Photo by Saurav Kulkarni http://instagram.com/saur_123
Over the years I saw myself lose my identity both as a Hindu and an Indian. As I grew up and learnt more about the world, I was so caught up in becoming a world citizen that I forgot who I was. I started to scorn my culture and my country. I wrongly believed that we have never had and will never have such great people in India as the cool foreigners I saw online.
On the plus side, I never felt like I wanted to work abroad, on the contrary I was always adamant that I would forever do my best for my country and will visit other countries as a tourist, never to settle. But it was half-baked at best. I was blind to everything awesome around me and looked over the fence to foreign art forms, governments and culture. I felt that I had to do something for my fledgling nation.
We carry a shame for Indian culture and consider ourselves cool for aping western culture. ‘Indian with an American heart’ is what so many believe. Vividly I recall a conversation my high school teacher was having with a couple of my classmates about elections in the US. She was really happy that Barrack Obama won the elections. Why they were so interested, I didn’t understand.
It was slowly by online content creators like Praharsh (FMF), India in details, Epified and so many others that helped renew my sense of wonder for my country and my culture.
I watched amazing movies like Raid, Bahubali and Parmanu. I read amazing books by Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi. I listened to beautiful Hindustani classical music and looked up a bit of Indian history, both pre-independance and post.
I was awestruck by the feats of amazing Indians who have made their mark in the fields of politics, science, literature, music, philosophy and so much more.
I was suddenly feeling proud of belonging to this amazing culture of honor and of a sense of duty towards the people around me. (among others)
Of course we are not perfect, we need to work on the good and eliminate the bad. Most importantly, we need to rise above hatred amongst ourselves. We need to be true to our own country and then we can be world citizens by making our contribution to the world.
Stop harboring shame, guilt and apathy towards our country and embrace the good. Let’s work towards making our country a better place and one that provides value to the rest of the world.
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