought on his mind is money; he is working for the greater glory of the country and to keep the country’s flag flying high. Every morning these guys wake up and feel the need to say something profoundly patriotic on their blogs or tweats. (“My caste? I am an Indian”).

As Shaw put it, patriotism is the unreasonable belief that your country is the best merely because you were born in it. Being born in India was a random genetic event. Just accept it as a fact and move on. You don’t have to be proud of it, nor have to regret it.


Usha said...

Well there are certain sacred cows you don't touch however true your belief might be - desam, thaai and Thaali to mention a few.

Raj said...

Usha, what a grass-itching line!