Yes. Price for patriotism. Shocked? Don’t be. Patriotism, working for a nation, sacrificing and cheering for the nation except for cricket matches is something rare and outlandish for the common people in India.
One may find people in public talking about sky-rocketing prices of “Pyaj- Tamatar” and how autos now charge inexplicably for every kilometre.
Once in a while, few hush- hush voices may befall your ears talking about how Modi’s foreign visits are paying off for India and how Sushma Swaraj is creating a blot on the name of BJP by falling into the “Lalit Modi” tussle.
If there is an aroma of patriotism hanging in the air, then one may easily make out that Independence Day or Republic Day of India are lurking nearby.
Those are the only times when you can visibly watch Indian flag proudly hovering above institutes other than government offices. Such days also mark the beginning of rendering short term employment to village locals selling miniature flags and caps made of tricolour.
Enthusiasm was at an all time high this year as we had US President Obama on Republic Day, patiently listening to us while we boasted about our nationality and achievements.
It’s not that we’re whining over our fellow citizens for not being patriotic. We are well acquainted with this fact that like every other thing in life, patriotism comes at a price. Patriotism, for an average Indian citizens costs about INR 250(only).
No really, this is not a joke. If there is any place where you can find the hearts of our citizens simmering with patriotism en masse, then it is in public cinema halls and movie theatres. Whether anyone tends to give a heck to the issues brewing up inside the country or not, there is something in these movies that plucks the chord of nationality and instils this rare feeling of patriotism in the audience.
On a 70 mm screen, whenever we find our country competing against any other nation in a showdown, we suddenly garner so much of patriotism that we can hardly stand our country being hypothetically defeated and clench our fists whenever we find some kind of ‘racist’ remark being made on the participants representing India (which due to some reasons happens unwaveringly in each and every movie).
It doesn’t matter how pathetic our national team may look on international frontiers in the movie, how someone dare speak anything against them in front of such a large audience! In movies starring superstars such as Shah Rukh Khan in his latest blockbuster “Happy New Year” for example, people hardly care whether the team wins by hook or crook, what matters for them is that the team must win anyhow. Doesn’t matter how clownish all the actors looked in the entire movie, as soon as Deepika Padukone hurls Indian national flag, there are whistles blowing all over the place. People can be heard cheering and applauding India which such an exhilaration which is hard to find even when India wins gold in actual Olympics.
Not just this, even the actors working in the movie will be found suddenly brimming with patriotic energy, posing for the Bollywood Masala websites with tricolour in their hand. With a wide grin on their face, nobody bothers to reflect back as to where these actors had been for the rest of their lives. Oh who cares, isn’t it wonderful that they finally did discover the innate patriotic factor in their personality?
Image source- www.apne.tv
Interestingly, the Indian team essentially falls into a tussle with a country like England. Our team obviously is the innocent one, which tried to avoid the brawl initially but had to defend themselves anyways so they retorted to stoushing them as hard as they could.
Image source- news.theargentinepost.com
If this was the excitement in the Indian audience for a dance competition, then one can very well imagine what must be brewing inside an average citizen when they watch India contesting for national sport such as hockey, that too while it is fighting to reclaim the throne on which it used to rule once. As expected, the stadium will be tamped with spectators and there will be overhauling audience to celebrate Indian team’s success.
Image source- Filmapia.com
Regarding the real life matches, who cares to visit these boring games? If you had ever found ten rows filled in continuously, then that would probably mean that people had recently paid their cost of INR 250 for patriotism and that’s why have swarmed in huge numbers to these playground to support their players. This patriotism hangover may continue for a month and two. After that, we have to wait for another nerve wrenching movie to fill us with patriotism. Well, yes. Let’s not forget in the end, that patriotism does come at a price.