CELEBRATION (Reason: India to be ruled by an Indian-born – for now)
Some agreed with this message, some did not. Some said that I was a 'true patriot and a true Indian'. I am not sure what means. Such words are quite confusing sometimes. Are you a patriot if you support India and all its policies? If so, does a patriot speak up when some fellow Indians (like in Kashmir and North-east) are being ruled at gunpoint? I would rather not be labeled with any of those adulations. Most of those whom I met in my cube admitted plainly that they haven't given this issue much thought- they did not dwell on it mostly because they thought it was a ‘political’ issue. Indian media refers to it as foreign-born ‘issue’- giving it a political flavor. I think something is an issue when there are different versions to a story- like 'Bofors issue', 'Ayodhya issue', etc. where in people have a different take on it- some believe in it, some are opposed to it. I don’t understand why Sonia Gandhi being 'foreign-born' is an issue? Everybody knows where she is born. There is no contention on that. It’s not an issue, rather it’s a fact we have to deal with.
Indians are all welcoming. That's a good trait. Anyone who is married to an Indian is eligible to become an Indian- any one living here for certain period of time is eligible to become an Indian. That’s good. Let Mother Teresa come to India, let Annie Besant come to India, let Katrina Kaif come to India, Let Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan come to India, Let Palestine study in India, let Nepalis work in India. Let Europeans set up Industry in India, let an American become a CEO in India. BUT PLEASE, make some one who is Indian-born our Prime Minister. Is that a lot to ask from our liberal-secular-multilingual Indian media and Congressmen? [Just for the kicks- here is a hypothetical question- would we have a accepted a black Nigerian as our Prime Minister if Rajiv Gandhi was married to one, or a Vietnamese? Think about it].
My opposition to foreign-born as our Prime Minister is simple.
Some intellectuals reason that 'Sonia is more Indian than many other Indians'. Isn't she the one who ran for cover during Emergency? If I am more European than a European, will Europe allow me as one of their Prime Ministers? Does she know how an Indian mind reacts to an alien war, or a calamity, or an emotional issue?
Its gross ignominy that we had our independence just 50 years ago, and we are already clobbering on the floor to make another European-born as our head. Winston Churchill was opposed to Indian Independence. He said that we would not be able to rule ourselves. He thought that it was European responsibility to rule us. We may prove that he is right. Instead, why can't we celebrate our plurality and liberal attitude now because we have a Muslim President and Sikh PM? That's a great leap for a 50-year old democracy! That’s good enough for us in 50 years. We will have enough time to remove the boundaries of nations, mix all the races in a coffee cup, and throw caste system in to Indian Ocean. For now, I want an Indian-born to be my PM. Is that too much to ask?
PS: I can think of one country that made a foreign born their President. Peru made a Japanese-born their President. When things got tough, he took a plane with all cash, etc, went to Japan, and settled down as Japan's citizen :) So much for being more Peruvian than a Peruvian!