It’s been years since I had had a heated argument with my cousin over life and lifestyle in India. And yet, I haven’t succeeded in digesting his views thereafter, on my country and my way of life.
He had then newly returned from his official trip to Europe and described what the continent looked like and how he spent his days working there. I was happy to see him grow and congratulated him for his success. But it was when he went overboard slinging mud at India that things turned awry.
Interestingly, he was born, raised and educated in India. But I never knew he would grow up to become someone who would feel that the country doesn’t match his taste!
A die hard patriot that I am, I couldn’t really stop myself from giving him a piece of my mind. I asked him to settle down and make a living elsewhere if he couldn’t really accept and respect India as it is. To which he instantaneously replied: “I shall certainly move away...”.
And that substantiated the fact that he had indeed got carried away, so much to the extent that disrespecting his own country was no wrong according to him by any measure.
The world is speeding its way towards globalisation and we are turning global citizens. But the race shouldn’t cost us our individuality, is what I firmly believe in. Imbibing the goodness of other countries, appreciating them for their development is not wrong, but maligning one’s own country certainly is, especially if it has a rich cultural background that the world till date envies.
As an individual, he is entitled to choose what he feels is best for him. But I believed he was only showing how ungrateful he was to his motherland by using foul language to describe her. He seemed to have forgotten that the education that this country had imparted is what that has made him qualified enough to compete with the best in his field. It was the same country’s education system that made him worthy of being chosen by the westerners for their company and that he is not what he is today entirely on his own. He could have simply left the country for a better living elsewhere without abusing India.
My cousin was smitten by the picturesque European countryside, pot-hole free roads, high-tech infrastructure and several other things. Even I would have gone gaga over the same but never call my country “dirty and unhealthy for living”.
I had no qualms about his decision to live elsewhere but his language irked me thoroughly.
Yes, India does lag behind in many sectors. The country desperately needs hygienic sanitation system, trouble-free transport, pollution-free environment so on and so forth. But each of us as citizens, along with the government will have to work in tandem to make India the country of our dreams.
Highlights of the argument that I had with him keep resonating in my ears and till date upset me. I can’t really fathom life outside India. I am probably so addicted to my country that I can never even think of building a home elsewhere.
I would rather in my own limited capacity work to reduce India’s shortcomings and enhance her strengths. If each of us can do that, awaken the national consciousness then we too can build a country that’s a superpower.
Dumping one’s own country for another is like disowning the mother (who is responsible for one’s birth) for someone who appears pretty.
India is where my heart lies. India is my home, sweet home.