61 years of freedom – what changed?

India celebrated its 61st Independence Day yesterday. I decided to jog my memory on this great occasion.

18 years ago, I reached the USA for my first stint there. As an Indian, I was almost immediately taken aback by the pride that Americans displayed for their country. The national flag was everywhere including on undergarments!

I observed, with a great deal of incomprehensibility, that when the national anthem was played, Americans placed their hand over their heart. I could even see tears forming in some of their eyes. Wow!

Flashback 29 years ago, while in grade school, we used to take the pledge everyday and sing the national anthem on special days. Teachers used to drill into us nationalistic messages, stories during I-day/R-day events as well as throughout the year.

However, for a 12 year old kid, things got very confusing due to what happened outside the school. There was no pride visible at all. More confusing was the fact that being an Indian meant that we will be scoffed at. Reams of advice was hurled at India – control your population, stop corruption, keep your streets clean, be proud or whatever else caught the fancy of the advisors.

In those days, at the end of a play or a movie, they used to play the national anthem. A shocking thing used to happen – almost everyone would walk out while the anthem was playing to go to their parking spot early or whatever. Myself and my dad (used to work in the Military Engineering Service) used to be amongst the few who were left standing (no pun intended). [Later the government wisely passed a law to stop the national anthem from being played during such occasions].

For me, this was all enough to completely smother the small flickering flame called Indian pride burning in me.

Fast forward to the last 2.5 years that I have been back here. I-days are big – people sport wrist bands and head bands with the tricolor. Many Indians are almost jingoistic. I went to a meeting with a couple of political leaders in it last year. This time when the national anthem was played i was pleasantly surprised to see a few people having their hands placed on their heart!

What changed?


  1. Quote
    Rada (subscribed) said August 16, 2008, 7:06 am:

    A lot of things have changed, including others’ perceptions about us!

    In 1998, I went to the US Consulate in Chennai for a visa and was apalled at the way, the applicants were being treated. A burqa clad lady from Hyderabad went away in tears, after being literally shouted and screamed at, by the rude consular officer.

    I went again to the same office, 10 years later, last week. What a difference! There are intrepreters for all South Indian languages. The people manning the counters (both Indians and Americans) are friendly and sypmathetic.

    So, what changed? 🙂

  2. Quote


    The very core reason, i believe, why indians done express nationality is that the polity and the society are completely separated here. Family is the first preference of a typical indian. And then the society.

    In all these days, our india survived INSPITE of its government.. infact, suppressed and looted by the government, for all these days..

    This lack of ownership of polity had deviated many indians from independence day celebrations..

    Historically, india was ruled by numerous kingdoms and dynasties. Whoever rules, as long as the ruler does good, people co-operated.. a typical case, where the society and polity are separated..

    there was no concept of nationalism, till mid of 1800 when britishers completed dominated india, while in europe, nationalism emerged few centuries in advance. (i think around 14th century)..

    So its not a surprise to me, that indians dont exhibit patriotism that much strong..

    btw, i came across the review of the following book.. I havent read it yet.. but i had the same opinion as expressed in the review.. the indian constitution was in contradictory and conflicting with indian societies, ethos and culture..

  3. Quote

    This is not related to this article.. But, it was a superb article that i came across.. This is what i wanted to say, during our earlier discussion in this blog, but could not do for lack of clarity..


    The core point – The morals and ethics of the west are not suited as it is for the eastern society.. so any research based out of their society could not be a blind benchmark for evaluating our society..

    I am just quoting this line which i feel reflects the stark difference b/w west and east..

    “When the psychologist Richard Nisbett showed Americans individual pictures of a chicken, a cow and hay and asked the subjects to pick out the two that go together, the Americans would usually pick out the chicken and the cow. They’re both animals. Most Asian people, on the other hand, would pick out the cow and the hay, since cows depend on hay.
    Americans are more likely to see categories. Asians are more likely to see relationships”

  4. Quote
    Sukumar (subscribed) said August 16, 2008, 8:21 am:

    Thanks. On my recent trip to the US embassy, i observed the new-found politeness as well. In fact, one of the officials came out of his office and cut some jokes for the people waiting to relax and not be tensed up – the people for whom the US visa is still a life-and-death scenario. You are right perceptions about us have changed. But why?

