Updated on January 26, 2005
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Note : Opinions may be edited before posting, usually for grammatical conformity and removal of personal details. I will try and keep changes to the minimum. I won't be able to add all comments and opinions, so I will select some and put them on this page.
Bhupesh Trivedi - December 2, 2008
Is the fire in you still on? Or, has it been put off by life's compulsions' brigade?
We have not learnt our lessons. We are helpless. We blame everyone else, particularly politicians. Politicians ridicule protestors. Politicians humiliate martyrs' families.
Tragedy after tragedy, death after death, we get on with our lives - not realising what will hit us next and when. We are just leaving ourselves vulnerable for any personal loss in the future - My kid (your kid) or my beloved (your beloved) could be the next victim of terror, while getting holed up in a school or an office.
Not just external terror; we are increasingly more vulnerable to internal terror too - inequalities in the society are fuelling the growth of:
- naxal-type armed movements,
- internal ultra outfits like those in the northeast,
- even religious and political capitalists who target communities or people from a particular religion, sect or state/region.
Everyone of these is a source of terror and anything can hit us anytime.
I say, "I am to blame". I say this because I am doing nothing whatsoever within my capacity to take control over my life. I have left myself and my family at the mercy of others. And, then, I blame them. Now, I want to say, I am saying it loudly, at the top of my voice, with complete frustration, from deep within my heart, "I am to blame".
I expect neither any of you nor myself to take up arms. Since we are helpless, we can just say, "I am to blame".
I say "I am to blame" for "accepting to just survive within a system" that results in the deaths of the likes of Karkare, Unnikrishnan and several other human beings. Do I have the guts to say, "I am to blame" for these deaths?
To make a small contribution to change, just say, "I am to blame". If not for the deaths, then at least for the growth of our failure. Let us all take this small step, and hope that one day, our country's prime minister too signs this campaign and says, "I am to blame".
Say "I am to blame" at www.iam2blame.com and get everyone we know to say the same. Pass this on to every compatriot on your address book. i.e. only if you care, otherwise my thanks to you for your time in reading this "another bhashan".
Will wait to hear
- Website Initiater Who Is Doing His/Her Own Bit
Srinath Rao - January 25, 2005
I read your comments on your website whose link I got from one of my friends..
I agree with some of your opinions and disagree with some but let's not dwell too much into it. What is important is at least you care and dare to speak out which is million times more worthy than keeping silent. I know even if we speak nothing gonna move as we want it to but atleast a change can be brought if we write to the concerned people.
For me India is :-
1) Full of HOPE, promise, opportunities, culture, tradition.
2) Dynamite waiting to explode in all spheres.
3) Secular with all the major religions originating here. Second highest population of Muslims & largest Hindu population residing here. To keep them united and progress is an achievement in itself which many westerners fail to realise when they calculate growth rates.
Indianism, the word per se, is very good and I really liked it. For me Indianism is not thinking of India all the time.
It is also not about loving it to the extent that if anybody says anything bad for it we feel hurt. Let's accept it, we are a developing nation and there are loopholes somewhere in our nation which are visible distinctly to outsiders who will make comments. Some will be good for us, some will be bad for us & some very nasty. Let's not worry about the nasty ones because we can reply to them later. Let's not worry about the good ones too. Let's worry about the bad ones. Let's see what suggestion that guy has to offer and if it is really worth it, why not propose to somebody worthwhile and see if it can be implemented. Easy as it may sound but then all good things are not easy to start with.
For me Indianism is being able to help India from wherever you are and to whatever capacity you can.
If an American helps us add jobs in India by setting up his company there, he is more Indian to me than an Indian guy sitting in America and crying foul of the bad roads in India.
Let's try to help out India from wherever we are and to whatever extent we can.
Even if you can make a difference to the life of one needy person during your lifetime, you have done your bit is what I feel. The best way to do it is adopt a child and take care of him like your own child. Of course this is very difficult as you are not the only person involved in this but let's think that way and only then things will move ahead.
I am taking the first step towards that which is moving back to India in July this year from my current place, Malaysia.
Indian from KL-Malaysia
Parag Khanapurkar- December 22, 2004
I just visited your webpage www.kaustubh.com for the first time. I went through your thoughts about indianism.
I agree with you for the most part.
But for me, like for thousands of others, leaving India was not at all the first option. Even now, after 2 years of student life in the US, I would gladly go back to India if I am assured that I will be utilized to my fullest potential there. I can speak for myself .... I searched for any job worth my skills and in my educational domain for 1 and a half years after my undergrad (this is the situation even when I was top of my class and in one of the top five universities) before deciding to seek greener pastures.
The point I want to make here is that it is very easy to blame the people who apparently leave India for their greed for money. But there are always two sides to a coin and people become desperate about their future when they have invested their hard work of four/three years acquiring the skills.
