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There is something about pride being the Devil’s favourite sin. But what Mephistopheles hopes to thrive on as per the instructions of Lucifer is rather that pride that a man or woman has on oneself and that selfishness which boosts vanity; it is what the Devil always roots for in man among the Seven Deadly Sins. It is from the lack of care for the other that the pride arises, and it has made man fall beneath the abyss, just like Christopher Marlowe had shown us with the example of Doctor Faustus in a tragic story of human devastation.
With a population that goes above a hundred crores and having a wonderfully diverse culture, an outsider will always have the tendency to think that India is not one – but that is not true. We are one, and this unity among ourselves is rather boosted by the diversity that is there. We actually love the customs of others and respect it, and there lies the pride which extends to the one who is seemingly outside one’s culture, but still part of one’s own extended family. There are exceptions, but considering our population, they are very few. It is a strong message for the outside world.
Here comes the question of being proud, yet again. Yes, we have the right to be proud about our nation, and it is entirely different from being proud of oneself boosting that vanity. This right to be proud is something that we gain by doing something for the nation and keeping its traditions alive rather than something that comes up only when Indian cricket team wins the World Cup or as the means to abuse people from other countries. You are part of a nation by birth, which is rather the accident and you earn the right to be part of the nation when you do what is good for your country. Here, we can see that it includes people who are different from oneself, coming from different cultures.
I remember what I was told when I was a child – that India is a lot like Europe, but we have always had people who had chosen to stay close to each other despite having different languages, religions, cultures and traditions. It is something that would have been entirely difficult at the early times, but has been managed since 1947. We have been one nation of different people who have respected and celebrated our differences like no other nation. It is a message that India has for the world, to respect the other, and it is a message that India should always carry. It is that message that the majority of Indians have had with them.
Lufthansa does portray the Indian side as they could, but the fact remains that India is not just the land of Bollywood, Namaste and one kind of food. India has strong movie industries in the South, with Tamil movies having a huge fan following (I remember seeing the posters of Anniyan at parts of Malaysia), and there are Malayalam movies always coming up with the intellectually superior stuff plus there are also the strong Telugu and Kannada movie industries. Cinema of West Bengal always had my attention, and the film-making occurs in rather too many languages for someone from another nation.
And in the case of namaste, there can also be namaskaram, vanakkam, namaskar and many others changing throughout the nation. At the same time, the diversity of food is rather mouth-watering, and not something to worry about. This existence and the respect for diversity is something that India can give to the rest of the world. There is the message of peaceful co-existence and harmony is something that some part of the world does seem to agree with and some other parts need to check and think about. Everywhere in the world, we see wars over small disputes and nations wishing to divide themselves on the basis of something or anything just increasing the number of world nations further, and we wonder why it is so hard to live with people who are different.
There are not many things as beautiful as having a diversity among people. It certainly supports love and care for those who belong to different races. Some people would feel that diversity is a curse and having the same kind of people who think alike will support unity further. But that is clearly not the point as far as you can go through India. There will always be one reason or the other for people who want to hate and divide. In India, it is the diversity that is the beauty which powers the unity, and when we realize that and love the other, it is the message that we pass on to the world, and it is what it needs as turbulence is always waiting for a chance. This example that India has set surely has made some impact already, and it is undeniable.
*The above photos were all taken by me. This blog post was written in relation to the “More Indian than you think” contest from Lufthansa India in association with Indiblogger. Please do visit the link below for further details about the same: