#Politics Opinion

The Truth About India


India stinks. It’s a wreck of a place.
It’s nothing more than a lump of poor houses built with mud and plastered with cow dung.
It’s nothing more than a bunch of filthy rich, power-hungry, immoral creatures running the wheel of ‘democracy’.
It’s nothing more than a sad little chicken that has been trying to stand up on its feet for the past three fourths of a century, in vain.
In fact, it’s nothing more than a sad excuse of a miserable piece of land in the name of a ‘country’.
That’s India.

It’s a land that has mystified the world for centuries with its splendid tales of wealth and beauty. And when wide eyed tourists step onto the shores of this country, they are ripped off, robbed and raped. No other questions asked.
It’s a land that has been ‘poised’ for the leap for decades now; it’s been ‘developing’ for years now; it’s been liberalised, privatised, globalised and in every way, thoroughly sanitised. Yet the streets of its financial capital, Mumbai, are choked with the stench of overflowing gutters, heaps of garbage, and sometimes, the remains of immobile ‘citizens’ themselves.
It’s a land where the man and the woman who vote are nothing more than helpless, frustrated spectators of bomb blasts and terror attacks; justice just cries out silently for mercy from under the shackles of an omnipotent bureaucracy.
That’s India.

I wish I could leave right now. I wish I could grow wings and fly away to some far-off country in the glorious West. Or that I could grow fins and swim to some nearer country in the East that is smaller but happier. 

But I can’t.

I can’t leave India.
Not after I’ve heard all the sounds on the streets – the mad honking, the screaming of drivers, the crying of hawkers, the mooing of cows, the barking of dogs and the cursing of fisherwomen.
For I know, that beneath all that, there is a child waiting to go back home from school into the open arms of his grandmother.
There is a husband who is going to make his wife’s day unforgettable by giving her half a garland of small, white flowers.
There is a working woman hurrying back home after buying vegetables for dinner at night.
There is a college student on her way to coaching classes for the next six and a half hours. She has to top the entrance examinations. It’s her parents’ dream.

I can’t leave India.
Not after I’ve seen glimpses of life in the village – the half-starved bullocks tilling the land, a toddler suffering at home from malnutrition, the sweat gleaming on a farmer’s forehead as he works in the field, an aged Brahmin marrying off a man and a woman who have never met each other in their life.
For I know, these folk still find happiness in the splashing of water in the muddy rivers. They still enjoy rolling a bicycle wheel with a thin stick because willow bats are too expensive.
In the age of the internet and the computer, they gather around an 80-year-old man around a bonfire on a starlit night to hear fantastic stories about ‘those days’.

I can’t leave India.
Not after I’ve seen the colours and sounds and lights of celebration all around me.
For I know, there is no other place in the world that would open its arms to a complete stranger and let him become a part of their life.
There is no other place where complete strangers become family after dancing with a baraat in the middle of a narrow gully, their feet jumping in tune with the sound of drums and the blowing of shehnais.

If there’s such a land that breathes, throbs with life and feels emotions more humane than us humans, it’s this land called India.
If there’s such a land whose sons and daughters have willingly given away their lives for it, regretting only the fact that they had but one life to sacrifice at her altar, it’s this land called India.
If there’s such a land whose soil, whose water and whose air at first breath become a part of you, and make you an inseparable part of them, it’s this land called India.
So go on. Go and choose to live your life in the ‘glorious’ West or the ‘mystic’ East, whichever seems more promising.
You may hate or love that distant land called India that seems to be wriggling in a puddle of mud of its own making. But you can’t ignore it. You can’t get it out of your system.
Because, ironically, it’s only in these muddy puddles that the flowering of a ‘thousand-petalled lotus’ happens … the other places just grow flowers.

That’s my India.
______
(reproduced from NTMNer Avinash Agarwal‘s blog | Original link)
Photo courtesy: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

About the author

Avinash Agarwal

14 Comments

  • What a load of bullshit. Didn't read the whole thing but the rant in the beginning, dude, there are reasons why things are bad, read a little bit of history. the 'tourists' you seem so worried about, tell them to let us exploit the whole continents for next 200 years and we'll be very welcoming. Cut of the rhetoric, everything you write is true for every other country. IIf you really want to change thins for every other countruy. If you really want to change something specisif, start working on it instead of ranting. sorry my english isnt as good as urs but i dont give a shit

    • Every Indian always says two things when he hears anything bad being told about India:

      1) there are reasons for all the 'bad things' and
      2) instead of complaining you should do something about it!

      It almost like a shaved parrot being taught to say 'I am beautiful!'.

      We have Nobel laureates in this country in Economics, Bio-sciences and Mathematics. Are n't these people smart enough to find the 'reasons'? We are being projected (by the West at least) as an Intelligent, logically brilliant, mathematically correct people. Then why can't we find the reasons? Or are they saying this just so we will do their dirty work for peanuts!

      • The truth is: Every Indian knows what the problem is and that 'somebody' should do something about it!!

