Janani Janmabhoomischa Swargaadapi Gareeyasi
I read this adage in some blog yesterday, I remembered hearing this during my school days. What I did not know was that Rama told this to his brother Lakshmana, when they saw Lanka full of gold. This quote had definitely seemed very "inspirational" when I was a kid, but now that I question a lot of things, this sentence no longer holds the same impact for me.
The good thing about "Janani" is that its not abstract :) But what was Rama referring to when he said "Janmabhoomi"? Was he referring to the city of Ayodhya? Or the entire Kosala kingdom? Does his "Janmabhoomi" change with conquering and relinquishing certain portions of the land? Tough to answer!
I somehow cannot admit that the very earlier freedom fighters were actually the "freedom fighters of India". No, I am not questioning their commitment - but its just that most of them fought for "their kingdom". I am not sure how many of them would have cared for anything happening outside their kingdom. Had the states not been formed after Indian Independence and we still belonged to the Mysore Presidency, our loyalty would remain to the Mysore Presidency. We should just be proud of Rahul Dravid and anyone here cheering for Sourav Ganguly would be called unpatriotic! Seems strange, right? The quote from George Jean Nathan seems so meaningful - "Patriotism is often an arbitrary veneration of real estate above principles."!
Actually I love my country. But, I dont walk around making statements like we are the greatest country in the world (Bernard Shaw has said beautifully "Patriotism is the conviction that your country is superior to all others because you were born in it.") And there are things that I like about my country and there are some I despise. Assuming there are rebirths, you will not find me making a statement like I want to be born here in all my rebirths. I dont mind, in fact I would want to be born in different countries. I think its the best way to see the world for those who cannot afford air tickets! Does talking like this make me any less patriotic than my chest-thumping fellow countrymen? I dont know!
If this post seems rude, I am sorry folks - that was absolutely unintentional. I think very objectively. I love questioning things. I try to look everything from different perspectives. But, I love my country, in my own peculiar way.
Happy Independence Day!
P.S: I also love this outrageously funny statement from Orson Welles - "Ask not what you can do for your country. Ask what's for lunch." :D