Why belonging to Delhi should not be a Source of Pride

Note: It’s not like I loathe Delhi. Well, okay, I do sort of loathe Delhi, but the tone of this article, it’s only a rant. An angry rant that’s been bubbling inside me for years and years, after every 3 months that I spent in Delhi, annually. The City has its moments, I’m sure it does. But, when all of its people love it so very much, and express it so intensely, I can’t help but take the extreme opposite stance. I am the Devil’s advocate. Hypocritical, in that she only extremely pursues ideas she already believes in, but, give her an underdog in need of defending, and no one can ever go to more extreme or dramatic lengths. umm. It’s a flaw. So, anyway, no offence meant, Delhiites, except where it’s obvious. Yeah. You guys need to fix that.

I don’t like Delhi. It’s hostile and fake and the people who’ve lived there all their lives are so proud of the fact, it’s a mix of little-scary and very disgusting.

But, by all means, yay for the chaat and aalu parathas and all the monuments built a thousand years ago that smoke and pollution and people have determinedly destroyed! Love that culture, if you must, but let no one take pride in this city within a month of what happened.

If you all recall, the girl was lying, bleeding, on the side of the road for nearly two hours while people drove by, gawking and staring in that horrid way that people from that city believe they are automatically entitled to simply because they have eyes. The DELHI police refused to help her into the PCR van, and her injured naked friend had to do it instead, because the police didn’t want blood on their uniforms.

I mean, seriously, what is everyone from this city so proud of? The roads??

Well, I’m talking about the people! The undeniable truth! We’ve been to places all over this country! The kind of hostility that the Delhi gaze has, no other city in this nation compares. It isn’t about “a few rotten apples” or a “few stray incidents”. When we’re all being proud of things, isn’t it important to know just what we’re being so proud of? And, maybe we’re all being proud of the wrong things.

It’s a possibility, don’t you think? Just like the possibility that Delhi is actually a lovely, friendly, forgiving city that doesn’t worship clique mentalities and money and actually cares about each other on the street (to even a tiny amount over giving a fuck), and most importantly, is open to people who don’t fit in any of the ideas that the city has of the people who’re supposed to inhabit it. Or however the fuck that works. *shrugs* 

My point is, what I *loathe* about Delhi is just how proud people are for having lived in a territory for the longest time, about things that they have no control over. And how it changes everyone who *ever* lives there. It’s akin to being forced into a box, and if you resist, the City will cheerfully cut off whichever limb is in the way of fitting you in that box, and the people will cheer by the sidelines. That’s what I hate.

And, yes, I am not proud of India for the absence of the Rule of Law, I’m ashamed of how far the educated citizens of this state have allowed the Nation to fall as long as their immediate rights were protected, I’m disgusted by the kind of mentality that seems to be prevalent along the majority of its citizens. I’m horribly apologetic and deeply disturbed by the communal riots, and the State sanctioned anti-sikh riots of 1984. I’m saddened to think of the fact that while thousands died of hunger, food lay rotting in and around our godowns, bound by bureaucratic red-tape and feeding only rats. I’m offended by the reality of people from MY country pausing in the middle of slaughter to ask their victims what religion they belonged to. I’m ashamed of the way we treat our minorities, and the simultaneous pride we seem to take in our “diversity”.

But, I’m proud of the fact that we made a killer constitution that has actually held this fragmented sub-continent together! I’m proud of the leaders that sat together and conducted their constitutional debates wherein they laboriously went over every word, every concept, in order to ensure that their intentions could never be misunderstood! I’m proud of the fellow Indian who gave a jacket to the Tribal girl who was stripped naked and beaten up by other fellow citizens of ours, despite being turned on by the angry mob for doing so. I’m proud of every dead whistle-blower that our State could not protect, and I’m proud of the two authors who went ahead and read out portions of Salman Rushdie’s book despite fearing for their lives. I’m proud of the logic behind the colors on our flag, and the nice people of Delhi who give jackets to stray dogs on the Street in Winter. And, I’m proud to have access to first World opportunities despite living in a clearly third-world country. And, I’m proud of the changes my college, and people from my college (also Indians) are making in the World. I’m proud of the unrelenting activists, and the people fighting corruption, and all the outrage that this incident brought forth from the public.

But, until, as a people, we can feel ashamed of the things “our people” are capable of, things will never change. And, as long as we keep defending entire systems as a whole, on some level we’re legitimizing the wrong things that do happen. Especially when it comes to attitudes and mentalities.

I mean, be proud, na. Love it! Like it’s said, Everywhere you go, there’s lots to love and hate. But, the things that bother me about Delhi, they sicken and frighten me to my core. So, please understand if I can’t just sit down and swallow it when someone tells me how Delhi is a fabulous city, or how proud they are to belong from there.

Just voicing my polite dissent.

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One thought on “Why belonging to Delhi should not be a Source of Pride

  1. I didn’t stay in Delhi for a long time but I didn’t really like this city because I found it didn’t have much charm. New Delhi was “cold”, with long empty avenues, and Old Delhi streets weemed very messy, even dirty sometimes. The park where you can visit Gandhi memorial was a bit disappointing too, in my memories, the place was not very cosy, deserted with long, flat lawns. People were not really friendly but I suppose it’s because it is the capital. People are sometimes unpleasant in Paris too. However, I love the gardens near the Ktab Minar. Very nice place with trees, squirrels, beautiful monuments and peace!

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