What would you call patriotism? I came across this person who goes “I am really patriotic!” then in the same breath would go, “I know you get play-doh here; but that which you get from the US is way better.” or “Clothes sent to to me from abroad fit better than those here. I prefer getting those.” “Let me know if someone is coming from anywhere, get this for me or that.” “The sun glasses even the branded ones are better from there”…well you get the picture.
I stopped telling the person that things are fine as they are here. Ended up not reacting to anything. Then why this post today?! The person ended up telling that I was from a civilized country (ref is that I was in the US for a while!) I am ticked off really. No.1 Does it imply that India is not civilized? No.2 I hate being referred to as the person who came back from the US!! I spent time there cos at that point, my life was there. Period.
At this point, I should also mention an anecdote. This is from a school principal I had to meet. Their school had some exchange programme with kids from the UK visiting around Independence day. They were given those pin up flags. Seems the kids took another flag, turned it over; drew the Union Jack and pinned the flags on either side! Now that is impressive!
Why do people go about saying they are patriotic while all the time their mind is about going elsewhere or getting things from elsewhere? May be I am being a prude or whatever; I don’t condemn foreign goods neither do I derogate Indian ones. We are not in the era where we burn anything foreign and wear only home-spun khadi; albeit why this adoration to all things foreign?!
If life takes me elsewhere, I will go. I would be Indian wherever I go though! I will be a global citizen if and when we can travel wherever with no visas πŸ™‚ (so, I can say that it will never happen! :))
Ok…my rant is over. Don’t know if I made sense like many of my other rants; nor really conveyed what was in my mind; but I just had to pen this down!


12 thoughts on “Patriotism!

  1. Oooooooooooooo these kinds are enough in this world!!! They are just plain irritating and manage to tick you off… ALWAYS!!!

    Nova: How would you react to such people yourself?

  2. I too believe you fell short of words but I for sure can say you did not fall short in giving a gist of what you want to say here. I liked the rant though.

    Thanks Oxy! True. My emotions got the better of my thinking πŸ™‚ as usual hence the falling short I suppose πŸ™‚

  3. Apar-

    This post was a direct hit, so true, how many folks are mesmerized with US or foreign stuff. True, that quality-wise they may be better, but, that doesn’t imply that India isn’t civilized etc. In fact, these days, a lot of the reverse is true where folks seem to buy more clothes when they go to India and come back to US.

    Mitr, I guess the foreign “moham” will never actually go

  4. First up: ur comment was deeply moving..i really really wish u all the luck frm the deepest core of my heart πŸ˜‰

    Interesting post- a) India is CIVILIZED b) I can understand y u hate being referred to as the person who came back frm the US. Honestly, I cant stand a few NRIs who r insanely blinded by everything foreign..who make derogatory/disparaging remarks abt India and those who seem 2 hv an issue vit everything β€˜Indian’. Having said tht, I am not generalising..I don’t dislike ppl living outside India so long as they truly respect India.

    It’s allrite to use foreign goods so long as u don’t criticize Indian for the hallmark of a true patriot: As Anupam Kher says in DDLJ- “Bhai Saab, Hum to Hindustan Seene Mein Lekar Chaltey Hain”..tht makes a hardcore desi

    Thank you Swats! I guess that all kinds exist. Those having spent all their life in India, go abroad for 2 months and then are all ga-ga saying India is this or that! And those who have made their lives abroad and yet respect India. Well, mein to zaroor Hindustan seene mein lekar chaltee hoon πŸ™‚ Jai Hind!

  5. I thought that these kinds are gone, but seems they still exist:)
    now we get the best in India in evrything, even sometimes whatever we choose abroad and then see the label,t is ..MADE IN INDIA

    Oh yeah Renu! They still do!! I remember shopping and everything I liked, ended up having a desi made label πŸ™‚

  6. There is no dearth of materialistic stuff that are better in India than anywhere else.. we have innumerable things to be proud of and feel patriotic, culture and heritage comes first to my mind. But sometimes I really wish, we could do a lot more, like bringing in more discipline in every walks of life, right from learning to stand in a que to not spitting on saying please and thank yous.

    Pranathi…the disciplining is a whole other matter. Something that would fill blogs after blogs πŸ™‚

  7. Very interesting, Apar. I live in the US, but I sometimes buy clothes that are made in India, I like them. The fabrics and the textiles are wonderful. I would think your county has a great variety to choose from; but there does seem to be a feeling that western culture is somehow more worthy in some people. I hope your friends can appreciate what they have. πŸ™‚ I wish you luck in being a global citizen. I want to be that too.

    Yeah when I used to shop back in the US, I almost always ended up picking clothes made in India; not intentionally. They just happened to be that. It is not really about the culture I suppose. It is more of the “foreign” feel. I guess all of us should thrive to be global citizens in every aspect; just the visa constraints to travel around;)

  8. Aaah…i still remember a joke:
    Inidian villager: “Hey, it’s a full moon today!”
    US-returned: “Oh yes. But the moon was better there in US!”

    So, other goods, am sure, are beyond compare πŸ˜‰

    you got a nice blog here…i’m rolling yu tu mine πŸ™‚

    Thanks Scorpria! Welcome here! and yeah apt joke! πŸ™‚

  9. Good rant/post. πŸ™‚ I guess patriotism can be defined as taking pride in one’s country, its culture, its heritage, its people etc… This fascination of Indians for “phoren” goes long back but now in present context one should really take pride in India and promote India rather run behind everything foreign including life abroad.

    I doubt if the “phoren” craze would ever disappear.

  10. Patiotism is from the inside, where you live and where you work is irrelevant.

    I know a LOT of indians in india far less culturally indian than I am here in the US. Times are changing. A lot of indians in India are far more westernized compared to some of us living in the western parts of the world.

    Does working for HP, Goldman sachs and Merrill Lynch in bangalore make you more patriotic just because you live there? You are still serving the american economy and get paid the big american bucks. If you work for Tata motors or BHEL then that’s a different issue:)

    Hi Supriya! True, patriotism comes from the inside. Though certain actions and attitudes show your patriotism too. It is not where you work, or even where u live as I have written. In this particular case, I was actually pretty disgusted with the person declaring every now and then “I am patriotic” and every other time; the person’s mind has nothing to do with anything at all in India!!! What piqued me most was indicating India is not civilized!?!! I would not call a person who demeans one’s own country patriotic! I was condemning this attitude, the adoration to anything and everything foreign.
    Besides even if you work for those Americi companies, you still pay Indian taxes. You make money for those companies and they repay you in kind for your labour of usually more than 12 hours a day at least and almost 7 day work week. The whole post is about the attitude you have towards your country.I have acknowledged the fact that times are indeed changing; India is getting westernised. That should not take away from feeling pride about something Indian.

  11. Reema,

    If people should not run behind foreign things and foreign life maybe we should all take a hard look at ourselves.

    Isn’t it hypocritical to say that when millions of people in India now work in foreign companies making India their back office that is generating the billions of dollar in revenue? Why this spike in call centers and other IT related support services. Same with communications and fashion.

    Why the sudden craving for Louis Vitton, Prada and Armani? Are they Indian things? Are they a part of Idnian religion or culture?

    Aren’t we all trying to be more” western” be it the way we dress or the way we choose to marry?

    It’s easy to propgate patirotism as this link to relegion but it is indeed the pride you take in your country no matter where you live or what you do or what you wear.

    please do not link these superficila outwardly things to patriotism. Patriotism is much deeper and deserves much more respect than that.

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