Friday, August 26, 2016

What is Real Indian Pride?

True when it comes to a nation competing with the world the idea of national pride takes  a new meaning and height. Sports competitions are the best examples of this. Rio Olympics  just concluded and its highlights are still fresh in our mind.  In this case, the national pride we projected are in terms of the medal tally but of course, in that we weren't featured significantly. India is featured very low there. But that cannot be counted against India's national pride because in a competition there will be always excellent, average and poor. An opportunity to realise where one stands in terms of the strength and weakness is a matter of realism. 

But again how do you define pride?  This is the best definition I got for personal pride after a simple search: PRIDE Pride is Personal Responsibility In Delivering Excellence. There is also something confused as pride; arrogance and disregard for others to boost one's self-importance and ego. 

The above definition of PRIDE is applicable at the national level as well because a nation can be taken as a big person.

Now coming to the other Rio highlights; let us look at what news has been flashed across the world about the way Indian's sports officials, including Vijay Goel the sports minister of India, took responsibility vested on them in delivering excellence. Oh yes, he went to visit Rio, unlike sports ministers in other nations, but to embarrass the whole nation including the Indian Olympians. 

A few samples of this bitter pill the Indians talk about when they meet and feel ashamed, that is those who really understand the meaning of PRIDE. 

  • "The sports minister of India, Vijay Goel, who was accompanying Indian athletes to show his support and monitor requests of athletes, ended up almost losing his Olympics accreditation. The minister's  'entourage' without having accreditations to certain locations behaved in 'aggressive' and 'rude'manner when they were stopped by the officials to enter."
  • "The Indian Olympics contingent had two official medical staggers, Pawandeep Singh and Col R. S. Negi, who both were radiologists by profession and had no prior experience in sports medicine." 
  • "The two radiologists, coincidentally are related to Indian Olympic Association's (IOA) key members.  According to reports, O.P Jaisha's coach had to get into scuffle with the doctors to demand medical  attention after she fainted during the marathon."  

You can read more of this here

Well, one can argue, it's all over, the next Olympics is going to come only after four years, so why should we bother about these things anymore or doubt the sincerity of those who feel ashamed about these things.  

As individuals we feel helpless is also another way of seeing this. And it's where the officials and politicians who were responsible for causing this outright mayhem get scot free. And they will continue showing the same disregard riding the people and a nation thinking that is what they are appointed for.

One way to make a change is everyone who feels that PRIDE should talk about that to create its awareness. If none talks, we are helping to make it a forgotten thing and the show of ego will take precedence over it. 

It's good news that while I was concluding this, I saw this on Facebook; a petition started by Devyani Chaudhari, "a former table tennis player who represented India in 1980," addressing Mr Modi, the prime minister of India. She is asking the PM to take necessary steps so that the oncoming Asian games and the Commonwealth games both happening in 2018 can avoid the Rio embarrassments. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

One Indian Girl

We all heard it: Chethan Bhagath's One Indian Girl, broke all records in Amazon's pre-order history thirty minutes after going live on the platform beating Harry Potter and Cursed Child's Day 1. 

Chethan Bhagat is a best-selling Indian author. The banker -turned author's debut novel is 'Five Point Someone', and One Indian Girl is his eighth work; previously he has written  five fiction and two non-fiction.

The book is set to hit stands on first of October.

What makes the current work unique according to him is that it is about females about feminism. This is what he writes in his blog on this:"I wrote on feminism because it isn't an equal world for woman, and most don't realise it. As a writer, I want to highlight issues in society that affect a lot of people. Feminism affects us all." He adds that his desire to write about females has taken a long time because to write in a 'female first person' was a 'huge challenge'.  
In the book's teaser released last Friday, he hints what feminism we can expect from his book. This is how he pictures the Indian Girl's profile: "Hi, I'm Radhika Mehta and I'm getting married this week. I work in a top investment bank. Thank you for reading my crazy story. However, let me warn you. You may not like me too much. One, I make a lot of money. Two, I have an opinion on everything. Three, I have had sex before. Now, if I were a guy, you'd be cool with all this. Since I am a girl, these things don't really make me too likeable, do they?"

Okay, Chethan Bhagat's female protagonist is a North Indian girl, we can see that from her surname. If she were a Keralite, I wonder whether the first reason in the list would have mattered, but certainly the other two. And for that matter, I wonder, how a parallel story if ever written in Malayalam (not a translation) be received by us?  

Just a thought. 

Those who want to read his debut novel, Five Point Someone can be freely downloaded from the link