Thursday, November 14, 2013

The question of identity


Identity : of a nation, of an individual....that elusive, inexplicable and highly superficial entity ! What is it after all ? Apart from being a part-fantasy, part wish-fulfillment tool, conceived by us from an amalgamation of selective facts and long-standing myths !!
And what is so powerful about the very notion of 'identity' that we believe in it without any qualms, any doubts ? Is there a more primeval, evolutionary basis for our belief in 'having an identity' ?
The more one delves deeper into these questions, the more convoluted it becomes....


Kritika Pandey's views:

Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s lecture on how the invisible fourth lion on the National Emblem, the unacknowledged fourth color on the ‘Tri-Color’ National Flag, the omitted agony of India from the original song by Tagore before it became the National Anthem, and the excluded secret pain of Iqbal from the National Song as we know it today, left me with unanswered questions ( Which is a very good thing. So much to look forward to )

Identity is a rather complicated thing, because we don’t shape our identities solely on our own. India could think of itself in a certain way, the world could think of India in another way, and yet, both of these views can be completely different from what the world thinks that India thinks of itself. But at the end of the day, what do debates around nomenclature choices of India, Bharat and Hindustan essentially change, and how much, when there is always someone out there who thinks of you the way he does, whether or not you prefer to be thought of in that way? Because you can change the way you look at yourself, but can you really change the way you want to be looked at?

This applies not just to India as against the world outside, but to the many different Indias against each other. To every individual against every other individual. Come to think of it, it’s no surprise that a nation battles with identities torn between India, Bharat and Hindustan every day. Because the nation is made up of people like you and me. And you and me relentlessly prove that Iqbal’s secret pain is not so secret, after all. It finds its way into every heart that beats.

Because ''Iqbaal'' koi marham apna nahin jahaaN mein / maloom kya kisi ko dard e nihaaN hamara?”

This is a question that cannot, and should not, exist all by itself. It commands communal deliberation. Which is why I chose to go back my long lost When-In-Doubt-Post-On-Facebook mode for once.