Patriotism, Indian Style



The Republic Day, 2013

Happy Republic day, Readers!



It is 6:00A.M. and as usual I am already up and about and going through the motions (pun unintended intentionally 🙂  ). Soon , sweet sound of Lata Mangeshkar wafts through the air singing “Aye mere watan ke logo”. I am for a minute dazed, confused, confounded and soon. Then realization dawns on me.




There are only two days in a year, The Independence day and the republic day, when you hear the likes of
Aye mere watan ke logo….
Aao baccho tumhe dikhayen…
Mere Desh ki Dharti…
Hum layen hai toofan se kashti nikaal ke…
Aye watan Aye watan…
De di Azadi hamen bina…
Yeh Desh hai Veer Jawano ka…
And so on…..

Where as I like all of these and hum along , what surprises me is , these gems of poetry are not to be heard any time else, as if there is an unwritten law.
Other days seemed to be reserved for Munni and Sheela’s characters and youthfulness amongst other songs 🙂

In fact I heard a group of people talking after the hoisting if the flag in our residential society, “Today we must show our patriotism by playing and singing these songs”.
I am surprised and awestruck. I have heard this and similar well meaning statements all my life. But today I am astounded at the insincerity of the phrasing. It sounded pretty hollow. I guess it was the word “today” which hit me rather than any thing else.

Is patriotism only about singing sings and hoisting flags on a couple of days? What about thinking “Am I doing something for our country?” What about cleanliness… not only at home but outside, streets , malls, stations…. What about literacy rates? Are we doing something on that count? And Corruption? (less said the better?, not at all)

As these varied thoughts cross my mind sweets are distributed and I see that many people, be it Children or Grown up , without so much as a thought, throw the paper plates and candy wrappers all around the ground!


Better luck on August 15 maybe 🙂