Citizen of the world..!
After you’ve smiled or laughed out loud, think how true this is. We have a land called India, but no Indians. On my last visit to the US, I was walking down the streets of New York with a friend and quite enjoyed wishing and saying hi to all who were passing by, “Friendly country!” I said. “Yeah, but watch when you see an Indian!” I waited and soon came across an Indian couple. I looked at them, and then watched astonished as they put their heads down and passed me by.
“Why?” I asked. “Because they were Punjabi’s and they saw you weren’t one!” It could have been a Gujarati or Malayali for all you know, but if you were not one of their own, you were nobody to them. And this is why regional parties flourish, because we don’t think of ourselves as a country, in our minds we are still small states, and they exploit this feeling! Every now and then I hear Narendra Modi, saying that, ‘the people of Gujarat’ have been humiliated or insulted. “Hey Mr Modi, a country called India is more humiliated that you think you are different from her!”We belong to our country first and foremost, and then comes our language and religion, if at all. I remember a policeman coming to my house and after writing down the relevant information, he asked, “What religion are you?” “That’s not your business!”
I replied, “I’m an Indian and that’s all that should matter to you!” To those of you all who read this column in other countries, the same applies to you; you belong to your motherland, so that visitors to your country can go back saying, “Yes I met Indians, I met Bangladeshis and Pakistanis!” And one day I hope, we will even go a step farther and say, “I am a citizen of the World..!”