  5. Quote
    Sukumar (subscribed) said August 16, 2008, 8:39 am:

    Interesting. You were arguing only a few posts back that India as an entity has existed for eons. Now you are arguing India is a British creation which is what i was arguing at that time. What changed?

    I am trying to argue in my post that Indians have become patriotic now and that things have changed, whereas you seem to be arguing that Indians are not patriotic. Yes, they were not patriotic then but they are now. If your arguments about the west and east are correct, Indians should not be patriotic even now. That is not the case. So what gives?

    BTW, the fact that Asians are collectivist and Americans are Individualist is old hat. In fact, Geerts Hofstede’s theories have covered this extremely well. Another point for you to ponder – China – chinese people are so proud, justifiably so. Take a look at the Olympics and you will know. I am sure you know China is a collectivist society like India. By your theory Chinese should not have nationalistic pride. So what gives?

  6. Quote

    Sukumar – Good post.

    About 20 years back, during the Olympic Inaugural ceremony: While most other countries smiled & waved back at the audience, the Indian team was not even walking in an orderly manner. Men looked stiff & cold. Women were chatting with each other. It was a shameful lack of decorum.

    But now!

    I guess at that time, we didn’t really have anything to be proud of. We vociferously reiterated the accomplishments of our ancestors – in an attempt to lick our wounds.

    Now, we’ve really tasted success thru our efforts – though only in a few fields. And as a result of that, the world takes us more seriously.

  7. Quote


    Today’s india is a british creation.. i agree.. but they did not create it from void.. there was some binding force or some integration point in our extremely diverse population.. it needs lot of research.. i am looking for that uniting factor..

    In one way, the brahmins are one of the major integration point for the whole of sub-continent.. They were present all over india, in all empires and kingdoms before britishers.. the highly inclusive nature of the society, and the underlying psyche of our people..

    The caste system was also another reason.. because, there were numerous castes co-existing, there was no chance for the emergence of nationalism. or regionalism.. or even separatism.. the pre-british kings just integrated these castes and built their kingdom quickly.. and brahmins were the integration point for these numerous castes, as they existed in nook and corner of india..

    I am looking for more details on this subject .. as of now, i stand by what i have said earlier..

  8. Quote

    I am not in to proving that indians are unpatriotic.. however, i was looking at the reasons, why patriotism were low till last generation..

    There is no doubt, the present generation is more patriotic..

    The second comment about collectivism is not related to this post.. i dont find any correlation b/w collectivism and nationalism..
    In case of china, the nationalism was only a recent phenomenon.. the communists replaced their Maoism with their chinese nationalism, as the former did not click with the people..

    In case of chinese, 90% of their people are hans homogenous.. so their collectivism quickly turned in to nationalism.. similarly the case for koreans, japanese, vietnamese, thais, where there were 100% homogenous population..

    However in india, the collectivism existed as castes.. so there was nationalism earlier..

  9. Quote

    /** Another point for you to ponder – China – chinese people are so proud, justifiably so. Take a look at the Olympics and you will know. **/

    Its the reverse that’s true.. The chinese were proud of themselves, their culture, their history and they are well connected to their roots.. they are not ashamed of themselves or their ancestors.. they are not hesitant to follow their culture or mythology.. they follow their acupuncture, their dragon culture..
    they follow their own calendars..
    and more importantly they follow their own language and their success so far is out of their own self..
    they did not consider their dragon festival or their calendars and associated beliefs as superstitions.. they did not consider their cuisines as backward or inferior.. (eventhough their cuisine contains virutally all living organisms on earth 🙂 )..
    They are not ashamed of their history, even though, their rulers killed around 7 crore people of their own land..
    They dont denigrate themselves on tianmen square.. and they

    And because of these, they are proud of themselves.. that’s why they are conducting a spectacular show.. the present olympics is the result of their pride.. NOT the reverse..

