“Really I see you my flag
In all your resplendent glory
of the three stripy colors
the wheel in the middle
sitting like a proud king in its chair
I see you my flag
on this day when I remember
I remember a bloodied history
bandied about as non-violent
while being torn apart into countries
which will forever be suspicious
of babies sent through the border
What is a “country” you say?
You see people bending down
in front of you,
a piece of cloth
while they never mention this word
what is a country, you ask?
Do I stand for something?
Am I not the only thing you should worship?
And thats when I realize
most of all have not come far from our past
we are still simple pasturers and herders
who have bitten off more than we can chew
idol worship is all we understand
and blind faith comes easily to us
all those genetics we proudly proclaim
to set us apart from baboons
and the humans of the past.
We call ourselves homo-sapiens-sapiens now
cz we have evolved beyond any doubt
while all I can see is that rocks and stones
have been replaced by flags and phones
we need a mascot
to pray to
and a mascot
to place our blames.
Yes, lets lynch the idiot
who wore a flag on his body
yes, lets lynch the idiot
who said he did not want it
lets lynch the idiot who said
we are all a bunch of monkeys
lets lynch the idiot
who wants to unveil our games
Lets get offended by all and sundry
lets proclaim very loudly to be equalitarians
who then go around gunning feminist men!
Today we understand the letters of the word
and we understand the letters of the word
But do we really understand what they together
For even though we have come far my, people,
we can never escape the one truth,
For those of you who know
and those of you who do not,
Hear me now and mark my words,
for this is the legend of the Flag:
25 different states for the country that was fractured
7 and counting for the number of religions and faiths
18 for the languages if we count the least
One for the mother that wanted to keep us
In the land of the diamond where the river Indus flows
One flag to find them all, one flag to unite them
One flag to love them all and in the light, bind them,
In the land of the himalayas, where the river ganges flows!
For even though we threw out people who wished to enslave us,
we have still not become completely free,
Human nature is enslaving us,
For it knows,
United we stand
and divided we fall!!“
It is 15th August, and I, just like the rest of india, is swept away in the celebration of the glory of our freedom struggle and the achievement that sits on top of the head of the image of our diamond shaped India “Maa”.
I wrote a whole post about what we must and should do and what we must strive to achieve. But then deleted it in one single stroke for I decided I am going to put together what we have already achieved and the greatness of this nation state which has resisted attempts of disruption again and again to stand tall and proud.
To understand at what cost we got our freedom and why we must respect it, we can watch the above beautiful video here.
Here is what I see in the light of our freedom. We won it at a great price and we must be able to justify it. Freedom of Expression: check. Freedom of Speech: Check. A constitution that must strive to uphold the unity and integrity of our nation state built from the edifice of the sacrifice of so many people of so many different faiths: Check. Of course all of them come with caveats and all of them stand at risk from extremists.
This independence day, when the Olympics games were so close and so many female players are represented our country and brought laurels to it, we are slowly progressing towards a changed mindset from the hard to uproot patriarchy. Actresses such as Priyanka Chopra have taken us to the international arena, Scientists such as Ashok Sen have been awarded the top most awards, we have movies based on the lives of mathematicians such as Ramanujam. We have sent the first successful and cheapest mission to Mars, Indian born people are becoming the CEO’s of companies such as Google and there are always leaders and revolutionaries born who are continuing the struggles in the country against issues ranging from the abuse of females, corruption, unequal hostel rules as well as farmer suicides.
In the words of Jignesh Mevani,
“What is with all those religious groups who think they own the place? Here’s the thing, dummies. The country that came to be on August 15, 1947, belongs to everybody. There was no one monolithic group that fought for our freedom. Our freedom fighters were Agnostics, Atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs. People of different castes, races, and sexualities stood up to the British together. They were ordinary people who gave everything to the freedom struggle, including their life, without any fanfare or notoriety. Therefore, no single group can call dibs on the entire country.”
This country is diverse, a small glimpse of which is provided by its cuisine:
On this date when Dipa placed our country on the map of the Olympics, being the first Indian to have qualified to the finals, we forgot that she was a woman and saw her as a human being first. My heart soared every time I read the comments and saw the tweets: We as a race, know how to encourage and be happy when we put our minds to it and we as a race who have at times hated our cricketeers for not winning in one match, gave our hearts to this athlete who finished fourth. This is one of our greatest accomplishments: Love. Dipa made us open our hearts up, unite and took us back to our values and morals: of encouragement, contentment, tolerance and love.
We belong to the land which boasts the world’s oldest university, the oldest way of life and the some of the oldest epics as well as scripts. The land where the Indus valley civilization flourished, the land of “Athithi Devo Bhawa” welcoming people from each and every part of the world at some point of time or the other and the land which boasts some of the most delicious cuisines. It is time we learn to walk forward head held high, not in pride but in humility and promise. It is time we rooted out the false politicians and gundas who manage to ensnare people with a cunningly crafted mixture of lies, half-facts, psychology, stupidity and “pseudo-intellectualism” and embrace ourselves to be what we are and what we will always be.
We are a mixture. (just like the mudhi-mixture we eat 😉 ) , we are a nation-state, we are a religious cauldron which swirls together to produce the “Indian” way of life which is ever-changing, questioning, accommodating, tolerant and loving.
“We are Sunny Leone and we are Deepa, we are Tendulkar and we are Mangeshkar, we are Haldar Nag and we are Gandhi, we are Irom Sharmila as well as Rabindranath Tagore, Gangadhar Meher and Arundhati Roy, Chetan Bhagat as well as Subhas Bose.” We are all and we are One.
There is one more thing: I5th August is not only India’s independence day.
On this day, we must also remember about Partition, for freedom did not come without a cost. We must remember our brothers who are now our neighbors and we must rise against what false history indoctrinates in us. We must remember to heal the scars of partition.
Read this here.
In this 70th Independence Day, let us remember that we are a people of one faith:
Watch the above beautiful video titled “One Faith” by Terribly Tiny Talkies here.
And above all we must remember that we are humans, and we all belong on this planet called the “Earth” which is our first and foremost country.
On this note, a beautiful world “Hamza” flag was made by my friend Nicole:
Read what Nicole has to say about her creation here.
There are some things we must strive to go away from, one of which is perfectly encapsulated by this:
And so United we must stand or divided, we will fall!
Watch this full video here.