Sunday, February 21, 2010

The India I love...that inspires...

In my head, I could hear voices of the Indian pledge or the slogans we shouted in school for several independence days, of the songs we sang in praise of the great India…. “India is my country… All Indians are my brothers and sisters…”… and some more….. in lines of how proud I am about my India- But, I am not able to see what is the India we are talking about? I wonder why was I made to speak those words, without telling me what it is that I am proud of ? What is it that I must love? What is the reality that I am proud of?

There can’t be two realities…

But, today we are being shown two realities—One reality is the “Shining super power (read nuclear power) India… one where political entrepreneurship has expanded into making education, real estate and shopping malls its successful ventures… The India that can afford to spend Rs.120 for a movie at Inox without having to think twice……we are talking about an India where everybody has cellphones and two wheelers… we talk about BPO’s and job creation.. of tall offices and taller arrogance of money and power….and of hurriedly climbing ladders to be world’s “best”…world’s “first”...world’s “largest”…
Then there is this India, the Dying super poor India”… where farmers produce to export, and stay hungry as they can’t consume what is being imported to eat… where 78,000 mothers die every year without seeing the face of the child she just delivered…and there are 2.1 MILLION mothers who live to see their child die, of hunger and starvation within 5 years… this moment as you read this..as I write this.. there are millions of children who are hungry and malnourished (I can safely say that, for India is the third largest malnourished country!) ..this is real.. it’s more real than Shahrukh Khan’s movie release facing obstacles; its definitely more real than the IPL cricket matches…

I find it hard to join the jingoism about shining India or the “aam admi ki jai” kind of India…! This India is about numbers… Of course !Only about those numbers(like 8% economic growth) that are glamorous and orgasmic… and NOT about numbers that scream that 46% of children suffer from malnutrition or about the 8% SC/ST population that is being vulnerable targets for internal displacements…. I find it hard to digest these numbers and find the energy to love…
When I ask myself, then what is it about this country that I love….
… I love this country ... for all those people, who fight eviction and sit in their homes, fighting for their rights….
For all the parents who send their children to government schools with little or no infrastructure, and hope to see their sons and daughters as doctors and IAS officers…
I love the wilderness that still lives in the country…
I love the expression of anger of an entire village boycotting elections, in a forgotten democracy…
I love the anarchic spirit of the struggles in the country this very moment-- that successive governments have been able to do little about…

I love the voices of dissent that may lose their battles, but remind the State that they have to fight them before executing their acts of injustice…
I am in awe of the spirit of farmers, who still continue to produce; unaware that the commodities and futures market decides whether they perish or survive…
It is this I love about my country… This gives me space to hope that the dissent coming from injustice, engineered by the “democratically” elected state can’t be silenced… or commoditized and outsourced… It is this space that I love about this country…that I wish will grow in strength… this space that I wish more people would belong to…
It is this India that touches me..that inspires me...

(P.s: Thanks Divya! It is the conversation with you… that got me thinking… and popped into the blog as a post… I dedicate this post to you:)!)

1 comment:

Renuka said...
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