It’s so hard to love my India these days

When I was a little girl, my school was big on India love, we were taught to love our country and were full of national honour.  Us “girls in green” (our uniform was a peppy green with white polka dots number) were supposed to be chock full of national pride.  You know the spiel every convent school feeds you; Jesus loves girls who love their country …

Independence Day and Republic Day eves were celebrated with pomp and ceremony and we even got candy.

We were told stories of little boys and girls who had done patriotic deeds, not for India but for their own countries – from all around the world.  Dutch, French, British, American, Eskimo, whatever.  And I think our convent had a few movies in their stores that were aired at every such occasion.  We were shown those movies time and again.  If we were lucky, we got to see “Sounds of Music” for the 100th time, or a movie called Boot Polish.  But mostly it was Jagriti.  Sister Lydia, our chief tormentor was a patriotic Indian and she loved it and we were forced to overdose on it.  I think we, her captive audience, saw it 10 times a year, for at least ten years.  Yes, I still remember the song “Hum Laye Hain Toofan Se …” and “Aaj hai do October ka din”

Yeah yeah, Jesus loves little girls who love their country …

We had leaders to look up to, Mr. Nehru and his cabinet genuinely wanted to do things for the country.  In hindsight we may think that his policy of socialism was flawed – but he tried.  He was patriotic and wanted to do things for India

The shadow of Mr. M. K. Gandhi still loomed heavy on the national consciousness.  And that frail old man cast a huge shadow.  Papa told us that he was killed not by a villain but by another deeply patriotic person from another school of thought.  Papa loved to play devil’s advocate.  It was his thing, you know, to confuse us totally.  So he told us to remember when we heard propaganda trying to demonize his killer, Nathuram Godse, that Godse himself was not a traitor, just another lover of India who was from a different school of thought.

Dharamsankat … he would tell us.

These days we do not have Dharam – and that is the sankat!

Scams happen – it is matter of course.  We even rationalize corruption by calling it dhanda or oopar ki kamai, when it is not earning, it is downright thieving.

Little girls get raped and politicians blame this party or that, instead of hauling up our police for not doing their job, and the judiciary for not letting justice be delayed.

There is a leadership vacuum.


No one is responsible for anything …


Citizens take to the streets to protest, Police beats them up

Police protects leaders, not the taxpayers who pay its salary

Our soldiers get beheaded or mutilated – we beat our breasts

China comes in – Foreign Affairs Minister calls it “acne”

Sajjan Kumar scott free – Shrug and say – Law takes its own course.

Sarabjeet killed – Put on a sad face and say “Unfortunate.”

Anything more ?



28 thoughts on “It’s so hard to love my India these days

  1. Its actually a pretty sad state of affairs. I am so sad about these recent developments that ny heart aches. Patriotism is no more a proud trait.

  2. I so identify with your memories of school. Yes, we then had people we looked up to. Right and wrong was clearly defined.

    Today there is no one to look up to, no role models. No one we can believe in. No security or guaranteed safety, blatant misuse of power ,. and still we continue to hope. The next generation wont. .

    • I have stopped hoping, cynicism is setting in. I just fear – fear for the safety of my children and the other youth of this country. They may just revolt

  3. Our country is going to the dogs, and no one seems to be able to anything. I hardly feel like a patriot anymore. It’s shame and guilt that set in more frequently.

    • There was no glory, our economy was weak and we lacked development. But we were optimistic and proud of our country, we had a sense of belonging. Now all we have is shame

  4. Me too. I have started feeling very cynical on all these National holidays. While growing up, when the National Anthem would play, there would be a feeling of pride and love. Now, things have deteriorated to such an extent that I think we need a civil revolution.