Jaydeep Saha- July 3, 2004
I like the idea of Indianism. Infact, I am myself a big supporter of the fact that its more to our existence than a mere word. And it has got a lot to do with the land we belong: India. And that is where perhaps we part ways. My ideas are far more action oriented, rather than being philosophical, and ghastly spiritual.
It's a pretty common symptom to be out of the system, so to say, in a land that "promises more", and eventually "miss" home. I believe you're one of the many amongst us who would pen their views and let their voices be heard on a larger scale. But Kaustubh, come on, ask yourself, did you ever ask yourself this question on Indianism when you were in india? Or would this idea have ever crossed your mind if you hadn't left home?
Let's see, if it's just another identity question for you?
To me, Indianism lies in everything we have: Our history, our culture, the people, our attitude, the traffic jams, the power-cuts, the excitement anound cricket matches, the expert analysis on public transport, our family values, corrupt systems, the classical music, a booming economy, the communal riots, the changing lifestyle, the rural simplicity, the movie craze, the lovely landscapes..... the list is endless, perhaps that's why its difficult to explain what it actually means. But frankly, I don't know how that is related to defining GOD....??????
But hang on, why bother to define something that's already there, I mean, a mere definition does not change anything. But with constructive action, it can be even bettered in the days to come. Why not try and see how we can put a step forward in this journey called Indianism?
We need to bring the change from within. The system will not change until and unless most of the unit components have undergone a critical and irreversible change. In the process, its important to voice our thoughts in every possible way, and help young minds to build their belief in unison. Some of them you talk to would find it vague idealism at first, but gradually, as the results keep coming, they will follow suit.
We don't have real life heroes in India today that the masses relate with, we need to stand up to them. Have a hero in every house, and the locality would change. You don't have to be a Shahrukh Khan or a Sachin Tendulkar to be a hero, just the belief that you're there for a greater objective makes you one. All you've got to do is back yourself with action.
Everyone who has this thought in mind about Indianism has this added responsibility of taking an action towards it. Else, if it's just a publicity stunt and an effort to hog the limelight, I'm afraid its just as ordinary an act as delivering a fiery speech by our so effective politicians. Lots of vague words and no result!
Kaustubh, I believe it's going to be a collective effort, led by a few competent revolutionaries like you. All the best. You can do it!
Ram Solanki- March 31, 2004
Certainly quite some thought put in here. I like it.
I am 21 (22 in a few days), I live in UK, born in UK,
in fact my mother was English, (gori) ..
Yet I find myself very much an Indian at heart.
I am a strict vegetarian,
I find the langugage Hindi sweet,
I support our cricket team,
I absolutely love hindi film music & films,
(and strangely I was mocked at school and college for this)
With time I have earnt the respect that I was cultured and consistent, those who mocked and bullied were the confused ones who knew not where they stood with their lives, but I don't hold it against them.
So I guess my definition of Indianism would come from ...
Love & Forgiveness ...
Adding to that is getting that rush of blood when we hear our national anthem ...
or even the words 'saare jahaanse achcha, Hindustan hamaara!'
But above all being proud of our culture, and not forcing but preaching humbly this very culture of peace!
Sumit Sahu- January 9, 2004
Just came across your site looking around for a few good songs. I got them but what I take away more than mere songs which will be eventually expunged off my memory as better songs keep coming up, are your thoughts on Indianism. I was touched. More often than not I have come across people full of despise for this country which leaves me imagining how can one do that to his motherland, which, in my opinion is the very essence of an individual. But at instances like such I come across people or thoughts like those of yours which reaffirm my faith that come what may our motherland will always stand strong. If the theory of rebirth were to be believed, it takes one to do something out of the ordinary to be born in this country in the birth to follow. That is perhaps all that I can write, I can't express myself on Indianism as beautifully as you did.
Sadiyon raha hai dushman daur-e-jahan hamara, kuchh baat hai ki hasti mitati nahin hamari
Rupalli Sharma- October 2, 2001
Maybe the true Indian knows that India cannot be defined. He (I’m using he to be conventional not to be politically incorrect) knows that being Indian is more than just being born there, a passport (like you said), or thinking the culture is "cool" like quite a few ABCDs or second generation Indians in America. Maybe it’s accepting India, with its beauty and its drawbacks (and there are many). YEAH I KNOW THIS IS KINDA LONG. Maybe it's believing there is still hope for us.... I’m not sure how I mean it, the government, riots, corruption, everything I suppose. Maybe an Indian argues with people or other "Indians" when they start complaining about the poor lifestyle India has to offer. Or when people want to leave India and go off to America, Dubai or where ever it is. Or maybe it's someone who still keeps India alive and real for themselves no matter where they live. STILL GOT YOUR ATTENTION?
