What I love the most about my country.

I receive email links from a reader who signs as  ‘Moral Police’ :lol:  Moral Police complains I see nothing good in India.😐

Moral Police is mistaken.

I love the fact we are basically a tolerant and peace loving nation.

I love the colours we love, amongst my favorites is the Pink of Pink Chaddies.

I love our arts (which include Hussain, beaded necklaces sold on Janpath and Khajuraho),

Our dance and music (including bhangra rap and Bollywood remixes),

Our culture  of inclusiveness… where cricket has become an Indian game.

I love how we can ignore our moral police’s politicians’ worries over our  ‘Pub and Mall culture’.

I love it that we have activists who can take on our politicians.

I love how we love to look good. Men too.

I love our  food and sometimes I tweet my breakfast menu. I love the fact that it’s so mouth-wateringly easy to be a vegetarian in this country. I love it that a chapati made from whole wheat atta is known to be the healthiest of all breads. (But I don’t own the chapati or the art and culture and I don’t think my loving them gives me any special rights over them.)

But what I love the best about my country is it’s Constitution. I am glad it has acknowledged me as an equal citizen. Can’t thank Jawahar Lal Nehru and Dr Ambedkar enough for this.  I am glad Khushboo, You and I can voice our opinions.

I love the fact that it has empowered me to marry or live with whoever I choose, no matter how much some well meaning local citizens’ sentiments are hurt. Sania Mirza has this right too.

I am glad I cannot be chopped into pieces by those well meaning people  for marrying the one I like. I am glad if someone does that they can be hanged.

These headlines in The Times of India made my day today.

CHANDIGARH: In a blow to the Taliban-style caste panchayats of Haryana, a sessions court in Karnal on Tuesday sentenced five people to hang until death for killing a couple from the same village and gotra.

But does loving one’s country mean one has to be an ostrich? Does acknowledging the fact that parents in India feel they own their children mean one sees nothing good in our country?

Do we have to live in denial to prove our love for our country?

And who does one submit these claims of patriotism to? To the moral and cultural police who has been taught a lesson by what I love the best about my country?

52 thoughts on “What I love the most about my country.

  1. I have always been appalled at the way these so called Khap Panchayats have been allowed to meet and to get away with whatever they deem is good. Khap in punjabi means useless noise and that is exactly what they are. Thanks for sharing this news piece.
    Count me in the happy people. You have made my day too.
    Finally justice is done. They had been getting away with too much.
    Wonderful post IHM.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Indira Gandhi once said- How can any one be an Indian and not be proud of it? I absolutely agree with her.
    Your views are definitely more rational and balanced and I am glad you expressed them🙂 Thanks!

    Me – Prerna I just feel good about whatever is good, and feel an urge to do something about what needs to be changed. 🙂 I would feel equally happy if somebody in another country does something that’s good for human kind. I feel we are a global village now …

    Like

  3. Yes, I was also pleased to see that news today.

    I also love that about our country, we do have a good chance because the basic framework is in place for good things to happen and bad things to be dealt with,

    if only we the ‘public’ or janta put our force behind the ‘activists’ and vote out the rotten politicians and stand up against the self-appointed moral police.

    Casting my vote day-before for municipal elections, I felt good, I felt glad that I can be a part, have some kind of say, and I know that there are thousands of things I could do to make things better, if I got off my lazy butt! Right now, even blogging and discussing helps.

    and I don’t think your posts show any hatred to our country, nor are they overly critical. They are very balanced posts, which reflect truths that lots of people try to cover up or misinterpret.

    Me- I feel really glad that we are born in today’s India where women also have a say!! I am so glad the basic framework is in place!! Not talking about something is not going to make it go away anyway.😦

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  4. Thats a good one, IHM !!!

    So, is the Moral Police happy to know what all we can do happily in our country ?????

    Glad to read that news in Chandigarh – its time ppl see the absurdness of the issues.

    OK, Sania Mirza wants to marry someone, let him be a Pakistani or anybody…what does that have to do with her feelings towards India or Indians ??? I read somewhere that many ppl are angry that she is marrying a Pakistani. Love has crossed borders !!!

