The Enigma

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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

The Harp Of India

Why hang'st thou lonely on yon withered bough?
Unstrung for ever, must thou there remain;
Thy music once was sweet -- who hears it now?

Thus opined Henry Louis Vivian Derozio, about our motherland India. He meant that India was under the cruel cluthches of the British Empire and it needed independence. But today, as I see things around me, I cannot help but quote the same lines for I feel the music of India has again gone bitter.

After Independence, it was assumed the responsibility of young Indians to try and ameliorise the society and raise the living standards of the country. Coming from poor quantitative statistics, our national capital ranks a meagre 150 in the quality of living standards, citywise, which is something more than a shame especially when cities like capital of Senegal also beating it. And do we do anything about it? We shrug and leave it all to government.

For every endeavor like Bharat Uday Mission or Paritrana, theres a multi-crore scam in the national parliament. For every rupee collected at the crossroads by students to help poor and destitute, there's a crore being spent on a superstar shedding clothes at the closing ceremony of Commonwealth Games.

Now, the blame is not all on the government. The private sector isnt anything good. From banks to universities, everyone is equally unreliable. While there are banks, both public and private-owned, which pester customers with strikes and moratoriums, universities have found it necessary to follow suit. Students of an institute which was closed down unceremoniously are now pursuing a separate degree at our institute, thanks to some professors. There has also been an uproar lately about an institute hiking up its achievements to lure more students to pay fee to it. They give in to cheap tactics like a free laptop, foreign trip and what not!

Ok, if this has exhausted you, lets introspect! How focussed are we towards our country? How many of us have made atleast one genuine attempt to better the society. Leave alone making an attempt, how many of us refrained from making fun of persons who are sincerely patriotic? People want to earn in dollars and are crazy about the US. At the canteen today, I overheard a couple of juniors talking about the interview of a stripper (ya, you read it right!) whose show Prince Henry has watched. Now, what to say?! I was startled and disappointed, more because the guy was not disappointed that there was an interview of the stripper, but he was excited at the prospect of being a stripper who happened to perform in front of Henry. Amen!

I come back to room and I learn that there has been some tension due to stone-pelting in Bangalore, because a once-Super Star septuagenarian actor had passed away. Thats heights of going crazy!

Isnt this time to sit back, think and realise that we have been whiling away our time and have failed miserably in realising India as a nation. We have been doing India a gross injustice in return to what it has given us. All we are concerned is about heavy pay-packets and luxurious lives. We never talk of paying back. Leave alone the macro scale, coming to smaller things, to an institute where you have spent the best four years of your life, not many people have an idea or vision to pay it back once they settle in their lives. This probably may change when they realise what they would be missing once they are out of this place, but do we expect the same for a country? Do we expect everyone to go out of it and then realise its importance? Can't we do anything to make our society and in that same process ourselves better?

Probably, it is time for each one of us to say:
Harp of my country, let me strike the strain!

The Harp of India is a sonnet by Derozio


At April 13, 2006 4:44 AM, Blogger Sarat Chandra Addepalli said...


this is the way i look at it. There's nothing wrong trying to be idealistic. But then, just don't lose the touch with reality. Very very thin line between realism and pessimism. I might sound like a pessimist, but i'm trying to think like a realist.

Not everybody has the drive or motivation, or even the minimum courtesy to say thanks. How can we expect such ppl to pay back? I've got just one thing to say. even the link you put up there for Derozio's poem is from a foreign university.

At April 13, 2006 4:46 AM, Blogger Sarat Chandra Addepalli said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At April 14, 2006 5:06 AM, Blogger Smartalec said...

Sarat has said it! When people haven't even got the decency to say thanks, forget about everything pertaining to giving back something.
People in India sure have taken to the saying, "While in Rome, do like the Romans do"... well to the desi version of it rather: "While in India, do like the Indians do"! Patriotism has lost its meaning here! And it's true, being a patriot might only invite mockery!
Sometimes I sincerely feel we Indians don't deserve the independence that we didn't have to fight for and have so easily taken it for granted! But then, it's me who's got that feeling and who am I to talk about all this anyway?!

At April 14, 2006 9:41 AM, Blogger Twilightgirl said...

