Maybe Money is everything

Being a 3rd year student of engineering, I went expectantly into my college's worldclass auditorium expecting an early opener before placements. Tech Mahindra had come over for a Pre-Placement talk(PPT, not a boring power-point presentation guys, that would be *.ppt). We had two people who were working with the company, who had come over and were set to give us a talk.

As the audi started filling in, my senses started getting stronger. They showed us a video that profiled the company for us. It was an interesting one. Especially the snippets from the graduates who have been working in Pune was good(the female workers were interviewed more for obvious reasons). However, the typical Indian fallout happened once the video was showcased.

The madam herself talked about whether we were interested in knowing anything else, but THE pay package. It is obvious that details and work notifications have become second to monetary attractions. I guess money matters a lot to everybody. What was interesting was that people did ask questions pertaining to what kind of training would be done, what work would the selected people do and how the selection process would work, apart from other things.

However, the corporates are clever, aren't they ? The madam announced the pay package in the end and the crowd was all hoo-hoo once she broadcasted her frequency of voice containing a carrier message - "2.9 lakhs per annum".

After that, everyone was more interested in leaving the hall than making their seats warmer. Maybe, money is everything.

Hockey's Crisis

LET ME START off by telling you all, I am a pretty recent fan of Indian hockey. I have been taking consistent interest in hockey only in the last few years. However, the game is clearly in our blood. Hockey is India’s pride and the first real sport in which Dhyan Chand and company, in the good old days of the 1930s, won our first Olympic gold medals. Since then, the game has been called the national game. However, that fact is very much a statistical dilemma. Unofficially, hockey is not our national sport. Due to the overtures of cricket, hockey has had a strange and sudden decline (more characteristically defined by our 11th place WC finish). Let me tell you that Indian hockey is not at all short of heroes. Gagan Ajit Singh remains one of the world’s most flamboyant and dynamic center/left forwards today while skipper Dilip Tirkey is a world-class defender who is rock solid in the Indian defence. Right-sided player Arjun Halappa is one of the most explosive players in hockey today while Viren Rasquinha’s operations in defensive midfield are the envy of the world.However, the Indian public is becoming highly non-appreciative of this. It is so unfair that cricket, despite the more than occasional poor performances, garners the same interest while hockey plummeting to the shallows has caused a complete withdrawal of interest from Indian fans.India does have Sachin Tendulkar. But India also has Dhanraj Pillay and some of the others mentioned before. We also have the privilege of having one of the greatest to dribble with the willow, Dhyan Chand, as part of our glorious pre-Independence history in hockey.Hockey rocks guys. Start watching India’s performances, encourage your friends, and bring it in your day-to-day chats, even if it comes at the cost of Bollywood and cricket gossip. These are some of the ways you can make hockey a part of our culture once again. Moreover, you don’t have to look around. Hockey is in you. It is a part of our red blood cells. For once, it is our national game.

Neo Patriotism

The undying love and respect for one’s national identity is probably how the term patriotism can best be defined. But we may well be past the stage of this concept. Patriotism has become a thing of the past. The major reasons for this could be the transition from colonies to countries, the independence of peoples all over the world and probably a fixed definition of land, labour and reason in living ones life. The concept is outdated and no longer holds parity with today’s globalised world. Globalisation, as a matter of fact, has played a huge part in the steady downfall of patriotism. It no longer matters whether you are using indigenous consumer items or foreign-bred goods.

After a lot of mind exercises and a few brainstorming sessions, you come to the conclusion that the country and the world, in general, need a new concept to proceed with living efficiently and smartly. This changes the original concept of patriotism to neo-patriotism, which can be defined as an attitude that a person should develop in which he or she does not flaunt the love and respect for his national identity but continues to work for it without eyeing any recognition incentives. Patriotism often promoted people to become heroes. But we are well past that age and the heroes today no longer merit the recognition of working for the progress of the nation. Today’s heroes are fake, unwanted and undeserving of the recognition they carry and can certainly not be looked upon as idols who set the mental keenness in our lives. They are bound to the entertainment industry, an industry which provides quick satisfaction to the body and the soul but has no soul of it’s own. Neo-patriotism is composed of all those small and minute tasks that a person can perform with the intent of making the nation a better place. The job may be as small as disposing a chocolate wrapper into a proper, regularly cleaned dustbin and keeping that one square-foot area a little cleaner. Or it may be important, as refusing a bribe someone pays to get some work done.

