I mentioned recently about the hypocrisy evident in the celebrations of the independence of India when our celebrities who cannot even talk properly in Hindi resort to their accented English to convey their love for the country. But I believe a lot more people are guilty of that charge of hypocrisy in one way or another than would like to admit.
I fear I could be one of those.
Because even as I work for a Bermuda based company with majority of its operations in the US and day in and out work hard in the service of American insurance companies here in the insurance capital of the world so that the American corporates can make more and more money and the average American can get cheaper insurance premiums; I have my patriotic moments too. Away from the homeland for some time definitely makes those run-of-the-mill independence-day gimmicks/events special. So, I quenched my patriotic urges and lead my country to pride and joy vicariously by watching Chak de India, released in the marketing world’s auspicious week of the 60th anniversary of the independence of India from British rule. I also wished Happy Independence Day (or Happy 15th of August, as they would say in US) to some other desis and watched some patriotic clips on CNN-IBN.
But the toast of the week was the celebrations organized by the India Association of Greater Hartford in Hartford, CT. They organized a function where the Indian Tricolour was hoisted on the State Capitol building in presence of the Mayor of Hartford city. I thought the Indian flag would be on the side somwhere but I was truly surprised to see the flag on the main post. I have no idea how the association managed to convince the Connecticut government people, but apparently, they have been doing this for the last 5 years; so they know their stuff. Well, I am definitely not complaining! There were some patriotic songs and dance performed by children culminating in the hoisting of the Indian Flag and immediate recital of the National Anthem of India followed by a group of kids reciting the American National Anthem.
Many a young men lost their lives trying to hoist the Tricolour in their own motherland in the pre-1947 era and here I was, saluting the Indian Tricolour hoisted on a State Legislature building in US and singing the National Anthem. As long as I can remember the sacrifice of those men and women so that future generations could take India to greater heights; and as long as I get goose bumps when singing the National Anthem, I guess I can absolve myself of the hypocrisy charge.
I took the above photo of the Capitol building with the Tricolour. If you are interested in photography, you can check out my other photographs at Flickr.