सोमवार, २३ एप्रिल, २००७

Let us celebrate that...

I visited India for a couple of weeks in December. This time I had a particularly lousy flight right from Chicago. After a grueling thirty-hour journey, airline had just told me that my luggage was missing, my connecting flights ticket was lost, and I had to wait at the domestic terminal for a connection for ten hours. Briefly, my mood was not particularly great.

At that time I heard some commotion at the immigration counter – some middle aged expatriate gentleman(?) was shouting from top of his voice – “This is the reason India is still so backward – Indians deserve to be treated like dirt” etc. etc. Many foreigners were watching and listening to this with mild interest. I smiled at the airline agent, who was trying to keep his cool, as he had to take care of many passengers like me who had lost their luggage. He told me this is a usual scene at the airport from many returning NRIs.

That really got me thinking - What do I like about India after leaving abroad many years. I have always returned to my homeland with same nostalgia and love. My gut tells me that I will keep returning for long time to come. Living abroad is a harsh but practical reality. I know somewhere deep down that I will one day in not distant future will sure return.

Back to what I like about India…our so-called third world country with a very young democracy has shown much resilience under terrible pressures. Anybody who doesn’t believe this should just take look next door at Pakistan – democracy failed to take root in Pakistan after same number of years of independence.

Let us experiment. Close your eyes and imagine military coup in Pakistan. Can you do that? Can you imagine a military coup in Pakistan? Ok, I know anybody with minimal knowledge of history can do that. Ok, let us try that again. Close your eyes and imagine a military coup in India. I know you cannot imagine that. Why? That inability to find a “why?” is something every Indian should celebrate on this Republic day.

Do you know that we are only the second democracy in the modern world to give power to a woman? First woman prime minister is a very close neighbor – Sri Lanka elected the first woman prime minister in the world in 1960. Many advanced democracies like United States and Japan have yet to elect a woman ruler – yet we hesitate to call them backward. Our ability as a nation to let a woman rule our country is something we should celebrate.

How many countries have elected a poet as a prime minister? How many countries have a minority president and minority prime minister at the same time? How many countries have an acclaimed scientist as their President? I do not know a single country whose prime minister is not a politician but a world famous economist. I want you to celebrate that on this republic day.

We are very quick to find faults in our system but sometimes we fail to see our accomplishments. Comment and criticize, when that is needed. Then let us not forget to celebrate who we are and what we have achieved in such a short time.

I bet most of you either do not celebrate Independence Day or Republic day or celebrate it because you work in the government or school and you don’t have a choice. I am going to give you reason why you should be happy on this Republic day – India is still independent. India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. We are poised to become a super power. If you think that has happened with out your participation then you really do not know what a nation is – A nation is not its capital or its flag – a nation is made of YOU and ME! Nations achievements are actually your achievements and national losses are your losses. So let us celebrate that promotion you received or the pay hike you received on this republic day! Because if India was failing then you wouldn’t have received those things.

Let us celebrate this Republic Day for personal reasons alone. Just because this nation is standing there providing you with opportunity to feed your family.

(I have reproduced this article from my old blog http://vasudeo.blogspot.com. This article was written on January 26th, 2006)

1 टिप्पणी:

Sachin Gupte म्हणाले...

Having travelled to 15 countires by now, including China, Poland, most of Europe & US; I feel that, India is not at all in bad shape.

I have been travelling round the globe since 1996 & have never lost baggage ever !

Some-how NRIs have a bad habit of throwing Tantrums once they are in India, as no-body gives a damn to their Tantrums in Developed Countries & they have a fear of landing in Jail for enquiries.

This is just like shouting at your own Mother, just because she is going to tolerate you !

Why do all these expatriets visit India, if they can not tolerate the systems, failures, problems. Be happy where-ever you are & do not visit a place, which you do not like / unable to tolerate.

India has its own problems & Indians are trying to solve those themselves. We Indians might not be as intelligent, finacially strong & efficient as many expatriets are.

I completely agree with many points written in the article.