Yet another Independence Day (August 15) has come and gone with a culturally bankrupt English movie channel actually having the absence of mind to show a film titled Independence Day (July 4).
And, yet another independence day has come and gone with a linguistically challenged and militaristically inclined Kannada news channel, a) airing Hindi desha bhakti geethe as if patriotism doesn’t lend itself to the local language, and b) saluting soldiers as if the Indian army had a secret role to play in securing freedom.
And, yet another independence day has come and gone with A.R. Rehman‘s Vande Mataram putting up an increasingly weak show against A.R. Rehman‘s Jai Ho.
Nevertheless, as word after vacuous word flowed from corrupt leaders and crooked bureaucrats, as they have for 63 years before, SUJATA RAJPAL lists ten reasons why all this patriotic bullshit leaves her stone cold.
And why, despite independence, she admires, well, the West:
1) If you misuse public money, you can’t get away scot free, regardless of who you are or who you are related to or who you know in the echelons of power.
2) If you have a grudge against a public servant, you know how to seek redress. And you know you will get it, regardless of who she is or who she is related to.
3) You are held accountable for what you do irresepctive of who you are or what strings you pull or what ever you can do to hush it all up.
4) The CEO’s kid and the cleaning lady’s children go to the same school, learn the same lessons and have an equal opportunity when they step out in the real world.
5) There is no caste column in the school application forms or in the company service records. And it is not the yardstick with which someone gauges you and treats you.
6) No one looks down upon you if you don’t speak their language. Or no one looks up at you if you speak a language “superior” than theirs.
7) Religion is a personal question like one’s age and salary. It is certainly not the USP of political parties to ride to power or pull someone down.
8) You don’t have to answer ‘where is your native?’ from even a bank clerk just because you look different. And get treated differently as a result.
9) Your single status does not worry your colleagues, neighbours or their visiting relatives. And your sexual prowess is not a mater of public debate.
10) You will not die from the bite of a street dog. Or from a passing mosquito. Or from a little insect in your soppu.
Cartoon: courtesy E.P. Unny/ The Indian Express