Sunday, October 22, 2006

Bahadur Bharat

Reading the news on ndtv.com, I thought to myself...we are a brave country. We've been through so much as a country. We've jumped over so many hurdles, and those that we've not been able to overcome, we're living with...so bravely.

There is so much terror in our lives. More than a New Yorker could ever feel. And yet we go about our day to day existence. Every time there is a festival in Delhi, I remember being told "Avoid market places, avoid cinema halls". Independence day, Republic day...the word "bomb" always lingers around the mention of these days.

Diwali just passed us by. While everyone was eating delicious food, consuming alcohol, and bursting fire crackers, security forces in Jammu and Kashmir killed 7 terrorists, and a jawan was killed too, in three seperate encounters. In the Muzaffarnagar district of Western UP, one person died in a clash between the two religious communities. But the festivities went on.

Every single Republic Day that I've lived to see, there's been terror in Delhi about going out, going to public places, high security. On Independence day, its unsafe to travel on a train or a plane. But millions of people go to the Republic day parade, regardless of the terror. And millions of people travel on Independence day. I did.

We've been terrorized for years and years, but look at us! We're doing great! I know this might be my naivete talking, but I genuinely feel that despite all the trouble, we ARE co-existing...whether it be the hindus and muslims, or the civilian and terrorist, or the government and the people. Life goes on. It is.

We have a long way to go, but we will get there, I feel. Look at us! We've survived wars, terrorist attacks, state sponsored terrorism, communal violence, riots...the works! And we still find ourselves going to the market places on the day of the terror attacks on sarojini nagar market..we still find inter-religious marriages.

I know there's LOADS our country needs to be doing. It is, in no sense, perfect. I myself can tell you countless things that are wrong with it. But in the daily irritants of life that make us feel like our country is shit, we forget how far we've come.

My contextual studies teacher said - "India is a boom country. In about 20 years, the purchasing power of an Indian will be 8 times the amount of an Englishman."

In 20 years...yes, that's a long time away. And the reason i put this down as an example is not because our purchasing power will be greater than that of Britain, but just as an analogy to how our country is progressing.

Despite my own cynicism about this country and it's people, I'm being optimistic.

2 Comments:

Blogger thinley said...

nice write this...we the average citizen have always learnt to take everything in our strides :-)

October 22, 2006 at 10:47:00 PM GMT+5:30  
Blogger Herr Voss said...

i guess the thing with bombs is about numbers. i guess some people think of it as fate, but i think it's determined simply by chance, like how many red lights you get from one place to another..one could either run away to the hills or something and avoid all the shit which has to be faced in the cities, or one can live happily here, and hope that things get better.
i worry about two things: not going somewhere, and then fnding out you could have died if you had gone; going somewhere i thought would be perfectly safe and dying. H'm.

October 26, 2006 at 6:31:00 PM GMT+5:30  

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