During my India visit in 2013, the prominent radio host Seema Grewal asked me, “What do you feel about India?”
What do I feel?
India is a part of me, and I carry the essence of it wherever I go. India and I can never be apart because it’s alive within me. Almost two decades are to pass since I have lived here in Canada, the tunes of national anthem still make me rise up. I don’t have to reason why it is so, because I am an Indian, and will always be identified as an Indian even though I am a Canadian citizen. India still defines me.
At every Independence day, we have the trend of ridiculing India on social media, of its OBVIOUS corruption, filth, poverty and piles of dirt gets talked about instead of being grateful to the martyrs, whose families still get hallucinations of their loved ones coming home, though the generations have passed.
Independence Day means the volumes to me because I have been raised listening, watching and reading the stories of our ancestors, who lived under British rule. They were my forefathers and yours too, who were called names such as ‘Indian Dogs’, and much worst. We all have paid a heavy price to call ourselves free, and there’s no need for me to dig those horrifying details in this journal.
It’s almost like disowning your roots by spreading all the negativity instead of celebrating.
You may deprecate India:
If you haven’t taken a single breath in India,
If you haven’t paid a penny to corruption directly or indirectly,
If you have made a single effort to rise its glory,
If you haven’t enjoyed the colourfulness of the cultures that germinated here,
If you haven’t spoken a word of the languages that originated here,
If you haven’t had the ‘liberty’ of speeding and violating the safety,
And much more….
After all, we don’t import bad politicians, corrupt bureaucrats, and dishonest officials; they all grow out of us. We may need to introspect ourselves first before raising a finger at the country because a nation comprises of its citizens, not just the land and markings on the map.
No matter where you go, you will be an Indian. So, be a good one! Be proud of your roots.
Loveen Kaur Gill