Hey…maybe no one's an Indian until they’ve actually experienced kite flying day like a kid, not necessarily flying one but being caught up in the excitement of seeing people standing on their terraces all day and then shouting “kati” when they finally succeed in cutting someone else’s kite. Or fighting over a kite that has just fallen in front of your neighbor's gate. I don’t know, maybe I have the concept all mixed up, but somehow I just can’t imagine people being “Indian” or calling themselves “Indian” and not having thrown water balloons on people and saying “happy holi uncle” or just running away. Not just this stuff but our Indian terms. I still keep hearing new ones…. “mullah ki daud masjid taak, or padhoge likoge banoge gavaar, kheloge kudoge banoge nawaab…(you’ll have to excuse the spelling mistakes), and what sucks is when people ask me to translate this stuff and it loses its oomph… And now to the main point, ARE YOU STILL READING?
I don’t know why I even wrote this, may be I’m trying to figure out what the hell is it that I miss of India besides the obvious. It's like some famous guy said about the hills of India… I think it goes something like this…“once the smell of the hills has crept into a man’s blood, when the time comes, he will forget all else and return to the mountains to die…(Ruskin Bond.) Certainly true in my case...
Archana Prakash- June 27, 2001
I have just read your thoughts on the Indianism topic. I must say, I think it was very well put and I agree 100%! I also think that being Indian does not mean having an Indian passport, or knowing the national anthem. I personally cannot say I have the passport, or can start singing the anthem, but I still do consider myself to be Indian.
My parents are both proud citizens but I also feel quite proud to call India a home. I don't think it matters how many times you have visited India, (personally I have been there countless times) or even speak one of the many languages. Pride comes from within and is always a personal thing to an individual which no one can change.
Being Indian is quite hard to define.. I feel it's more a way of life than anything else.. just like Hinduism is. Like any society, it has its boundaries, and unwritten rules, but that also has to do with one's own upbringing. So you're right when you say defining India, or being Indian is futile.
Just wanted to say I agree!
Joydeep Acharya- June 21, 2001
Hi. This is from one Hindi Film music lover and admirer of the great nation called India to another.
India to me is not just a country but something much higher. Something akin to a cosmic, mysterious power.
On the face it seems so diverse and complex. Our different states with people who externally may seem so very different. Our vast history. So many different types of influences ranging over centuries. How many countries have these? And India has retained everything. The best of everything of past and present has been integrated into a complex but awe-inspiring whole. Don't know if I make myself clear or not.
With best wishes
Vibhuti Venkat Nataraj- April 24, 2001
An idea, an emotion, a sweet melody, the smell of rain on charred fields, the tingle of purva, the sight of those mighty snow-covered peeks filling you with awe, the taste of the food that only mothers can cook, that’s India.
Those mighty characters, inspiring, from the pages of mythology, those heroes who finally put a break to Alexander’s rampage, the mathematician who gave the world zero, those thinkers who gave an unparalleled philosophy unfortunately known as a religion today, those artists who spent there lives serving art, they are India.
A society, in however bad shape, that survived a millennium of dominance, a diversity that inexplicably remains united, people who are so cruel and ignorant and yet so compassionate and understanding, people who are so burdened and corrupt and yet so hopeful, so full of dreams they are India.
The multitude of children underfed, under-educated, uncared-for children who still have that brightness in their eyes which forces you to believe that We are going to have a brilliant future, We are going to make the world sit-up and look, We Are going to make a Great Nation. Yes , We are India!
Deepa Rajamani- February 3, 2001
To define India is not possible, as India is much more than its geographical representation on the World Map. Is India an emotion? Yes it is, call it Indianism, call it Patriotism, or call it Fanaticism but definitely India and being Indian is an emotion of unity and diversity, strength and weakness, passion and love.
India is - its people - over a billion people with diverse cultural heritage and religious background. In which other country would you find the folk dances like the Garbha and Bhangra being danced, food like Dosai and Dokhla being eaten, dresses like Saree and Salwar being worn, festivals like Diwali and Id being celebrated by one and all? Is that not enough to show how diverse yet unite India is even today?
Understanding that the strength is her population, and the diversity in the culture, her weakness also lies in the same. Even after 50 years of Independence, Indians are still identified by the others in the world as a poor Nation. It was not long ago that the British ruled India for more than two centuries, but we stood united as Hindustani and chased them away from our land with the wisdom of the Mahatma. But with the diveristy in cultural heritage, it has become easy for mean-minded politicians and bureaucrats to take advantage of delicate issues and turn them into religious conflicts. Therefore “Divide and Rule” still continues, though concepted by the British, but practiced still by our politicians, not leaders, to achieve Power and Money. If India should be recognised by the world not just for the famous Kamasutra but in all other aspects as a powerful Nation should be, then we should yet again join hands keeping aside our differences, and cleanse our society from those people who make us believe anything else but the the fact that we are all Indians first whichever religion we may follow, or wherever we live for a living.
Being Indian is definitely different and special, perhaps every countryman would claim that, but you got to feel it and be one to know the difference. JAI HIND!!