Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Proud to be an Indian (*)

  • International ODI: India vs. South Africa – 4 runs required off the last ball to win for the Proteas. I can see people near me cheering for Zaheer, wishing he delivers the ball in the right area whereas, I – though present among them am wishing somehow the ball clears the fence. Am I a traitor? Am I betraying my country?
  • A ceremony being organized nearby typical to Bengalis. Me ,being a Bengali
    am expected to be there with my family for the event. I decline. Did I disrespect my culture? Did I commit an unforgivable sin?
  • Tuesday: Being a Hindu, I am expected to be eating only vegetarian throughout the day. I go to a restaurant, order a plate of chicken. Later, they all throw abuses at me. Have I stripped myself of the right to be a Hindu? Is it God’s choice?
  • 14th Birthday : Being a Brahmin , I am expected to shave off my head before 15, tie a thread across my body ,follow some other rituals .I say I don’t like the idea and I better choose not to be a Brahmin if I have to do so. They all call me shameless, bringing disgrace to the family. Did I violate some God’s law? Am I eligible to be called a Hindu?
  • Temple (About 7 pm, daily): With the masses clapping their hands and singing the Aarti, I decide to contribute to the Chorus.
  • Now am I contradicting myself? Didn’t I just say , I don’t support India always , don’t associate myself with the Bengali culture , unthankful for being a Brahmin and even a Hindu.
    Then why am I standing here in the House of God –the air filled of Hinduism, Indian Gods and its culture.
    It is just because I view them the different way. For me, God is not a path to be a follower of my religion, but a source of peace to my mind. I’d equally go to a Church in some other country as a temple in India.
    The Society calls me a ‘bad guy’ and an ‘evil soul’ for having such ideologies. Now I ask, why do I have to be ‘Proud to be a Bengali, a Brahmin, a Hindu or in fact an Indian.’ Aren’t these the very factors that divide the society and have made a standing joke of equality?
    Unity in Diversity’ is what India claims to be containing within its boundaries. I can’t see the unity. Time and again, all these factors have helped the dirty political games. Some party stands for true Indian culture –against modernizing, some stands for Hindutva, while some stands for Dalits. Is that unity?
    If we can indeed in spite of all these differences be ‘Proud to be Indians’, why not just widen our thinking a bit. Almost every individual is a proud member of his/her nation, but how many are there who claim ‘Proud to be an Earthling’?
    What serious difference would it have made to me, had I been raised in another country .Somehow, then also my aims and aspirations would be seeking education and employment as it is now. But what if I was a Martian? I’d have sustained less than a single moment of life.
    If we can endure all the diversity in our nation and yet call ourselves united, why not endure the same on larger scales? What stops this whole earth from being united?
  • Oceans. Yeah, sure but then why do there exist so many countries within every continent. What’s causing these boundaries?
  • Religion. Sure .Why, can’t we overcome the barrier of religion and talk of a secular world as we talk of a secular nation.
    Why isn’t an American or an African my brother if I am supposed to be seeing fellow Indians as brothers?
    Why should I celebrate when my country’s army men have returned victorious, killing so many fellow earthlings?
    Why don’t we choose to work as a unit instead? Yeah, it’s true
    “Nothing unites a group of people as strongly, as does a common enemy.”
    On any ordinary day, I can’t see all the religious and caste barriers washed away, as it happens when the Taj is attacked by ‘Jihadis’.
    So, does this mean we earth people need a common enemy to stand united? Will we come together, only when doom oversees us? Instead, why don’t we find a better reason to unite now and be held by a common bond?


Piyush said...

You have widened your thinking to say "Proud to be an earthling".Doesnt that mean you should have respect for other fellow living beings,human or not.Doesnt diversity in "unity in diversity" include all those hens and fishes you devour?You are broad minded enough to condemn the wars that countries involve in,and the death toll...but what about the merciless deaths you are causing as a Nonvegetarian? What about those little chics that cant even voice their protest? all you hear is their puk puk puk. but do you feel their pain?
I would like to highlight this point by your quote
"If we can endure all the diversity in our nation and yet call ourselves united, why not endure the same on larger scales? What stops this whole earth from being united?"

Ocean,religions,---why stop short in including non-vegetarians.
Your article is biased by your own personal pleasure

Siddharth Bhattacharya (a.k.a. Bhatta) said...

@ Piyush:
I support the cause of animals as much itself as will be denoted by my 1st poem. Non-veg has become an addiction and leaving it will require something of the sort of rehabilitation.
But even then, food chain indiscriminately permits one animal eating another, so do we. That's not an issue, as I see it as much as division of a species within itself.

Piyush said...

