This post is in lieu of comments that I intended to pass elsewhere.
When we talk about our country; there are two types of viewpoints that originate.
1. Bash India. Crib and crib
2. Go gaga over what all has been achieved; however irrelevant that might be.
Let me give some examples.
Sunita Williams is an American. She is married to an American. Her father is from India and mother from Slovenia. She is not even an Indian origin; she is just half-Indian origin. We took so much pride in her achievement. How did India contribute to her success? Did India provide her any sort of help to achieve? How was it ever part of her life except for the fact that her dad was from India who migrated to the States long ago. Why do we own and celebrate someone else's achievement as ours?
Lets take Bobby Jindal. He made it very clear that he does not belong to or relate to India in any way. He showed his loyalty to his motherland(USA) when he spoke against outsourcing of jobs. He even mangled his own brother's Indian name during an acceptance speech. But we in this country took pride when he was elected the governor of Louisiana.
What are we proud of? What does Bobby Jindal stand for with respect to India. Our pride is so misplaced.
Now few folks out there are going to call me unpatriotic. But is this patriotism?
Let me digress from these lines a bit. We as a nation have a funny idea about achievement. Should we be proud of McDonalds having arrived in India? Is that a sign of progress? If so, is Pakistan a successful nation as well?
We cannot tolerate if someone give us a piece of our own reality. Our traffic? Our roads? Electricity? Public transport? Public rest room facility? Policies? Regulations? Our country still follows reservation based on religion and caste. Have we thought about making reservations for physically challenged? In buildings? On buses? On trains? Do we value life? Have we thought about their inconvenience and made facilities?
These are not material comforts or luxuries; but bare necessities. When would these problems be addressed? India is global, attractive for investments and blah..blah..blah...
An average Indian works hard to earn his living and all he dreams is a good life. How many of us enjoy good life even after doing our duties? A commute to home and office is a struggle; getting a work done from a government office is a struggle.
We take pride in all those hypothetical number of people working in NASA or the number of people working in Microsoft and talk at lengths about the global Indian diaspora. Thats individual success story. What about the country? Do we need to be proud that a branded jeans cost Rs.3000? You can get a stomach filling apple pie for $0.55 in USA, what can you get for a rupee in India? I am not comparing dollar and rupee but just giving an idea of the purchasing power. $0.55 is minuscule if you take an hourly wage of $10 on an average for a maid or housekeeping cleaner.
We are reeling under inflation. How many people here can happily fill their tummy 3 times a day? Go to a Subway and order a Veg sandwich. You have to shell out Rs 80. How many Indians struggle to even earn half of Rs 80 each day.
One can always point out the better infrastructure, better connectivity and better standard of living. One could always say; all is not bad; we have improved. I would say; if not even this; what is the use of being called one of the oldest and greatest civilization of the world?
Nepotism in politics, bribery, corruption, red tape, money laundering, inequality at all levels.....................................I can go on.
Do you enjoy a decent standard of living?
Is your life valued?
Why do so many people still dream to migrate to the West even when our country is performing good economically?
If someone talks the truth; lets not brand them unpatriotic just because you are a nationalist. Also dont mistake your nationalism for patriotism :-)