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Patriotism

Patriotism. What does it mean to us? We are the youth of the country, the supposed to be future of the nation. What do we make of these three syllables? We are the progressive section of the society, marching forward, taking India to a better and brighter future. But have we really ever paid any attention to it? Have we ever spared even a figment of our fertile imagination for the same?

Let’s have a look. I am twenty one years old. That’s right, old enough to be legally married under the laws of the state. I have no future plans. My future is as directionless as India’s foreign policy. I don’t know what I want to do with my life, apart from earning money. I study in an institution that runs on the ever cherished, ever cliché taxpayers money. My tuition is subsidised. The dollar-face Lincoln says, "Ask not what your country has given you. Ask what you have given to the country". Rather than giving anything to the country, right now I am actually taking away a large chunk of the resources. The façade of my institute building reads in big letters (that are lit bright with light bulbs when there is a Presidential visit) "Dedicated to the service of the nation". But for all that I know, if I am paid enough, I will be working for a major part of my life offshore. I will be paying more taxes to the government of some other country than my own.

So what does it mean? This word called patriotism. What use am I to the country? It’s been three years since I turned 18, and I don’t even perform the most basic of my duties – voting. Primarily, that is because I don’t have a voter-id card. I have been lazy, careless, and even callous enough never to have gone and had one made. And who is to say that if I had a card I would have done the job.

Now I am not earning enough to be paying any taxes. But then what fair reason in the world makes me think that once that I am, the better of my intellectual thinking will not be spent finding out loopholes to save those "hard earned" bucks.

The question remains. What is my contribution to the country? Well, for one I feel a lot. I feel that the country could do a lot of good with a few changes here and there. But everyone does that. Maybe the only patriotic thing that I do is supporting the national cricket team even during the bad days. So that means I am insane enough rooting for the Men In Blue not just after World Cup 2003, but even after the 2007 edition. I would have loved to support to other sportmen as well, but I am not usually given much to do there. Yes I always wish Mahesh Bhupati would add one more to his trophy cabinet (okay I am not much of a Leander fan), but that is pretty much it.

Yeah, there are a few other things. I enjoy movies with a patriotic flavour, especially the new ones that target the so called younger audiences. Examples of same being Swades and Rang De Basanti. But will I ever do a SRK ala Mohan Bhargav and quit a NASA job (not that I will ever get a NASA job, but you get the point)? Not really. Will I ever do an Aamir and go around cleansing the society of evil politicians. I don’t see myself putting a bullet through Arjun Singh. I mean I didn’t even attend any anti-reservation rally. All I did was sit in my drawing room, and watching the doctors in Delhi (and other professionals at other places as well) getting beat up by sadistic police constables. And let us not even talk about getting into the armed forces. I honestly believe I would be doing the country a big favour by never enrolling for the same, if ever such a need arose. My only mentionable act of so called patriotism has been sending a single, solitary SMS to help get the Taj Mahal elected in the new seven wonders.

Unfortunately, the question still remains. Maybe, I am of no use to the country. My blogging is not a national treasure. Certainly my smart ass, perverse commentign and remarking skills won’t be of much use here. So, maybe 20 years from now, when I am watching a fight in the Madison Square Gardens, or sipping champagne in some French village, or driving my SUV across the autobahn, the only thing patriotic that I can do is sending picture postcards to my family and friends back home. And have a passport that reads "Nationality: Indian". Let’s hope I am man enough to do that.

Comments

  1. hmmm....
    am reading your blog after a long time....
    and this one proves tht behind the carefree exterior lies a thoughtful interior ,seldom seen though... probably one of ur best blogs....
    on a lighter note , RDB zyaada dekha tha kya ???

    ReplyDelete
  2. good one. galtiyan nikaalna mushkil ho raha hai. huggasticity unnaturally kam hai :P

    some good lines though, and the inverted commas on "hard earned" bucks was lovely. made the rest of the thing readable ;P

    ReplyDelete
  3. I agree with everything you have written, but wouldn't you rather suggest something that you will do yourself to get out of that loathsome situation?

    ReplyDelete
  4. ahem!! ahem!! if being hypocritical over my baap's blog is not considered blasphemous,apart from other minor errors, "Dedicated to the service 'OF' the nation" is one thing that pinched me. Correct at least that.

    Otherwise, it is a pretty cool post and these are what I guess are called MURKY WATERS, places where everyone has a fantasy of wading through but none has the guts.

    Again, as Adi said, instead of portraying the hopelessness,nething constructive would have added the regal touch to quite a kingly post.

    YO RITWIK!!!

    ReplyDelete

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