    Let’s consider the indian case.. We threw away our mother tongue first.. we are ashamed of our ancestors.. we are ashamed of our culture.. we are ashamed of our religion.. we are ashamed of our society.. we are ashamed of our history.. we are ashamed of our villages.. and we are ashamed of everything that’s indian..
    and this negative psyche instigated by britishers existed even after independance.. and continues till today..

    A pessimists cannot be a confident man.. a man who thinks only his negatives cannot progress.. and this applies for the nation.. a nation that dejects itself, .. a nation that denigrates itself.. a nation that ignores its history and past.. a nation that ignores its cultural foundation .. there can never be a progress..

    The real independance can happen, only if we start seeing ourselves positively.. By losing all our identities, how can we call ourselves as independant nation..

    the moment we start seeing ourselves, our society, our history and everything positively, the real progress will start happening..

  10. Quote

    If we had driven away the britishers, we would have got the pride and resurged back long ago.. But, what happened 61 years before was a mere alms.. just a handover of power, after sucking up everything.. and that too, the power was carefully handed over to very incapable, and impractical person who also had the weakness over woman

    Only the leaders changed.. however, the british control over the key institutions of india, like Media, beurocracy etc are all remained the same.. and using these, they ensured that india did not progress.. they cleverly subdued nehru (using mountbatten’s wife edwina) and brought kashmir to UN, even though, it was only two weeks time, we could have regained it..

    and through the media controlled by them, they manipulated the opinions of the intellectuals.. added are the marxists, who were dead against anything hinduism.. as a result, all policies are framed that was in conflict with the society and people..

    There was more to explain on this..

    It was india’s sheer luck, that we got leaders like patel and rajaji..

  11. Quote

    The recent Mitrokhin archives, had proved enough, how opinions are manufactured in india in the past, by the KGB.. they have heavily infiltrated in to india, that virtually every political leader were willing to part away with any information for a petty sum.. India was rated as cheap thirdworld country by the KGB..

    The following links gives the mitrokhin documents related to india.. it exposes how congress and communists had mortgaged india, in the past..


    To cite an example, there was more than 10 Indian major newspapers at the payroll of KGB. around 3780 articles were planted in 1972 alone.. (please refer page-14 in the above link)..

    And its a concrete proof to doubt, that today’s media could be also under the control of CIA . (as KGB was no more active today).. we could see from the extremely biased nature of the english medias towards congress.. (the very party which sold india to KGB in the past)..

  12. Quote
    Subba Muthurangan said August 16, 2008, 7:19 pm:

    Good post Sukumar…

    My opinion is, all kid’s good qualities came from father and mother. Fatherhood is the one responsible for feeding patriotism into kids. But for some reason, we totally forgotten father’s responsibility of raising kid in our society. May be it could be economical reason or many kids per family or joint family structure etc. So my point is, the time my grandfather spent with my father is less than my father spent with me when I was a kid. Because of fatherhood influence, I’m patriotic. I believe the best teacher of each one of us is our mother and father. Based on a research, kids are getting 50% of all required knowledge within their first 5 years of old, that is even before we starting school. I think this generation[below 30 now] is lucky to spent sometime with their fathers and more patriotic than elders, thanks to both parents working culture and nuclear family structure.


  13. Quote
    Sundara said August 16, 2008, 7:47 pm:

    Great Post Sukumar – A topic very close to my heart.

    I think patriotism is a passion. I look at our previous generations and think they had a lot more to deal with in terms of the challenges that they faced. A lot more issues with basic needs, economic conditions etc. Also true that our previous generations were sort of in a closed box.. though virtual. Thanks to the British, our people seemed to develop a sense of unity and that translated to patriotism against a common enemy.

