Is India really a free country?
If yes, then we need to ask this question to ourselves again. Not just to ourselves but to all those who had taught this to us. I still remember when in school we used to say a little pledge every morning that started with the lines “India is my country and all Indians are my brothers and sisters…”. Back then, what I used to be concerned about was if all the Indians are brothers and sisters, who would be my girlfriend? But as I grew up I realized that I, whichever ways, was not gonna get one. Well, jokes apart! Soon as I grew up I understood that India is NOT my country. And I got the answer to the question- YES. India in fact IS free; but the youth is not. Why? The answer’s ahead, coming straight through my frustration.
From quite a while now, we all have come across the slogan “Unity in Diversity”. So what does it mean? Does it mean to unite and be ignorant? To love your own people, your own language, your own pride so much that no one else willing to be a part of it is encouraged? The bitter truth- Yes. It does mean all of these. Today’s India does not believe in Unity in Diversity but believes otherwise. If you observe carefully, every other state in India wants to be diverse, and unite to show other states and people of the other states down. Today’s India loves its pride more than it loves it’s citizens. It is no more a “one for all, all for one” place.
So I live in the beautiful state of Karnataka. One of the most happening cities in the country- Bangalore. I hate to break it to you guys that there are certain conditions that apply for it to be happening for you. To state a few, you must know the language, and you, again, MUST know the language. There are a lot of people here who are nice to you and might not care if you are not a Kannadiga, the people from my workplace for instance(Yup, they are nice). But there also are some people who will treat you as if you have raided their houses and stolen all of their bissi belle bhaath. They’ll hate you on your face, for real! And all of this would be just because you are not a Kannadiga and you don’t speak the language.
This happened to me twice in last 4 months. I was riding the bus, heading to a friends place quite far from where I live. I had the Google maps with me to guide me where to get off but just to be sure, I asked a guy, “When will HSR layout(the place I was going to) arrive?” Yes, I asked this in English. And the reply I got from him? “Gotilla. Kannada dalli mathadu.” I understood what he said as I had learnt some words from a friend. The guy meant, “Don’t know. Speak in Kannada.” And then he mumbled something to his friends again. I don’t know whether he knew about the place or not, but he surely didn’t want to answer my question just because I didn’t ask him in Kannada. This happened to me once again a few days later. And not just this, many people are against your freedom too. Gather up with your friends for a normal chit-chat session or for a cup of tea and people will crawl outta their houses like owls in the night. A few words with them and you’ll be threatened in the name of police complaint. Or if you are standing on a roadside and you have a few girls in your group, heads will turn 180 degrees and until they can’t turn it anymore. People will look at you as if you are dancing around naked with the opposite sex. At times I feel like screaming on top of my voice and say “What the heck is the matter with you?!” After 9 hours of butt-whipping at work, can’t somebody have a nice time with their friends? Is it so difficult for people to accept a group of boys and girls having a good time?
“I hate this place” is what I find myself whispering to myself these days. And it’s not just this place. There are other places too where people put their pride first. Don’t know how to converse in Marathi? It’ll be difficult for you to survive in Maharashtra. If it’s not then people will make sure it gets so. And the list of places goes on and on. Again, not everyone is the same. But there are certain kinds of people who just love to hate the “Indians” who do not belong to THEIR culture. Now I know some of you may get offended reading something against the country or any part of it. But I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings or offend any culture. This is what I have experienced and seen or I can say, people have portrayed themselves as. And maybe I would never know why.
P.S.: This one was a bit lengthy, but I had to pour it all out. I don’t mean to speak ill of any culture, language or any set of people but this is what the truth is. This is what TODAY’S INDIA looks like.