Leitmotif

Reason as the Leading Motive

What Can India be Proud Of?

Posted by Jerry on August 14, 2008

The celebration of Indian independence should be more than a record-keeping of years. Yes, it is undeniable that India has progressed appreciably in recent years; however, realize that while India rides on the shoulders of foreign and multinational giants, who lead this march towards prosperity, India simultaneously shackles them under the burden of its contradictory and arbitrary legal dictats. In truth, India’s freedoms are not yet secured; and the greatest threat to it is the Indian government empowered by the Indian Constitution, which is the entire basis upon which this country is founded. We are building castles of concrete and glass upon thin air.

I am reprising an article I wrote sometime around last year’s independence day. The specifics are different now, but the general theme continues to be relevant.

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I find it rather apt that, in the run-up to the day of India’s independence, the nation finds itself embarrassingly servile to the hooliganism of some idiots who sit in the legislatures of this country.

The well-known Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen was attacked by Islamo-loonies at a book launch event here in India, and the only people protecting her were–no, not the police–but the media persons. Nasreen was physically attacked by members of a muslim political party who alleged that her books were insulting to their “prophet” Mohammad. The leader of that muslim political gang demanded that Nasreen’s head be chopped off. Even the most widely read muslim Urdu newspapers faulted the muslim thugs not for attacking the author but–get this–for not having done enough! They wanted her blood.

Carrying pictures of [the muslim party] legislators hurling bouquets [at the author], a newspaper came down heavily on the leaders for allowing her to leave Hyderabad unhurt.
Considered a critic of MIM, the Siasat newspaper lampooned the legislators for their failure to inflict injuries to a woman. The paper suggested that Nasreen could have been killed as the police reached the scene 30 minutes after the attack.

Not to be outdone by this height of vicious irrationality, the Indian police decided to register a case against Miss Nasreen, faulting her for writing a book that stoked communal discord and unrest, while letting the rioting Islamic marauders go scot-free!!

So, as we get closer to the day of India’s independence, we are faced with a political party whose members sit in the people’s house of the Indian parliament; we have a bunch of muslim idiots who get on a brutish rampage against an author and demand that her head be chopped off–a clear and actionable threat that warrants arrest; we have an unarmed, helpless author who had no police protection of any sort; and finally, we have the Indian police registering a criminal case against the author for writing a book, for which she could be imprisoned for up to two years, while those savages who made the actionable threat are roaming the nation free to celebrate India’s independence day.

Is this merely a one-off incident? Most certainly not. Rioting marauders epitomize the Indian democratic machinery at work. In this country, democracy means rioting on the streets, attacking innocent civilians, going on strike every two days, stifling expressions of speech, destroying property, and spreading civil terror. Most of these marauders are religious-political parties, political leaders, and their hired goons. In other words, the very people who pull the levers of this democratic machinery are the ones looting and plundering on the streets.

Political power wielded through violence is the predominant medium of “democratic” expression in this corrupt nation–a nation founded upon a ridiculously long, obtuse, and inept constitution that guarantees no rights to any citizens. Truth be said, Indians should properly have nothing to be proud of about their country–and should rightfully be enraged that this is the case!

If you choose to point out the economic progress achieved over the past 17 years in India, note that it has been achieved mostly despite the mangled laws and institutions of the Indian democracy and predominantly by the willingness of non-Indian investors to take on the high risks of functioning in this chaotic, corrupt system, and persevere in the face of it all.

Indians are being made complacent by the illusion of a sanguine future made possible by the global enterprising system of the free market; however, we are missing the crucial fact that the future of this free market is precarious given the lack of a rights-protecting institutional system. Where there’s an institutionalized political system of force and violence, where the government is itself the perpetrator and idle spectator of violence, there can be no freedom.

What exactly can we claim as the proper achievement of Indians? Certainly not the wealth and prosperity we see today made possible mostly by the foreign entities. The legacy that properly and wholly belongs to Indians is the abject poverty among the masses and the hopelessness of a dim future among the youth that permeated this nation prior to the early 1990s. It is no wonder that all those who could, scrapped every loose rupee to flee India during those years. If we are to be proud of all the 60 years of our independence, we must answer the question why were our parents fleeing the freedom of a newly independent India? What were they running from? Did they not share the sense of pride in a free nation? Were we truly free? Are we still?

Happy 62nd, India.

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Related posts:

Dangerous Democracy and Fundamental Freedoms
The Contradictions of the Indian Constitution
Not a Tourist Brochure: India

22 Responses to “What Can India be Proud Of?”

  1. […] There is another one with brain, That will, on proud India’s parade rain, You will doubtless be tr… […]

  2. Shyam said

    How I hope you were wrong! But I agree with all you have said here.

  3. Rishil said

    Well success has different interpretations. For me India breaking out of the shackles and becoming a free economy is success, that we are the fastest growing economies in the World is success, that we have become an important factor in the IT revolution is success, that some of the richest people are Indians is success. I strongly believe that India grows younger at 60. http://askwiki.blogspot.com/2007/08/india-grows-younger-at-sixty.html

  4. […] Comments Rishil on What Can India be Proud Of?Shyam on What Can India be Proud Of?DotMom on Dangerous Democracy and […]

  5. krishashok said

    Extremely well-written, although you have picked out every thing we should be truly be ashamed of, and completely fail to mention the success stories of the past 60 years. Not that you are obligated to do it because it is your article, but the title of your post begs the question – the success of the RTI act, the IT revolution (not initiated and funded by Non-Indians), the telecom revolution, just to mention a few that is seriously making a huge impact in rural India, the slow disappearance of caste related violence among Hindus in rural (at least South) India do paint an alternative story as well. Not fast enough for you, perhaps🙂