There is a lot we could learn from the western civilization. The first and foremost thing we need to learn from them is ego. Yes, ego. To begin with we need to develop ego. Ego will help us appreciate the country and will demand us to stand up for it wherever and whenever asked to or desired for. You may have noticed that people in India usually bring down the reputation of the nation crashing down to the earth with a thud so hard that it becomes unbearable to listen to them. Every product of this country will often say "Yeh logo ko dekho aur apne India-wale ko dekho. Kab sudhrega India ?", without realising one fair bit that the person is as big a culprit of the same state he or she is referring to.

Ego will make us to stand up everytime. Ego will help us stare face to face with any race, breed or colour. What is more ridiculous is that we seek controversy in things, which we are even good at, and cricket is a great example. The country has become so weird and inexplicable that we want to see problems in success also. Cricket has had a huge impact on our lives. But the talk around the town is fast becoming so negative that even if we win the World Cup for this game, people are likely to doubt the very efforts made by the players, forgetting that they are one of their own.

The second thing we need to do is develop a very clean conscience. The lack of a clear conscience has led the people of the nation to believe that they are ethically weak. We resort to evils like dishonesty, bribery, scams and duping with as much determination and confidence as Sachin Tendulkar, when he steps out on the cricket pitch. No longer are we scared of going to any extent to get our work done or add some extra weight to our pockets. It is true that democracy has made us very complacent but we need to be morally stronger and mentally firm if we are to clear out these evils from society.

The biggest change that we need to bring in our lives is to stop flaunting our identity. Stop loving the country blindfolded unless you love it in the first place. Stop giving heed to the hypocrisy that works 24 by 7 around the nation, churning out a lot of meaning and reason from our lives. Keep everything that the nation considers sacred under wraps. Stop flaunting the tricolour everywhere. Stop buying the five rupees flags and stop this fake and forcible cry "Mera Bharat Mahan" because deep inside you know that there is no meaning, no reason to action in vacuum. In short, stop being that kind of patriotic who speaks more and does less, one who will buy a five rupees flag and overlook his duties. It is high time we mature beyond the need of being just patriotic. We know it takes a lot more than just being patriotic if we are to see the country become a leading power. Bharat is never going to be Mahan just by speaking those three words. Victory will not be ours by just raising the frequency of shouting "Jai Hind". It is working towards those aspects that matter. And even if we do not make it in the end, the satisfaction gained from our efforts will coincide over any negativity. Any individual is capable of blurting out speeches on "undying love for the nation". A difference is made only when the person does something in kind and in form.

Neo-patriotism is the new age patriotism. and the youth could be at the forefront of this concept. Efforts like Rang De Basanti do go a long way, but a movie can never make that big a difference. Every single citizen has to realize. Only with realisation will we proper understanding and with proper understanding the breadth of our knowledge will increase. With knowledge, we will get ability. And ability will ensure work. Work, and only work, will pave the way for the success of the nation. Working with an inclination of making a difference to the nation. Working so hard that every drop of sweat from your skin that falls on the earth will reap such a rewarding harvest that we may become more self-sufficient that any other nation.

Start working now, even if you are slow, dream big and work hard. Do small tasks but ensure they have huge impacts. All of us can play a role. All of us can make a difference. All of us may not be special. But who wants to be special if a life has been lived clean. The question is not whether we are capable of going all the way. The question is whether we are determined to pursue our goals in relation with the time and the demands. What we need is spiritual development of the highest order. What we need is a radical transformation of attitude, morals and conscience. What we need is nationalistic ego. Who knows, we may never need heroes to set examples. You could be your own hero.