Tuesday, October 20, 2009

For The 'Mother' in the Motherland

How filmi is the 'Mother' in the 'Motherland'? I would say its a lot. When we find the suffix Mata overly dramatic, Janamabhoomi just plain rhetoric, its time for some hard, cold honesty.

As the time approaches for us to return to our home country, I think I have heard it all. From plain selfishness, to hurtful statements meant to make the speaker feel better about their own decision to outright denial. This particular onslaught has left me hopping mad, frustrated and really, really scared for the future of good solid, plain old fashioned, value system.

Of course I am not expecting the pick-up-the-mud-and-rub-it-on-your-forehead-teary-eyed type of fervour. But some feelings which surpass the "my vote is for whoever gives me better roti-kapda-aur makaan" is asking for too much, is it?
Shifting your loyalties and allegiance because you expect a better deal in terms of lifestyle, education, money, success material and otherwise is a little surprising to me (to put it mildly).

I am aware of political asylum seekers, people who have been forced to migrate to avoid abject poverty. Victims of natural disasters, war and terrorism. But the profiles of those who I have been talking to or rather who have been talking to me about this issue are very different. Yes they definitely feel they have done better for themselves by adopting the new country and maybe they have.

But I still do not have the heart in me to congratulate them the day they acquire their precious new citizenship. That day they raised their hand and solemnly swore that they will have loyalty to only one country...not the country of their birth but the country of their choice. The have promised to stand by their new country in times of war etc. Many have described guilt r-idden, sleepless nights before this event and many have said they did not really say the difficult 'bits' of the oath. But then that's even worse. You could not remain loyal to the country of origin and you could also not be faithful to the adopted country. Today I choose to call a spade a spade and yes if patriotism is a sin I am guilty.

I have respect for those who say their philosophy does not match with their country of birth and have sincerely sworn their allegiance to their new country. Those who identify themselves first as Americans and then as Indians by race.
Just the way one cannot have Friends solely for profit or pleasure, one cannot have Nations for profit or pleasure. You made a choice stand by it. If there is a war between the US and India tomorrow (God Forbid! Now with the Nobel Peace Prize and all maybe US will give up their attack first-think later policy ), You, the new citizens have the courage and the strength of character to stand by your new country. Honor your commitments for once.

I too would prefer a world without borders. One Nation, One World. But till that happens I am an Indian and my loyalties remain fixed with my 'mother'land. Despite our differences, and even the secret guilty longing for a different mother especially as an angst ridden teenager I would want to 'change' her but never 'replace' her.


Amrita said...

Wow!!! Very very true!!!!! The last line was a hard hitter - you can choose to change her but not replace her...

For me my 'mother'land is my identity - how can i run away from it? And why should I also? Its like running away from your lineage....from your roots....I would never do that and i seriously wonder is the lure of a better material life enough to make people leave their culture, their heritage their motherland, and most importantly the rich family bonds and take up a different nation? :S

Chrysalis said...

Amrita: I have come to the conclusion that circumstances differ for each one of us. I was lucky to be born in middle class, upper caste India. Maybe I did not face so much disillusionment as many do. But Yes the kind of people I talk about, for them too its just the dream of a better life. Nothing wrong with that but at what cost? And does it not become a habit....giving up of things of 'real' value for more comfort, more money, etc.
If nothing a little bit of honesty would be apprecated.The true reasons being claoked behing lofty sounding ideals or petty issues like 'weather' make me squirm.
But then its not easy to own up to our thoughts and actions.
This is a post out of frustration....I am tierd of Indians who have given up their country tellng me why I should do so too.

Vinod_Sharma said...

Wow! In this world where manna is the new God, it is good to hear someone speak from the heart. Some things should remain unsaleable. It is all very well to justify dumping your country by saying that one does not believe in borders, nations etc. If that is really so, why throw away your passport and get a new one?

I guess to come people 'replacing' comes easily; 'changing' requires a lot of hard work and responsibility.

PS said...

Wow !! Very well written.

I had never thought I would miss the culture, family bonds etc as much. One year down the line I am dying to go back. Unfortunately in my case it might not be possible. But every week when we buy a lottery ticket my husband and I discuss about how we will take the next flight back to India if we win the lottery.

And to tell you the truth the next time i visit India i am expecting myself to do the "the pick-up-the-mud-and-rub-it-on-your-forehead-teary-eyed " thing.

Heavenly Muse said...

our motherland has strong influnce and right upon its inhabitants...whether we leave it for making our future///or just live in its bossom in an aloof manner without realizing our duties..in either case....it does not break the bond that exists between its people and its soil

Renu said...

very well said ! couldnt agree more.

Chrysalis said...

Vinod ji: Sir I understand that circumstances differ for each one of us. But the callous way some of us dismiss our country and are full of reasons why its unlivable is apalling to me to say the least. And the values which are passed on by the attitude that 'throw away which is of no longer use' is bothersome.

PS : I wish we could all do which we really wanted to do. BTW I am very much your pick-up-the-mud-and-rub-it-on-your-forehead-teary-eyed " thing.

Heavenly Muse: I agree difficult to break the connection between the people and the soil. And one should respect one's roots wether residing or not residing in 'janamabhoomi'.

Renuji: Thanks. I am a very patriotic soul and will remain so even if some fools are bent upon changing the face, fabric and the every essence of my nation. If I do not have the courage to fight them I will also not become one of those who simply complaint and point fingers.

Anonymous said...

This is not the time to talk to people about which is better - India or US. The newly migrated people are dazzled at all the razzmattaz. Wait for them to settle down there have kids and after about 20/30 years - do talk to them. Or talk to people who have been living in the US for more than 30 years after migrating from India... I am sure they would long to visit the country or stay in India. But for some, it becomes too late... Hope these people are at least loyal to the United States.

Destination Infinity

Chrysalis said...

DI : You know DI I think its not even a question of which is better...but yet then again I did notfind my country lacking for anything. All the social, political, economic problems are undeniable but not enough to make me take refuge in any other country or maybe I have not been a victim of any of these issues enough, to want me want to run away...
Each one to his own I guess. I have been lucky to feel happy and secure in my country. The issues besetting it make me mad, and frustrated but I will do my best to solve them.

J P Joshi said...

This is one of the most difficult questions faced by people who are exposed to the West.. there are no right or wrong answers, BUT I do not like the people who to justify their personal decisions denigrate the motherland.. their are any number of them in these countries and I have a hard time controlling my anger...it makes my blood boil, but then I think it is best to avoid such people. There are some others who have replaced their citizenship for reasons, but speak no ill about India. To each his own is probably the best policy.

Come what may, no Indian born can ignore India, and I am reminded of a dialogue from "Dil bole hadippa", where Rani says, "you can leave India but India does not leave you".

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