    I am not an India apologist, by the way. I will truly celebrate I-day only when I can watch lesbians paint goddesses in a movie at my local multiplex🙂

  6. Sinus said

    I entirely agree, much to my dismay. We have a bunch of donkeys running things around here. Much like the conversation we had 2 weeks back, i think it starts from the bottom-up. We have to fix the little things, teach people in parliament how to behave for starters. Only then can we HOPE to have any real “india shining”

  7. […] India, democracy has a new meaning—violence as the voice and medium of expression of a sub-human […]

  8. kapil kumar deb said

    hi cant stand this, truly proud to be indian:
    not every indians means they carry the values as a whole.
    we are proud of having a rich history
    proud of our kings queens , who are always known to give away things rather stealing them from other countries.
    proud that our culture teaches us “neighbours are ur friends ” rather saying owners pride neighbours envy.
    proud that we give respect cow as same as our mother coz after mothers milk we have cows milk.
    our land is our mother we even give respect to stones , but some countries hav no human values.

    we have accepted the muslims christians , we fight , not a single house in this world is left where brothers dont fight, we fight because we love each other, when time comes it will tell.

    proud we adopt others culture.

    proud we treat our guest with respect

    proud we give more importance to foreigners so that they feel like home rather treating them worse

    ppl say education is needed in our country but those who say their own country needs more of education,they say coz they dont see there junky youth roaming in the street.

    ppl say human rights condition is not good in india, but they forget they are responsible for wars in this world they hav proved droping atom bom in japan, there history lies under the death of 10 million red indians.

    we even after being betrayed many times still expect our enemies might have changed to human , but they fail to prove it and still an animal.still our hands are streched for friendship.

    if you see a spot in your mothers dress, dont think to undress her , a good son is who cleans the spot, if u cant do it then atleast keep quiet and dont be a part of the crowd who laughs at your mother.

    there are many reasons to be proud, but its worthless to say to people who wants to see there mother’s portrait as a lesbian .shame on u ,i feel pitty on your mother who gave birth to you.

  9. Ergo said

    “proud that we give respect cow as same as our mother coz after mothers milk we have cows milk.”

    LOL!! LOL!!!

  10. […] on Greenspan’s AutobiographyErgo on What Can India be Proud Of?kapil kumar deb on What Can India be Proud Of?rambodoc on Greenspan’s Autobiographyrambodoc on […]

  11. Ramesh Natarajan said

    Please read this post, to know why every Indian should be proud of India Amazing Facts on India

  12. Gautam Sarup said

    “proud that we give respect cow”
    Tasty too.

  13. albu said

    Indians are proud to be idiots. Ha ha ha ha ha ha.

  14. albu said

    India should make President Bush an honorary Indan. LOL

  15. lazybug said

    The very fact that we have held together for so many years is an achievement in itself. We have problems to take care of, which nation does not?

  16. abhishek said

    I agree…one should not celebrate patriotism for the sake to it. That would transform patriotism into a religion. But at the same time, there are things that one can be proud of, not just because it sounds patriotic, but because they deserve it.

    Ergo, you have just scratched the problem; the problems that face this country are vast.

    I actually am amazed at the kind of comments you have recieved so far.

    Lazybug – a braindead body also holds together, but its not alive.

  17. I will just say Bolywood because i don’t know anyhting else

  18. Ted Keer said

    There is, of course, plenty that India can be proud of, up to and including you, Jerry, and this website. In recent days, India’s moon shot and her willingness to respond to piracy in the Indian Ocean (regardless of any mistakes) have been of particular interest to thinking Americans. And as a New Yorker I just wanted to let you know that India and Mumbai are in my prayers especially today.

  19. Rott said

    I can’t believe what i am seeing on the television. My condolences to the families that were affected by these horrific crimes.

  20. Ergo said

    With Indians like the Ram Sainiks in Hyderabad, the MNS in Mumbai, and the Shiv Sainiks in Maharashtra, who needs foreign terrorists to attack us? We handle that job quite well for ourselves, thank you very much.🙂

  21. MiouBe said

    India can be proud of you!!

    No, I don’t do idle idol worship but I do think it’s kinda cool you’re out there (wherever and to whatever extent). I reckon you’ve got your head screwed on dood🙂

    I’m half Indian and I’m just back from my first trip to India. It was so interesting reading this country not only against my own life experiences so far, but also against the backdrop of some objectivist literature I’d dabbled in. Interesting, but distressing. You can see where this place might be heading. Even the homegrown wealth makers didn’t entirely convince me of India’s “bright, glowing future” – because I couldn’t help sense (granted, without a shred of evidence) that the dynamics of crony (i.e. bullshit, lip service) capitalism were perhaps ultimately at play. So although I was happy sitting on the floor in 2nd class carriages and hanging out of trains and all that jazz, I get the feeling it’ll be mediocrity-for-all for a long time yet, and that might generate more manifest upset and frustrations. I dunno, I feel I’d like to go back and find out at some point. I had a wonderful time in India and I’m actually not that embarassed at the idea of being half Indian anymore since I accepted that its donkeyness was nothing less than a reflection of my own goofyness at heart. But seriously, drop the corruption guys. It will sink you.

  22. Manish said

    Congratulations on being another one who bashes India.

    I suppose it lets off steam eh? A catharsis. A load off chest.
    Or maybe another thought arising out of ‘Cogito Ergo Sum’?
    Or is it frustrated patriotism? aka RDB?

    Why bother…go with the flow…

    No?
    So…what difference were you able to make? Honestly?
    And therefore what course in the future to take?

    But even before action should come understanding.
    a billion peoples lives…
    a thousand failed attempts…
    thousands of years old culture…

    How far would you walk?….out of your snuggly bed?

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