Well, something happened this year. I saw a crap ton of flags on cars.
India was declared independent on August 15, 1947. And everyone’s been tweeting about #70yearsofindependence. Who messed up this simple math? Why didn’t anyone bother to correct people? It’s been 69 years, not 70. Why does everyone want to make poor Mother India a septuagenarian a whole 365 days before her birthday? How uncool.
I also saw droves of people, their faces painted saffron, green, white and blue – the national colors of the Indian flag – do this rally thing on the freeway. With flags. All pointing down. Without helmets. Nobody arrested them. The Indian Constitution clearly states that the only people who can use flags on their vehicles include the President and the Prime Minster. And you can’t put the flag at half mast unless someone is being mourned.
The whole code is something everyone that claims to be Indian should know. It’s appalling how poorly history is being taught in schools.
Also, this whole seasonal patriotism bothers me. As much as it bothers me when people spit in public. Patriotism isn’t something you buy in stores on 26 January and 15 August. It’s funny because you won’t spring to attention when they play the national anthem at the movies or sporting events. You won’t bother if they play it on TV because hey, why would you stand up when it’s not being played in front of you when you’re actually at said event. Right?
You won’t even know what’s going on at the Olympic Games because hey, who cares if some guy called K. Srikanth made it to the Badminton Quarter finals this year at Rio. Right? Because your pouting selfies and your pecs are more important than knowing that there are people trying to do India proud.
When you say you’re proud to be an Indian, don’t just say it. Mean it.
That there are people fighting to change what the world thinks of India. Stop being seasonal. Start with the little acts of actually being patriotic.
Remember what Gandhi said:
Be the change that you wish to see in the world.
No matter what Winston Churchill thought of the half naked fakir of India, the Bapu did get something right.