Why I Am Not an Indian


Firstly, all apologies to Bertrand Russell for I half plagiarized the title-style of one of his many iconoclastic works. And with that, chances are manifold that you may have already labeled me a traitor, a nonstarter or at least a generally frustrated sadist. I respect your choice of adjectives or exemptions -if any- according to your understanding, opinions and schools of thought. But I for one pity those who are patriotic, not by choice, but due to their inability to question the norms and systems and seek answers by contemplation and observations. I pity those not who always can substantiate their beliefs and find reason in them. Religion and patriotism are probably the only two attributes which are non-natural in nature but are often hereditary. Aristotle chose to go off-the-wall here for he considered himself to be a citizen of the world and not of Athens or Greece. The very notion of patriotism is a primitive animal instinct which we did not yet cast-off in our quest of civilization and cerebral-development. Patriotism makes me prejudiced and parochial and blocks my thoughts beyond jingoism. Like Aristotle, I'd prefer to let the world be my playground.

Nature gave us different physiognomies and resources which enabled us to survive and grow as an entity against the vagaries of life. The ones which looked like us became 'us' and the rest 'they'. When survival became secondary, we chose to extend our territories. This in course of time became an imprimatur of several futile and useless characteristics; bravery and patriotism among them. Patriotism by all reasons is not nature's own child.

Patriotism and History are close kins. Both provide soil to each other for growth. History will make one feel proud of 'our' roots and possible for sufferings given by 'them'. History is never absolute and if often altered by the State to suit its objectives, often to rule its populace.

The very notion of 'one-nation' becomes flawed if different races co-exist and if we say India is an exception then we fool not anyone but us. One falls short not of examples where minor races suffer the grudges of those in priority everywhere around the world. If people do not share a common past, chances are that they will not be 'sharing' a common future as well. The cycle is wicked and gives birth to racism. Modern day sports are nothing but a mean to flare those basic instincts. Cricket, for example, in the subcontinent often provides a reason for racial expression only if we play against 'them' else intra-nation matches hard garb any attention.

Proud of my roots and nation but for I see people and not borders, I am not just an Indian.

Rakeysh Kumar