How can the Food chain be your argument? I mean,you have the choice of eating vegeatables,surely you dont suggest you wont survive without eating animals?
I know this is getting off the topic,but I just wanted to show you a hole in your arguments.

Siddharth Bhattacharya (a.k.a. Bhatta) said...

I don't think you can accuse an tiger of eating deers, even though it can live on leaves, or for that sake omnivores- and we are the same...so, we are not made to be herbivores, like many other animals in the food chain we are meant to eat other animals as well

Piyush said...

We are not 'meant' to eat animals!
the point is Killing other humans for self benefit is as much a misdeed as killing other living beings for self benefit.

Siddharth Bhattacharya (a.k.a. Bhatta) said...

@ Piyush:
I will not to concede defeat, but this seems to be your another never ending defence. We 'are meant' to eat animals as tigers are, being omnivores. All those who don't eat out of religous fears or compassion don't make "homo sapiens" herbivores.
And this is getting way off the topic and sets a negative example for other readers. So, comment if you have to anything related to the idea presented in the post.


can't find a better quote than this for your topic..... IT IS GREAT TO LOVE YOUR COUNTRY, BUT WHY SHOULD LOVE STOP AT THE BORDER? also i believe that every culture has it's own distinctiveness that should be respected. the trouble however seems when vote bank politics seems to divide people on these very lines. but still proud to be an Indian keeping in mind that this pride doesn't mean a vindictive nature towards other countries and cultures.

Siddharth Bhattacharya (a.k.a. Bhatta) said...

@ Karun:
a better way off as I see it, is not letting all these cultures take birth as it somehow is not working out the 'no hatred for others' thing. The need of so many different cultures according to me is questionable

pgm said...

Good for you, Bhatta: you're able to APPRECIATE others: South Africans, God etc.
Piyush has spotted something (Good job!). It is worth noticing. It does digress off the point, but your 'food-chain' argument is sound (plus, the sentiment is important).

Siddharth Bhattacharya (a.k.a. Bhatta) said...

@ pgm:
Good for you to be appreciating Piyush's critical ways of criticising and finding the flaw. I didn' have a problem else that it tarnishes the message I wanted to deliver.
Yea I do believe in God, but not religion, various cultures, I don't see them as a good enough reason to keep people apart

Anonymous said...

liked that "unity in diversity" part.....else all bullshit!!!!!just u'r creation ...nothing matters to other ppl!!!!


HacKitT said...

When you say that Piyush's commemts are tarnishing the message you want to deliver, why/how are you assuming that the message you are delivering is the one that "ought" to be given??
Secondly, the following runs throughout your blog: you are never interested in giving the complete message, you only deliver the message biased as you see it...if you actually want "message delivering", just put the complete scenario and let people make their own views and opinions....

triya bhattacharya said...

umm, i think it is true that defining borders creates prejudices abut other people and that is the worst thing. While our thinking is shrouded by those fantastic images we create of the other people, we don't realize that in the end, we are basically the same, and everything is governed by forces stronger than us, like colour, features etc are all defined by things like climate.
And religion was created in order to unite and teach but later,humans distorted it in such a way so as to find their own way.
overall, i agree with the points put forth.

P.S. that non veg comment took the argument way off the mark

Siddharth Bhattacharya said...

@ chuchi: stud. har waqt timepass karta rehta hai.
"it doesn't matter to other people"
Well, really can't say anything if you appreciate much being divided on artificial lines created by others.

@ kshitij: "the following runs throughout your blog: you are never interested in giving the complete message, you only deliver the message biased as you see it."
Lately, I made my blog open-ended and this is a 1 year old post. But still, I sometimes don't like to keep things open-ended, because my purpose of writing is to put up a point, not entertainment. So to avoid lose ends and defeat of my purpose, I sometimes like closing ends.
OK, Pup's point taken but would have appreciated a lot if it wasn't in this post.

@ Triya:
Constraining a person by the place of birth I think is stripping a person of choice. Good that you agree and kept an open-mind in accepting it.

Anonymous said...

Unity in DIVERSITY states that you should be proud to be a Bengali, an Indian, a Nonvegetarian etc.
You're calling Diversity as the contradiction of Unity.

Siddharth Bhattacharya said...

So is it like, first you divide a large unit into many smaller pieces and ask them to be proud of the part they received, as well as stay united and friendly with the other parts?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, a lot like that.
Except you're making an unusual point with the "first DIVIDE a large unit" thing. People are divided by their very individuality, dude!

Siddharth Bhattacharya said...

Well, then it makes more sense to be proud of the individuality rather than the chunk of pie we received (in case, we had no role in being able to select the piece of pie).

My main point is rather than asking to be proud of this piece, give the person the choice to taste the other parts and decide for himself, which is worth a pride or liking.

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