According to Wikipedia, metonym is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is replaced by another that has a similar meaning. That is to say, you don’t want to call a thing by it’s name and you use another name in it’s stead. That is to say, you use it’s synonym instead. Essentially, metonym means instead. Now, where would you find such a convoluted word for such a simple meaning? Why, in The Hindu’s Editorial, of course! Specifically, this is how it is used in an OpEd piece I was reading today – Continue reading
So, I was reading about Xerxes, because I’ve recently watched 300 Part II and it’s very interesting how in a short period of time, in a very small part of the world, entire kingdoms formed and fell, armies moved across oceans and civilizations blossomed and razed to the ground. While reading about Xerxes (and this is Wikipedia, everything is linked and I often go binge-wikiing), I started reading about his father, Darius I. Darius died fighting revolts from the Greeks, Egypt and the Babylonians, amongst others. But before he did that, he went a little East to raid and conquer this wonderful place called Afghanistan. Along with that, he decided to conquer Taxila. Wait, Taxila? Isn’t that supposed to be part of Indian history? I definitely read about it. Interesting, reading on! Continue reading
Ok, it’s our Independence day. It’s the day when India gained the freedom to make it’s own mistakes, to quote what Gandhiji had said once…
But I was not celebrating independence today. Woke up at 11 AM(11:30 PM in India, half an hour to the Midnight of that dawned…) and realized that the software companies in India had finished celebrating our Independence on the 14th as it was a working day. Then I got dressed and with a few friends, went out to Wal-Mart, apparently the most famous and amazingly cheap store of the US. The concept of Wal-Mart is inspiring but it’s fodder for another blog post, so, later…
The Bill was about $78 for three people(reason- we had a girl in our midst!).
While returning, we boarded a bus from outside Wal-Mart and told the driver to take us to the closest Bus Station. When we had settled, the driver started the bus and without turning, softly said to us three Indians- Happy Independence Day.
I looked at the driver. He was an American. He was educated. He was an educated enough American to know that three Indians had boarded his bus. He did not assume that we were Pakistanis. He knew for sure that we were Indians. I know this as he said that Pakistan had gained independence a day before us and all he had noticed was that we were speaking in Hindi.
So here I was, sitting in the heart of the US of A with two Indian friends and getting wished by an American on a date which is of grave consequence for every Indian and which we had completely forgotten about. For a second, it was a haze. Was this true? Was this happening? Really? Wow.
I looked at my friends. They were as amazed as I was. This was weird beyond a great degree. I talked to the driver a bit more. He knew a bit about India but a lot more than one would expect him to know. He knew we had a bit of a tiff with the Chinese. He knew we had a nuclear bomb, though not the year when we got it. That was a piece of fact even I didn’t remember! He even had a stereotypical view about some clans in India. I was glad to clarify that India has never been a nation of Attackers but instead defenders. We only retaliated in case there was a threat against us. He was glad to have to talked to me. I was still in shock when our destination came.
I got down. The air was fresh, the wind was a light breeze and caressed my face with a loving touch. The sky was a deep blue color with the clouds playing with the setting sun. This was a foreign nation. Back in my country, people we getting up and wishing each other a Happy Independence Day. I looked at my friends and wished them a Happy Independence Day, with a twist.
The politicians of India are decidedly against the concept of India as a Nation, a single entity with One Status and One System, an Open country with no biases and certainly no reservations against any of it’s long parts. While citizens of many other countries in the world fight over sports, break each other’s bones over the singular football match or hate each other over long histories of wins and losses in Ice Hockey matches but come together when the Country’s solidarity is questioned, Indians fight and kill when it comes to region, religion and water, but don’t care a paisa’s worth over local sports, partly because of it’s non-existent local sports and partly because it’s easier for it’s politicians to raise anger against other communities and religions instead of building dams, bridges and stadiums.
The Chinese think tank International Institute of Strategic Studies claims that Beijing
“should work towards the the break-up of India into 20-30 independent states with the help of friendly countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, support Ulfa in attaining its goal for Assam’s independence, back aspirations of Indian nationalities like Tamils and Nagas, encourage Bangladesh to give a push to the independence of West Bengal and lastly recover the 90,000 sq km territory in southern Tibet”.
It argues that a fragmented India would be in China’s interests and would also lead to prosperity in the region. Further, it goes on to say that if China “takes a little action, the so-called great Indian federation can be broken up”.
A lot of people on This Pakistani Forum agree with the Chinese and have even provided a ‘Map’ of India after Partition and claim that India has never existed as a Nation but Pakistan has been around since 3300 BC. Tall claims, for sure, but they need not crib so much against India.
Gandhiji had strict instructions regarding Quotas, they were a system to bring the backward classes of India’s Society into the mainstream so as to provide Total Equality, yet more than 60 years after his death, the system continues, reinforcing the sickly condition of India’s education, job, social and moral infrastructure. Some time back, a few more quotas were introduced into the Education system with a keen eye on the voters. Then the concept of quotas for teachers was thought up, bring up a whole new system of prejudice ( People can say, “I am a Khatri, why should I study from a lowly class teacher?? “). Recently, Maharashtra reserved 80% jobs in state industries for locals. Shiv Sena and BJP promised to implement this rule strictly if voted to power. There’s not going to be much time before every state starts playing the ‘sons of the soil’ card and promising such ridiculous reservations. What will the outcome be?? Well, what happens when you reserve jobs, the most important reason for migration of people? The flux of people stops and soon regions become tightly locked strongholds of Politico-Religious affiliations and look at every outsider as an enemy or worse. This kind of attitude leads to glorification of the State above the Nation and though this is relatively healthy for the growth and cleanliness of areas within the State, it is bad for the concept of the Nation as a whole and Pride in the Nation. How many Indians today even utter the words, “I am proud of India”? The ultimate result, that of disjointed, hateful and suspicious states, is what many political powers wish to achieve about India.
Let us now look at an Organisation where this will not happen. The Defense Forces of India, the Indian Air Force, Army and Navy, are prime examples of anti-quota systems. No matter what his father earns or what his caste is, every soldier kisses the mud in the NDA training. No matter how much bank balance a person has, they all get the same houses at the same Rank, they all drive the same vehicles to work and get the same ration to eat food. A Squadron posted in Madras does not crib when it gets a Commander from Kashmir and a Platoon deep in the jungles of Assam will not say a word if a Rajasthani boss comes and tells them how to execute guerrilla warfare. Nor do they reserve 80 pc quota for locals. For this reason alone, they do not have any qualms about making friends with people of different religions, cultures, color or social standing. They have an open institution where anyone can be posted to any part of the country, ensuring that they fall in love with India and not Maharashtra, Assam or Haryana.
There are a lot of NGOs willing to fight the Tatas from building Seaports and to launch massive protests against private organisations for their wrong doings, but very few NGOs stand up against such blatant misuse of Public power by politicians to destroy the sovereign status of India.
Do you really want to see India as this one day??
Very few organize human chains, unending sms lists, forwarded emails and collect online signatures to present a letter to the President of India (who, strangely, has no power at all) when politicians continually abuse Indians with Vote-gathering schemes based on instigating the common man’s anger against ‘outsiders’. Very few indeed…
There ought to be more.