I’m not a particularly jingoistic person. I’ve heard and seen too much damage done in the name of “national pride”. I’m not a particular lover of passports either, believing that they’ve become bureaucratic barriers over the years, rather than the leave-to-wander-unfettered that they originally represented.
Notwithstanding all that, I’ve held on to my passport and nationality of birth; I’d prefer to think of my stance as dignity rather than jingoism.
When I was growing up, I’d hear the national anthem regularly; every film I watched ended, for some reason, with the national anthem. I loved the tune and the words, probably even more so in knowing that it had been written by Tagore. I felt we’d lost something when the tradition died.
There are still some places where I hear national anthems, usually at sporting events. Too often, many in the audience don’t appear to know the words for their own national anthem, and tend to trivialise the occasions, especially when it’s the opponents’ anthem.
With all this in mind, I was strangely touched by this video, probably released to coincide with India turning 60 last week.
More than anything else, what the video did for me is to remind me that we can be dignified without being overly jingoistic. And for that I am grateful to the makers of the video, and to my sister for pointing it out to me.