India my motherland: We own each other
I got introduced to the word ‘motherland’ in my early childhood, well before production of its namesake British TV serial. This was at a time when land meant physical territory; and people were sincere about its association with concept of motherhood. As I grew, I pondered a lot over why we express our endearment to a territory drawing simile with close associates like a parent. Is it only because of our physical proximity to the geography we live in. Then how big is its boundary – a city, a state, a country or the whole planet of Earth?
Is it the nation I was born in, then does my motherland remain the same if I change nationality? I never was sure of all the answers. However, once I came of age, I got a deeper feeling that it is the overall environment that surrounds me. More importantly, people living therein has something to do with the comfort of perceiving a motherland. Incidentally I am not that fond of the concept of a fatherland. May be because it reminds me of Nazi aggression. Motherland sounds lot sweeter me – or is it because I love my mother so much? I can now get the feeling of my motherland as very much comparable with the warmth of my mother’s body. The emotions that wrap me around since my childhood. And also my longing for that, missing those in the days of separation.
With all such emotions maturing, I never consciously noticed when my notion of motherland merged with image my country and nation, India.
I do not still know who to thank for that –
- the common people all over my country who have embraced me as one of their own
- the Governments who include also me while acknowledging their responsibility towards wellbeing and safety of the citizens
- the landscapes of my habitat, the culture I can relate to – in short everything I got used to getting from my mom.
Motherland sounds lot sweeter me
When I started building my reputation as a troublemaker and grades were slipping proportionately, my father vetoed my weeping mother and decided put me in a hostel. An attempt which was abandoned soon enough. Finally, the day he conceded defeat and took me back. The journey home still remains as my memory of unmixed ecstasy with vision of my overjoyed mom waiting at the gate eagerly. Even today, whenever I may return from any plush city full of grandeur, when my flight descends on the airstrip amidst very small houses scattered over unkempt roads of the Indian city, I get exactly the same feeling. I can feel my heart dance to the tune of the big wheels hitting the runway. And I realize perfectly what motherland is.
Great or ordinary – she is mine and we own each other.
Mothers do not only protect; they also demand protection. So why, we get absolutely belligerent if we ever come across any uncivilized person or even publication. It may purposefully or mistakenly demean my motherland, as if somebody is displaying insolence to my mom. This does not happen consciously but involuntarily. I am sure that the way my notion of motherland had evolved, identical thoughts have played in minds of all my fellow humans across the world. They all hold and love their motherlands the same way. It only hurts me when I find some, in their frenzy to glorify their own motherland, end up belittling others. My mom has taught me that an essential step to earn respect for my own parents would be paying due respect to others’ – I wish their motherlands would have imparted the same education to the erring arrogant ones.
Paying due respect to others’
It is a pity that people’s zeal to glorify their motherland. Often borders on or even crosses the line of fanaticism. We ever could glorify our mother by flexing of muscles. We earned praises, achievements, accolades and reward to make them honored. The effective way of gaining the pedestal of glory for the motherland is through display of our culture, creativity, innovations, awards and, above our ethics and values in all international platforms. This leaves a duty on part of the motherland also.
To hold all of us together with the same selfless emotions, values and cohesive strength. Failure to do that results in conflict and breakage of motherland. Like Ireland to Catalonia; just like some careless mothers end up splitting happy families. And sometime when I sit alone and listen to John Lennon, I also get the dream that someday the boundaries of our own individual motherlands will fade away. Together we all turn this planet Earth into one great motherland for the whole of human race. https://www.facebook.com/debayani.tarafder.9