Thursday

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.

Tuesday

Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt






The recent re-taking of Tahrir Square by protesters has prompted a new rash of graffiti in Cairo. More and more, they explicitly denounce the rule of SCAF, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces.

A glimpse of the uprising in Egypt.


Eyes closed: Before the revolution, political expression in Egypt was stifled…

Bandaged man: but the anger broke through after the example of the Tunisian revolution of January...

Chess board: Notice that the king has been toppled in this game of chess

The Statue of Liberty: wears a full veil. Underneath is written, “You’re not free!”—a quote taken from a Salafi song, advising women that they must remain submissive

Fist: There are plenty of fists of defiance; this one is inscribed with a crescent and cross, the symbol of religious unity that was one of the features of Tahrir Square, when Coptic priests and Muslim Imams held hands and demonstrated together


As activists have now settled into Tahrir for a long-term sit-in, they decry the “couch party” of people who prefer to sit at home and complain about the ongoing disruption. Was heartening to see many first timers taking to the streets to show solidarity with the cause of Freedom

May Peace return to Egypt soon