Beyond jingoistic brouhaha and songs of patriotism

This Independence Day I’m feeling more critical than patriotic. Jingoistic adages and patriotic songs just do not resonate with me any longer. Seriously, can we really say Sare Jahan Se Acha earnestly in light of recent incidents like the Chandigarh stalking case and the Gorukhpur Children's hospital tragedy. Just today an 8th grader was raped on her way back from school after Independence Day celebrations in Chandigarh.

Happy independence they say, but 70 years later instead of celebrating a bygone victory, shouldn’t we be celebrating some newer accomplishment and not bask in old glory? New enemy lines need to be drawn. Rather than Pakistan or China, we need to fight the entrenched patriarchy that elicits such behaviour. We need to wage war against poverty and corrupt politicians. But instead we pander to songs of patriotism and express jingoistic sentiments in the name of Independence and Republic days.

To ring in a positive note I’ll quote a hopeful thought from our eminent Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech today, “It is now time to end ‘chalta hai’ attitude of complacency, and its replacement with an attitude of ‘badal sakta hai’ (needed) for positive change.” The man definitely knows how to hit the right notes rhetorically. But as far as action goes the word on the world stage about him still needs to be proved wrong:

“India’s prime minister is not as much of a reformer as he seems but he is more of a nationalist firebrand.”
Economist Magazine

As for me, I’ve heard the pen is mightier that the sword. And so I launch my sangharsh for ‘badal sakta hai’ by penning my thoughts and beginning this blog. #JaiHind

Image from kalki koechlin’s Instagram