I have heard about our glorious past, but I find it too full of coups d'etat, bickering, violence, ignorance, intolerance, cruelty, divides and discrimination.
I am happy I am born today, not then.
We are told those were perfect times, but I know even in the best of those times women have had it tough.
I prefer India, and the world TODAY. Terrorism notwithstanding.
Whatever else the British did, they united our bickering Princely States, Jagirs and Presidencies - in a single Nation (three actually).
They also left us a unifying Language and some modern (Western!) concepts, both much hated, much debated, but embraced with pride by most Indians.
Our Democracy, takes our hypocrisy in it's stride ;)
I was proud when this powerful Democracy turned up in huge numbers in Kashmir, ignoring the boycott called by the separatist movement ... A 60.5% voter turnout!
I am proud of the fact that we can vote for a Dynasty IF we so choose.
And we can vote back fundamentalists with blood on their hands, IF we choose.
We can also vote out corruption when we've had enough.
I love it that we have it in our hands to do that!
We can openly wish our politicians dead, and we can burn their effigies and if they go too far, we can take them to court. We can make caricatures of them and we can discuss their misconduct in our blogs.
For the first time in Indian History we, the aam aadmi, matter.
Never before in History have we been declared EQUAL in the eyes of the law, until this Constitution I am so proud of was drafted.
So I am not going to look back longingly, and wish for those good (?) old, glorious (?) days, I will look ahead and be proud of what India is today.
Yes we have problems, but we are empowered, for the first time in human history, to choose who solves them for us.
True we might make wrong choices, but we have the power to correct ourselves too!
As the year 2008 comes to an end in a few hours, I know more than anything, this year has proved (once again) that slowly (very slowly) we are all learning not to take our freedom for granted ...
I know every little drop counts and my contribution is to be a more vigilant citizen. I will Vote. I will talk about Peace and I will speak against Violence.
Does it count?