India Resurgent and Shining

16 08 2007

15th August, 2007. This year had been a momentous year for thoseThe Tricolour who were historically aligned and those who were not much.This year marked 60th year of new India and 150th year of the war of IndianIndependence. In many ways common Indians had more reasons to celebrate. With the rise of Indian economic muscle, laurels have come dime a dozen. So the once confidence lacking mass has drank the wine of economic development so much that it has got, to put it in polite terms, tipsy. With cricket being back in the winning strides, world’s steel being in Indians’ hands, Sensex going big guns( not withstanding the recent slump in trading sessions following global cues, thats what the economists say), its last President being one of the foremost eminent rocket scientist and its present Prime Minister being a clean imaged economist intelligentsia, Indians are indeed feeling confident. But deep behind this confidence is a confusion when one looks at the distant past, the not so distant past and the future. Conservative Indians are finding it difficult to find their foothold in the scheme of things. Change, they knew,in fact we all knew to be the only thing permanent in life,but its not the wind of change thats flowing. More appropriately a blizzard of change.As for me, I am a neo-Indianite, listening to K.K and Green Day in equal measure, listening to Mettallica and envying those who can sing the Indian songs with a distinct baritone (more like SPB). I have grown not among the riches
with a spoon of silver shoved into my mouth but a normal, upper middle class family with my father going to office regularly and his sons bunking schools in the wake of exams.
People of my generation,and those of my immediate seniors, the middle 20’s, and the early 30’s have much to wonder about in these times.When we were born we were still used to seeing ads in household magazines in black and white, dots matrix type printed, never heard of a computer, knew Apple is a fruit to be eaten and not something to die for,
knew American chocolates were great and Australian even better(Swiss, never heard of it). India plays cricket and hockey in equal measure and nobody called Amritraj. Bjorn Borg plays good,but McEnroe is haughtily charming at best. Ambassador means you are rich and anything else on wheels mean you have enough black money to overlook Ambassador. BMW, is what your American cousins drive, and a Chevrolet is what they dream to drive. Gaurav Kapoor is the chocolate boy hero and Jitender is for the masses. Love story with triangles thrown in for a good measure, and jingoistic dialogues being rote memorised. USA is a dream place, yet capitalists are hated. Life was good, peaceful and calm for those who managed to get hold of a job, and humiliating for those who cannot.
And then suddely something happened, one sardar came and told we can also be rich.
– “Rich what? Rich, you mean with green notes?”
– “Oh yeah! I mean wealthy and infinitely better.”
-“Hey Surd,you might be joking dude,we Indians get wealthy the easy way, we inherit it.”
-“No, no those days are gone, you see people will get more jobs”
-“Show me then”

That was 1991, you know and then something happened which still haunts us and ashames us.That was a year later. Retaliation took place and hundreds dies and got wounded. Nation was shocked and stunned. That was 1993,March to be precise. A string of corrupt and unstable governments, rising terrorism and insurgency, well Indians got it all. Then came a government a little better than the previous one, but dipped in the history of the event which caused immense embarrasement. Surprisngly it did more good ,than we saw in our entire lives. At those times, our dear old Surd’s words were turning into reality and  we were starting to hesitatingly believing it.bnr-indiashinng.gif
Quaker and Kelloggs came to our breakfast tables,Ford on our roads and Backstreet Boys in our minds. Angelina Jolie in our dreams and Aishwarya broke with Salman. Then politics changed winds and the Surd’s government came into power.
We respectfully this time gave him a chance, and he did keep his achkan clean . West started looking to us as a market( it gives me a faint idea how apparently we got ‘commoditised’) and we became their customers.
And when we people look back, we get astonished, rub our eyes and in an Americanised English picked on its way to liberalisation, we say “Gosh, man, Surd, oops Mr. PM…you were bloody right, we are gonna be the powers of tomorrow!”

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