How many of you are patriots? I bet you all are. Except you cynical people who think it's cool to be cynical and not identify with anything. God, you pricks annoy me to know end, sitting their with that smug look on your face.
But let's talk about another thing that annoys me: patriots.
Now don't charge me with sedition just yet. "Oh, he's not patriotic, he must be anti-India!" Get off your high-horse, buddy. While you're happily shouting vande mataram, you might miss a couple of important things.
I'm annoyed by many kinds of people, but the one relevant to this topic is the kind who think they display a certain character trait (albeit a noble one) because they are from such and such a place. "We will forgive you, because we are ______ian." Ok, seriously: what the fuck? And they say it so matter-of-factly, like it's the ultimate truth. Because you are from some place, that makes you better, more forgiving, more magnanimous? Fucking bullshit. I honestly feel like slapping such people. Not figuratively, but really giving them a taste of my palm. Smack, right across their mouth. I would not even mind had they said "We will forgive you, because we are just fucking awesome." Ok, so they're noble and maybe a tad conceited. That I can abide. There is a good quality in them that they have by and of themselves, that doesn't stem from the latitude and longitude of their birthplace.
After all, there's a certain kind of people that think they are superior based on their birthplace and/or race. And historically, they have not been very popular.
Moving on to the kind of patriot that annoys me now. We have these hyperactive individuals who with fire in their eyes and a ruler straight back say, "I yam Indiyun." and they may pound their chest for effect. They are, merely by this admission, of an infallible legacy, of a royal bloodline of martyrs and kings, and torch bearers of the grand tradition of truth, justice and freedom that this great nation was built on.
SHUT THE FUCK UP.
Think back. Men and women actually gave their lives for the freedom that you so callously enjoy with blatant disregard for everything else. Bhagat Singh laid down his life for liberation. Mahatma Gandhi dedicated his life to the freedom of India. Sarojini Naidu was there, debating and fighting. The Nehrus tried to bring a fledgling nation into a modern age of freedom and prosperity. Men like Muhammad Yunus set up schemes to help the poor in the country. Anna Hazare fasted on behalf of all us lazy assholes who want everything spoon-fed to us. If you ask me, these are the real patriots. And obviously I can't mention all such people.
Honestly, what have you (adressing the people mentioned 2 paragraphs before) done to be Indian? Nothing really. Except be born. And that's fucking easy. All you had to do was pop out. And this whole patriot-giri is just an act. Because it's in vogue at the time, it's fashionable. You've been well fed your whole life, never known struggle, and when this whole "thing" blows over, you'll go back to being content. You'll drive your big car, guzzle petrol, waste food, pollute the environment, shop in big malls, and complain about the state of the nation in the comfort of your air conditioner. Patriot indeed.
I'm not asking you to grab a rifle and go stand on the LOC and shout obscenities at those across the border. If you want to be a patriot, if you really love your country so much, stop talking and pounding your chest and do something. The freedom struggle never finished, it's just taken a new form. So don't litter. Keep your roads clean. Don't take the illegal turn because the actual turn is just 100 meters ahead. Don't bribe the cop when you get caught because you did take the illegal turn. Don't drink and drive. Don't spit on the roads and in stairwells of buildings. Don't fuel corruption "because it's just easier." Don't waste food. Give more. Donate money, donate time. Join an NGO. Build a shelter. Volunteer at a shelter. Denounce regionalism. Don't identify yourself and others by statehood, religion, caste, etc. Say 'I'm an Indian,' and leave it at that.
And don't be afraid to rock the boat. Patriotism demands that when the system that is meant to serve the people breaks down, the people must dissent.
I'm not saying do all of it. I'm not saying be a saint. I'm not saying it's easy. But shit, freedom never has been easy. And neither should be patriotism. Start small, at your home, and then work your way up. Show your patriotism, don't tell me about it. I've heard enough.
(I shall not endeavor to bore you with the other reason I dislike patriotism, regarding my damned fool idealistic notion of global unity. So boring!)
Politicians are sucking the country dry. At least the British Raj were honest about looting us. There is ever prevalent filth and breakdown of machinery. It pervades all levels of life. This is nothing new. But it's getting worse. The country is in dire need of real patriots, more so than ever before.
So be one.
Disclaimer 1: My history is extremely bad. I may not know all the stories regarding certain personalities that I have mentioned here. I have used them for representative purposes. So if any of them have done something horrible that I don't know about, it's not my fault. That was not my point in mentioning. If you disagree with my calling them patriots because of some reason, etc., you didn't get the point of this article.
Disclaimer 2: Regarding my steps to becoming a patriot, I am not saying I myself always follow them. I am no saint either. But for every one-way turn I take on the wrong side, I refuse to throw 3 pieces of trash on the road. So we all need to try and contribute in our own way.
Disclaimer 3: If you still have a problem with what I've written, I will be much obliged to bend over so can kiss my buttocks on both cheeks. You goddamn right, mutherfucker.