    Today’s world is different. Kids have a better outlook to the world. Simple things like AR Rahman’s music on TV about India make a difference. Also, the amount of success that Indians have seen in the world ( eg. Kalpana Chawla, Mittal) and the success of our corporates is written all over. The next generation, growing generation of youngsters see all this and grow with this passion of “India – My Country”. Its also important that although poverty and economic conditions are still bad in a lot of places, knowedge of India becoming a successful country and going in the right direction has only helped people’s passion grow.

    Let’s not forget Mr.Abdul Kalaam and what he did during his presidency.

    I dont think we can judge people’s patriotism based on how they respond to the national anthem or based on the respect to the national flag on a pin.

  14. Quote

    What changed? A whole lot for quite a few and nothing for the vast majority who still struggle to eke out an existence! However the singing of national anthem shouldn’t be the only criterion to measure the patriotism. For a auto-mechanic or a cycle rickshaw guy who comes in to the theater for a few hours of vicarious pleasure, the anthem is only a rude reminder of how it is back to reality once the show ends, so I wouldn’t place much emphasis on they staying back and standing up with their hands on their hearts when the anthem plays, but yes, times are changing, there is more awareness thanks to the media.

    A better measure would be when we as a country are able to get rid of poverty, hunger, mal-nutrition, female infanticide, corruption, pseudo-secularism, communalism and the divisive tendencies that exist in the society today and I do hope this happens in this life-time!

  15. Quote
    pk.karthik said August 17, 2008, 6:36 am:

    Really cool piece of observation Sukumar…well written…

    But imho …Patriotism is one of most overrated concepts in history of mankind…Most of the evi that imposed on mankind was in name of patriotism….Some how world still harping on the fact of patriotism when economics is more transprant and seems to be order of the day…
    In name of patriotism USA has destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq….many others like Germany,Japan,USSR (Russia is still doing it in Chechnya and Georgia) have done it in past….
    As for National Anthem ..very few ppl respect it …even if some one does it he is dragged to court….We are infact a dictatorship in garb of democracy…( we dont have a Hitler here but yes we do have some political parties..who collectively act as Hitler or a Pinochet)….

  16. Quote

    Hi Sukumar,
    Whatever I commented yesterday went into moderation and did not appear.

    My comment in effect is this

    DoS considers it’s consular posts as a P&L entity. The more happy it’s customers are, the more money they can make, particularly when Indians are going for stamping in such large numbers. Also, I think the consular posts are less stressed these days, thanks to the appointment system. They now have predicable load, and hence they may do their job with some fun.

    Indians also on the whole changed may be because of these factors
    1) IT Industry success
    2) Liberalization 2.0 success
    3) Non stop comparison with China (though not accurate.. China is ahead of us in almost all sectors)
    4) Newly gained confidence like Reliance and Tata bidding for global brands

    I am not sure if Americans are so patriotic before Civil War. That threat combined with non-stop threats (self created or due to external factors) like Pearl Harbor, Korea War, Nam, Afghanistan, Islamic terrorism…etc must be keeping them all united.

  17. Quote

    Your right-wing jingoism never seem to loose steam. It is very easy to sit and talk about past and find faults. It is very difficult to act in the field. You never seem to answer the yielding of your favorite government to the terrorists during IC814 hijack? Do you say Advani/ Jaswant Singh sided with terrorists? Just like this argument doesnt make any sense, taking a what-if scenario in the past and weaving an entire theory around it and selling as truth is farce.

    Just see how immaturely a delicate situation like Amarnath Land Issue is exploited by right-wing nationalists!! I would say any day, these people are capable of taking India 100 years to the back then Jihadists and Thrishool Warriors will love to fight and also fight with some Gora enemy and gain true independence and feel truly proud of one’s country. And yes I forgot, Taj Mahal is ancient Hindu temple, Astrology is going to make Indians great, Ayurveda will treat heart disease ( forget bypass surgery), India should claim back Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Srilanka, Burma, Thailand and become ‘akhanda-bharat’!! What an ideology to follow.

