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I'm Better Than Bhagat :-P

By: sydbarett Posted Mar 23, 2015 General 367 Views
(Updated May 30, 2015 12:28 PM)

This is essentially a continuation of @jmathur saab's wonderful and thought provoking blog at:-

84 years have passed since the trio of Bhagat Singh, Rajguru and Sukhdev sacrificed their lives for the country on this fateful day. Many of us often lament about the country's sorry state of affairs and wonder if their sacrifices were all in vain. So almost a century down the line, what do things like'freedom','nation' and'sacrifice' mean to us?

For what its worth, here are a few thoughts, some mine, others held more broadly and yet others held by most of the junta except me:-

(1) The "I dont want to be Bhagat Singh, I want to be myself" syndrome - placing the individual above all else - direct upshot of American culture. Because the individual buys the Coke/Pepsi, Bhagat Singh does not:-P Nothing wrong with the idea as long as being "oneself" includes doing things about the upkeep of the society(notice that I wouldnt use the word'Nation'). And.and a bit of respect for someone whose sacrifices has given one a chance to buy a Coke/Pepsi. But no Sir,'Bhagat' may have done what he done, but I believe I am better than "Bhagat". Because I drink Bournvita:-P

(2) A lot of'concepts' from yesteryears have undergone significant change. With globalisation of economies, the concept of'Nation' has been increasingly diluted. Not only because Mankind at large faces similar problems no matter which part of the world it is, but also because words like'Nation' have a'political' basis in etymology. The unification of Europe is a classic example. Today a self-contained country like Germany allows me to enter and leave her terrBrianbalakumaranries'unmanned', forget fellow Europeans. Of course it will probably never be possible for Europe to be politically united since a lot of "leaders" will lose their jobs:-P But practically, the typical European now treats the Continent as his home. Unbelievable, but true!

(3) History as we know it may not necessarily be the same as history as it was made. Just look around yourself and you'll see countless instances of history being written differently from the way its being made. And it has always been like this. Some of us are more media(read'document') savvy than others. So India(as it was then) may have been under subjugation since the advent of Mughals but is understood to be under subjugation only since the advent of the British. Why? Because, they were white skinned! An even better example. All of us know India's map, isnt it? how many of us know that India's map as it is shown everywhere in the world(except India) has more than half of J&K missing! Dont believe me? Try google. So which map will be the correct'History', the one we have or the one others do?

(4) Yes they got us freedom but now what? The evolutionary theory. The Have-nots cant worry about anything other than survival(ala Maslow) while the Haves dont have anything to worry about. A couple of summers ago when I was touring Switzerland, the tour guide, in what must have been an indeliberately made but otherwise prophetic statement, said - "a large part of the Swiss population are drug addicts who get their'quota' rationed directly by the government(just as we get rice and sugar)! Why? Because they have almost everything they could wish for and they dont know what to do with their lives!" Amazing, isnt it?

(5) Ok, coming back to American psychologists(I dont know why they have to poke their noses in everything). According to them, we do what we do because it makes us happy . So if a social worker spends his life for upliftment of the locals or a freedom fighter sacrifices his for a'Nation', both of them do so for purely "selfish" reasons viz, to keep themselves happy! While the freedom fighter had the only option of being a 23 year old myrtyr to gain fame and in turn, happiness, I have many options. I can participate in Dance India Dance as a 7 year old and get more fame than Bhagat Singh would ever do in 17 lifetimes. There seems to be some merit in the theory. I'm not sure it can be discarded so easily. Afterall, it does explain why these psychologists must poke their noses in everything. Because it makes them happy:-P .

(6) Like Vikki Babu @DESPRADO, I too believe in celebrating the'underdog' all but forgotten' freedom fighters. But probably the best way to celebrate them will be to support and further the ideas they stood stood for. If, instead of observing silence on their anniversaries, or placing garland over their statues or making films on them, I simply take care not to litter the streets, I believe I will have paid my homage.

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