Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Being Indian

15th August (Independence Day Of India)...It is the day of visible display of patriotism- people selling me flags at the Traffic signal, my favorite radio station playing "Saare Jahan se Acha..",  my Facebook feed full of  "I love my India"  status updates, my phone is spammed by forwards including that "Our Indian national anthem has been voted the best by Unesco", while the movie "Border" is playing on at-least 5 TV channels.. I feel Today I could just die for my country!

 But then these party poopers show up and they refuse to be a part of this Celebration.! These bunch of people who say that they do not identify with this nation and Nationality, and say that they refuse to abide by the lines drawn by our English friends. The say that they want "Azad Kashmir"

. So in 1947, in between the 14th and 15th of August, people were rather harshly handed over the identity of being Indian or Pakistani's, but the fate of Kashmiri's was kept in abeyance. They were to be Kashmiri's until further notice. Over years of precise propaganda, they were instead handed over guns to decide for themselves. We could call the struggle of these Kashmiri's misguided, or deluded or just a search for their identity. The death in numbers, turmoil, living in curfews, sleeping with gun fires, and walking with stone pelting and generation and generation of people who were  made to believe that they needed freedom ! "Hum Kya chate Azadi" ("All we need is Freedom")!

So I exist somehwere on the edge of this confusion, a Kashmiri (mostly Indian) but without "a" Kashmir! Today, amidst all this display of celebration of freedom something inside me turns tri-colored. As the national anthem is being played I stand up awkwardly with this intense realization of my own emotions of patriotism. How could I feel so intensely about identity/nationality that did not have any common grounds.
May be this sudden gush of emotion has settled the debate for me " I am afterall a PROUD INDIAN"