She is a heterogeneous and anisotropic reservoir. Fractured and faulted whose pores are saturated with multiple phases. All the odds have always stacked against her. Even her cohesion has long remained a question yet she never has perished. She is a complex process, not a supercomputer can simulate. A book that is unputdownable. A story that has been told, retold and untold by different narrators time after time. She is unprecedented in her approach and way of life. She isn’t about sharing the common history and the common geography. She is a concoction. She is a conundrum. She is a concept. She is India. Not a country she is for the forces that make a country has remained far away from her. Her nature is not permeable to conventional ideas; man she is difficult to handle and difficult to understand.
Therefore in schools I believe, they should teach a subject called India. India is not a country but a concept. Concept weaved by the great men and women who took birth on her soil, who toiled her soil, and for whom she bored all her fruits. The thing about concepts is that they need to be beautifully explained, otherwise they lead to confusion. And history has taught us well what a bunch of confused people can do. Without a doubt, the standard textbook for this subject should be The Discovery of India by Jawaharlal Nehru. His articulation of the concept India is should be read by every Indian. Not only has he articulated it well but also he has envisioned it.
A subtle twist in the history, a butterfly flapping her wings somewhere, would have changed the entire course. An evil thought in the minds of her leaders would have resulted in catastrophe. The gift we have today of distinct unity and diversity would have been snatched away and India would have turned into a country and her concept would have been forgotten.
Indian freedom struggle was a gift for the future. It wasn’t only about getting rid of the imperial rule, rather it was a quest for the meaning India would possess. It was about understanding this woman and learning to love her despite all her faults and fractures. Despite the fact that she wasn’t exclusive to one phase. Despite the fact that she wasn’t perfect but full of heterogeneity and disharmonies. The freedom struggle was about finding the melodies in her sounds and making peace with her smell.
Happy Independence Day.