    Frankly there is nothing great to emulate stupid Chinese practices and try to do like that in India. Who cares? You can be nationalistic still be practical and forward thinking. Tell those Chinese that while dragon festival is great, they dont need to kill tigers for making medicine which gives non-stop erection. So in essence, our country can be unique, by shedding superstition for superior thinking. No need for us the preachings from nuts, who fight for causes that never put food in poor man’s stomach, decrease security, increase wide spread separatism in hearts and make enemy more powerful.

  18. Quote


    You have ignored the most important point i raised.. the mitrokhin archives.. i am giving the link again..


    Since this post is nationalism, let me stick to this point.. (as other things we debated earlier many times)..

    the so called national heroes defended by you, have been exposed.. the kickbacks received by the communists has been detailed along with names..

    The so called quality english media that you all believe unquestioned has been exposed now.. the various articles that appeared in those newspapers in the past, has been planted by the KGB.. these are the very articles, from which every indian elite would have framed their opinions in the past..

    And this mitrokhin archives are just the part known to us.. and there is every possibility, that there are many unknown with regards to india..

    And are you going to ignore all these facts as usual??

  19. Quote

    Btw, regarding the kandahar Hijack, I accept they have done some major blunders.. like they should not have allowed the flight to kandahar… But, their decision is always taken for the 100’s of passengers inside the plane.. i do not defend them entirely.. but their integrity can never be doubted..

  20. Quote

    Can you please point to more authentic sources In the wikipedia, which is perhaps more audited source, I dont see anything alarming about these archives. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitrokhin_Archive

    I also quote this from the same page “Historian J. Arch Getty of UCLA, in the American Historical Review (106:2, April 2001): found Mitrokhin’s material to be “fascinating,” but he also questioned plausibility that Mitrokhin could have smuggled and transcribed thousands of KGB documents, undetected, over 30 years.[66] Former Indian counter-terrorism chief Bahukutumbi Raman pointed out that Mitrokhin did not bring either the original documents or photocopies. Instead, he brought handwritten/typed notes of the contents of the documents. [3]”

    Not sure if we can form any opinion based on such source.

    Communists != Congress. Communists – while their pro-poor/pro-worker policies and ideology cannot be questioned, there are many areas they fail. Just check how they jeopardized WB and Kerela for years.

    Which media should be believe then – Saamana or RSS Observer or Rediff as authentic sources?

    How many MPs from ‘right-wing’ were caught taking bribes to ask questions in the Parliament? What do you say about coffin scam, tehelka scam? Do you say that is also not handled well.

    Everyone knows Congress or for that matter any political party is not holy. We know there could be nexus between mafia, few external intelligence agencies, businesses, lobbyists and few leaders. I still think we cannot conclude that a ‘national party’ on the whole is having designs that hurt the countries interest. I think it is really stretching the imagination.

  21. Quote


    Here is the link that B Raman describes in detail on the mitrokhin issue..

    http://www.rediff.com/news/2005/sep/26raman.htm (this is part-1.. part-2 and part-3 are followed up from there)..

    Ultimately, he too accepted, that India was the play ground of KGB, MI5, and CIA in the past.. In part-3 of this series, he mentions as below.

    The intelligence agencies of the USSR, East Germany [Images], the USA and the UK, in particular, spared no pains, no money and no methods, however unscrupulous, to soften and corrupt our political leadership, civilian bureaucracy, armed forces and the media in an attempt to achieve their strategic objectives.

    This is the core point i want to highlight.. what we are reading from the newspapers, Televisions and other mediums, were the planted articles by all these foreign intelligence agencies..