    • This is the thought that is so commonly voiced now – the path of revolution, of bloodshed. It is scary

  5. I feel this leadership vacuum is not a uniquely Indian problem. It has come to the fore all across the world.
    And the fact that we now have access to news, views and opinions, right or wrong, at our fingertips has made us deeply skeptical of our so called leadership (and rightly so, for they are all so imperfect up close)

    • Some nations have smarter leaders, they have evolved with times and do not get caught with their hands in the till as often as ours. Ours are caught in the feudal times and have this absurd sense of entitlement without accountability which would have me laugh if it did not anger me so much

  6. Though I belong to the generation of your older one, things weren’t this worse. We still looked for those Independence and Republic days. I ask the same question myself, is there one to reason to love this country?? 😦

    • Our chests swelled up with pride when the national flag was unfurled, now the tri-colour invokes sadness …

  7. Nothing More.
    You have covered everything.
    Devil’s Advocate!! So true. This is what i felt exactly when i read about sarabjit’s death this morning.

    • Really? Is it our perception that women get raped and policemen lathi charge protesting women? Is it our perception that China has intruded into our borders? Or is it our perception that our nationals are being murdered in Pakistani jails?

      I’ll tell you what is our perception – it is our perception that we have elected leaders who care for national pride and our country’s honour!

      It would have been better if you and this comment was also just a perception

      • You will agree that other things happened… but we didn’t notice… we didn’t want to notice… we wanted to feast on news channels… and the news channels know what to feed us… deep inside, we are hungry for such news… thoughts become things.. and so, we become perpetrators……. not easy to swallow this, u will agree… that which is hungry for such news is also that one that will resist any attempt to introspect… it will hiss when someone directs attention towards it

      • Yes other things happened, petrol prices went up, we allowed Starbucks and Wallmart in, the metros have made our lives convenient and at the same time price rise has made putting food on the table expensive. Living does not stop – but that does not mean that when we see injustice we should turn away. I for one am very happy that we have a free media. Otherwise the rape incidents would not have been highlighted, our laws would not have been strengthened. I do not think it makes me a perpetrator of rape. And no, I did not benefit from scams, so I am not a perpetrator there either. I was brought up to think that a person who turns a blind eye to injustice and crime is a criminal too.

        We owe it to ourselves and our country to voice our opinions.

      • Everything you mentioned comes from the news media. There is life beyond that. There is truth beyond that. A lot is happening.

      • Yes, isn’t there? But what does that have to do with the state of our country? I fail to see a connect and hence will not continue this conversation. You’re just commenting to pass time

  8. I agree with the contents.
    You have rightly summerised telling “There is leadership crisis ” and
    No one is responsible for anything.
    And still we have do our role in whatever way we think right or else end is certain.
    Yes, your title rightly says “It is hard to love my INDIA.”
    I do have a blog ,but I donot promote via comments, because than the purpose of genuine comment may not remain that natural!

    • I blog for the interaction, each to his/her own. I love getting comments, and through the interaction, have made good friends with bloggers who have commented here. We even meet offline.

      Thanks for commenting

  9. Ritu,
    I think this is a cycle every nation goes through. I am sure something better will come out of all this. There is nothing else we can hope for. All those sacrifices cannot go in vain.

  10. Dear Ritu,
    I agree with you , its a difficult country to love , especially being a woman. But let me point it out, we are an ancient land who held women in high respect but we are a new country , barely 65 year old, looted and ravaged by invaders, we are trying to pick ourselves up. Education , strict laws, moral education at grass root level will make a lot of difference, and the difference has to start with us. I was making a report on polio , i came across this article about polio eradication in India, and how Dr’s working at grass root level have given up their lucrative jobs to work for our people, to make a differnce, when asked why he dint choose a more worthy job . He said “Once you come out here and you do this, you can’t really walk away from it.”. Thats an admirable spirit and lets make these simple yet amazing people our heroes than think about certain vilains who make you doubt your love for the country.


    • Yes, Neha, I am glad you pointed this out. There is much to hope for if we look at it from that angle, isn’t there? Thanks for the positivity you’ve given me today

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