I have fond memories of the Republic Day function at my school. We used to have a parade on a huge ground and I always took part. It was always a fun day for us students and once it was over, all us students would hang out together.
I love going for the flag hoisting every Republic Day. I also enjoy listening to patriotic Bollywood songs that are usually played on this day. In fact, in the US, before any Indian community function begins, India’s national anthem is played for the NRI audience.
Speaking about my thoughts on India today, we are a nation in turmoil and when there is a conflict of emotions, it’s always wise to take the middle path. In conflict, reason and logic are allies for a peaceful outcome. We need to take the path of least resistance and non-violence to be able to affect change smartly and wisely.
I must say, I don’t really have an ideal image of India. Idealism in the real world of kalyug is a fool’s pursuit. Mysticism, on the other hand, is a practical and pragmatic approach to the problems of a complicated and varied population. I hope that we Indians recognise ourselves as the forerunners of a spiritual movement on earth. This was the land of many ancient yogis, mystics, prophets, seers, peers and paigambars. Today, however, we have lost touch with that mystical and real spiritual part of ourselves; we have become too materially-driven. Thus there is corruption, dogmatic religious fanaticism, blind egocentricity and hence anarchy. So mysticism, not idealism, will bring back the days of glory for this subcontinent… as it once was when this land was the cradle of the saints and mystics, and there were riverbeds lined with gold.
Too much left-brained machismo is at play these days, it’s perhaps time for an intuitive and perceptive, more feminine approach to life… but with compassionate disciplinary strength. It's okay to sometimes err on the side of caution.
Patriotism is self-acceptance of a national identity; this is beneath the superior identity of being a member of the human race. Above these two identities, is the supreme identity of being a member of a conglomerate of sentient beings, our cosmic identity. Begin always with your cosmic identity; the rest usually falls into place beautifully.
— Co-ordinated by Anju Warrier
Tanushree Dutta is an actress who is seen as a catalyst of the MeToo movement in India.