Wednesday, February 10, 2010

A proud Indian... am I??

Standard 9th... Civics class. I am sitting at the back of the classroom, head lolling off to one side. Lectures on the Indian Constitution are a very, very bad idea... especially after lunch break. As I struggle to maintain minimal levels of consciousness (while words like ‘secular’, ‘democracy’ and ‘citizen rights’ fly right over my head...) the guy sitting on the seat behind me grumbles under his breath, “Why the fuck do they even bother to teach us this shit... none of the secular-democratic bullcrap holds true when it comes to Indian politics anyways.” “Seriously...,” I snort... and go back to my semi- comatose state...


I was watching the 12 o’clock news this afternoon, when this whole episode came back to me. One of the main headlines (yeah, you guessed it... ‘Breaking News’) was that Shiv Sainiks in Kandivili (... in Mumbai) and in Aurangabad were holding violent protests against the screening of the latest Shah Rukh-I-open-my arms-so-wide-the -whole-world-can-run-into-them- Khan movie, My Name Is Khan.

                                                                 (Courtesy: Google)


SRK apparently voiced his opinion that Pakistani Cricket players should not be prevented from playing in the (overly hyped) Indian Premier League

Yeah, I know what you are thinking... What the hell did he exactly say that offended a political party so much??

But apparently the Shiv Sena is so deeply offended by this that they have resorted to vandalising public properties and even suggested that SRK should go to Pakistan and stay there (umm, hello??...the guy is like one of the most popular Indian icons abroad... and pays all those crores of rupees in tax which goes into your pockets is used for public expenditure... and has those molten caramel eyes *sorry, couldn’t help it* ).

Mumbai has been witnessing regular political turmoil off late, owing to issues of regionalism and communalism. Why should it be “Mumbai for Maharashtrians”? I’m a Bengali, and I’ve stayed for years in the city, and love the place. Why is my right to live and work in Mumbai any less than that of a Marathi? Of course one can talk about excessive migration and that a city cannot accommodate population beyond a point. But that’s more to do with unbalanced regional development, how are tirades against communities a solution?

But why one city... it’s the same with many parts of the country. Several states have been so wrought by communal politics that it has hampered their economic development (...example, West Bengal). Aren’t there like a dozen or more issues more important than umm... excuse me, but what’s your mothertongue?

It sometimes seems ironical that India is the largest democracy in the world. Fascistic, parochial and communist ideologies are more prevalent here than the whole ‘social, secular, democratic’ spiel contained in the Preamble. Is street violence and intimidation the sign of a republic? The only place where the whole ‘of the people, for the people, by the people’ concept seems applicable these days are the ever-so-loved reality shows (public voting, SMS’s et al). As for elections, I really don’t see what impact they have at grass-root levels; it’s the same old story year after year.

I wonder how far the ever-growing economy of this country is gonna go, supported by a decadent political system. I wonder if we’ll ever overcome these regional, religious and communal divides. I wonder whether I will feel the same sense of frustration thirty years from now, that I feel today... or will it be worse?

PS : Does anyone else hate the word ‘Hindutva’ as much as I do??


Rohit Saha said...

Firstly ,The Shiv Sena is a radical organization whose sole motive is to create some sort of a political ruckus so as to stay in the news and in the minds of the people. If you think that they can be stopped using constitutional means, then you are sadly mistaken. Even when not in power, they'll gain mileage by create some inane controversy and it doesnt matter how stupid and affair it is.

Time and again, They create mountains out of molehills, get their place in the sun and as people talk about them, they project themselves to be the martyrs of the Marathi Manoos and then everyone eventually forgets what a silly cause the are campaigning against anyway.

P.S - Shefali would be very interested in this post of yours. :-)

Vatsal said...

ah..dont worry thirty years from now! the world's coming to an end in 2012 naa.. said...

interesting thoughts. good read!!

Krittika... said...

@ Rohit... I couldn't agree more with you.

@ Vatsal... Hahaha, I hope not because then my CA degree would be a totally waste of life (not that it already isn't :P) thanks a lot! :)

Parth J Dave said...

Very well written post!

Your sarcasm and frank opinions have made the post a pretty easy and a good read..

I agree with you that tweaking with our fundamental laws and the Constitution is of no use when political parties like Shiv Sena are virtually controlling the peace and violence buttons in Maharashtra, and specifically in Mumbai.. This is not how a country should be run.. Disgraceful!

Krittika... said...

@ Parth... thanks! appreciate it. As for the Shiv Sena, seems like their stunts couldn't do much this time... they are now making up pathetic excuses to wiggle out of this self- destruct situation they created.

Anonymous said...

An incident in which three staff at a railway booking counter in Mylapore MRTS station allegedly ganged up on Tuesday to abuse and literally chase out a woman, who presented an application for ticket reservation in Tamil…”
North Indian railway staff abused a Tamil woman in Chennai! If this can happen in Chennai where there are less Hindi speakers we can imagine why Marathis are revolting against north Indians in Mumbai. God save India!

Krittika... said...

I don't believe the act of a few individuals represents the community... the incident is pathetic and disdainful, but it can in no way represent north indians in general, and in my personal opinion no way justifies the actions in Mumbai... I think people are good or bad, not communities or religions :)