Letters to India – 2- Lion of the North

The largest democracy has spoken. There was a huge voter turn out. People are ready for a change. The appointed leader is expected of miracles. Time will once again prove these people wrong if they do not wish to be a proactive part of the change.

So rise, it’s our home. Let us get to work. We can complain later.

******

I have read the news. People are jubilant. Minorities are skeptical. It is natural to be frustrated hoping for a change every time a promising leader comes into power and leaves making you poorer and desperate. It is a punch in the gut when you are called the rape capital of the world, it is simply disgusting when you are considered as the most corrupt, indifferent nation surviving on God’s mercy. It is heartbreaking to see you stripped and helpless because we conveniently raise a finger at your shortcomings while we are the ones who give away bribes, burn and rape our daughters. We are the ones who accept our fate instead of standing for the truth. And we do that because we don’t believe in ourselves. We simply don’t believe that we deserve the best. That You deserve the best in us.

Yet, we conveniently call ourselves your sons and daughters. Is that just a stamp on our passports? Only our right to vote? Or is it just our right to complain? Some might say that it is easier for me because I am sitting thousands of miles away, in a safe and warm house. But I have spend first twenty-four years of my life in your womb. I was nurtured by your secular food and I was threatened by your overwhelming growth. I was worried that you’d discard me. And in that mayhem, I left you. Thinking that patriotism is a myth. It only looks good in books and banners. Yet it is only after arriving in another country, I realized the importance of my roots, the beautiful olive color of my skin, my understanding of all major religions of the world and the very essential fact – how does it feel to be a minority? How does it feel when I explain that I am different than a Sikh, or a Muslim or a Christian but they are also essentially me. That in our home country we worship cows and trees because they are perfect examples of compassion. That we look after each other and walk into each others home without the notion of privacy.

I believe your freedom is young. It needs time to mature and settle down. In the meantime, we cannot take it for granted. It has serious consequences. It is in this time of struggle, that our responsibilities are momentous. Maybe in this lifetime, there may not be much improvement, maybe we will be cheated again or maybe we will get up realizing that the change required is within us and not outside.

My patriotism for you has taken a beating over the years, just like million others. But every time I doubted your greatness, I reminded myself of your seamless ability to merge every religion, every cuisine, every language and every variation. So many conquerors came and left and you welcomed their heritage as yours. You never stood for expanding your broders or attacking other nations, only to protect yourself. And whenever the word secular met my eye, I thought of only you as I am yet to see another example. That is your challenge and that is your strength.

As a world, we are standing at the brink of breakdown. While we may define ourselves with borders or religions, as a civilization we are still searching for the meaning of our existence. We are invading ourselves and others to see how far can we go on the path of destruction before we redeem ourselves. Perhaps that is why today the world is looking at you – wondering if the largest democracy can make it happen? Perhaps, it can show us all that our vices are just our weaker insecurities. We are more than our animal instincts. Much more.

I see a faint glitter of hope in your eyes, because I see every responsible citizen in your vision, willing to do his/her part. He realizes that leaders and political parties are our extensions – they can never be bigger than us. Here you are – on the move with 1.237 billion marching towards the future. At this juncture, I don’t want to pray for your success because that will be my last resort. I want to be in the driving seat.

*****

I look at a polished sandstone holding the four lions symbolizing power,courage,pride and confidence – resting on a platform guarded by four animals – elephant of the east, horse of the south, bull of the west and my favorite – lion of the north. Decorated with the principle of Dharma Chakra in the center and rested on a blooming lotus – it is the emblem that always gave me goose bumps and tears in my eyes, reminding me that I come from Her. And every symbol of Her be it the national anthem or the tricolor flag, is meant to inspire and lead us to truth, the eternal salvation. Let us have the courage to do it right this time. Jai Hind.

सत्यमेव जयते(Truth alone Triumphs)!

 

*******

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2 thoughts on “Letters to India – 2- Lion of the North

  1. Oh you made me cry when I read the words “Satyamevjayatey”! Yes I am so excited with the outcome of the election only because it was clear that the time had come for change. About believing in ourselves, amen to that. It appears that this time the Indian population has been thinking, is more aware , is fed up and has more courage.
    Jai Ho! I feel that programs like Satyamev Jaytay produced by Aamir Khan have done a lot to raise the consciousness of the masses and speak of the courage to air the weaknesses of the system. Once again, A+!

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