Feb 15, 2006

I am an Indian

Of late there has been a great amount of publicity for the neo-national spirit.
Movies like Rang – De –Basanti impacting the target audience in a profound manner. Just last week, I had a tea-break chat, with a friend of mine who has been pretty keen on advancing his education abroad. For all that I know of him, he was one chap who was very focused on his career beyond the shores of this country, and had a fairly well-planned strategy for achieving his goals. But what amused me was this guy who seemed so hell-bent on his dreams, was moved to the extent of reconsidering his choice, after watching a 3 hour flick. He went on to watch the movie a coupla times more, in different geographic locations as well. The dude joined an online fan group of the movie and was roused enough to start a blog and put up a review. I was amazed by the amount of influence a movie can have on a person.
Yet another acquaintance of mine made a similar career move and went on to work in the rural stretches of India, after being influenced by the movie Swades. As time and fate had it, he realized that he had burnt his fingers, and is right now considering a time-tested career path. But, nevertheless kudos to his courage to try and be different.
I haven’t seen either of the movies, and I am no authority on the quality of work in this form of art/expression. What these, movies have managed to do, is kindle the dormant desire in the youth of today, to make the difference.
Nationalistic fervor of yesteryears was something which needed a leader, and icon to inspire. But patriotism in today’s flat world has a different dimension, all together. Our youth force is as competent and ambitious as any other across the globe. People are no longer tied by stigmas and the economy seems to have empowered them with a sound financial backing. Knowledge has acquired fluidity throughout the lengths and breadths of the country and information travels faster than wind. Today’s men and women are able to think on their feet and have the guts to question tradition.
But, their apathy to take up the onus kept things at a stale-mate. And the ones that did take it up, didn’t (and still don’t) clearly know what they had taken up and what they were to encounter in their path. They don’t need a leader, they need a movement.
The system has become ridden with miscreants who look upon it as a never-ending mine of gold. Youth of today know what ruin these shenanigans had brought in their wake. They are well-armed in resisting the lure of moolah, and in keeping the system going ahead.
Its good to see that group of the best brains of the nation have launched a political party. But though they have been highly appreciated, much remains to be seen. Lets hope they aren’t just a bunch of charged up individuals, who after the pet project, (something that would end being an inconspicuous fine print in their resume), land up in some multi national biggie with a fat pay packet.

People who took on the system alone, sticking by their principles ended up resting their heads on soft earth, six feet down under. ( I am not including a hyperlink here, because I hope memories of such horror stay afresh and don’t need any recollection). This was a colossal set back to the bright starry eyed intelligentsia, which gets disillusioned when its brethren of excellent educational background, find not only their intellects but also their lives becoming feed to the political predators.

The will to stay on and make the difference is resident in each and every individual. Even the one’s that have chosen the escape route to greener pastures are likely to come back and do their part, once things start rolling. The system at hand, is filled with unimaginable filth. One or two idealistic rookies cant change the world over night. Before sowing the seeds of a new era, the weeds have to be cleared. A silent war needs to be waged. Somebody has to do the dirty work, someday. Why not we and why not today? Our children may not remember us for what we have done, but we shall go to our graves with our heads held high.

Sometime back, I had to stand in the queue in Chennai to reserve tickets for my impending train journey. There was a snag in the network and the queue started to build up. People were clinging on to their positions with all their might.
There was a slight commotion in the senior citizen’s counter. A mini-racket had taken shape. Some “young-at heart" man had started a debate and the rest of them were passionately getting into the ring. One particularly effervescent grey haired personality, who was the next to get to the counter, got up from his seat, walked all the way to the end of the line, to prove his point. From the bits of conversation that came wafting, I was able to conjure upon a vague picture of some civic issue that needed attention.

The senior citizens of Chennai have always been a very active lot. Anywhere they meet lackadaisical attitude, they will “write to THE HINDU”. They share their concerns in any scenario, be it the morning walk in the beach, the chance wait-together in the bank, the post-office and so on and so forth. Despite the rude remarks from the other end “ Ei Perusu, velaiya pathutu poga maata?” translated as “ Mind your business, old man”..
Perhaps they have seen more of life, or maybe since they have all the time in the world, and have come the full circle in their personal lives that they can now afford to digress and think of the society as well.

