Saturday, March 11, 2006

one billion Indians?

Who is an Indian? How does one become an Indian? And stay that way. Or is it a question of Indian-ness or rather India-ness. Who is an Indian? One who knows the culture, the history, the traditions of this land and respects it. Or one who knows many Indian languages. Or one who considers other Indians his brothers and sisters, his people? Is he an Indian who identifies himself with this land? Or does one become Indian by virtue of just having been born in this general geographical area designated ‘India’ on the world map? But then again, firangs born here are not considered Indians. So while people born to ‘Indians’ here in this land can still be considered Indians without even knowing our culture, no inkling of her history, and speaking no ‘Indian’ languages, why not call them Indians who know more about her language, culture and have assimilated ‘India’ into their life better than those Indians born here? Indian. Is it just a geographical tag? Or something more? Then where does the term 'Bharatiya' which is the normal accepted Hindi translation of Indian figure? How many shades of grey exist between being an Indian and not being an Indian, since by instinct we seem to (apparently) know. Which brings back the original question: Who is an Indian?

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