I’m sick of this India that is being paraded around the media today.
Sick of fascinated white people coming here with their funny accents, reddened faces, dirty footwear and cameras.
Sick of the same people taking a select few photos and going back home and expounding to more fascinated white people about the “life-altering” experience they had while visiting my country.
Sick of these people telling everyone – such a beautiful country, but so much poverty.
Sick of all the TV commercials made by Indians and aired on Indian television about the fact that every Indian child is poor and suffering and needs Rs.X to live to see another day.
Sick of the Incredible India tourist attraction scheme.
Sick of a national newspaper using its front page to talk about this country of “contradictions” and then proceeding to tell all potential participants in a contest to explore the theme of Asli Bharat – the unshining India with the beggars and drains and whatnot. (The Times of India, dated February 3. Read the specs of the contest. The online version doesn’t link directly…)
All this makes me wonder if I live in some alternate universe.
Do I even belong in the same country as all these poor and underfed people? What about me and all the other Indians like me? The ones who speak English and don’t say pisa for pizza. What about us?
In fact, we’re so insignificant that the politicians don’t ask us to vote for them. No one takes us seriously. All we have to do is work enough to push up the per capita income to around Rs49,990 something. We need to be around to ensure that MNCs are investing. We need to work to ensure that the GDP is in order. We need to run the posh-looking businesses so people can say this is a prospering country. We need to be around for the Incredible India campaign. We need to be around so people can call India a country of contradictions where people wear their Cavalli's with the same elan as the shopowner lady wears her saree.
Pain and torture make for better drama and add effect, I know that. But what the fuck is it with selling ourselves short? I don’t get it.
I have only one question though, is India the only beautiful country with poor and underfed and homeless people? Are we the only country where suffering is the subject of our illiterate and idiotic national-level contests?
Sometimes, happiness sells. Ask the damn chocolate makers!