This is a blues Monday, and methinks it’s not good for a look at Malaysia for a MERDEKA post as the blues may affect my psyche and the outcome would not be idealistically balanced, which will be among a newshound’s meanest regrets; however, it’s relevant and beneficial if we look at an elder brother, INDIA, who just celebrated its 60th anniversary of Independence from our Colonial masters, the Brits. Desi was lucky to enjoy a considerate nephew’s recent sojourn to India on a work assignment, returning with a bundle of India’s celebrated English publications of exquisite English. We once ranked up there (I was tempted to use ‘dare’ but it being a serious contemplation, and on pain I be accused of being a mere karaoke singer-blogger! I desist:)) with India, and neighbour Singapore, in international standing as far as mastery of the “white masters’ lingo” was concerned, but alas, less than 15 years after 1957, politics ruined a large part of a rich heritage. Sad.
Mad, but some misguided nationalists are glad.
Okay, back to Abe’s gift – he knows Desi as a book collector and for the Voice’ benefit, I take this seriously -- and about collecting butterflies like cyber shepherds and aMore buxomy pals, that’s just pastime, and here past means the opposite of now and the future!
Back to serious mode, can we be humble to learn from India, the next economic power after China, with the USA’s super-deficit budget-dependent economy faltering. Again, some misguided Malaysians like to say NegaraKu is “Semuanya okay – tengoklah, bandingkan dengan Zimbabwe, Latin America, kita Okay!” when we should always benchmark against the top of the world, so that when we aim for the sky, at least we land on the tree top, not flat on the ground.
From the outset, let Desi record the greatest gratitude to India Today's bosses in a unilateral assumption that it’s okay to quote liberally from the esteemed news magazine for sharing at my Blog which is 100% non-profit though it’s leaning towards a political party trying to form an alternative coalition for the Rakyat’s options for a more progressive Government in this soon-to-be-50 nation. If any sweet suit is receivable, I’ll send on the bill to Blog House to see if Prez Rockybru and his coterie of lawyers would handle. Testing the waters again, ah, news hounddog wagging its wet-in-the-ears tale...
Titled “What Unites India”, the INDIA TODAY edition of August 20, 2007,-- which is now my collector’s item as it is an INDEPENDENCE DAY SPECIAL going for 20million! – I will extract some key notes to share with my EsteemedReaders so that when you adjourn for lunch or tea, long and lingering, spare some space in thy burgeoning tummy for food for thought. Eat healthy, live wealthy and die with a smile on your face doing the right thing for NegaraKu. Forget the rap, jest wrapped up in a new initiative called PELITAR. If you must know in greater detail what Pelitar means besides the Legacy and Inspiration of Tunku Abdul Rahman surf to initiator’s abode, harisibrahim.blogspot.com.
First off, here’s just one paragraph, in closing wan, from AROON PURIE, the magazine’s editor-in-chief:
‘What Unites India?’ is a fascinating question because, as you will find from this issue, there was no one answer. Everyone has their own hypothesis. Very much like India, where everyone has an opinion but we still call ourselves Indians. I think writer Patrick French puts it well when he says, “What unites India today is a sense of possibility.” Jai Hind.
The first Essay by S. PRASANNARAJAN has this Intro:
Freedom abhors perfection. In the history of nations, it is
A narrative in which idealism is in combat with ideology, and the
Romance of struggle gives in to the reality of incompatibility. Old
Demons in tattered but still colourful clothes of ethnicity and
Tribalism have the habit of gate-crashing the freedom party.
Hate Rearmed patrols the liberated streets. In the evening of the
Last century, when the idyll of communism was shattered, when
The Lie was finaly laid to rest, we saw how the poignancy of free-
Dom was accompanied by the agony of separation. Those were
The days when the punsters of journalism could stretch their
Creativity, raning from Mikhalangelo (Gorbachev) to Check-
O-Slavakia. The story of 1989, Europe’s annus mirabilis, would
Outgrow the beauty of the Magic Lantern and the Second Prague Spring.
In Central Europe, the phraseology of liberation would be expanded to
include "the Second Holocausr" and "ethnic cleansing". Today, as
Mesopotamia stages the new century's passion play of freedom, we know
the world hasn't gone too far. Freedom divides the mind, and it kills.
PATRICK FRENCH, in another Essay titled
The Power of POSSIBILITY,
writes on the main thesis of
HOW A SHARED SENSE OF IDENTITY AND
AN EXTREME FORM OF DEMOCRACY
KEEP ALIVE A COUNTRY WHERE THE
NATIONAL PROJECT IS NOT A BAD IDEA.
“Until the 19th century, the idea of India was vague – although it became politically necessary to create it in hindsight, and invoke the emperor Ashoka with his pillar and wheel. In revious times, a person owed loyalty to little beyond an extended family, a place, or perhaps a profession. Today, when national identity is so strong, it is easy to forget the extent to which Indianness is a recent creation. Once the British had conquered territory and painted the map rd, it became easier to see what needed to be opposed. A common sense of pride and purpose grew, with khadi as the first truly pan-Indian symbol. The freedom movement evicted the alien rulers easily compared to the long and bloody battles for nationhood elsewhere in the world, giving an optimistic momentum that inspired the strugglesof other occupied people.
“Being Indian is a powerful identity, internationally recognized in a way that being, say, Burkinabe, is not. The days when an ambitious person had to try to escape overseas are long gone; instead, successful businessmen return in the hope of making money and rediscovering a land they had lost. Indians who live abroad like to exist on their own terms in a sate of suspended animation, going to each other’s weddings and family parties, imagining they are still at home.
“The economic boost of the last ten years has engineered a propulsion that has changed the way the Indians think about themselves. They now have a chance to shape their destiny.”
“Schoolchildren are taught that the country comes before everything else. It is a kind of brainwashing, but it has been remarkably effective, and underpins India’s unity.”
DESIDERATA: Last but not least, a short on political power.
Just a couple of quotes as a telescopic zeroing on the core that matters. Maybe Malaysian politicians must take note and ponder.
In the Essay on “United We RULE”, by PRABHU CHAWLA
IT IS NOT POLITICAL CONVICTION
THAT KEEPS OUR RULING CLASS
TOGETHER BUT IDEOLOGICAL
OPPORTUNISM DICTATED BY THE
EXIGENCIES OF POWER
“India remains united politically as well as geographically
because our power elite had mastered the art of mergers and acquisitions
much before India Inc did."