Nationalist Robots and Proud Hypocrites

It is an anomaly that probably doesn’t occur anywhere else in the world. The driest day in Kerala occurs not in summer, but actually during the retreating monsoon. October 2nd to be exact. The day is an especially sad day for Malayalees, because it is a dry day – the one day they can’t buy alcohol anywhere in India.

This October 2nd was, however, different because there were two other anomalies which were unusual.

  • Anomaly #1: Rajnikanth hogged all the attention away from Gandhiji
  • Anomaly #2: The same people who were ashamed that India was hosting CWG suddenly became proud after seeing a grand opening ceremony

Oct 2nd is supposed to be a national holiday, being the birthday of a certain someone called Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, or Mahatma Gandhi. But for the majority of the youngsters, it is one of the once-in-a-blue-moon days when they feel “proud to be Indian” in Facebook/Twitter (The others being the release of movies like “Rang De Basanti” and reading some news articles/stories about Captain Vikram Batra or Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan) This time even that traffic was down because people had time only to talk about a movie called Endhiran (Robot). I’m not complaining here. I’m just observing that if the people who usually “respect” Gandhiji on Oct 2nd didn’t feel so this year, this smells of something fundamentally wrong with their pride/patriotism and such other words they attribute to themselves.

Lets start by analyzing if the nationalist feeling of people is actually real. (I don’t mean to see if they are faking. I mean to see if they realize what nationalism really means) A nationalist is someone who loves and defends his country with unwavering faith. Not someone who criticizes that “CWG brings national shame to India”, and on the very next week comments “Proud to be an Indian” on Oct 2nd. People think that to be patriotic is to be proud about the good things and to criticize the bad things! Or in other words, show the world that you care. I digress on this matter. According to my opinion, one has to be a good citizen first. A good citizen who not only acknowledges the shortcomings in India, but also does something to remove those shortcomings, without expecting an immediate change. A good citizen who follows the grass root level rules – obey traffic rules, respect other people, be courteous, resist vices like giving/taking bribe. Who does that? If you don’t, you don’t deserve to be proud, because there is nothing for you to be proud. Lesson #1 for everyone is be patriotic to your own conscience, and not your Facebook friends.

The movie called “Lage Raho Munnabhai” reintroduced Indians to a concept called Gandhigiri. Lots of people apparently adopted Gandhigiri in real life, and even blogged about it. I don’t see any one talking about Gandhigiri these days. What happened? People just got bored of Gandhigiri, because it is a tough path to take? Ask yourself, what are the good things you are taking for yourself from these? What is the point in being proud of India if you can’t make India proud?

My Failow whatever you want, criticize India, make jokes about corrupt politicians, but don’t make a joke of yourself by saying you are proud because CWG opening ceremony was grand, if you had no part to play in that. You are just being a hypocrite.

I like Facebook because a few people in Facebook are intellectuals and have an opinion on almost anything. But for the last couple of days I hated Facebook because the majority of the people were just robots who really don’t have a strong opinion for themselves. Well, at least Facebook provides a “Hide” feature which lets me remain oblivious to such bullshit.

Update: Patriotism and Nationalism are not exactly the same, as pointed out by Lakshmi. My bad… made necessary changes.

11 thoughts on “Nationalist Robots and Proud Hypocrites

  1. Whooooaaa 🙂 Impulsive writing? Lets look at it differently? People take so much interest in the political affairs of our country, they are ready to be ashamed of something when it is to be and proud when we do something fabulous. Compared to Indian’s who care less about what happens in India. I don’t think this is patriotism, it is nationalism. Being a patriot is what Sandeep Unnikrishnan was. You and I can’t be. We can be nationalistic. None of those people with those fb comments claimed they are patriots right? (if I may say so)

    Let them be proud to be an Indian when it has to be that way and ashamed when it has to be so. But you and I know very well, none of those Indians given a choice would choose to be anybody else except an Indian, right? Then we are fine 🙂 Its like being proud of ourselves and ashamed of ourselves but we want to be only ourself.

    1. Impulsive writing it is, indeed. But it has been something which has been nagging me for so many years. I don’t believe in the concept of nationalism being about wanting to be Indian. (Thanks for pointing out that it is “nationalism” and not “patriotism”)
      I strongly believe in the concept of Facta Non Verba, i.e. there is no point in being ashamed of something if you are not doing something to correct it, or being proud of something if you have played no role in that.

      Also, I am not criticizing people who take a stance. I’m criticizing those who immediately switched their shame to pride after the opening ceremony. I am also criticizing those who do nothing other than write “Happy birthday bapuji” on Oct 2nd.

  2. Essentially, why be patriotic/nationalist? Dont you think thats when we reach the point to critisize/ compare our standards with others.How does it matter anyway? And, yes probably sometime the fact’s realized that,life matters more than perception or opinion.

    Nice blog btw. Quite a funny read, proly minus this one 🙂

    1. Well.. Nationalism is something which we grow up with, I guess. It is not that easy to root it out. I can’t really explain why I feel goosebumps whenever I hear Jana Gana Mana or Vande Mataram otherwise. 🙂
      The problem, according to my opinion, is that people are overusing that feeling.

      Thank you for commenting, and welcome to my blog. Yes.. I tend to take these detours down serious lanes at times… they are completely unintentional. Keep visiting. 🙂

      1. Goosebumps? Really? I used to ask myself the reason. Is it the love for country or just the thoughts of those freedom fighters? Feeling good that one more person is there in the club.

        On another note, I guess criticism in the form of public opinion on things is mandatory. It allows rethinking when similar things occurs again. But when good happens, we need to appreciate too. To accept short comings is one, but voicing opinion when you see short comings is also something.

        So I guess, there should be hue and cry when an a national event is organized with lot of corruption and incompleteness, but also there should be cheers when some parts of it is done well. After all, all of us can’t go to Delhi and find out the state of matters, right?

      2. I’m just wondering if it is just (To quote a Malayalam saying) “Angadiyil paadiyathu ettu paaduka”

        If one has an opinion, they should have a solid basis for that opinion. One shouldn’t have an opinion just to get some spotlight.

        And yes, goosebumps.. without fail, every single time.. 🙂

  3. Hey Deepak, agree on most points here.. but cant really blame everyone, because voicing of opinions, be it on facebook / twitter / blogs is a recent trend. It at least helps you keep a pulse on public opinion. 50 years before this would have been such a non-issue. Think about it on Aug 15th 1947, how many people felt patriotic in India? we will probably never know.

    Have Fun, Take Care and God Bless!

    With best Regards,

    1. Well.. we won’t know.. but the public who change their opinions like they change their towels should stop to think if it is really their opinion or someone else’s opinion.

      PS: Good to see you comment after so long 🙂

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