        Analogy: The power goes in the middle of the night in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India.
        Problem: Power gone (everybody knows this)
        Solution: Call electricity office and ask them to restore power.
        What happens: Nobody calls since they are waiting for 'someone' to make the call. Usually by the time 'someone' eventually decides to call, the power comes back (usually an hour or two maybe)!

        Compare this to a similar incident in New York City, New York or Tokyo, Japan:
        Problem: Power goes off in the middle of the night
        Solution: Call the power company
        What happens: Almost everybody calls. Power restored in 15 minutes or less.

        If you analyse the calls made: none of the calls will be from Indians who moved to this place recently!

        I have spent a whole lifetime thinking why?

        I have also wondered why kids who move to the US/UK/etc do so well in school/college, whereas their cousins in India do nothing worthwhile!

        And the reasons I am thinking though philosophical, are not very pleasant. Well at least not to the 'aam aadmi'.

  • What a load of bullshit. Didn't read the whole thing but the rant in the beginning, dude, there are reasons why things are bad, read a little bit of history. the 'tourists' you seem so worried about, tell them to let us exploit the whole continents for next 200 years and we'll be very welcoming. Cut of the rhetoric, everything you write is true for every other country. IIf you really want to change thins for every other countruy. If you really want to change something specisif, start working on it instead of ranting. sorry my english isnt as good as urs but i dont give a shit

  • Very patriotic!!! And yes, you seem to have travelled a lot.

    I have visited all metros in India…and lived in 6 states. I see a broken and divided India. An India where people simply fail to understand those who speak another tongue – a land divided by language more than any other place in the world. Even in Europe, where languages change by the mile, people try to listen and talk in Europeanised-English. In India, people simply refuse to unless you speak Hindi in the north and Tamil/Malayalam in the South. I have no idea how bad Arunachal and the 'eastern' part of India is. This is by the 'aam aadmi' who may not have seen the light in a school beyond a year.

    But I was wondering if the Indians who have made other places their homes believe what you have written! I have met hundreds in the US, UK, Europe and the Middle East. They have love for their country…but unlike their children. That love is nothing but nostalgia and a sense of belonging. Their children cannot believe there are power-cuts/outages, water shortage, chaos, filth and total 'power' politics for everything in the land their parents call 'our mother land'. The children wonder…can a mother be so cruel?

    Today, I sit in a foreign country I have no intention of calling home…but the way things are going in India, the rising prices, hypocritical politics, insane business and trade tactics, bureaucracy, etc. are making me wonder if I should go away for good.

  • Very patriotic!!! And yes, you seem to have travelled a lot.

    I have visited all metros in India…and lived in 6 states. I see a broken and divided India. An India where people simply fail to understand those who speak another tongue – a land divided by language more than any other place in the world. Even in Europe, where languages change by the mile, people try to listen and talk in Europeanised-English. In India, people simply refuse to unless you speak Hindi in the north and Tamil/Malayalam in the South. I have no idea how bad Arunachal and the 'eastern' part of India is. This is by the 'aam aadmi' who may not have seen the light in a school beyond a year.

    But I was wondering if the Indians who have made other places their homes believe what you have written! I have met hundreds in the US, UK, Europe and the Middle East. They have love for their country…but unlike their children. That love is nothing but nostalgia and a sense of belonging. Their children cannot believe there are power-cuts/outages, water shortage, chaos, filth and total 'power' politics for everything in the land their parents call 'our mother land'. The children wonder…can a mother be so cruel?

    Today, I sit in a foreign country I have no intention of calling home…but the way things are going in India, the rising prices, hypocritical politics, insane business and trade tactics, bureaucracy, etc. are making me wonder if I should go away for good.

  • Every Indian always says two things when he hears anything bad being told about India:

    1) there are reasons for all the 'bad things' and
    2) instead of complaining you should do something about it!

    It almost like a shaved parrot being taught to say 'I am beautiful!'.

    We have Nobel laureates in this country in Economics, Bio-sciences and Mathematics. Are n't these people smart enough to find the 'reasons'? We are being projected (by the West at least) as an Intelligent, logically brilliant, mathematically correct people. Then why can't we find the reasons? Or are they saying this just so we will do their dirty work for peanuts!

    • The truth is: Every Indian knows what the problem is and that 'somebody' should do something about it!!

      Analogy: The power goes in the middle of the night in Chennai, Tamilnadu, India.
      Problem: Power gone (everybody knows this)
      Solution: Call electricity office and ask them to restore power.
      What happens: Nobody calls since they are waiting for 'someone' to make the call. Usually by the time 'someone' eventually decides to call, the power comes back (usually an hour or two maybe)!

      Compare this to a similar incident in New York City, New York or Tokyo, Japan:
      Problem: Power goes off in the middle of the night
      Solution: Call the power company
      What happens: Almost everybody calls. Power restored in 15 minutes or less.

      If you analyse the calls made: none of the calls will be from Indians who moved to this place recently!

      I have spent a whole lifetime thinking why?

      I have also wondered why kids who move to the US/UK/etc do so well in school/college, whereas their cousins in India do nothing worthwhile!

      And the reasons I am thinking though philosophical, are not very pleasant. Well at least not to the 'aam aadmi'.

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