There's a huge controversy around Vir Das's latest performance, a monologue titled 'I come from 2 Indias', premiered on Sunday (November 15), at the John F Kennedy Centre in Washington DC, which has gone viral.
I'm extremely proud of my country, a country which has given the world it's many firsts, no other country can boast about.
1. Yoga and Ayurveda originated from India.
2. India gave the world the numeral, Zero.
3. India gave the world its first university - Takshashila University.
4. Bhaskaracharya rightly calculated the time taken by the earth to orbit the Sun.
5. The trigonometric functions sine and versine originated in Indian astronomy.
6. Value of Pi was first identified by an Indian called Budhayana.
7. Indian Scientist, Jagdish Chandra Bose invented the technology of Wireless Communication.
8. The game of Chess originated in India.
9. Snakes and Ladders was inspired from an Indian game called Mokshapat.
10. Martial Art was first practiced in India.
11. Shampoo originated from India.
12. India gave the cure for Leprosy. Extensive knowledge of medical branches such as anatomy, physiology, etiology, embryology, digestion, metabolism, genetics and immunity were discovered in India; vedic texts have confirmed that.
These are just a few mentions, the list is exhaustive.
This is the India, full of beautiful culture and civilization, achievers and inventors, artists and perfomers, that I'm proud of.
Unfortunately, there is an ugly face too, which, more often than not we refuse to acknowledge. I guess it takes a lot of maturity to understand the difference between the fact when one is maligning the country or when one is stating the truth as it is, without mincing words.
Though Vir Das is facing a humungous backlash from a certain section of society, I for one, am completely on his side. I unfortunately come from an India where political satire, or for that matter any kind of comedy isn't taken well at all. Though it's a democratic country, yet freedom of expression and speech is stifled.
This is also the India where, a humble tax paying citizen is greeted with pothole-ridden roads, while corrupt politicians usurp the common man's wealth. This is also the India where, women (Read Goddess Laxmi, Saraswati, Kaali) are worshipped during the day and as rightly said by Vir, raped during the night.
The same women who give birth are cursed if they give birth to a girl child, patriarchy rules!
This is also the India where, naming ceremonies of roads and bridges is more important than feeding the poor who live under those bridges. This is also the India where the common man lives in peace until the political parties make every issue into a communal one.
This is also the India where film stars are treated like God and sports stars do not even get their due (excluding cricket). This is also the India where, scamsters are living a lavish lifestyle, while the poor who got scammed are committing suicide.
I can go on writing about many such contrasts as there is no dearth of them. While I wouldn't comment or compare on what's going around in other countries, I can surely write about these experiences in the last four decades of my existence in this country.