    Loved the whole writeup !!!🙂 BTW, hope the kites and the squirrels are doing good.🙂

    Me – And Sania is going to continue playing for India, and Shoaib will continue playing for Pakistan … so it isn’t even as if she is giving up their citizenship. I am happy for them both, Sania sounds very happy in the news report.
    Ha ha, Uma the squirrel managed to get a pink cloth from somewhere now!! 🙂

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  5. I think that the levels of activism have come down.
    I’ve heard people oft say, “Everybody is so busy! Nobody has time!” That’s why there have been little or no public protests to issues that I thought deserved. And the Congress have had their merry way. Only because there’s no better choice.

    Me- I agree, and I really wish we had a real, strong and balanced opposition. I wish they argued about policies, poverty eradication and developments and not about temples and masjids.

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  6. I’m very glad that our constitution is the way it is even after some 74 amendments.

    Do you know that our netas tried to fundamentally change it several times before the Supreme Court laid down the “Basic Structure” doctrine in 1973? Basically it means that no matter how much you amend the constitution, you cannot get rid of the fundamental principles. To my knowledge, no other country in the world has such a powerful check.

    The politicians were so upset by this that in 1976, they passed the 42 amendment saying that the supreme court had no right to question parliaments laws.

    Finally, in 1981, the court declared the 42nd amendment itself invalid! Meaning that now nothing can destroy the basic principles of our country. Damn good no?

    Me- Yes I remember reading about this and I am proud that we have Constitution that has survived it all Bhagwad!

    Our netas are forever trying to screw up the constitution under the excuse that it is a “living breathing document.” They don’t realize that some principles are eternal and are not supposed to be changed on the exigency of the moment.

    It’s funny you know. The moral police are always telling us “This is India and we have our culture. Go elsewhere if you want to go against it.” To them I say:

    “This is India. We have our CONSTITUTION. Read it. And then YOU get the hell out if you don’t agree with it!”

    Nuff said.

    Me – Love this comment – I feel exactly the same way.

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  7. Everyone’s way of showing their patriotism is different and it cannot be challenged or questioned. I gave up opportunities to settle abroad only ‘se I wanted my kid to grow in ‘familiar’ environment and people. I think this also is a kind of patriotism.

    Me – I agree Varsh, but even if you had settled abroad – nobody needs to question how proud you feel of your nation. Most of us have half our families scattered all over the planet, I would love to see us all as citizens of a global village, all wanting to live peacefully together…

    Until I read about these ‘khap’ panchayats few months ago,I never thought they were for real. Its disgusting how these operate so openly and brutally even when they’re so close geographically to our nation’s capital. The news definitely is an answer, and a hope, that justice will prevail even after this.

    Me – In India I fear, anything becomes okay if it’s done in the name of traditions. Yet men drink foreign liquor and wear trousers, use of electronics is acceptable… sounds more like everything related to women’s freedom is against our culture? That comes closest to these panchayat’s definition of culture or tradition.😦
    They believe “Love marriages are dirty, I don’t even want to repeat the word…Only whores can choose their partners.”

    Like

    • True…and what’s worse is that women themselves are partner to such crimes. When we talk about liberation and education we first need to teach ‘these’ women that committing such heinous crimes on the name of tradition is not excusable!

      Me – That would come with education, freedom to work (earn), with an opportunity to get out of their little wells (koop manduk), interact, there would be so much to relearn and unlearn… social conditioning of centuries will take a little time to be undone 😦 Women (and men too) are made to feel they would be respected only if they support these rigid ideas….

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  8. Ditto. I relate to the post except that I don’t believe in having some ‘culture’ as such and then calling a culture ‘good’ or ‘bad’. And, I don’t believe that we ‘have to’ ‘respect’ our nation in words. I guess you believe the same too, though😀

    Me – I totally agree Haresh, I was being sarcastic because after the Mangalore attacks, instead of condemning the attacks, some politicians blamed the Malls and Pubs culture😦

    The questions the article raises at the end are perfectly valid🙂 I love our constitution too. And, I totally believe in it and in our laws and courts. It’s just that I don’t feel a need to ‘show’ patriotism. Such a show looks more like chauvinism🙂

    Me – I agree again. And why should we have to insist that our country/culture/etc are the best? Where is the need to compare? Why not be gracious? I don’t think we need to brag and claim superiority …that would look like either an inferiority complex or chauvinism.

    And, one more thing I love about our country is bloggers like you🙂

    Me – Aww … thank You Haresh :)))

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  9. yes!! i love pink too !
    do you know that part of strangers (like me) ,i mean not indian, we always are dreaming about India?
    maybe for that pink colour!!
    i want to wear a sari !!
    and I know that you are not an ostrich !
    like always: wonderful post !

