Friday, January 13, 2012

Thoughts on the Plane from Portugal to the Netherlands

When travelling, you talk about your country a lot. Personally, I´m a bit tired of country talk. I wish I could refer to where I´m from by latitude and longitude, by the position of the sun, moon and stars, by the soil under my feet, the landscape that surrounds me, and the energy that influences me, people and non-people, material and non-material. At every point in time. Explaining where I am from and what I do is tiring me.

But I have realised many things from all the India-talk. The foremost being that India isn´t meant to be a country and it is indeed a sub-continent. My flatmate and close friend Radha is from the Northeast of India (Assam) and she´s brought up the feeling of un-belonging to India several times. When explaining why Hindi isn´t spoken all over India I have realized why Hindi isn´t spoken all over India. When explaining why I speak Native-like English, I´ve understood the extent of British influence. When explaining our education system, I´ve realised that it both is and isn´t our education system. When I saw how similar Goa is to Portugal, I can´t even describe the feeling because I am still feeling it.

All these discussions and many many more have led me to believe that we need to rethink how the government of India operates to be a collaborative, cooperative, and cultural unit. The government of India is also very young. Not even 65 years old. And in the forming-storming-norming-performing cycle, it is only at the beginning of the storm. And I think the youth of India (including me) need to realise this picture quite clearly. Realise who we were, who we are, and who we will become if we continue in a state of apathy and selfishness. And instead of being stuck in the definitions of others, for example democracy, capitalism, economics, the minds of India need to pull their act together and define something that suits our inherent senses and sensibilities, our intuitions and emotions, our peacefulness and vibrancy.

We have such nice hearts and souls and we are so wonderfully flexible. We need to see all that we have instead of continously measuring ourselves by Western standards. We need to see that we are quite good at natural formations and disordered order instead of destroying our flexibility of life through corporatism and capitalism and our fake democracy.

The number of my friends who have left India to go abroad is something that has disturbed me for the last 10 years. I feel if they had this picture of the life cycle of a country, perhaps their reasons would have been different. I´m not sad about globalization and our ability to kind-of choose a lifestyle that we want. I love that so perceived freedom. Diversity and mixing is amazing. Travellers will always travel. Seekers will always seek. Adapters will always adapt. I am sad about those who leave for better opportunities and begin a life of not-so-happiness because they haven´t found it but have made too much of an investment to keep looking. Especially since I know how much opportunity lies within our land itself. I am sad for those who are lost and aren´t moving in the direction of balance and centeredness.

The country of Portugal is in its so-called economic crisis. Isa, a Portuguese friend, had such an unexpected attitude to the gigantic increase in taxes effective a few days ago. She said, our minister said it will only last for 2 years and then it will all be ok. The country of Portugal is quite involved in the welfare of its citizens and Isa trusts her governance system. (I don't know if this is reflective of other people in Portugal, but that's not the focus :)) I have no such trust in the Indian governance system. I don´t trust that they have the best interest of its people in mind and I don´t trust the direction it is taking India in. Modern India is hell bent on forgetting Indian culture, doing more to undermine it than to enrich it. And our people (including me) and government is letting that happen more and more everyday. For what? What is the plan? Is there a plan? Why don´t I know it? How do I find it?

I have often thought that the distance between me and my government is so far that whatever I say or do won´t make a difference. For the first time today I have realised that the distance between me and the policy makers of my country need not be soo far. It need not be impossible. Now I just need to find out about how to make it possible.

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