I have been a bit tardy of late, and thought of writing a whole post on the art of tardiness. But no. I have been caught up in stuff. Finally pushing to set up meetings to do business. Thinking long and hard about my photography portfolio. Coming to the end of the fantasy novel, and starting work on the travel book. What else? Oh yes… reaching the mid way point of one photography project, and I need to do research to write the words for a photo essay..
At some point, I need to really plan which photos I want to edit. No longer do I adopt the machine gun approach, so I am going to buy a notebook, to record the editing plan for each photo.
Of course, the deadline for filing income tax returns approaches fast.
Grand plans, grand plans! At some point, I must structure my time!
Anyhow, as I said many times, this blog started out as a staid corporate blog, before my plans started to unravel. I see a few themes starting to emerge – leadership, sustainability, hunger, peace and my occasional forays into whimsy. I think that I may start to become more and more acerbic, as I become older and more cranky.
However, our Independence Day is arriving fast.
We are an old civilisation, and a young country. We will turn, if my maths is correct, 77 years old on the 15th August. We were born on the 15th August 1947. In my view, the idea of an Indian nationhood was born in 1857, and started to flower in 1890 or so. We are a country of contrasts, and some people believe we are tied together by myths and legends, and the idea of India.
The Vedic religion that the Aryans brought in meshed with the religion of the Dravidians, some believe, and morphed into Hinduism. Some believe that the term Hindu came from the Indus River, which was called The Sindh River many centuries ago, and all of us living east of The Sindh were called Sindhus by the Muslims coming in from the Middle East, and this term came to be called Hindu down the centuries. True? I cannot comment, but I think that there is truth in it.
As the Mughals came in from Afghanistan, as the Zoroastrians came in from Iran, as the Christians came to the country, and as the Sikh religion was born, we became a country of many beliefs, and traditionally we have allowed them all – Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians to all fall into the melting pot. Things change.
We have three (or more) broad genetic groups – Aryan, Dravidian, Mongoloid. Do we accept our diversity?
We have over twenty languages, with different scrips.
How do you define us?
We measure body temperature in Fahrenheit, and ambient in Centigrade. Distance is measured in kilometres, and height and area in feet and square feet respectively.
How do you define us?
We were born in a cauldron of violence in 1947. How have we fared since then?
We believe in freedom of speech, and yet the people at the bottom of the caste ladder don’t have that much freedom. Cry Freedom indeed.
We produce enough food to feed everyone in India, yet we have one of the world’s poorest records in alleviating hunger. Whither development?
Our leaders cry for the masses when they seek election. Their projects are all “pro poor”, yet those who become rich are a small number. What kind of leadership have we spawned?
We are the country of the Pancatantra, yet our modern education systems don’t open minds.
We are the country of the Kamasutra and Khajuraho, and yet we seem to be stuck in an old-school morality.
Pre 1947, India and Pakistan were one country. Yet, since then, we are essentially one people divided along the lines of hate and suspicion.
Who are we?
After having had that cuppa chai, maybe I should think about exploring some of these themes.
What say folks?