Why should anyone wait till their youngest daughter gets married and bears grandchildren to start thinking of their locality/society/city/state and the country?
Why cant we teach a little bit of social consciousness in our schools along with the novel ideas of educating them in the share market early on?

Heavy rock and other similar genre of music generally scores a hit with the rebel in everyone. A sense of liberation is can be experienced through music and words. Its time to realize the same kind of emancipation in action.

Every walk of life needs to be revolutionalised with a common ideal in mind, which is what the Government is ideally supposed to be doing.

Not too long ago, I had caught up with an old friend of mine. We were into the topic of philosophy, God, et al. He quoted some western schools, and their tenets to prove his point. I accept, without shame, that I am blissfully unaware of all such things. But one thing that disturbed me was the fact that even for philosophizing one needs to look upon the west. Why is anything and everything that’s oriental, considered backward and decadent? I fully appreciate a mingling of cultures, a seamless blend of the East and the west. But why don’t we accept if not appreciate our own, as an alternative? Is it because of the fact that familiarity breeds contempt?

These are just random thoughts which I thought I could pen down. In one of my previous blogs, I had posted a poem ("Dare I dream") on similar lines. Wonder why I keep doing an encore of writing on the need for action, without actually acting upon anything.. Sigh!, Afterall, I am Indian.


R.Subramanian said...

Good and meaningful writing :)

i think it is high time u start writing a story....

I am tagging u to write a story, a comical one, that is. The story shud not be a romantic one...... Thatz the only condition.

Anonymous said...

There has been a sudden spurt in patriots in the country. The magic of RDB - a 1000 reviews and a 1001 reformations. Puhhlease!!
It's just a stupid movie! Superficially, it's a mind opener. But if you analyse, you'd know it's just another stupid movie.

And your last line - Such a big blog with some really "strong" words and all you do is sigh about not being able to do anything and worse end it with "Afterall,I am an Indian" !!!! Aren't you ashamed of yourself? Of belittling your countrymen? Can't you stand out, do something and say I am proud of it because I am an Indian? Can't you "do" what you say? Why do you say then? Quit writing blogs and quit trying to impress.

It's impossible only till you think it is. No harm giving it a try. Stop blaming your country, stop tagging onto that "Indians are like that" image just because you can't move your lazy I-don't-wish-to-mention-it. Stop justifying, stop compromising. And if you can't act on it(whatever it is) then just shut up.

--- GW (Yes,it's me and I can be like this too!)

And do you know why I am reprimanding you for writing that? 'Cuz I know you're a lot more capable..

The Soliloquist said...

Hey, anony, thanks for that whack in the "i-too-dont-want-to-mention-it".
Needed it.. Big time.. was feeling restless even when i wrote the blog.

And its high time u stop being anonymous.

The Soliloquist said...

GW: u r driving me nuts... Who the hell r u.. me makin a fool of myself askin everyone i know, who might sound like u...Have mercy and reveal urself..

justrohin said...

Nice writing.

Many a times we find ourselves stranded in situations where we are on crossroads trying to decide whether what I am doing is right or not and by the time the realisation dawns we have toddlers of our yester toddlers leaping back and forth from our laps to shoulders.

Many people join NGOs for the greater good success and failure are part of the game. Inability to take a risk is totally individual. Making a calls from rooftops "jaago bharat jaago" wouldnt help.

The Indian army on records has a perennial shortage of officers, most Indians know it still????

Reminds me of a chapter on societal consciousness I had read when in School, it said if we cannot be direct contributers to the visible development of the country, lets not engage in discussions in public, in gatherings where we take a dig at the prevailing pathetic state of affairs. Instead lets make a joint effort to spread positive vibes by means of positive discussions appreciating whats going on good and lift up the spirits of people who are down and ultimately leading to the country moving ahead as one cohesive unit... Thats what we stand for right "Unity In Diversity"

And thats what finally makes Mera Bharat Mahaan