I have always been rather sceptical of showing my patriotic side to others, because somewhere the extremities of this position always seems to be the brand ambassador for it. But if truth be told, I am proud to be an Indian. The issue here is that this statement somehow gets construed to assume that therefore one turns a blind eye to the flaws of one's country, or that one should uphold those usurped spaces of cultural practice in the name of cultural pride. In fact I am getting rather weary of not being able to be proud of those things that are Indian that go unnoticed due to the corrupted agendas of others, and the illegitimacy of their claims at being the custodians of the izzat of our nation is becoming something we need to vehemently disclaim at all times.
As an artist I am often overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the treasure trove we have as our collective heritage, and am genuinely bewildered by the ignorance with which we refuse to see that it has been largely possible to have this rich past only because of the pluralistic nature of our history. Assimilation's, adoptions, acceptance of difference, and hybridity are some of the aspects that have allowed for a cultural legacy to be perpetuated and yet we choose to ignore the logic of making the right choices today to preserve our ancestors memories. We need to look at development as a process that is not hinged on desecrating the past, but which builds upon it so that it is our plinth for the future.
The political elections that are underway right now are a painful reminder for the people of this country that nothings ever appears the way it gets presented. We talk of the values of loyalty and honour in one breath, yet think nothing of salaciously slandering and manipulating on the other hand, as methods to showcase our leadership. When ideologies of governance cannot be exemplified with clarity and electoral platforms become potential bloodbaths to glorify lumpen kingpins, then the pride for my nation turns to shame.
I don't like being made to be a chameleon. I would like to wear my pride and not be forced to play musical chairs as the tunes of our elected representatives keeps changing with every passing second. Today its all about getting to the seat of power and not about having a vision to govern with. My advice to the politicians today is do take out the old brass band and polish it up please! Find the tune that can hold your head up high (as the offices of duty you desire to hold, demands it), and then march forward with the determination to remain accountable to those who follow you. Understand that a nation marches behind you and can only be lead forward in step, if the band masters get it right. So get it right for heavens sake!!!