A Letter From An Ordinary Indian. . .

I am an ordinary Indian. The archetypal common man! I work hard to make a living. My life is a daily fight ? a fight against the system while being an inconsequential part of the system! I was always told not to expect a lot. That such is life. So I pay my taxes regularly and honestly without asking what happens to them. I pay my obedience to anyone I am told to.cartoon_by_r_k_laxman

There are many things that don?t make sense to me but I do them anyway because everyone else does. I hear bombs go off on trains and I put my head down and take the next one. I hear people rioting on the streets and so I stay indoors. I accept being discriminated against all the time ? sometimes for being upper-caste, sometimes for being lower-caste; for coming from the northern or western or eastern or southern; for earning a lot of money and for not making enough; for being a Hindu, for being a Muslim, for not being anything at all! I am often told what to do and I do it; I am often told that I can?t do something and I don?t do it. I know I can be a lot more but I am always told not to expect a lot!

I have lived long enough to know that all this is not right. I have seen enough of the world to know that my country is not the best. But I dare not speak my mind lest I be branded unpatriotic. So I carry on as if nothing is wrong. I often talk proudly of India?s past glory. I always join in the ?India shining? orgy, whenever I am required to. I loudly cheer the Indian team whenever they play Cricket. I even click a few ?Likes? to help India?s flag wave high on Facebook. Because I am always told not to expect a lot!

But today, for once, I want to expect a little more from India, for India. For once, I want to see a nation free of all prejudices and discrimination; where I will be treated only as an Indian; not brahmin or dalit, Hindu or Muslim, Tamil or Punjabi. A nation where no one is superior or inferior by the virtue of his/her birth; where I will have as much a chance as this guy in a palace or that guy on a street. A nation where no one is a ?majority? and no one is a ?minority?. A nation free of all dogmas and taboos. A nation that is not scared to speak its mind, not scared to ask questions and where no one is persecuted for doing so.

I want an India where I can be what I want to be; an India that sets me free. An India where I will be valued for my intelligence and hard-work; nothing more, nothing less. An India where I am not told what to do and where I am not told that I can?t do something. An India that values and respects my life and liberty and is committed to protecting it if need be. An India that is both the envy and the inspiration of the world!

I know I am expecting a lot but I think I can make that happen. I don?t think I will live to see this India but I sure can make a start. Do you expect similar things from India? Do you think we can make this India happen? Do you want to join hands and give this India a shot? I am always told not to expect a lot but today, for once, I want to!