To India - My Native Land
by-Henry Louis Vivian Derozio

My country! in thy day of glory past
A beautious halo circled round thy brow,
And worshipped as a deity thou wast.
Where is that glory, where that reverence now?
Thy eagle pinion is chained down at last.
And gorvelling in the lowly dust art thou;
Thy minstrel hath no wreath to weave for thee
Save the sad story of thy misery!
Well- let me dive into the depths of time,
And bring from out the ages that have rolled
A few small fragments or those wrecks sublime,
Which human eyes may never more behold;
And let the guerdon of my labour be
My fallen country! one kind wish from thee

One of my favs.. :)

At April 14, 2006 10:32 AM, Blogger Rahul said...

[opinion]It's not like we did not deserve the independence[/opinion]. It's only that we don't have enough drive or enough time to pay back.

There are a lot of occupations holding people back from even having the time to think about social issues or ruminate about the past ambitions and their present implementation. To get hit with the notion of improving the country is a rarity because you won't feel the trouble until in pinches you directly.

For instance, how many today still waste water and electricity despite multiple ads on media trying to focus on a prolonged usage of resources ? I'm sure the number is quite big. It should not surprise us if some day there is a limited quota for these commodities.

The bottomline is Not many start preparing for an exam atleast two days before it is scheduled.

At April 14, 2006 11:12 AM, Blogger tanu said...

no yar i didnt take it...but i liked it very much!

At April 14, 2006 11:45 AM, Blogger ravishing nymph said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At April 14, 2006 11:48 AM, Blogger ravishing nymph said...

i honestly think that this article was well called for... i think its alrite sometimes to speak out in words.. and nod in whispers that there is indeed something wrong with our sense of patriotism... it shudnt be confined to saying india is great, we are the only ones in the world with great culture (though not true) etc etc.. but be extended to using your potential to help india .. good one naresh!! u shud start a website.. with like "go india" or something !! im sure ur words are bound to move some one out there!!

At April 15, 2006 11:56 PM, Blogger Game Over said...

payback ?? in what form??how can it b given to actual reciever??I m talking abt smaller things...I am frightened when i think in whose hands my payback wd end in??4 years provide enough testimony for our efficient and logical admin. LOL...n coming to macro level..there r whole bunch of pkc's out there too...

At April 17, 2006 5:45 AM, Blogger laksh said...

ya..its true that we have to pay back the society, but how are we assured that our penny is not gonna be one among the crores spent on some pretty damsels dancing to the tunes of filmi music at some sports meet.....
ppl do think of all these..but we all lack a structural approach to the problem. hopefully the Bharat uday mission will bring the structural approach and will lay a platform for us to work upon for the upliftment of society.

At April 19, 2006 12:32 AM, Blogger anubhav said...

patriotism has not lost its meaning..its just we are quite unaware of philanthropic/social activities...of many others whom main stream media doesnt find interesting..there magazines like outlook though which are an exception...

and though i believe brain drain has been detrimental in some way,i dont see any problems in the foreign exchange we get from NRI's

as of our sluggishness after independence you might find this post of mine interesting..


At April 19, 2006 6:38 PM, Blogger Mayuri said...

hi Naresh! thanks for your comments..and ure blog is super!

happy writing!

At April 30, 2006 4:22 PM, Blogger Mayuri said...

hi Naresh!

Thank you for regularly checking out my blog! Well as for your current post, I would say do not lose faith, do what you can for India. Every drop counts, every contribution makes a difference.

There is the story of this old man who is walking along the beach one day, and since the ocean is stormy,hundreds of fish are getting washed ashore. This man picks up each fish that lies in his path, still struggling to survive, and throws it back into the sea. He does this for every live fish that has been washed ashore that he comes across. A passerby sees this man in action and says, 'Hey there are hundreds of fish out here struggling to live, do you think you will be able to save them all? What difference is your effort making?' The man smiles back and says, ' Well my effort sure makes a difference to that fish that I just threw back into the sea!'

So, in a nutshell, the point I am making is this: yes, be aware of life's challenges, but dont let them dishearten you into not putting in your share of effort-a little effort on our part makes someone's life a little better each day.

Any thoughts?! :)


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