A week before India celebrates its 66th independence day with much pride and enthusiasm, I want to reflect on some of the events happened in the recent past that shaped my views about this region which is often referred as a largest active democracy in the world and the cradle of civilization …..
The history of human civilization, particularly Indian subcontinent, is quite the only factor which binds the whole group of nations in this area into a single article. Otherwise, the difference in culture, ideology, politics,sports etc everything looks quite simply diverse and many a times perplexing to even ask a question, ‘why’ ? But my concern is more of a recent when it comes to addressing it. I cant understand why this region has been the center of many historic battles, all along the history without really giving us the very end of the story, yet.
I am not really an ardent patriotic myself ! I think I am just grateful for the kind of family, friends and society I was allowed to thrive in … But to vent out some air, someone like George Carlin often gives you wings when you don’t know how to express yourself precisely with some hint of anger, dash of sarcasm and teeming with nothing but the truth …. yet manages to offend just the right amount of people and he would succeed if you en” I’m fully Irish, and when I was a kid I would go to the St Patrick’s Day parade and they sold a button that said “Proud to be Irish”, but I knew that on Columbus day they sold the same button only it said “Proud to be Italian”, then came Black Pride, and Puerto Rican Pride. And I could never understand national or ethnic pride, because to me Pride should be reserved for something you achieve on your own. Being Irish isn’t a skill, it’s a fucking genetic accident. You wouldn’t be proud to be 5’11”. You wouldn’t be proud to have a pre-disposition for colon cancer. ” – Carlin
My criticism of Indians and whole state of affairs maybe half baked. I think too much patriotism, actually false perception of it atleast ( Well, it’s about time literary experts accept the word ‘at least’ as ‘atleast’ but anyway) , maybe the cause of the most conflicts around the world, India maybe the exception. The problem here actually is the absence of social justice and patriotism. I guess, its just a feeling, one person may never get his/her absolute form of justice without ruining some sense of freedom of the another individual. All said and done, but the question remains ….
Be it a India against corruption campaign which gathered quite a bit of heat last year (refer Top 10 abuses of power by Time ) or a feud over electoral reforms, the ground reality is that there is a little progress to show and a big chink of problems to solve with many new ones ready to line up on the board shortly…. Well, on paper it is better than the Kim Jong Il’s Concubines, but no less damaging !
65 years since Louis Mountbatten, handed the British ruled India to the Indian National congress, but the pestering problems of border with Pakistan, China and Bangladesh are quite fresh and fuming ….
How many ignorant Indian souls are still adamant about this problem is quite surprising. Some of them want it to be solved, some actually don’t, some are happy the way things are going. There was a think tank who used to believe that the solution to these border disputes is matter of political will and could be solved in a regime of a government or two. Things are looking more and more murkier since the Kargil War in 1999.
“Indian diplomacy is like the love-making of an elephant: it is conducted at a very high level, accompanied by much bellowing, and the results are not known for two years.”
– Shashi Tharoor
A war is a symbolic outcry in many ways. Star trek fanatics know it well how the crew finds that although the war is fought via computer simulation, the citizens of each planet have to submit to real executions inside “disintegration booths” based on the results of simulated attacks. But in practicality, War is just a solution among many to settle a dispute. To settle it permanently or temporarily is a matter of discussion. But, all wars that India has fought since independence haven’t been fruitful in a long run. The diplomacy is also an another gun in a holster. But, has it delivered the desired stability and peace in the subcontinent ? and more importantly in India ? The amount of money spent on arms and ammunitions is mountainous in comparison to the total GDP of the nation. A huge percentage of budget has to be spend on the internal security and as well as external affairs which are indirect and direct consequence of these border issues with neighbours. The threat from cross border terrorism still exists, Sino-India border creates many skirmishes from time to time, Bangladeshi refugees’ problem in Eastern India is growing like a gangrene ! These problems along with some internal security threats are the stumbling blocks of growing Indian economy. People often argue about the increase in apathy among working class in India. I don’t blame them. If you have these many problems hanging above your head since decades have past and are showing no signs of rubbing them off from slate, you are better off without confronting them.
Poverty ? Ahh, just follow the liberalization of the economy, observe that many nations have pulled out millions of people out of poverty in last century. Greed and corruption ? Just fix your educational system. Children know better how to solve a sub-prime mortgage problem than these “Wall street adults” ! Population problem ? rubbish ! It can quite convincingly be solved with some basics like reforming Land acquisition bills + environment friendly homes + educational reforms ( get your literacy rate high and done ! )
To change ourselves from within maybe possible but to change an ideology of others is different …. Though India shares a border with these nations which are quite different from one another, all of them share something more substantial – unstable nature of the fabric of Social, political and economic structure. China maybe an exception, But give it a few years and growing seeds of democracy will show whether the one party politics is really a democracy in action or democracy inaction. All these problems must be dealt differently,cant really work out a single diplomatic solution to this .. no one ever has .. yet! There is really nothing like having a good neighbor ! After being in North American continent, and watching it closely even for few years, one cannot really help but compare and suggest some things to course correct. I am quite tempted to dream about the day when I can say the same about the Indian subcontinent !
A mute spectator ( Is it a good handle to write with ? not sure ! )