Sunday, September 28, 2008

The Hindu Republic of Gujarat

We, Indians, are an inherently hypocritical nation. Wait, Did I say nation? We are not even a nation.

To define us as a nation, we have to have some sort of common binding thread running through all or at least most of us. It could be a shared history or shared aspirations or shared language or perhaps shared values. But that is not the case. We are just a conglomeration of peoples who share the same geography but have disparate aspirations and languages and do not even share the same history. One man's hero is another man's tyrant and oppressor. Our historians have been fooling with history, presenting facts in a manner that fits in the larger scheme of things according to their ideology and serves their particular agenda.

And our aspirations are divergent as well. Some of us want to turn this country into a dar-ul-islam while others are clambering for a hindu nation.

Talk about languages. We have a multitude of those. Someone from Sonepat would have a hard time in Mettupalayam getting about his daily business and vice versa.

Hypocrites, because racism runs in our blood. We look down upon dark-skinned people and tend to classify people according to their origin or language. We classify people according to their social status, the region they are from, their sex, their caste or/and their religion and treat them accordingly. Yet we cry foul when we are at the receiving end of discrimination.

We bow humbly before powerful or privileged people anticipating favours and take advantage of the powerless and the under-privileged without any compunctions.

We are a subcontinent of contrasts. Female deities are revered and yet no one desires a girl-child. Women are routinely discriminated against in all walks of life.

This is the India that I left in my youth. And the mentality is still the same, except that the fringe hard-liners have grown in numbers and are slowly encroaching into the mainstream.

I own a residence in Mumbai and was dreaming of spending my retirement there after a lifetime of staying outside India. But lately Mr. Thakre and his goons have made me realise that I will not be welcome, just be tolerated.

I guess sooner or later, I will have to take up residence in the Hindu Republic of Gujarat and will perhaps require a visa to visit Mumbai.


Pinku said...

what you have said is as sad as its true.

Vinod_Sharma said...

You have spoken the truth. But, despite all these fissures, India has a;ways been one. Some people call it lndia's "sacred geography".

Don't let the few goons dishearten you. But, if after all these years you do not have friends in Mumbai or Gujarat, you will begin to feel lonely after some time in any case.

Sagarone said...

"if after all these years you do not have friends in Mumbai or Gujarat, you will begin to feel lonely after some time in any case"

Very good observation there, Vinod. Sadly that is the reality faced by most Gulfees. When they retire back home, they face loneliness.

satishds said...

I agree with you. India is a higly racist country. Be it linguism, religion, regionalism, Casteism in your own religion!

Cuckoo said...

"We are a subcontinent of contrasts. Female deities are revered and yet no one desires a girl-child." How true !!

And Thakre has done even more.


1conoclast said...

I've frequently found myself echoing your sentiment. I too am afraid that we might go the USSR way.

There is one thing though... In this battle of the moderates v/s the extremists, is there any guarantee of who will win?

There is a possibility that you & I & others like us can rise up & overthrow the likes of modi & thakre.

Anrosh said...

if you want to stay in bombay.. stay put. Nobody will throw you out...The thackerays are just "NOISE". They have been making it since a long long time

Indian Home Maker said...

Sad and true. But I am an optimist, see how the Supreme Court gave a solid firing to Modi? You are not alone, there are so many Indians of all regions and religions who are determined to fight for peace and unity...we are our hope :)

Does it matter said...

Nice post.

It is so sad to have only these 2 options:

- living amongst one's own people, and yet not being (or feeling) part of them. Of what use is that 'fellowship', where you heart is not with what 'many' think (and I hope it is 'many', and not 'most').

- being a genuine "world-citizen", in India's only city that allows one to be so, and then realising there are people who do not want Mumbai to remain so..

Talk about choice.

Amit said...

Hello Sagarone.

I sense a different tone and a different approach here in this post, when compared to the 'Blood on their hands' post, where you chastise those participating in candle-light vigils and who bribe to get things done (I'm not defending them). :)

Maybe the problem is that all the wise folks who have the (theoretical) solutions to India's problems are living and blogging from out of India, instead of living in India and tackling those problems, myself included?