Tag Archives: friendship.

Uninspired Patriots

Exactly one year ago, I was in Pune writing a different theme article on the occasion of Republic day, here in 2016, I’m sitting in my hostel room thinking of a completely different perspective of the same theme. This year’s 26th January began at midnight in a library’s reading room, where I was watching funny stuff on YouTube. I began watching at 9.30pm and saying just one more video, it was 12.15. I hurried my way back to my room and slept around 12.30.

 

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I couldn’t resist myself from taking this from “Man of Steel”, but it is a stellar line with relevance to one’s nationalism!

The actual Republic day began at 7.30 in the morning. As I put my toothbrush, towel, soiled clothes into my bucket, I realized that at this time last year, I was sleeping in my cozy bed back home, and  here I’m this year readying myself up before anybody else for a clean hostel bathroom. I didn’t pay much attention to the activities at hand-  washing clothes, brushing teeth, bathing, but I was lost thinking about my country India, and what I was doing for her on this patriotic day. I was being a youth, educating myself and sustaining myself on my own scholarship which I earned by my own merit, and not deviating from the path of hard work. A story of an ideal Indian youth, I was doing my bit for my country indirectly, I was keeping my hostel premise (including my room) clean, and being civil in foreign place. My thought process was briefly interrupted by an empty Lays packet which lay in front of room’s door. It must have being thrown from above or maybe someone from the same floor threw it. I calmly pick up the packet and throw in the dustbin which is present on a right turn away from my room.  Thoughts regarding lack of civic sense of head explode in my head. Out of nowhere a Trojan thought emerges – What does my country do for me? Should my country do something for me or it is just a one way street- me doing something for the country?!

This suddenly reminded me of the story my dad narrated to me, when I was home during vacation. We were on our way back from vacation in a car at night and were distressed by the way people drove their cars on the road and general lack of empathy they exhibited. The story is recent one, the Japanese government was surveying train station across the country, as they wanted to find the usability of each station by people. They found out that there was one particular station, which was the least commuted by people, and they marked this station for dismantling. In all this scheming, the government officials heard news about a little girl who frequently used the station to go to her school, which was in a nearby town. Moreover, train was the only way by which the girl was going to her school every day. Dismantling the station would disrupt the girl’s education, so the government officials decide that they would leave the station as it is, until the girl completed her education. This was an exceptional example of a country caring for her citizens, it was country doing something for its people. I rarely see such an example in India. Patriotism is a two way street, just like any other relationship- friendship between two people, family relations, it requires efforts from both ends. It is just not enough to be good citizens of a nation, the nation should also treat its citizens with dignity and respect. Lack of civic sense in public space of people, highlight only one thing- bad citizens. How can such people be patriotic for its nation?? Playing patriotic songs on loudspeakers on occasion of Republic and Independence day is just not enough, doing this illuminates how superficial our love is for our country. Being good citizens is NOT enough for the progress on our nation, the nation should also display examples of inspiration, nationalism, otherwise it generates a new class of citizens- Uninspired Patriots.

 

Happy 67th Republic day to everyone.

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Masculinity, violence and the expectations of a male dominated society

Yesterday I watched a movie called ‘in a better world’, it is a Danish movie, it is so amazing and beautifully heart wrenching that it made me shed a tear or two. From a couple of months I’m watching a lot of foreign movies and upto this date I watched 2 more Danish movies- the hunt and after the wedding. Both these movie and yesterday’s movie that I watched have one thing in common that they are filled with a melancholic atmosphere, they are difficult to watch because they are heart wrenching drama about family lives. I’m NOT going to review this movie but I’ll tell you what it taught me.

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The film poster

This movie, in a better world tells us the stories of two adolescent boys named Elias and Christian who share a risky friendship. Both these characters are poles apart from one another. Christian has just recently lost his mother to cancer and he is deeply disturbed by it, while Elias is a boy who is picked upon by a merciless bully in school. This film also shows the lives of their respective fathers, Christian’s father is a man who is filled with grief and guilt, he is worried about his son and his behavior, while Anton Elias’s father is a man who switched between two countries- an African country and the beautiful Denmark countryside. He too is disturbed as a result of violence during his doctor job in Africa. This movie taught me a lot of things.

The way the adolescent boys are depicted is brilliant, it makes me remember of my own mental state when I was an angst filled rebellious teenager who had hate for the entire world and was equally ineffective in distinguishing between what is good and what is bad. It also surprises me that this world is a patriarch world, where men who resort to violence are favored. This movie speaks about this and also highlights our inner dark urge for violence against a fellow human being just to exhibit dominance. This society expects that the man should be strong, dominant, cold hearted and also insensitive to emotions. These expectations are very wrong, when a man cries it doesn’t mean that he is weak it just means that he is sensitive to his emotions, and that does infer anything about his maleness at all, when a man backs out of a fight, it doesn’t mean he is coward, it rather tell his courage to not to get into trouble for the wrong reasons. All these expectations are that of a male dominated society, and they are not really the criteria for a perfect male, rather they are all signs of an irresponsible man. We should remember that man/male/boy is also a human being, he too feels emotions like pain, he is not cold hearted he too is scarred by the real world moreover he also has the right to express them. I think it is time to move on from such a hypocritic expectations, that produces a highly irresponsible man who takes up violence at the slightest instance, and gets into a fight, and move on into a world, where this society accommodates a man’s feelings, his freedom to express it and at the same time accept a man who solves problems by his wit and brain than his fist and adrenaline rush. Let’s move on to a better society and be peaceful. 🙂