Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Is India, a nation in coma?

What has happened to my country ? A nation that prides in its civilisation and its inherent greatness but always acts like somebody who is in a deep stupor. July 4th 2005, will very soon pass as just another insignificant day, in the history of this ancient land. But this day typifies what mystifies me no end, as to the seemingly never ending patience and inertness of its vast Hindu majority. You can poke them, taunt them, humiliate them or even kill them, but the Hindu never reacts, he takes it in his stride and lets people walk over him. On that day we had a bunch of Islamic terrorists strapped in bombs and throwing grenades trying to storm the famous temple of Lord Ram in Ayodhya. Paramilitary forces engaged in gun fire for 2 hours resulting in their deaths and that of an innocent devotee. This is not just another bomb blast in that god forsaken highly pampered, terrorist haven called Kashmir. This is in the heart of India, in Ayodhya, the birth place of my favorite God in the Hindu pantheon, Lord Rama.

Such an act should have provoked a tsunami of protests, anger and rage in the minds of people. But shockingly the Hindu never reacted.As much as I do not want India to be engulfed in communal strife, I am seething in rage as I see the media, the politician and the average Indian trying to push this entire issue under the carpet. If a similiar atack had taken place for example in a country like the US, the world would have seen live saturation coverage, in-depth analysis and an overwhelming effort by the government to tackle the root of the problem. This country(USA) would be for sure moaning the death of its soldiers killed in defending the holy place against terrorists, and the politican would have united the nation in condeming this attack and the average American would be seething with rage.

India on the other hand potrays the exact opposite picture. A picture of a person in coma, a person who cannot react to external stimuli; a person who could die any moment. To me, the problem lies not in the media, politics or in India's dysfunctional version of 'secularism'. The cause of most of India's problem is the Hindu mentality. It is an attitude that to me is going to take India down the drain. It is a mentality that is incapable of identifying the threats that face it, understanding them and eliminating them. It is an attitude that revels in letting the problem grow, hoping it would die and once the problem has grown out of control just meekly succumb to it. The highly stratified, caste system of Hindu society does not help matter either. Add to it, western notions of Aryan-Dravidian race, the north- south divide and the urban-rural difference we have a perfect pitcture of a dysfunctional person whose different organs are working in cross purposes. A system that cannot act cogently to threats (external and internal) is bound to perish. To make matters worse an overwhelming majority of my country men are steeped in ignorance when it comes to matters concerning the history of their mother land or have been fed with false stories. So basically Indians,(me included) have not evolved to being citizens of a modern nation.

India's current economic miracle, the 8- 9% growth rates are all mirages. For any nation to succeed, it's people need to have a sense of national purpose, an identity, pride in their civilisation and culture. Indians lack every one of these qualities.Unlike the Chinese or Americans who cling on to every small bit of their history and take pride in it, the average Hindu has been told to look down upon his great past which he does with aplomb. Without a sense of pride and belonging and a feeling of unity, India is a sitting duck for all kinds of external and internal attacks. Unless the average Hindu comes out of his coma, India will remain in that state until the inevitable happens.