I guess not. We are so proud about being Indians that we don’t really give a thought to what it is that makes us so proud.
Well certainly, watching the proceedings on 26th of January every year be it on the TV or in person would make one feel so. Is it the might of our armed forces on display or the impressive cultural and regional floats that follow ? Or the sheer magnitude of the extravaganza ? Or, in fact, the inspiring commentary informing us about the greatness of our nation ? Whatever it is, it does.
But it doesn’t matter if it is just another holiday. Why to waste such precious time in watching the same old proceedings every year when a few extra hours of sleep could be so valuable ? Ok. Agreed. So we do sometimes participate in the function on Republic Day/Independence Day at our school/college/office. But who cares about what the speakers have to say. They say the same things every year too. We have much important work reading the messages on our cell phone while sitting somewhere in the back row. And mind you…. We do stand in attention when the National Anthem is played (with one eye fixed on the phone to read that forwarded message). Ok. We don’t really sing. So what. Not everyone’s a good singer. But we still have our pride.
The most common situation where the above emotion flows high is inside a cricket stadium (in India, of course!) during a cricket match which has the Indian cricket team (obviously when having the upper hand in the match !) playing against a team from another country (even better if it’s the neighbors !).
Clearly, any home team should and does enjoy home support while competing with other nations. But what happens to our pride when our very cricket teams loses a match or two (more so in some much hyped tournament) to a team of another country (specially if it’s the neighbors !).
Oh come on !! The pride of us Indians is hurt. Those very players have then brought shame to the country and its people. They cannot get away with anything less than burning effigies, posters, demonstrations and even pelting of stones at their houses. How dare they play with the pride of the Indian citizen?
But I always wonder where we hide this pride of ours for our country in our daily lives.
We are ready to quarrel with the fellow passenger on the opposite berth in the train at the drop of a hat. Don’t you know ? He is from another region. How dare he makes himself comfortable while being in our state !! Hmmmm... Maybe we forgot to pack the pride in our luggage.
We are having a great time out with friends. A McChicken with cheese at McD, followed by a Mexican Green Wave at Dominos. And then the fountain pepsi/chocolate cornetto/ice cold Bisleri, which we chuck out of the window of the car while driving through 'Rajpath' towards India Gate. The same path on which we saw the proceedings on 26th January take place and felt so proud. But it’s not 26th January today. Our pride is precious. It is safely hidden in our cupboards. We use it only on Rebublic day.
Oh. Ok. Accepted. It is the way things get done at the RTO. We have to pass some dough under the table to get those important papers. But don’t worry. We are not passing our pride with the currency notes to the 'Babu' on the other side. Remember, he has enough of that pride in himself.
Well, I can go on and on and on. But yes, we have actually stored our prides in some safe places and use it when we need to show the world that they are worse than us.
I was driving home in the evening amidst heavy traffic and beaming lights. When suddenly a stylish new car, (I’m amazingly dumb regarding identifying the models of cars) carrying a couple of youngsters, with deafening music playing on the car’s music system, (well it cannot be music if it’s deafening…. ) zoomed past mine from the left, swerved right and sped off leaving me and the car in front jamming hard on the brakes and almost smashing ourselves to what not.
All I could gather from the speeding car was the bold and red statement stuck right on the back screen which said…. “Proud to be an Indian” !!!
I sincerely wish if we all could take out the pride of being Indian from our closets and carry it with us wherever we go. And use it to the effect so that we can actually mean what that statement on our shirts or caps, (or cars for that matter) says.
And at least when our team takes the field, what should make us feel proud to be an Indian, above anything else, should be this…….