Personal Note : I grew up in a tolerant India and in a cosmopolitan Bangalore, with plenty of globe trotting and globe trotters thrown in. We were literally all-culture fanatics loved all cultures of all countries and regions. Their customs, beliefs, literature, music, dresses.. everything. We had many foreign visitors as well as Indian visitors from diverse backgrounds, rich, poor, idealistic, capitalistic. I remember travelling with family friends and on one single day visiting a church, a muslim place of worship (not sure if it was a mosque), and an Ancient Indian temple. There was a muslim family that lived across the street and we were party to their weddings and celebrations and they to ours. We had white neighbours in Australia and black neighbours in Trinidad, helpful, interested and affectionate. My fathers’ Iraqi students showed him the same love and respect as his Ethiopian students and I found that Japanese people were not only considerate but went out of their way to be helpful.
We were never afraid to make friends with strangers, anyone “different” immediately recommended themselves to us and this included the differently abled as well as the exceptionally talented. I am blessed to have had all those years growing up in an tolerant, accepting and all-embracing environment.
If the government controlled news agencies made sure we never heard any bad news in those days, the “industry-sponsored” news agencies make sure we never hear any good news today. So in these times labelled as ‘disturbing’ by one and all.., I would like to share a ‘hit’ song from popular cinema that celebrates not only our “unity-in-diversity” but also our “happiness-in-adversity” and “acceptance-of-our-less than perfect-selves”.
It is from the Hindi movie Phir Bhi Dil hai Hindusthani.
Mera Jhoota Hai Japani is the original masterpiece which has the “all-culture-embracing-patriotic-Indian” philosophy that perhaps best expressed the mood of the 60s to 80’s. It is from the Hindi movie Shree 420.
To love yourself it is not necessary to reject anyone else! The song also depicts that bits and pieces of us, our clothes manners etc may be foreign.. but our heart is Indian… and some how that is what matters.
Jai India! Jai Humanity! Jai Planet Earth! Jai Universe!
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