August 15, 2011

Happy? Independence Day

Bengal Tiger / Tigre de Bengala (Panthera Tigris)
The Indian Tiger. Sleeping.. or Defeated?

Few days back, I was having a "free country vs dictator-ruled country" debate with a friend on Twitter. I of course, being a proud Indian, was on free country side. But, she surprisingly said "I would prefer to live in a Dictator ruled country". Of course, I didn't agree with the arguments she gave but after what I have experienced in recent days, it got me thinking if India was really the country to be worth living in?

After the recent terrorists attacks in Mumbai, sentiments were really (and naturally) high. I got to read an article from DNA, where someone named Swami had given his "esteemed" views on how to eradicate the "Islamic" terrorism from this country. Well in the first few lines itself, he started talking about Hindus and stuff, and I really couldn't stand that. Because for me, terrorism has no religion. If you catch a Muslim terrorists, he is a lunatic. If you catch a Hindu terrorist, he also is a lunatic. I don't see any difference. So, I just skimmed the article to see if there is any sense in this madness. At one point the guy talks about, Muslims can join the fight if "they acknowledge with pride that though they may be Muslims, their ancestors were Hindus."

Well what the heck is that? I don't know much of about 'that' history. So what he said may or may not be true. But does it matter? To me it was purely provocative piece without much point of tackling the real issue. The matter could have been closed there. But to me, the real problem started when the article and the guy started trending on Twitter. I thought people will trash him and his article. Some people did, but to my surprise a lot of people even supported him! Some said he had the right to speak whatever he felt like, while a few even found merit in his article (please do read it and tell me where is the merit, I may be mistaken).

So, now my question is, why does it matter so much that if I am a Hindu or a Muslim? To tell the truth I have my own version of God, but I do respect all the religions. I visit temples, churches, shrines, gurudwaras without any bias because I find solace/peace/bliss there. People say all religions teach love. I wonder if they also teach respecting others' sentiments.

Last week, I was checking out a bollywood song video on YouTube. Nothing to talk about video, but when I saw the comments, I was shocked. Instead of trashing/praising the song, people were abusing each other (apparently it was India vs Pakistan going on there) for no foreseeable reason.

India has experienced quite a few riots since Independence (shamefully even in this 21st century). We have developed hatred towards other countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh), heck we even hate the people of our own country. We may have abolished untouchability, but I still see people thinking someone as lower than them just because they belong to the so called "lower caste". We still haven't been able to give equal rights to half of our population. We are still neck deep in corruption, just trying to fill our own coffers.

Of course, India is progressing and I enjoy it becoming a superpower, inch by inch everyday. But it really hurts to see that we are suffering from so many of these problems which are rarely heard of in majority of countries of the world. I believe for any country, people living happily and peacefully is all that matters, not how much economic progress we are making.

So, I wonder if India would have been better served without Independence? Now, please thrash me for making such a statement, because I want people to come forward and tell me how is India better in its current state. I know we have a high sense of patriotism, but I still feel that we are divided. So much that some bloody bastards cause some random explosion and make us start to suspect each other. Instead of catching them, we start to spew venom against each other.
I know you must have read such sceptical/negative articles before also. And you may have rubbished them (I have), ignored them, but there is a reason why a few people "genuinely" write such stuffs: for us, to think about it for a moment. We are just clinging on the hope that tomorrow we will progress, we will become better. But what about making today better?

Happy Independence day everybody!