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A look into the 'Nationalist' and 'Bandwith' of modern India
Photo Credit :
Nationalist (noun) a person with strong patriotic feelings, especially one who believes in the superiority of their country over others.
Bandwidth (noun) a range of frequencies within a given band, in particular, that used for transmitting a signal
I grew up in the hill state of Uttarakhand, studied in a school where the National Anthem was played daily. Tricolour unfurled occasionally with its bright colours brought about a sense of belonging. Gandhi and Nehru filled the walls of my school library. The semi-urban city I grew up had the Post Office, the Governor’s summer house, the Army headquarters amongst other symbols of Indian. The identity of Being Indian was ingrained in me at an early age. I am a proud Indian today with a strong sense of security.
In the last few months I had the opportunity to travel to different parts of rural India, some just a few miles away from the Southern tip, some in the Eastern part of India amongst others. Some of these places had none of the symbols of India.
I had taken for granted while growing up. Some of the villages didn't even have roads. The dialect, the food, the faces, complexion everything was so different from these people from the people I grew up with. In some of these places, tomatoes were Rs.1 kg and cabbage at Rs 2 at retail prices just to give an idea of their earnings. The best metaphor I could think of was a large majority of India is like buttons stitched on a shirt called India.
Recently there was a news report on how tribals in Jharkhand were being served rodents and rabbits in their mid-day meal. In some of the schools, if at all they even exist, the teachers came only once or twice a year.
It made me ponder how would I feel about India if I didn’t grow up with all the symbols of India. Would I still be a patriotic Indian or somebody whose environment advocated a certain rebel ideology or maybe someone with just a survival identity i.e. whoever fed me would be my master?
Smartphone Changing India
Interestingly around the same time, I witnessed something fascinating, the way some of the far-flung rural Indians are using the Internet. I was fascinated how some of the village folks I met are using Apps like MySadak app to click and send pictures of broken or non-existent roads. Or how they are connecting directly with PMO through NarendraModi app. It was certainly a delightful moment to see the confidence go a few notches up in the village folks when they mentioned “we have complained directly to the Prime Minister” about their grievances. The connection between the Prime Minister and the folks far away has never been better.
The Last Word
Till the time you don’t form a good connection, buffering continues and you cannot view the picture you want. It may take decades before roads and other symbols of modern India reach a huge section of our population. Digital India has the potential bandwidth to connect India like never before. It has the potential to create a sense of national pride just through this connection.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.