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Sunday, December 7, 2008

Proud to be an indian ??

I had a really strange thought few days back. One of my roommates was making fun of me or something and told “oh he is proud gujju. I am proud of be a gujju” and I said “no I am not proud to be a gujju (Guajarati)” and they were all kind of shocked. I find this very surprising

Everyday many of us keep saying “Proud to be an Indian”, “Proud to be a gujju” or something like that without thinking why are we so proud to be that?

Dictionary defines Proud as an adjective which means

1.
feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honourable or creditable to oneself (often fol. by of, an infinitive, or a clause).

2.
having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one's own dignity, importance, or superiority.

3.
Having or showing self-respect or self-esteem.

4.
highly gratifying to the feelings or self-esteem: It was a proud day for him when his son entered college.

5.
highly honourable or creditable: a proud achievement.



According to Augustine, it is "the love of one's own excellence."
What has being an Indian or Guajarati got to do with my excellence. Why should I love myself or think good of myself just because I was born in India or in Guajarati family? Its not liked I choose to be like that. Let me explain in a little detail.


1. feeling pleasure or satisfaction over something regarded as highly honourable or creditable to oneself
5. Highly honourable or creditable: a proud achievement.

I don’t think being an Indian is a honourable or creditable to oneself. It is merely by chance and not by choice that I was born in India and thus I am an Indian. How can I take credit for that? I didn’t put in any effort in being born in India. Its not like god gave me a choice “ok son, tell me which country u wanna be born”. So its not an achievement to be an Indian.
If I was ,by chance, born in US I would say “proud to be an American” which would make no sense as I cant take credit being an American.


3. having or showing self-respect or self-esteem.

4. Highly gratifying to the feelings or self-esteem: It was a proud day for him when his son entered college.

Sometimes we are proud of our friends, children, and parents or ourselves because when they achieve something we feel we have played role in making it possible. This feeling is quite natural and acceptable. If the Indian cricket teams wins a match I would surely say I am proud supporter of the Indian cricket team for I would like to believe that without support of so many people the team might have not done that well. However this in no way justifies the statement “Proud to be Indian”.

2. having, proceeding from, or showing a high opinion of one's own dignity, importance, or superiority.

Many times pride is the feeling of being superior or important. For eg “I am proud to be the richest man in my town” or so on. This again talks about the achievements of on individual for which he has put efforts and worked hard. There is no way I can say being an Indian makes me more important, dignified or superior than other people.

Few of us are even proud at being in a certain religion. “Proud to be a Hindu” or “Proud to be Muslim” some of us would say. But this again is nothing but the feeling of false superiority as one has not put any efforts to be in that religion. It is just by chance like being an Indian. You cant say your religion is superior than other and thus there is no way u can be proud to be Hindu or Muslim or anything else. Infact most world religions consider “Pride” to be a sin and encourage humility!

Exceptions

Like everything else in the world, even my point of view has some exceptions. Many of us are born in one country but always dream going abroad and settling there. Some of them work very hard to fulfil this dream and so when they finally when they become a citizen of that country it is an achievement for them. So if they say they r proud to be xyz, then its quite acceptable I feel.

Similary someone who has taken a lot of pains to convert into a hindu, muslim etc then he or she may say they are proud to do so as long they say it with a feeling to making an achievement and not with that of being superior or more important.

Also if someone feels that he/she has done something to make india what it is today then even they may proclaim their pride as it is somewhat similar to me being a proud supporter of the indian cricket team.

Conclusion

I am sure many people would find it very insulting when I or you say “I am not proud to be an Indian” which is quite understandable cause while pride gives the feeling of being superior , the lack or absence of it sometimes causes feeling of inferiority. Now being an Indian might not be superior but it is not inferior too. So the question arises that what do we say?

The answer is we can be “happy”. Surely there is nothing wrong in being happy to be an Indian because happiness is not restricted of any achievements. We can happy to see the sun rise, to see someone else happy, to eat good food, to spend time with family and friends. We can happy at any damn thing we want.

I may not be proud to be a gujju and an Indian. But I am happy to a gujju and delighted to be an Indian !

****UPDATE******

Thanks to my good friend Archana's logical arguments i have been convinced to believe that i can truly proudly say that i am proud to be indian. Read her counter argument here .

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Sad State

Its amazing , it really is !

We are considered to be next emerging power along with china with a growing economy and all the rest of the crap which u read in news paper every now and then. But still we live in a time where a student after his 12th doesnt know what he wants to do. Its ok to be confused as a teenager but whats worst is that he/she is never given a chance to think about it and follow his heart most of the times.

Ask any kid after his 12th what he wants to do and he will almost always reply engg or medical coll. Its not because he is intrested in that field (i mean this is not true always but this is the case most of the times). The reason he says this is because his brain has been wired ever since he was kid that when u grow u either grow up to be a doctor or a engineer. I am sure many people opt for many different choices but there numerous other who never really make their own decision cause their decision is already been made by their parents.I mean it is soo sad to see these people making such an important decision blindly.

The problem , i feel, is our way of thinking more than anything else. Sure u can blame the govt or the education system or the fact that we r still a developing country but the truth is that we need to change out mentality - as students , as parents and as a society.

As students we r seldom encourage to explore our skills and talents to find out what we r really good at. One should not just follow the crowd. We r given brains for a reason. We must find out what we r good at and what we really want to do in life. Dont just join a course and enter a coll because ur parents say so or because ur friend is studying there.We must change the way we think as students.

As parents we need to change the way we treat our kids. Many times people know what they wanna do but their parents dont support their dream. The kid is sometimes even scared to tell them what he really wants to do in life.Parents must have an open and honest relationship with kids so that they can fearlessly say whatever is they have in mind. Apart from this parents must also recognize the skills their child and support their dream rather than discourage him by forcing him to take a safe path. Life is full of ups and downs, learn to take some risks and have faith in ur child.

As a society we r major contributor to fact that so many kids just blindly take up the in demand courses and colleges without thinking what suits them. We pressurize the kids to performing amazingly gr8 every single time. Even before 12th, kids are often considered dumb if they take streams like art or sometimes even commerece. Instead of thinking about the kid's interest we simply assume the fact that he or she just wasnt good enough for science.This is where we as a society need to change our mentality

Although it might not seem so ,this is a major problem we r facing right now.If only we would let people follow their dreams and encourage their efforts we would win a lot more trophies, a lot more awards, a lot more medals, a lot more world cups and most importantly a lot more smiles !

The method to my madness

Since u have nothing better to do than read my thoughts let me start off by telling u the reason i choose to give my blog the title "The Method To My Madness". Often i have heard of people talking (mostly on sitcoms) about what they want written on their tombstone. While i , being a hindu, would clearly would never have a tombstone but still the thought got me thinking on what would i like written on my tombstone. Perhaps it might come useful incase i grow up to be someone famous or rich. In that case if someones gonna write a biography on my life then such a title would surely come in handy.
This might sound stupid , just like most of my other future posts, but i believe everyone fantasizes about growing up to be somone popular and famous. Why else would people sing in bathroom, practice speeches for awards they probably will never get and many more such thing which people do. I too fantasize about such things and so starting thinking about this.Who knows maybe they'll make a movie on me with the title.
So the title had to something which would obviosuly relate to me. I am usually the kind of person who is shy among some people, but among my friends i speak off the top of my head. I say anything that comes to my mind. I am sort of a freaky mad kind of guy. Thus i finally came up with the title "The Method To My Madness".I know its not completely original. I am not sure where i have heard this title but i am pretty sure it has been used before.
So there u go, thats the reason for choosing the title.

Sociable