    To your question “Which media should we believe in”.. you have the full freedom to believe any of those.. But, i believe, there is a certain basic framework.. that a nationalist newspaper or media would never compromise on its national pride or sovereignity..

    We can find that easily from the articles it publishes.. if you say saamna, organiser are rightwings.. i dont have any issues over it.. after all they are cultural nationalists.. not the stooges of foreign intelligence.. they are thousand times dependable than the newspapers under CIA or KGB payouts….

    When you see hypersensitive news, like kandamal violence of orissa, or the sabarimala issue manipulated by channels like IBN, or even the godhra episode inflated by the medias.. or the sensated dalit news there are high probability that they were the by either foreign intelligence, or the missionaries, or by the very congress itself.. (although three of them act with unison..)..

    You know.. the organisation DFN, (Dalit Freedom Network), is actually run by the christian missionaries, and based out of US.. and they operate people here and arrange for funds for protests.. and a news coverage.. Learned men, good people, ordinary citizens, and innocent people, all believe in the news without realising the very source of it.. and since this happens for pretty long period, (for decades, and in india, for centuries), there are atleast 3 or 4 generations who were brought out with a manipulated opinions, and negativistic tendencies..

    I hope, you had seen “23rd Pulikesi” film in tamil.. we all are like that 23rd pulikesi..

  22. Quote

    You have your own way of citing a statement as truth. All ‘facts’ you are quoting are opinions. If you and me respect B.Raman as a great intelligence expert, you have to accept the extract from the part 3

    If Mitrokhin’s story is to be believed, none of these security precautions were followed in the KGB. The operational files of branches dealing with dozens of countries were allowed to be kept in one place in the central Archives, the personal particulars and details of the modus operandi were kept in the files, and Mitrokhin was able to work alone day after day, hour after hour — undisturbed — taking down notes from the files and taking the notes out in the evening.

    According to him, it took 12 years for all the files to be transferred from one building to another, thereby giving him adequate time to go through many of them and take down notes. One finds it very difficult to believe all this.

    If you were to copy the next paragraph to whatever you quoted above it reads like this The fact that despite all their efforts, they could not make India a banana republic of one side or the other is a tribute to all of us. B. Raman actually is praising Indian government that they did not grossly yield to either west or east blocs (they yielded to East block on many issues like Afghanistan etc that is a different story. Again that is foreign policy not same as taking bribe from KGB)

    You are going in circles and citing that right wing cannot be wrong (pun intended). What is the basis for that? While they can ‘create’ history out of imagination, why cannot we call them liars? After all, ideology blinds people.

  23. Quote

    Nice post Sukumar. What has changed. For one, I think we are more exposed to the world and understand our worth better. We have accomplished a lot as a democracy (although I agree we have a long way to go).
    I remember many years back my uncle once remarked, India will become a super power one day that is why US is against us. At that time it sounded like a joke. Now doesn’t feel so far fetched:-)

  24. Quote

    My $0.02. Exposure – not only to understand our self-worth, but also to instill in us that it is OK to feel proud of our nation and express such emotions. And maybe Kargil War!!. I believe when a population believes that their country is fighting for a just cause and keep itself united, patriotic feelings are ignited. Of course, the new found media certainly helped flame this fire.


  25. Quote

    Vamsi.. the right wingers are often taken for granted.. just throw an accusation them, and they will plunge in to apolegetic mode.. those days are over..

    I am not blind defendant of right wingers.. i go by the purpose of their activities.. Their claim on history may lack proof.. or even exaggerated.. But, the ultimate purpose is to gain that national self confidence..

    But the stand of the indian elites is highly to be questioned.. The kashmiri separatists hoists pakistani flag, and says “We muslims want independant from Hindu india”.. the indian elites dont even question them.. But if jammu hindus protest over the extreme discrimination faced from kashmir, its being accused of communal or being exploited by Right wingers..