    Me – Isabelle India has no concept of Pink for girls and Blue for boys, men can wear all the colours women can. Take a look at the men in this post
    And traditionally men could also wear a shiny-shimmering pink, though now I doubt if anyone does – https://indianhomemaker.wordpress.com/2010/02/15/where-ever-a-blogger-goes/🙂

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  10. Hugs IHM!!

    How can anyone say such a mean thing?!!

    This person should know better… I don’t think women empowerment, feminism have anything to do with “Not” loving one’s country!
    It’s because we love our country and that we are patriotic, we write, criticise – hoping that at least some one with a different view will read, think about it and hopefully change!

    The points you have listed out – me agrees completely!🙂

    Me – Pixie🙂 ” I don’t think women empowerment, feminism have anything to do with “Not” loving one’s country!” – I agree!

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  11. Would like to quote all the points, but here are some, which I liked most:

    I love the colours we love, amongst my favorites is the Pink of Pink Chaddies.

    I love how we can ignore our moral police’s politicians’ worries over our ‘Pub and Mall culture’

    I love the fact that it’s so mouth-wateringly easy to be a vegetarian in this country.

    I was very very happy to read today’s news about the Taliban style Haryana caste Panchayat people being given the death sentence.

    Let me also celebrate this Happy Day with you, IHM!

    Me- This was on the front page, the moment I opened the paper🙂 The paper had to be saved from Gabbar Singh, who tries to run away with it and returns it only if he is offered a biscuit.🙄 😆
    I feel this will show results over a period of time. We need such punishments for such crimes otherwise they will go on killing … it seems they believe that ‘Love marriages are dirty and only whores can choose their own partners.’ 😦
    Everything is wrong with that sentence, that choosing one’s partner is wrong, that sex workers are allowed any such choices (they are exploited the most)… that can become a post.😦

    Like

  12. Oh what with my homesickness going on full swing this post made me yearn for home too! hey and if you love someone/someplace you only pick on their faults to make them better, so they saying goes, and in fact wanting it to be better is true love, is it not???

    Lovely post!!!

    Me – Can’t stop seeing what’s happening all around… will have to hide my head in the sand for that😦

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  13. Hey IHM, I am counting this as one of your best posts till date cause I love India for exactly the same reasons you do.

    And it added to my happiness that you noticed the khap panchayat news in the morning paper much like I did. And I felt once again proud that I belong to this country where the case didnt go unnoticed and justice was meted out.

    Me- I had never realised how good timely justice can feel. I hope we hear similar news in Ruchika’s and Neha chikkara’s cases too.

    Like

  14. I can love my country and still be not proud of it…….
    why does love and proud have to go together? We love our parents but aren’t always proud of them and the we love our kids but aren’t always proud of them…and that is how we see what needs to be changed……and made proud worthy!

    Me – I agree sands🙂 If we can’t be proud of our children for some reason, do we stop loving them?

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  15. This is just a one off case; I still dont have hopes on our judiciary ! Not being negative, its out of experiences😀😀 Moreover, there are thousands of such incidents still lying untouched !

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  16. IHM ..i so agree ..i love india but not necessary every thing that comes with it … i like few things and i want to change few things ..and totally hate few things …we cnnot be better indian by ignoring or accepting age old mal-practices and injustices.

    nice one IHM ..:)

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  17. You raise issues which we could change… to make India better… simple as that🙂
    its called constructive cricticism..🙂

    Tell ur “detractors” to go take a hike!!!😛😀🙄

    Like

  18. IHM your love for your country is evident in how you do not sweep the unpleasantness under the carpet. Those who whitewash do not really care for change and improvement.

    Like

  19. The only thing that caught me eye is

    “I love the fact that it’s so mouth-wateringly easy to be a vegetarian
    in this country”

    Sorry about that IHM, I am feeling terribly hungry and this country is no place for a vegetarian😦 Just waiting to get back next week and attack home food with a vengeance

    Like

  20. hey !

    loved your post
    in addition, i love the fact that we have so many languages, so many traditions, and yet are known by 1 name.

    and i love the fact that we are so dynamic

    Like

  21. I❤ the fact women are getting bolder and stronger, that they are raising their voice against social injustice.
    Was just thinking yesterday of doing a post on Honor killings and today the news made me smile. Hats of the brave women of rural India who show that the change is taking place from the grassroots. Hope it catches on .

