“India – The land of Vedas, the remarkable works contain not only religious ideas for a perfect life but also facts which science has proved true. Electricity, radium, electronics, airship, all were known to the seers who founded the Vedas.” – Ella Wheeler Wilcox.
I came to Europe 4 years back. I now reside in Krakow, a beautiful city in Poland. Krakow became my home away from home. It was not hard to adjust here, people and culture of Poland were very welcoming but who doesn’t miss the motherland? Who doesn’t miss the warmth of home, hugs of friends & family, familiar roads, that sense of security and belongingness? Me too miss all this and so much more.
In these 4 years, I have travelled to many other European countries. I interacted with so many people and have witnessed that how much they were impressed by Indian culture. Right from Bollywood to ISRO how much they appreciate our brilliance in arts as well as in technology. Yes, there are also many drawbacks and facts which are not that impressive, I agree. But, I believe in appreciating the good things. I strongly believe that we should always appreciate all the things our country has achieved, apologize for all its failures and take responsibility for making things better.
I realised along with the feeling of missing my homeland there was this another strong emotion that I am immensely proud of being an Indian. I am not saying that this feeling was absent earlier or I never had a proud moment about my country but trust me, it’s altogether a different level of experience when you see that your country is developing and growing to be so great that it is making its mark not just on the world map but on hearts of people worldwide. It is really hard to explain how overwhelming it is when people from other country express the respect for the achievements of your country. No country is perfect, we have to make it perfect. and how can we improve our country if we don’t take pride in it?
Mark Twain once stated, “India is the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend and the great-grandmother of tradition.” Being born in such a great country like India, you can have endless reasons to feel proud. Well, I can write a whole book here with such facts but I will be only talking about the facts that I actually experienced.
India never invaded any country in her last 100000 years of history. When many cultures were only nomadic forest dwellers over 5000 years ago, Indians established the Harappan culture in Sindhu Valley (Indus Valley Civilization). Our freedom struggle sparked the freedom struggle in many other colonised countries as well.
Algebra, Trigonometry and Calculus – which follows in every aspect of math student’s life were originated in India. The ‘Place Value System’ and the ‘Decimal System’ were developed in India in 100 B.C. Sushruta is regarded as the Father of Surgery. Indian Mathematician Aryabhatta invented zero and many more to the list.
World’s Largest Democracy
India is the largest democracy in the world, the 7th largest Country in the world despite being one of the most diverse nations.
India’s professional standing army is the second highest in the world and the largest in terms of active manpower. Yet it has been kept away from politics.
Unity In Diversity
18 major languages; 29 major festivals; 6,400 castes and subcastes: 7 union territories; 28 states; 6 major religions; 1,600 minor languages & dialects; 52 major tribes; 6 major ethnic group – 1 COUNTRY. On a personal note, I would like to mention it here that when I came to Krakow there were not much Indians, very few but from every part of India from the south, from the east, from the north, we had never met each other before even as a stranger but we all met here and become a close-knit family. I feel so proud, that come what may, we stand by each other and provide support and strength to each other.
We are so rich geographically. We have the largest of mountains and also the most beautiful beaches in the world all together in one country. We have all kinds of landscapes and natural beauty available in India.
Indian cuisine is rich with the wide variety of regional natives to India. This cuisine varies because of soil types, climates, occupations and influenced by cultural values and religion. Our Spices, vegetables and fruits are rich with mouth-watering tastes and it’s also the fragrance which creates magic. The variety is immense, colourful, aromatic and inexpensive even at top-rated hotels. I got so overwhelmed when I first time invited my husband’s colleagues’ at home for lunch and they insisted me to cook Indian Food for them. No doubt, It’s the third most popular cuisine in the world.
Bollywood with about 400 films every year is the largest centre of film production in the world. From Shahrukh Khan to all our beautiful ladies in the Cannes, Bollywood has charmed the whole world with its music and dance moves. I am really proud of the fact that how Priyanka Chopra with her beauty and her brains representing the empowered Indian Woman on the international level. Did you know? Tulips in the Netherlands were named after the beautiful Aishwarya Rai! There is a poster of Kajol & Shahrukh Khan from the movie Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge atop Mount Titlis in Switzerland.
The Sari, it’s timeless & enduring elegance has won hearts all over the world. In men’s fashion its the Nehru Jacket, even Nelson Mandela and Tony Blair are fond of it. I love when my European friends wanted to bring me sarees and bindi for them. And of course who can forget the scene when Oprah Winfrey asked Aishwarya to help her wear a sari.
We proudly made it to the SEVEN WONDERS OF THE WORLD list. I had one such proud moment when I visited Paris. I met a lady standing under the Eiffel Tower, she enquired me if I am an Indian, I nodded my head in yes. To my surprise she said, I found the TAJ more beautiful than the Eiffel Tower. I will never forget that moment ever.
India’s environment is rich with many different flavours. Beautiful Mountains, Graceful Rivers, Aggressive Desert and Dangerous Wildlife to name a few. The world praises its natural beauty and that’s the reason tourism in India is the largest service industry. When I came to Europe I was so excited to visit and travel places here but I was so amused to know that how fascinated European people were here to visit India. In fact, many of my friends who had already visited wanted to visit India again.
Ayurveda & Yoga
Ayurveda is the earliest school of medicine known to mankind. The Father of Medicine, Charaka, consolidated Ayurveda 2500 years ago. Yoga has its origins in India and has existed for over 5,000 years.
Gandhiji and his measures of Satya & Ahimsa not only helped us but also played a major role in abolishing racial discrimination in South Africa. We Are Proud That Science day in Switzerland is dedicated to Ex-Indian President, APJ Abdul Kalam. Sachin Tendulkar, AR Rehman, Shah Rukh Khan are some Indians who let their presence felt global. There are many other living legends such as Sundar Pichai ( CEO of Google), Satya Nadella ( CEO of Microsoft), Sachin and Binni Bansal founder of FLIPKART and many more to mention.
Knowledge & Brilliance
India exports software to 90 countries. India has the second largest pool of Scientists and Engineers in the World. India has many companies like Infosys, TATA etc that figure among the top 50 in the list of the world’s 200 most-reputed companies. Nearly 49% of the high-tech start-ups in Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. are owned by Indians or Indian-Americans.
Launching 104 satellites in space in a single go and making a world record and launching the Mars mission by having the lowest cost for that project and that too in the just first attempt and many more such achievements surely made us all proud. I still remember the day when I was watching this news and I had goosebumps when I realised that I was somewhere part of something much bigger than I am. I felt so overwhelmed and so powerful.
Indian culture surely inherits peace of mind and spirituality. Be it’s about KARMA or it’s about the MANTRA we lead the world on the path to peace of mind and enlightenment of the soul. It’s really amazing to know that the knowledge scripted in the Bhagavad Gita is believed worldwide.
India has been declared a secular state by its own constitution. Here we can see different religions and castes like no other place in the world. Yes, people do ask me this that how do we manage to be this big democracy with such big religious diversity? Well, we do!!! May be the ethics and morals embedded in us are much stronger than anything else.
There is no limit to the things present in India to be proud of and also, I, in fact, don’t even need any reason to be proud of my motherland, it comes to me naturally. It is a part of my identity and will always be. For me, this one statement will always stand true,
“जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी” (Mother and motherland are superior to Heaven.)