Patriotic or naive?

I am proud to be an Indian. I say this in all sincerity, I have seen my childhood in the early sixties, which was rather simple. That was a time when we scarcely had a car in the neighborhood, the streets were empty most of the time and had two wheelers driven by men without helmets. I don’t remember streetlights. People who had refrigerators could be counted on your fingers and our teachers used to implore the fortunate ones to take fellow class mates to our homes to show them one. That was the India I knew. It had homespun philosophy. A sales man came to our neighbor’s place to sell pressure cookers. She pointed at her cook and said “I apply pressure, he cooks”.

We have had sixty three years of independence. India has progressed a lot materially. We have a life of ease and comfort that was only found in Vilayat or Amreeka (England or America). We still have strong bonds with our family, we have not lost our connection with our culture, though we are strongly engaged in the pursuit of the materialistic. I have always felt that this is not bad for a young nation. I got into an argument with Bikram.  I took exception to his blog post which I felt was India bashing.  We got on chat and we discussed my reservations to his post.  Then I re-read his post, which, I have to admit has a lot of truth.  He said, “Ritu bhen, Japan and Germany were smashed to bits during the world war and are far ahead of us now”.  I agree.  I also feel that China is bigger than us and has coped much better with population and progress.  So what ails us?

I recently was a judge for Blogadda’s Mera Bharat Mahan Contest, and I saw how much good work young idealists were doing for the country.  We make our nation, I believe that.  In my own way, I do social service for the nation too.  But let us push this further – we need quid pro quo.




John F Kennedy may have said

“Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”

But after 63 years of independence, we will not be out of line to demand a quid pro quo from our country and its leaders – who we have elected in a lawful and democratic way

I would like to rephrase John F Kennedy’s quote

I as a citizen of the largest working democracy would like to ask our beloved nation,

My India, My India’s Leaders,

what are you doing to inspire us to do more for the country

We Indians are a verbose lot, we talk and argue so much.  But many of our youth go and clean rivers, clean beaches, many of us die for the nation.  So we act too.  I think what we need is accountability from our country and its leaders.

I love my country and want to see it at the top.

32 thoughts on “Patriotic or naive?

  1. Sayin and doing are two different things.. We are knows for SAYING things and thats what we are good at.. acting upon it is abit difficult for majority…
    This is what we lack.. as they say kehna asaan hai Karna mushkil hai…

    the time now is that if you love your country then its time One SHOWS it bolna kaafi ho gaya hai ab

    • Agreed but in turn we want to see returns. We may go clean up a slum, but then slum people should also contribute in keeping it clean. That is the way it works in my opinion

      • Hey Pallavi how you doing, Oh yes Story of my life that is being mis-judged a lot .. Yes makeing new friends and some very very good ones… thanks to blogging…

        I hope you still rmemeber the RUN we were to have 🙂

  2. I too feel that all things considered, we’ve done a pretty good job in 63 years. Comparisons with Germany and Japan or even China is simply not apt for the following reasons:

    1. India’s population is more diverse than any other. This makes coordination more difficult
    2. India is a democracy
    3. India is huge

    I had written about these points earlier on why India’s democracy is nothing short of miraculous.

    We have a very long way to go. But the only way to find the courage to go on is to look back at things is perspective and see how far we’ve already come.

  3. I often get into an argument with my Mum, who emphatically states India is the best country in the world 🙂 I used to think so too, until I moved abroad, and saw how Governments abroad, provide for a good quality of life to the Aam Aadmi. Free education (world-class), free health services, subsidies, grants… what not! And all this, to benefit the common man. There is no Rahul Baba making home visits to Dalits. No ‘saffron’ alerts. None of the religious and caste-based nonsense we see in India. Now having said that, I do agree that I have not done anything specific for my country. But I do believe we need to take a balanced view on both merits and demerits of any country.

    • I try and do things for the country … but my grouse is against our national “chalta hai” attitude. We go clean up a river – but it does not stay clean, we clean up a beach, others dirty it. That is where we fail.

  4. Some years back I had to rely on the government hospital for my new born son’s surgery, and even in a leading government hospital, i had to eat, where the toilet water overflowed with all the ingredients.
    its easy to close our eyes and live in denial land. Instead of comparing with Japan and Germany, in healthcare we are worse than even Sri Lanka or Bangladesh. But of course as long as we are ahead of Pakistan its ok.

    More Indians have access to mobiles than sanitation. Lets define what development means to us. Thats not to say mobiles are not important for the poor. but just that we should not lose perspective of what needs to be done.

    Yet for every cribber and corrupt, there are hardworking citizens, and I am proud of them.

  5. we get the leaders we deserve.
    how many Indians care to watch and protest against the way Parliament functions.
    how many Indians vote after getting to know all the people who stand in the election. mostly isn’t it a celeb face we know or a party or some community based loyalty?

    if more Indians wrote or emailed their objections to the way government functions, India would be better.
    The buck stops with US not the government.

    Unless we apply Pressure, they won’t Work.

  6. The realization that its time we did and not just talked is heartening. As regards to our position vis a vis China…Amartya Sen’s ‘The Argumentative Indian’ is a must read.

  7. Okie I feel like addressing you like Auntie now- you know those friendly, chitty- chatty ladies, who wish well for you, can talk on any subject and of course always got an advice handy 😉 🙂

    Anyway… Ritu, all I will say is… India may not be what European countries or Japan is today but I am glad we are not.. at least we are growing at a steady pace and not tumbling backwards… at the same time looooooooong way to go…

    corruption is at its peak and so is crimes of other nature.. we still don’t have education for all and healthcare is not affordable. Value for money is more than life… but then we are working towards a better life..! India’s got all shades and not just black n white 🙂

  8. Patriotism compels us to say “Mera Bharat Mahan” but there is so much that convinces me otherwise. There are a lot of citizens trying to pull it out of the darkness-but many more who drag it right bad. Ok, we might be a great country-but we do have a long way to go.

    • Hmmmm, yes, but the fact is that we are slowly growing, I can see a huge change from the time I was in frocks and pigtails to now …. and we shall continue to do so. We have our problems … but they can be overcome

  9. See here we go again .. this is what i meant when i wrote the article.. few again has commented on what we have , what we dont , yet as WD said the buck has to stop with US..

    no use saying we got a long way to go, heck we will never reach there, No use saying europena countries have this and htat, and No use saying the problem is India is vast, democracy I am sorry but that is All CRAP.

    yes we are big and diverse CAN WE stop here and think when British came to India, We were BIgger and more diverse.. YET things were much better and We pregressed much better , the whole of india MOVED together unlike now… Population CHina is there with us , SO we shud SHUTUP and stop making EXCUSES..

    we are so good in that Got an excuse for EVERYTHING.. we shud shutup and WORK to bring the whole nation TOGETHER.. not one running towards north pole and other to south pole …

    The gap needs to reduce else we are all gonna get sucked into this bubble once it explodes..

  10. completely agree with you….we have to be responsible and we have to ensure responsibility is taken and dispensed by those we have put in power whether through the electoral system or through high posts.

    and yes I hate India bashing.

  11. I hate India-bashing myself. n fact, I hate bashing of any kind. It’s heartening when people actually take up the initiative to clean up the system, whichever one it is, but meanwhile, the response from authorities is lack-a-daisical.

    Loved your post, it’s not overly critical, neither is it naive.

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