Freedom from Regionalism.

““Heroism on command, senseless violence, and all the loathsome nonsense that goes by the name of patriotism -how passionately I hate them!” ~ Albert Einstein
( I wonder what Einstein must have to say about regional patriotism: the worst putrefaction a pure feeling can ever suffer from.) 
Indian flag _arbit Speculations
Hello my Indian friends. Within an hour, our country, India will have completed its 63 year of being Independent. This must have been a long journey (given, I joined only 21 years ago.) We, the children of free India, are often accused of having taken the independence for granted.
We have been accused of having the privilege of being born in a free India.

Wait, have we the privilege?
Some of us have. Some lesser fortunate? I doubt. I am talking about regional patriotism here. I talk about an average north Indian laborer (from states like UP and Bihar), who is treated like an immigrant dog in the developed states of the country. I talk about a taxi driver of Mumbai who is forcefully made to learn the local language of the area else he would be kicked off to the so called ‘darkness’. I talk about an average aspiring student getting beaten by goons in bright daylight, while only seconds ago, he was busy answering objective questions about the history of India in a railway exam. The history of ‘free’ India, I mean.
And we, proud Indians, listen to one regional chauvinist talking shit about other regional chauvinist, while trying to cook his own political porridge. And we switch away the channel to an MTV.
I wonder why the Indian home minister almost always issues a neutral statement and is done with it. I wonder why the government doesn’t treat this as inter-state terrorism. I wonder why it’s none of our business.
I wonder.
What right one Indian has to say openly that not only his culture is great, but also, the other guy’s culture is rotting his culture. Worse, what right the Indian administration doesn’t have to teach that fundamentalist that cultures are meant to intermingle with each other.
If a culture is able to maintain its integrity and individualism even after having tolerated ‘n’ different cultures, only then it deserves to be called a culture. Else, be happy calling it a gated community.
That’s why, Indian culture is a culture. History witnesses. Leave alone India, the world has been evolving only because its culture has been evolving. Had this not been the case, we would have remained a food gatherer from some part of Africa. Forever.
And yes, neutrally speaking, the north Indian people, who leave their lands barren and their families lonely, just to work in some ‘developed’ states, should think twice. Working in a distant land is a definite yes, but neither by compromising your culture, nor by disrespecting the other’s.
Nature is always sufficient for our needs. It’s our wants that leads us away from nature and being natural. Bihar and Uttar Pradesh are predominantly agricultural states. That does not mean that they have no professional future. As long as humans will continue to live in the world, grains would remain as important as they had been, and as important as they are, right now.
People with entrepreneur spirits and adequate capitals can invest money in the rural infrastructure, introduce new technology in the agricultural sector, help the new small scale industries by playing venture capitalists for them, nurturing new ideas in the mass, opening schools and hospitals to improve the general quality of life.
But yes, India has never taught its children to disrespect any guest that comes in our home. Be he/ she from one’s own state, or from another.
Hell, our ancestors talked about ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” – the earth is our family. And we, the ‘Independent Indians’ talk about turning states into gated communities.
Happy 64th Independence day, folks.

Alok K.
11:06pm, August 14, 2010

14 Comments:

Pravy said...

Two words..
"Be One."

Mohi said...

You have penned a truth that hurts. Ironically, the nationalism of India lies in a pit some 60 feet deep in the earth, and wakes up when some Prince falls in there; the country becomes one then. I would be happy if people like me and you come forward to join the movement of Independence from Regionalism and then probably I would say, Happy Independence day.

Alok K. said...

@ Pranav. Its easier said than done, bro. Less informed people are blinded easily by some misguided canonballs...

@Mohi. Yes, we should come forward to end all the superficial differences. Tolerance to multi-culture and multi-religion is what our heritage teaches us...

shikha said...

Nice description about state and seeds of regionalism planted by some political group.I m agree with Mohi,here. In a state like India,where diversity exist ,if we hold tolerance,then despite of disparities in the way resources are distributed in our country,and the conflict on the sharing of resources and the tussle of political interest through regionalism,or communism ,the sense of solidarity and nationalism would fail the motives of various regional political interest..
Happy Independence Day

Alok K. said...

@ Shikha... couldn't be truer.

Happy Independence day to you, too!

kumar ujjwal said...

I hope your words fell on those deaf ears of regional jingoists, who don't realize that an average bihari or U.P wala is as patriotic as a marathi.But instead of pushing accusations, i would love to see that we students from so called shit's grab this as a chance to make our places a better place to live in.Someone has to start, why don't we?

Alok K. said...

oh, I wish our words did fall on the deaf ears.
That's the entire point of this blog.

But then, at least the students like you and me and shikha and mohi and pranav are not sleeping. And tomorrow's India would be in the hands of people like us.
It's a great start by starting yourself first.

akanksha said...

very true and honest!
being independent means being freed 4m our own negativeness prevailing..
hope we experience the positive change with tym..
gud work Alok..

Alok K. said...

"...being independent means being freed 4m our own negativeness prevailing..."

Agreed, Akanksha. Freedom is more than being politically independent. There has to be a social angle to it.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, even today many north indians have a feeling that they are superior to south indians. They just call them as "Madrasies"...even though they do not belong to madras...

nitesh bhasker said...

well said Alok...i have been teaching the same lessons to people who seem to be holding tightly to a pervented mindset especially regarding Bihar right since i was a 6 year old child...i tell them ,"Look.. expect from being economically backward we are better in every aspect of Indian achievenment than you...They just shut up and listen!!

Alok K. said...

@ Nitesh... :) Every place has its own culture, its own history, its own heritage. And we can not get judgemental by comparing any two.

Its like comparing an apple with an egg. My point is, being an Indian is more important than being a Tamilian,a Maharashtrian, a Delhite, or a Bihari, for that matter.

nitesh bhasker said...

@ Alok: :) i agree with you...the above statement was only to intended to counter a seeemingly hostile attitude against people from my state when they are in other territories...we cant deny we suffer from this uncongenial treatment(though from isolated elements) in every part of India! :) your article i am referring to is against regional patriotism, i agree....

Shivi said...

;)