Apni chatri tumko de de kabhi jo barse paani

Kabhi naye packet main beche tumko cheez purani

Phir bhi dil hai hindustani…

The above mentioned lyric from Sharhrukh’s film ‘Phir Bhi Dil Hain Hindustani’ aptly sums up the Indian mentality.With full of paradoxes, Indians are the lots who can amuse as well bemuse with their incongruity.

And this write-up is meant for such narcissist Indians who love this country with its myriad colours, the diverse culture, rich heritage despite several flaws and lacunas.

Problems are innumerable but people yet cannot stop crooning proudly ‘Saare Jahan Se Achcha Hindustan Hamara.’ Exploring the contradictory aspects ‘Sakhi’ tries to have a look at India through the eyes of a few very well known and less known personalities.

1) We live on relations

For Indians relationship comes first. We live for it and if needed we can even die for it. We have connoted a name for each and every relation. Unlike the West, just the two words, uncle-aunty, are not enough to describe relationships here.

2) We are a family

The concept of joint family is still alive and prominent in India. In our country children have the luxury to go to sleep in their grandparents cradle hearing lullaby from them.

3) Country of festivals

No matter what ever be the occasion is, we just need an opportunity to celebrate. Whether it is Eid or Navratra, everyone takes part in all the festivals irrespective of caste, creed and religion.

4) Atithi devo bhava

“Mehma jo hamara hota hain woh jaan se pyaara hota hain….”

According to the Indian culture, guests are put at a very high pedestal, just next to God. We not only cordially welcome guests to our homes but also shower the same affection and love on tourists who come to India.

5) Essence of freedom

We feel proud of the fact that we are living in a democratic country. Former US President Abraham Lincoln described democracy as ‘Government of the people, by the people, for the people’. India is a living embodiment of this concept. Our constitution gives us the right to free speech, free expression, free education and free movement.

6) Unity in diversity

India is a multi-cultural country. The famous Hindi maxim “Kos-kos par badle paani, char kos par vani” (the taste of water changes after one mile while the language of people changes after four miles). We all accept that despite the immense diversity there exists a profound underlying unity in nature.

7) Band, baaja, baarat

We celebrate all occasions or festivals with great pomp and show. We believe in living life king size. Be it marriage, birthday or any festival we are always ready to have a blast.

8) Country of talents

India is flooded with new ideas and talents. Chosen minds from this pious land have carved niche for themselves and India across the world through their knowledge and skills. We have proved our capability in every sphere be it sports, academics or politics.

9) Helping others is true religion

We believe in sharing other’s grief. We are always ready to help people who are in need. Humanity is still alive in India.

10) Happy with little

We are never scared of recession as we know how to survive with minimum that we have. According to Kabir Das, ‘Sai itna dije kutumb samaye, main bhi bhukha na rahu, sadhu na bhukha jaye’. (Oh God, provide that much which is sufficient for my whole family, neither I remain hungry nor my guests). It is our inherent quality to survive on minimum resources, to be happy with what we have.

Where has the glory gone…

We do love our country a lot but that does not mean that we have no grievances. There are many issues that affect us.

1) Game of corruption

Be it bureaucracy, politics, 2G scam or Commonwealth Games, corruption has peculated its roots in everywhere. One Anna Hazare cannot uproot corruption from India.

2) Honour killing

Even after 63 years of independence, inhuman incidents such as honour killings are still visible in our society in the name of caste and religion. These disgraceful incidents compel us to think, ‘are we really independent and progressive?’

3) Hit by tax

Common men are badly hit by tax hike and recent inflation. It is as if a common man will have to spend his entire life just paying tax.

4) Traffic jam

Traffic jam is considered as a serious problem in India. The innumerable construction of roads, flyovers and running of metros has failed to provide any respite to the common people who are striving hard to cope up with this problem.

5)Care a fig about environment

Though we maintain cleanliness and hygiene at our homes, we are least concerned about our environment. Without considering the pros and cons we just dump garbage and throw away plastic bags here and there which cause environmental hazards.

6)Strange democracy

India is still now reeling under the problems of unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, religion and terrorism. Isn’t it ironical? Democracy has become a puppet of the political leaders. Surprisingly, we still proudly claim that we are a democratic country.

7)Country of disparity

India is a country of paradoxes. On one hand sky-high malls, multiplexes are coming up every next day and on the other hand common men are struggling to avail even the minimum commutation facilities.

While the age old tradition of ‘swayamvar’ is regaining grounds, other shameful incidents like dowry, rape are on the rise. The rich have become richer and the poor have become poorer. We are still struggling to get over superstition, illiteracy.

8)Misuse of freedom

We have conceived a wrong definition of independence. We have forgotten the virtues of discipline and punctuality. People consider misusing of public property as their birth right.

9)Ill mentality: India is the land where women were adorned as God. But now the scenario has changed. Vulgar texts describing a woman’s body can be seen on public bathroom walls. Isn’t it shameful?

10)Lack of initiative

Though we want to improve our country’s situation, none of us come forward to take the  initiative. We just try to pass the buck of onus on to others. We do want a reformer like Bhagat Singh to be born, but always in our neighbour’s house and not in ours.

Celebrities tweet their views on India

I cannot understand the non-parliamentarian behaviour of the political leaders. Where does their respect for the constitution vanish when they throw chairs at each other, engage in brawl, and tear papers in the House? - Anupam Kher

Cricket match is fixed, corruption in IPL, waiting for fixing of CWG. Many games are being played but not sports- Shahrukh Khan

I appeal to the youths to remain united for a better India. We will be called truly independent if we get rid of corruption-Vivek Obeori

People speak out

Dr. KK Aggarwal (Mool Chand Hospital, Delhi)

After so many years of achieving independence we have at last become independent in the true sense in the field of health sector. India is considered as a major hub of medical tourism. Every new technology launched in the US is available in India within 2-3 months. It is a good sign.

Anna Smirnova (dancer, Ukraine)

It is difficult to say what aspect of India attracted me the most. I always find it beautiful. The human qualities and patience which Indians have are hardly found in people of other countries. This nation  is proud of its concept of  ‘unity in diversity.’

Nida Mahmood (fashion designer, Delhi)

I love my country. It is an amalgamation of different cultures and traditions. My India has an enriched culture. We love each other. But corruption has ruined its image across the world and we still need to make a lot of progress in various fields before we emerge as a developed nation.