    My stand is that my foremost preference is over the rights of the Hindus in india.. there is no ambiguity my principle.. But, the stand of the indian elites is highly biased, and unjust, while they claim to be neutral or secular and take moral authority in hand…

    This is the key point that i want to highlight.. we need to be clear on for what are we supporting for…

  26. Quote

    Vamsi.. I dont deny the points you have pointed out.. we are taking different context from the same article..

    inspite of all these nasty games played by the western intelligence, india did not become banana republic.. there may be multiple reasons for that.. one prime reason is the statesmanship of indra gandhi.. particularly, the way she handled bangladesh war despite US was dead against us..

    But, the purpose why i highlighted is the way our media had been manipulated.. you need to accept, that we have so far believed on the media that is now known to be highly subservient to foreign intelligences.. and we have so far formed our opinion on our country, our society, and everything native, based on those biased articles..

    There needs to be an introspection, whether our opinions that we have formed is correct.. because, we debating based on our opinions..

  27. Quote
    Sanyog (subscribed) said August 23, 2008, 4:24 am:

    Interesting post, and even more interesting comments (though I could not go through all of those!)…
    I have a slightly different view point though – I do not think India is much more patriotic than what it was.. yes, probably the display is more than what it used to be. The signs that you are citing corroborating your observation (hand on heart, wristbands etc) are mostly ‘ape the west’ types – rather than true patriotism. A lot of people (not all) do these things coz they consider these to be fashionable.

    If we were more patriotic today than what we were 10 years ago, corruption would have gone down. If we were more patriotic today our parliamentarians, lawyers, judges and bureaucrats would not have dared to stoop so low in public life…(lets just forget dealings behind the scene)…

    There is a positive side though. We are more nationalistic today, which you call as patriotism. And that is a change. Why that has changed? Today we have more confidence in India as a nation. Our IT success story, our economic growth story, worldwide recognition of our elite education institutes, our nuclear capability.. all these things make us feel more confident on world stage. We are no more ashamed of our 1B+ population. We consider that to be our strength.
    Today’s Indians wear this confidence on their sleeves. You call that patriotism, I feel in part its fashion, and in part its nationalism. 🙂

  28. Quote

    An excelent article that i came across.. i feel, its highly relevant to the subject of this post..


    particularly the following quote from this article, reflect my opinion too..

    “How do you build a great power, a nation of ideas, when 20-year-olds think with a 40-year-old’s prudence, when they learn nothing but what they can use tomorrow, when they do not see through the lenses of literature, economics, history, philosophy?

    What a shame it would be to win the lottery of world power and have no idea how to spend it.”

  29. Quote

    Sanyog – Interesting point about the ‘ape the west’ types.

    Many people are impressionable – they change unknowingly. What we wear, who we befriend, where we live, what we say – all these change us, whether we intend to change or not. Many people may wear a tricolor wrist-band today to ape the west. But at least some of them will become patriotic slowly & perhaps, involuntarily.

    I read a fable in a weekly magazine that explains this in dramatic terms:

    A king had a daughter, an only child. He wanted to find the right consort for her. The princess wanted to marry a man who followed Dharma to a T – and she rejected every single suitor. As a last resort, the king decided to beg some hermits in the local monastery to see if 1 of them would marry her.

    Hearing this, a thief cum con-man dressed himself as a hermit & started living in the monastery. The king visited the monastery 1 day & made his request. “Take my daughter & the whole Kingdom” he begged. 1 by 1, the hermits declined politely & walked out. When his turn came, the con-man was surprised to find himself saying “No”. For, unknowingly, he had realized that striving for serenity is way better than riches.

    I’m not saying that every single aper of the west would change, simply by going thru the motions of patriotism. But at least some would.

  30. Quote
    Abhik (subscribed) said September 7, 2008, 12:26 am:

    Interesting discussion…Has been whirring in my head for a couple of days, so came up with a post of my own..

    The bottom line, a certain section of India is more confident about their identity as Indians…and that is what’s showing 🙂

    check it out if you have the time here:


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