    Me- – Tikuli you should still do that post!! This is only a beginning, but a very, very good beginning.

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  22. BAH! is what I’d like to say to the moral police. Having said that, I would commend this person who is at least initiating a dialogue with you – if he/she is doing it politely, it can only help in better understanding. (Btw, you have been tagged…)

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  23. Wonderful post !!! Even the US, which is a democracy like ours, but far developed & having a higher literacy rate, is not able to provide the kind of freedom that the minorities enjoy in our country. There are certain exceptional events; but exceptions cannot become examples. I am really proud that I am an Indian. There is no country in the world which is so diverse as ours; still we all are united.

    But, I would like to stress upon two things. It’s great that we are a peace loving nation. But, we shouldn’t “love peace” so much that we become “soft targets”. I feel that we are too soft to our neighbour’s aggresive actions (both our neighbours).

    Our judicial system badly needs a revamp. Justice delayed is justice denied. Just see the time taken for delivering justice in a case and the list of pending cases. Cases pertaining to the 80s & 90s are still going on.

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  24. I also love the way I can crib about my nation not being the best, and yet love it the way it is, and find resonance🙂
    I love the way we get along so well… mentally, physically, culturally, sometime genetically😛 too… poles apart though we are sometimes🙂🙂

    There is no other place to be, because this is a beautiful place to be, not inspite of, but because it is the way it is.🙂

    Well articulated, IHM!

    Like

  25. Loved your post IHM!

    Almost every American I have met dreams about visiting India. There are some things I would love to change in India. But that doesn’t mean I hate our country. We can live anywhere and still love our country and be proud of it.

    Me – I agree🙂 And also we don’t owe it to anybody – to show or prove our patriotism. They don’t the country.

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  26. Wow!!! Very nice article. Very intriguing indeed! I would have never imagined such unique responses from two people!
    And yes, I agree with you- Its hard to see them not be able to talk about it even in the husband’s absence.

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  27. If I had a choice, would I like to be born some place else other than India? I won’t. Imagine all the delicacies and different foods I would have missed!! I would have spent my life without knowing what a panipuri or Hyderabadi biryani tastes like!! Imagine all the festivities I would have missed celebrating and knowing. Imagine all the rich history, the traditions, the wildlife, the varied culture, the places I would have missed.

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  28. Good Post. India’s success as a functioning democracy with relatively free judiciary & media and respect for the rights and aspirations of the minorities and the under privileged is really unique in the 3rd World. Most of these factors could be attributed to the nature of our freedom movement.

    Our freedom movement [one of the World’s biggest mass movement] though led by English educated elite tried to be as inclusive, democratic and pluralistic as possible. This was important in a huge country like ours with so many different languages, religions and cultures. Our Constitution also reflects the spirit of our freedom movement. Instead of going back to some religious text for guidance the architects of our Constitution extensively studied Constitutions of several new republics and borrowed many good features. They also created many features specially needed for India. Thus we had a strong base for success in our Constitution.

    Ambedkar in his speech moving the Constitution in the Constituent assembly said:
    “On the 26th of January 1950, we are going to enter into a life of contradictions. In politics we will have equality and in social and economic life we will have inequality. In politics we will be recognizing the principle of one man one vote and one vote one value. In our social and economic life, we shall, by reason of our social and economic structure, continue to deny the principle of one man one value. How long shall we continue to live this life of contradictions? How long shall we continue to deny equality in our social and economic life? If we continue to deny it for long, we will do so only by putting our political democracy in peril.”
    This is still a very relevant warning for Indian Polity.

    Me- Charakan – Thanks for this comment!!!!

    Like

  29. Excellent post, IHM. I love my country too, and am always surprised that one needs to be ‘politically correct’ at all times, rather than just honest!! Esp. after my recent trip to Egypt, I feel so blessed that I am from a country and a family where I am FREE.. free to live and dress the way I want, to marry whom I like, and to respect and be respected too, and not treated like a doormat or a machine that is merely meant to produce offspring! India may be a third-world country, but we are just as good, or even better than most others, when it comes to personal freedom!

    Like

  30. Doesn’t the very fact that we mullover and rant about the issues facing our country imply that we are concerned? I mean otherwise we would let it go to the dogs and wouldn’t give a damn right?

    Me- Yes! If patriotism is associated with singing praises of our country and singing Vande Mataram every morning, our neta log would be the most patriotic lot!

    Like

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