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 ?