There has been a lot of talk on our National Symbols recently. I’d written about it earlier and I’m picking up the thread here again.
Narayana Murthy, Tendulkar, Sania, Mandira Bedi & a host of celebrities (only them, mind you!) have recently been in trouble for apparent disrespect to the National Flag. It’s an altogether different story that I consider Mr. Murthy, Tendulkar & Sania National Symbols as well!
Parties who have zero achievements otherwise, like to rename cities in the name of Nationalistic pride. Going back to our old glory. Glory???? What glory can the village of mumbai have claim to?
I would like to initiate a debate on how much our National Symbols actually mean to us Indians.
The National Emblem: How many people actually know about the exact location or the history of the emblem? How many people ever visit it?
The Tricoulour: How many Indians are aware of what the 3 colours represent?
The National Anthem: Isn’t it true that this song was written to honour a visiting foreign monarch? Or is this just hearsay? If this is hearsay, why hasn’t it been effectively squashed? And if it’s true, where are the Nationalists who’re trying to rid India of her Colonial past?
The National Animal: What’s happening on the Tiger’s numbers in India? Shouldn’t it be as sacred as the Cow? There’s a lot of noise about putting country over religion… Only noise, huh?
The National Flower: If I say Lotus, what’s the first image that springs to mind?
The National Tree: Anyone who has stayed in rural India has probably heard stories about ghosts inhabiting our National Tree. Is that how one of our national symbols deserves to be known?
The National Fruit: What pride do we take in the lofty mango? Isn’t most of our finest produce exported? Oh! Ah..! That’s the source of pride then…? The $$$..! I get it!
Do we have a national drink? Tea anyone? Who popularized tea in India? Is it even indigenous to India? Now, if anyone tries to take my tea away from me, I swear I’ll kill them!!! Bombay’s name change I may be able to forgive, but tea is sacred!!!
National Language: This one I’m leaving blank. I seek the awam’s inputs.
We talk about preserving our heritage, our culture. We talk like experts on the origin of ancient Indian customs. Yet how many of us know what happened to Patliputra? Where are all the palaces from the Magadha dynasty that should’ve existed there? Why isn’t it on the tourist’s itinerary? We go to Lahore to watch a cricket match, but we don’t visit Mohen-jo-daro! This is nationalistic pride??? Bah!!! Humbug!!!
That’s it, I’m done. Over to you. Nationalists & pseudo-nationalists welcome.