indian first?

dilip wants you to choose:
I choose to be Indian first. I choose to be a citizen for peace.
i've a choice? can i be a brahmin first, anywhere in the country? say, delhi? a bureaucrat? a dictator or a mass murderer who can go unpunished?

there's not much to choose from really: if you wish to be an indian, you've to choose your parents and trust their judgment on their choice of community and/or religion. if their choice turns out right on both counts, you should further trust their judgment on their choice of a) state. and b) the region. it's no good if they choose maharashtra and vidarbha (the rain gods didn't choose vidarbha, so why should anyone choose vidarbha?). both a and b have to be the right choices. say, maharashtra and western maharashtra. now you'll have to depend on their choice of place- village or town? if it's a village, they would've to choose a village where sugarcane is the major crop and not jowar or bajra. why go through all the hassle of lobbying to convince the central government to support bajra? no, i haven't come around to your parents' profession yet- i'm just trying to point out that it'd be wise for your parents to choose the right kind of village to be born in. for both of them. now, we'll have to let your parents decide what kind of teachers choose to work in the village they chose to be born in. oh, they'd have to choose what kind of grandparents they'd want you to have before they do all this choosing. and...does all this sound very karma-esque? well, you've no choice but to let your chosen parents make all those choices so that you can become an indian. so that you when you speak, those who matter listen. and don't treat you like you're a sundry samosawallah. like someone who chose the wrong parents.

i don't wish to be an indian. first or last. i'd hate to live in a country where you've to choose your parents. where if you're from the wrong village, region, community, religion..you've to go to the right place and be treated like a samosawallah. i live in a country where one learns too late that you've to choose your parents.


gaddeswarup said...

Interesting post. This question of choosing identities is a problem for me too. I am an Australian citizen now, spent most of my life in the study of topology, but still feel closer to India and Andhra where I spent the first fifteen years of my life. I guess that most of us are prisoners of our childhood.
Having spent nearly half my life in the 'west', I can only compare Indian attitudes with the 'western'. I do think that for some reason or other caste and status identities and the corresponding struggles for hegemonies are stronger in India and I do despair. Strangely even Pakistan does not seem exempt.See
which mentions Benajir Bhutto's mention of her Rajput background. I do not hope to understand these identities. What I can see and perhaps measure is hunger, poverty and opportunities for different groups. For some of us there is no hope of affecting big changes or going against global tides. So I confine myself to small efforts. But it is possible that these will be washed away by bigger flows.

kuffir said...

swarup garu,

did you check my response to your comments here:

sorry i was late.

gaddeswarup said...

I did, thanks. But reading and getting in to the flow of other's thoughts are different matters. Probably rereading helps. But as people go older they develop 'chadastam' and are in their own train of thoughts. By the way, is there an equivalent word to 'chadastam' in English?

Anonymous said...

How about afghanisthan or iraq or many african countries. Based on the karmaesque reasoning these are very lower in the order of choice.

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