In Search of India – Part 4: Back to the Future

The title of this blog “In Search of India” is an allusion to “Discovery of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru (1st Prime Minister of India). He found it but I’m still searching. This is the last of the series.

It’s been a while since Part 3 was published. Catching up on Term 3 and catching breath happened in between. But since we’re heading into China soon, thought it should be done in a hurry before I work on the “video” and other stuff in between.

There were a lot of discussions during our Term 3 residency about India’s future. But the one thing that stayed with me was the quote from Hari Rajagopalachari (who I thought was the best speaker during out Delhi Residency) saying that India is like the bumble bee in the quote:

“Aerodynamically, the bumble bee shouldn’t be able to fly, but the bumble bee doesn’t know it, so it goes on flying anyway”

In Search of India – Part 3: Of Gods, Kings, Cricketers and Movie-stars

The title of this blog “In Search of India” is an allusion to “Discovery of India” by Jawaharlal Nehru (1st Prime Minister of India). He found it but I’m still searching. This is Part 3 of 4.

It’s been a while since Part 2 was published – I had it drafted but was unable to finish it. But a headline in today’s paper nicely captured the theme I wanted to write about and spurred me into action.
cricketer sachin 1000 runs
Just to give a context to what these headlines are screaming about – the cricketer above is Sachin Tendulkar from India who hit 200 runs in a match against South Africa yesterday (Feb 24, 2010). This is a score that has so far been unsurpassed – especially considering that 200 runs is often the average score made by a cricket team in a cricket match (1 day version).

Considering the theme of my early posts about India being a land affected by elements, the people here have largely been dependent on authority figures to administer the affairs of the land (could be the cause for authority ranking figuring high in India). This made it very easy for India to have Kingdoms – in fact, on Independence the total count of princely states in India totaled to about 500 odd. The king being the great benefactor was revered by the people to the point of being treated as Gods (not surprisingly enough, some of the Gods in Hinduism were Kings). In fact, I’m reminded of a John Huston movie “The Man Who Would Be King” (starring Sean Connery and Michael Caine; based on a story by Rudyard Kipling) about 2 British soldiers in India who set out to become Kings.

Of course, English and Portuguese never got the stature of Gods and neither did any of the remaining kings of India (who pretty much lost all their power and wealth to the Indian government) – a price for betraying the Indian people by supporting BrItish Raj, I suppose.

So with independence of India, there was a job opening for the role of “God”. And it was surprising ease that Movie stars and Cricketers (note the first letter in capital (sic), like in “God”) took on this mantle.

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