An idle dream for a better India

When you have celebrated 75 years of Independence, I suppose it is only natural for one’s patriotic fervour to be at its peak.
The Indian flag (Photo | P Jawahar, EPS)
The Indian flag (Photo | P Jawahar, EPS)

When you have celebrated 75 years of Independence, I suppose it is only natural for one’s patriotic fervour to be at its peak. Folks have been riding high on an initiative launched by the government. According to the official website, which has a Hindi name I cannot pronounce, it has something to do with the elixir of energy of independence, elixir of inspirations of the warriors of freedom struggle, and elixir of new ideas and pledges. Everybody’s profile picture features the Tricolour or Tiranga or Muvarnakodi as this Tamilian is going to refer to it from now on, to express proper nationalistic pride, lest one is accused of being an anti-national and inundated with rape and death threats.

Whatchamacallit is not the worst of initiatives. It has been nice to cheer for the Indian athletes at the Commonwealth Games and Chess Olympiad, who have done us proud despite the horrendous systems in place to nurture sporting talent. Reading assorted pieces on freedom fighters from the past has been rewarding, though it must be admitted that were the revolutionaries from the past to slap their eyeballs on Incredible India as it is today, they may just forget all about ahimsa and ninja-kick the lot of us to the past so that we may suffer and sacrifice as they did to truly earn the freedom that we have squandered away.

On the web, there is a lot of jingoistic gyaan being spouted about how far we have come since we cast off the yoke of British tyranny and the enormous strides taken in the fields of science, technology, defence, literature, art, medicine, sports and economic advancement to emerge as a key player on the global stage. Naturally, there is an opposing viewpoint. Many have been vociferous in their condemnation of the situation in the country today, pointing out that the economy is in desperate straits, millions are unemployed or impoverished, communal tensions are on the rise and social equality remains a dream.
As for me, I was grateful for the holiday, which gave me an excuse to boycott my daily cardio regime as well as cooking.

I did spend an entire two minutes musing about what I want for my beloved India in the next 25 years. It would be great if people stopped pissing and pooping in public. It would be even better if we could clean up the streets and fix our roads quickly and maintain them. It would be wonderful if we could do away with the entire caste system and uphold the principles of egalitarianism. It would be amazing if we can make this country safer for women and children. It would be best of all, if we could do all this tout suite if not sooner. My two minutes was up and I drifted off wondering about subtle ways I could inform people that my birthday is coming up so they can ply me with wishes, suitable gifts and sugar-free ice-cream cake.

Anuja Chandramouli

anujamouli@gmail.com

Author and new age classicist

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