But then again, they say we should feel proud about the republic day parade and have a sense of patriotism on seeing the tricolor unfurl. I never felt so. Obviously as a symbologist, I know that symbols have meaning and if conveyed properly they can move mountains (literally) or transform the thinking of a human being, but then also, if forced to believe in something symbols render no meaning at all.
On the night of 14th August 1947 at the zero hour (00:00) the Union Jack was pulled down and a shining new tricolor was unfurled which marked the freedom of the largest and the most unmanaged country in the world, symbolically we were free but practically we never were free. There were some people on top of us before and there are some people who are on top of us now, so what their nationality is Indian, does it really matter?
Just like the 'Shining India' campaign by the NDA leadership, the republic day parade is made to boost the confidence of the country. The parade symbolizes the faith of 200 million people in the blind goddess of justice and the sixty year old rule book that was written by many prominent people of the country. It also symbolizes hope that someday we might achieve what we were trying to for 150 years and prove mister Churchill wrong, that India is not left in the hands of goons but people who are much more awesome than the God and wife fearing brits.
I saw the brilliant symbols go past me as I saw the parade with my live eyes.
The captain shows strict discipline in his platoon, knowing that the non-disciplined people are going to build Aadarsh societies on his grave and pay their kins death money. But then again he has vowed to protect the country, come who may, no questions asked, to whatever ends.
Then we also have the pageants of the states which symbolizes that hope springs eternal. They show the world how the states should be, rather than what states are. The Mumbai exhibit is not stuck in traffic for one day driven by a bhaiyya nor does the Delhi exhibit play loud Bangra music and try to overtake every other exhibit from wrong side. The Goa exhibit does not show hippies going dum maro dum, nor does the Haryanvi exhibit show the improper use of Hindi language by swearing out loud. The Gujurat exhibit does not distribute free khamang dhokla (now with 450 billion, they can invent iKhakra) and so Tamil Nadu exhibit does not have Rajnikant doing Yenna Rascala in a auto-rickshaw (praise the Lord). The show is a brilliant symbol of unity in diversity, far away from reality.
In school, they forcibly teach us one of the prime duties as the citizen of India is respecting the national days and joining tuition classes at the home of the same teacher, who teaches in school, for better marks. So it is the patriotic in me who stands up dutifully as the flag unfurls and the national anthem plays, but the inside me is still worried about the petrol that is to be filled in my bike on the way home, the favorite onion pakoda is getting rare on the street and my hard earned money is carefully being drained into the unknown swiss accounts and I am still the criminal if I do not pay the taxes.
Obviously why would anyone listen to me I am not part of any political party nor any minority group, neither am I from a lower caste nor am I have a lot of money, I am just a simple Indian, who is slowly getting extinct in India and want to wish you all out there.
P.s. How is the new layout? It has got few hidden symbols and meanings...;)