Friday, December 16, 2005

A PATRIOT (Fiction)

I was born a Pakistani but happened to live in India since childhood
because of the Great Partition. My family members have never regretted the choice made, as life in India has been quite comfortable for us. Even in those days of tumult that followed the great Partition, neither our existence here in India, nor our faith, nor our loyalty was questioned. Neither was our patriotism. But now, with the passage of time there is a drastic change in people. This I realized when recently, I was asked to define which country I belonged to. I wondered why, but people told me that my very existence here was a threat unless I made it clear as to which country I support. I did not understand why my existence in the locality should trouble them when I am in no way connected to Osama Bin Laden and also very far away from the Kashmir Issue. They would not listen. When I actually understood what they were asking, it came as a shock to me. They were asking me to prove my patriotism. Am I a patriot? I never thought about it. But then, I was forced to think about my relation with the place I have lived so far and the place I was born.

Yes, I have been living in India benefiting from all the facilities, social, political and educational that the government of India has unquestionably provided me. I have enjoyed all the security it has provided me and made use of its resources for my development. I know and understand the need to express my loyalty to this country and I am ready to offer my services to it, whenever required. If one would want to give this the name of patriotism, then so be it.

But I cannot deny the idea that I would have had all these privileges even if I had been in Pakistan. Moreover, I was born in that country and my relatives still live there.

Now, if I am asked to support and render my services to only one of these places, which one should I choose? And, after choosing one of these places, will I still be considered a patriot?

These thoughts I suppose, have occupied the minds of many a Muslim, who are in a situation mentioned above, throughout the country. Will future India relieve them of these thoughts?


indscribe said...

I find your latest piece about India and Pakistan very interesting and makes me curious. But I guess that is how the system works. I often see news items about people who migrated to India decades ago being harassed like some Sindhi ayurvedic practitioners in Indore recently.
As Nida Fazli said,
Apni marzi se kahan apne safar ke ham hain/ Rukh hawaon ka hai jidhar wahan ke hum hain

aadarsh said...

Why dont we question the beliefs of people who question our patriotism?

What is patriotism? It is but a goofed up idea that people consider a VIRTUE!

If we looked at the earth like how Kalpana Chawla did from the space, We would but see one little spec in a huge huge Vacuum. Its time we raised our levels of perception and its time we stop limiting our beliefs by imaginary boundaries drawn on an otherwise unbounded earth!!!!

Cheers Rekha ! Keep Blogging!!!!

Vijender said...

if the definition of patriotism goes as to which country a person would serve, then in my view, the Indian muslims should without doubt serve India. Having born in Pakistan with forefathers belonging there would definitely arouse passions, but when it comes to contribution, I feel that one must oblige the services and facilities provided by the new motherland.

Hence if they are grateful for what they receive, Indian Muslims should feel that they are now
Indians and contribute their best for as long as they harbour the dual-minded impression of being
Indian or Pakistani, they cannot do justice to either country.

Gaurav said...

Who gives a right question someone's patriotism, that too just because of the person's religion ? Its not only foolish but unfair to question someone's loyality in this manner.

Sameer Jain said...

Dissident comment - People belonging to a certain religion burst fire crackers in Mumbai when India lost out to Pakistan during the world cup. There will always be rotten eggs ... if we look at these rotten eggs as a representation of the society, then you know where the society is headed to. Fact is, in India, there are more Pappu Kalani's in the parliament than Manmohan Singhs.