Indian Identity

'Is there such a thing as an Indian identity?

Do we really need one?

Who is an authentic Indian and who isn't?

Is India Indian?

Does it matter?

Whether or not there has ever been a single civilization that could call itself 'Indian Civilization', whether or not India was, is, or ever will become a cohesive cultural entity, depends on whether you dwell on the differences or the similarities in the cultures of the people who have inhabited the subcontinent for centuries. India, as a modern nation state, was marked out with precise geographical boundaries, in their precise geographical way, by a British Act of Parliament in 1899. Our country, as we know it, was forged on the anvil of the British Empire for the entirely unsentimental reasons of commerce and administration. But even as she was born, she began her struggle against her creators. So is India Indian? It's a tough question. Let's just say that we're an ancient people learning to live in a recent nation.

What is true is that India is an artificial State - a State that was created by a government, not a people. A State created from the top down, not the bottom up. The majority of India's citizens will not (to this day) be able to identify her boundaries on a map, or say which language is spoken where or which god is worshipped in what region. Most are too poor and too uneducated to have even an elementary idea of the extent and complexity of their own country. The impoverished, illiterate agrarian majority have no stake in the State. And indeed, why should they, how can they, when they don't even know what the State is? To them, India is, at best, a noisy slogan that comes around during the elections. Or a montage of people on Government TV programmes wearing regional costumes and saying Mera Bharat Mahan.'

- Arundhati Roy, 'The end of Imagination'.


Perspectives said…
true in a sense, but in another it is not...this country has seen men like Lal Bahadur Shastri, Yogender Singh Yadav, Amol Kalia for whom dying for the country and the people mattered a lot...

it is true we are not perfect, but the reason we are not perfect is- "we dont move out of our shells to make it perfect"; there is never pleasure and gain without hardwork, which comes easily even goes easily...
Radhika said…
Personally I feel that "Being Indian" is a political gimmick and has nothing to do it patriotism mostly!
It is better to debate regarding issues related to poverty, education rather than foreign influences.. the former needs to be dealt with; the latter is inevitable..

Also, changes and behaviors are a result of "the need of the hour." Could globalisation be avoided?
Anonymous said…
i cant really understand this, but i see here something strange:

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