Born In India

Sometimes I ask myself why do I feel such a misfit in my own nation. I love India lots, yet, on many occasions; I feel I don’t belong here. Perhaps it’s my expectations, perhaps it’s my desire to see India grow and develop in a certain way, and perhaps it’s the gnawing ache of unfulfilled dreams shown to me by our freedom fighters and the political class?

Then again, I say to myself, this is My country, my territory, my home, my property, all my loved ones are right here. It is my duty to do everything in my might for her, or at the very least help in the process of change, protect her, worry for her, make her look and feel better; if not me, who will? Who will?

After 65 years since Independence, there came a brief period, (a couplea years ago) that shone brightly, where I held my head high and said with pride I am an Indian. Like a shooting star the brilliance faded as rapidly, and left the flash effect of light behind, which many assumed wrongly to be the halo for India Shining

Tch tch, we are not there. We are far from there. There is so much work to be done, so much toil to be put in, so much to be corrected, so many paths to be constructed, before we can all pause to enjoy a dekho of satisfaction for this sweet land called India

64 confused years of nation building, have passed us by. Do we feel secure in our nation? Have we taken much for granted? Do we value human lives? How do we protect these lives? How do we re-invest back into our daily existence, without ploughing back into this land called India?

We enjoy a certain level of freedom today, which many have taken for granted, which is made possible only by the sacrifices of the many generations of Indians before us...

I love India and I am even prouder to be an Indian! BUT... I am disillusioned, I sense my broken dreams.

The beautiful picture I had painted of my future, years ago, is now marred by the influx of poverty, slums, unhealthy living, jostling for space, lack of education, lack of self-worth, small hearts, large ego’s, dis respectfulness towards elders, more importantly, dis respectfulness towards self!

I begin to doubt my own identity.

How can I belong to this nation called India? A land so sacred once upon a time, a land belonging to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, a land fit for Gods, a land rich in its natural make up and acquired lineage, a land that has parentage and heritage…how and where did it go so wrong.

I cry silent tears of despair. I weep with frustration.

Have we become so myopic that we cannot see our dimming futures? Have we become so dark that we enjoy killing goodness? Have we become so selfish that if I can’t have it, I won’t let another either. Regressive does not translate for the future, unfortunately.

I find it hard to answer when I sometimes question myself, "Why do I care?"

For whom do I bleed, bust a nerve, work tirelessly and un-endingly; while the rowdy’s march the streets and the intelligentsia sit around and debate endlessly?

Why do I cry these tears of frustration, of sadness, of despair? Why have I yet, not left the shores of India, when I know I could probably earn five times or even more of that amount outside?

There could be only one answer: I love my Country.

In times of war, I will gladly lay down my life to protect my home called India. In times of peace, if there is something called peace, who is marching alongside me, to keep this nation’s spirits high, who is working hard and tirelessly to responsibly change every day little things for a better tomorrow, who is watching guard over our young, so that they become equally ferocious in their pride of this nation, as they will certainly be, of their homes and futures?

I do not need the media, or the politicians, or someone who has deserted his own parents, to tell me what patriotism is, nor the significance behind my own Flag or my Anthem. I do not need those people to march alongside me, seeking a separate flag, or a separate state anthem, when words like ‘harmony’ and ‘compassion’ are lost out in this race for greed of “I, me, myself”, where paper tigers outweigh real doers.

No, I am not blaming the migrants for invading my city, nor am I blaming one city dweller for giving up and coming to another city; but rather, the policies for allowing them in and not creating enough infrastructure or opportunities to absorb them all, to ensure a robust life for all. Religion cannot be the reference point for everything.

Is the place of my birth, where I truly belong? Why am I losing faith in this land where I grew up and have grown to love? Why do I sense I am one against a force of many who think similarly of war, destruction, selfish pride, why do I feel so outnumbered and alone?

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced. Its time. To look inwards. Course correct. Place India above “I, me, myself”

Please do not make me feel like an outsider in my own country. Love for one’s country cannot be ambiguous. Ask yourself, do you honestly love India, a little more, than you do yourself? Its then, we can hope to have a country of proud nation builders.

Happy 65th , India.


melinda said...

Happy 64th (in advance) My Dear India:)

We love you, and we shall do everything to protect you and look after you:)

rajindermakkar said...

......and miles to go before I sleep......

gita said...

Indeed what we must be sad about is, in these 64 years we have not been (as a nation and a people) able to meet our citizens basic requirements/needs. That is very shameful. If the corruption and looting by the successive governments was not as callous, we'd be a much better progressive, developed nation today.

RavneetSingh said...

Excellent post Mee! Often I too wonder, am I in the wrong country? And no, we shld not stop asking these questions, because it will propel us to do even better for this country- don't get dejected by the naysayers, the cynics! If we are fully conscious of the fact this our Janambhoomi, is equally our karambhoomi, we shall strve hard to do our magic as individuals, and that magic can only be good contagious and catch on:)- you, have set a superb example in your field of work, its time we each did our bit, thats when the waters will turn in our favour.

ashish said...

There are many wrongs that exist and prevail in India. Some very dis-likable elements and patterns too. Education must be the backbone of our nation, it must reach each and every person, if we want to become a nation of giants. Happy 65th India!

Anon said...



john said...

The worry (if we can term it that way) is not the past, for it is gone, The worry is the present, because one simply does not have a clue of how India is charting its future.

Shweta said...

You say it right. Not everything can be blamed for the directionless amble India is on, on the politicians. We as a people, too have a role to play, and we need to ask ourselves, if we are playing our respective roles, responsibly?

Mee said...

I have also been thinking freedom in today's context means choices, options to earn and spend as we wish, free from boundaries - travel where we wish to, watch the latest Hollywood blockbuster the same time as the rest of world, buy a gadget launched in another continent, the latest music...

But we continue to be restless and angry. Perhaps because we lost some freedom and given up some willingly?

The internet has robbed us of our anonymity. Targets have made us slaves of work. And the peace of isolation is a thing of the imagination.

Give or take some from our personal freedoms, where do we stand today? The benchmark is prolly no longer, where we started from, but where we dream to be. Yet, the occasion is rooted in history. On the eve of our 64th anniversary of India's independence, maybe we all need to discover what it means to be truly free.

sanjiv said...

The views and loyalties of many Indians is in direct contrast to the political point of reference. Politicos revel in piling up obstacles to reform/development, pull back on peace at borders, ignore furious criticisms directed at them. We on the other hand, get enraged, becos many amongst us, question us for speaking our minds! Is this patriotism? To be accused of being secular? Aren't we a liberal secular nation?

This culture of intolerance and intimidation is what depresses me most.

sheila said...

"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action--
Into that heaven of freedom, my father, let my country awake.
Rabindranath Tagore
Happy independence Day

Ambadi said...

Well written.. Reflect the predicament of many Indians.. But I assure you, all is not lost.. Perhaps the mismatch of our expectations and realities are causing the heartburn..

We are experiencing unprecedented changes in our country, both economically and socially. What took centuries for other countries are sought to be achieved in months.. Hence the tensions.

Have faith.. No need to be proud to be a Indian.. Just feel the humility for the luck of having borne in a great country... and continue the individual struggles for improvement.

We will eventually reach there.. :-)

magiceye said...

incisive,poignant and beautiful

ReX said...

When India got Independence only rulers were changed not the babus. Sarkari Babus with colonial mentality. and they planted new colonial rulers in the form of neo colonial politicians (During Indira Gandhi era).