Indian nationalism while serving the needs of the few and imagination of many has continued to further alienate the national minorities. It is funny to see that now the Indian's are forced to stand up at each screening of the Bollywood movie to their funky national anthem called Jana Gana Mana...I remember how we were used to gather to sing it in our schools along with my Muslim friends. I could not fathom the expressions on their faces as we sang it proudly. We were told that we were the best and that we were building a just society. Now many years later the myths of just society have been continuing to resonate in my adapted "American Psyche."
It is like saying India was a great nation. The key verb is "was." And I looked up to Mount Kailash to see if Shiva is in his hiding with his serpent and his ox. But I could not find him. I looked for the just society but then I found myself having nightmares about Godhra, Kashmir, Indian farmers committing suicides, the caste based quotas and now the national anthem fiasco. Do we really need to stand up to respect something? Or respect remains in our hearts and minds? Do we need to fall on the feet of bhondu gurus like Swami Ramdevs or New Sai babas....Do I need to say Bharat mata ki Jai (Hail to Mother India) to be an Indian?
India has always been present in my life despite my Slavic garb and I cannot escape naturally who I am. But I can choose not to stand up when they screen the Bollywood thrillers when the national anthem blares. It is like the peace disturbing arti during the Navratri along with the loud garba commercial dance competitions, along with that shriel Azan that blares out of the speakers at 4 am in the morning calling the "other" Indians to come to pray. Did the prophet (pbuh as it is customary in Islam) sanction use of the speakers for Azan? or Did the Hindu gods of Lalbag in their Ganesha like appearances mandated that we must give them a bundle of 21 leaves of a specific lawn herb? I mean Ganesha could be in heaven collecting these herbs as he walks around the pedicured lawns of Los Angeles while the rest of the California struggles with the drought.
What does it mean to be an Indian or Russian or an American? Where is my home? Where is my destination? And I am not even going to touch upon the de-monetisation circus that Modi and his administration are playing. Go to Dubai, Modi to see the Indian business and hawala thriving...Wake up and look at the demolition of Babri masjid and rape of innocent Muslims of Godhra. Just because you are a majority that does not give you a right to insult your national minorities. Well what can be expected of the society that had sutees, nautch girls and now the famous dance bars masking as brothels. How can we explain peaceful religious zeal along with the renaissance of a certain branch of Hinduism that wiped out the Buddhist and Jain thoughts? Can we use general ignorant terms like Hindu or Muslim extremism to denote the attack on Bombay or the bomb blasts that shook Mumbail.
Well, I will not stand at playing of your national anthems. I choose to be sitting down and appreciating the melody of imagination that envisions a particular version of India. It is not the India that I was living in. The India of Emergency is long dead and so are Chachaji, Indiraji and Rajivji. The life goes on and so my friends Happy Holidays. India will live on so will the world except when the global warming catches up eventually to our own moment of silence. I don't believe that forcing people to stand up to a national anthem is particularly patriotic. After all the Lord Jesus and his daddy gave us the free will. And to end this monologue, I invite you to watch the commercialization of faith including of that Ramdev baba and living in Saudi Arabia- Naik, Zakir. I will add his video too....how he was excited to get the award from the Saudi monarch.Does he know about Saudi bombing of Yemeni civilians?
I refuse to bow up to any monarchs, for the American spirit (and I do not mean Blanton's) is quite anti monarchical and anti-clerical (and I do not mean the corrupt clerk's of the Mumbai high courts or municipalities). I am waiting now for the Fatwas and Flying Carpets....One should go and read Taha Hussein and his Fi al-shiir al jahili.
Here is the dancing guru...and I am waiting for my flying carpet.