Thursday, 15 August 2013

Bharat humko jaan se pyaara hai

There is so much wrong in our country that celebrating independence seems odd. But all the gloom and doom in the world cannot suppress the Indian love for celebration of any kind, and that is one of the reasons I love this mad country. Yes, there's a lot we can't do much about – slow growth rates and falling currencies and other things that I don't quite understand. Today, though, I think of what we can do to make good on that pledge of long years ago.

Actively fight any kind of embargo on non-violent freedom of speech or expression. Refuse to sign a form that only asks for your father's or husband's name. Speak up when you see someone being abused or discriminated against. Argue when someone makes an offhand remark about how women should stay at home to look after the kids. Argue when someone says women who stay at home are weak and anti-feminist, too. Before calling someone a woman writer, stop and think whether you'd call anyone a man writer. It's not okay to be a fence-sitter and rely on habit/tradition/ease as any kind of defence for what you do/don't do. Let art and literature and theatre and cinema flourish. And above all, have a sense of humour and don't take offence at every tiny thing. India is a difficult enough country to live in; the least we should be allowed is the freedom to laugh.

We can't all join politics, the defence or civil services, and we can't all become teachers; it's silly to say that we have no right to criticize unless we do those things. But we can do our bit, small though it seems, to make our freedom count.


  1. Luckily for you, India will become a better place for everyone(women included) irrespective of what you as one person do. But if the current state of affairs is not good enough for you (and worse yet depresses you sometimes), might i recommend finding a different country to move to? One with fewer people and higher literacy. There's a boatload of such countries. Why let the accident of your birth in India hold you back?

    1. Hi Anon. Sorry for publishing your comment so late; haven't checked the blog in a while. The answer to your question is very simple - I don't see why I should move elsewhere when this is home.