I’m NOT proud to be an Indian

Summary: Stop being proud of your country’s history. Stop being proud of your countrymen’s achievements. Stop being proud of your country. Strive to make your country proud of you.

(Yes, I’m preaching. Only for today.)

Social networks — Facebook in particular — have created a super-culture of show-off. So when it’s the Indian Independence Day, everyone wants to show off how patriotic they are. In come shouts of “Proud to be an Indian.” The following ad by Airtel is an embodiment of all such sentiments:

(Make no mistake, they’re not talking about parental pride here. That I don’t have a problem with.)

This annoys me to no end. I just don’t get how anyone is able to take pride in something to which their own contribution has been an absolute zilch. I can understand a feeling of greatfulness. Or reverence. Or even happiness. But pride? How can you ever be proud of something you were merely born into? This applies to taking pride in a country as much as taking pride in a religion, caste or family.

PS: Lest somebody misunderstands me: I love India as much as anyone else, I’m happy to be here and would rather be here than anywhere else.

6 Responses to “I’m NOT proud to be an Indian”

  1. Logic induction says:

    Change your name to Siddique Rizwan on the blog and you’ll have plenty of hate mail and taunts to proceed to Pakistan !

  2. Sagar says:

    This is a tricky issue. I fully agree with you regarding the mindset that we should have – “Strive to make your country proud of you”. But regarding this fervor that people flaunt (sic) on the three national holidays (only) I think it would be very confusing if it weren’t there :)

    PS: ROFL at the previous comment. He has either NOT read the content or it is a pathetic attempt at being sarcastic. Either way the comment is a waste.

  3. sri says:

    I don’t have a problem when someone says that he is not proud of being an Indian because he’d rather have the country proud of him.

    But I do have a problem when they go on to say that they are proud to be an American, have willingly taken up its legal identity, and are willing to take arms for its sake. There is a technical term for such an outlook — a mercenary. I’m not too proud of mercenaries either. When such folks say that it is meaningless to say, I’m proud to be an Indian, sorry it lacks credibility big time.

  4. sids says:

    @Sagar,
    Reg. the first commenter: I doubt that it’s a (failed) attempt at sarcasm. It is rather easy to find people who don’t even attempt to understand anything that does not agree with his/her own mindset.

    @sri,
    I’m not sure if you’re referring to anyone in particular, but I completely agree with you. I get very annoyed when people who have left India for good start preaching us the “right behaviour” as if they are sitting on a higher pedestal.

    But I will add this: In the spirit of argumentation, the credibility (or the lack of it thereof) of the person making the argument should not by itself be a reason to reject an argument. Of course, we can always use the lack of credibility as an excuse to chose not to argue with the person :)

  5. sri says:

    Well, I think the argument itself lacks credibility (not to mention the person) if it says, “It is meaningless to say I am proud of being an Indian because my being born here was an accident of birth, but I am proud of being an American.”

    It is somewhat like saying, “I hope the rich childless couple over there adopts me as their child, because me being born to my parents is only an accident of birth..”

  6. sids says:

    @sri,

    That argument definitely lacks credibility (and logic!). I was working without the latter half of it.