This whole India - consciousness is at an all time high. Late last year, we had the Olympic Gold, and bronze medals - firsts for India, a brilliant test series win in cricket, Vishwanathan Anand becoming the World Champion, Chandrayaan. Add to that, the fact that India has been impacted much less by the global economic downturn. Granted, there is a slowdown, but not as much a slump as is seen in the global market. At least the effect is seeping in much slowly.
And at the start of this year, came the Slumdog phenomenon. A bunch of Golden Globes, and 10 Oscar nominations. All of a sudden, everyone had an opinion. Some said Slumdog was a slight on Indianness. Some said Slumdog was a true portrayal of the Indian underbelly. Some commented on some others' opinions. Basically suddenly, everyone was getting very patriotic and very touchy about India's image.
And now, the Australian Open, has given Indians a lot more to feel proud about. Boys singles champion - Yuki Bhambri and Mixed doubles - Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza. But as is always the case, there have been rumblings about Sania Mirza, her attitudes blah blah blah. And then again, there are some who say that doubles achievements are not really all that praiseworthy. I for one, disagree vehemently on these views. One, Ms Mirza plays. All said and done, with almost no support in India, in terms of tennis infrastructure, the small time Hyderabad gal has made a mark for India in the tennis arena. Breaking into championship tennis, into the top 50 ranks is extreeeeeeeeeeeemely difficult. But she relentlessly plays, and thanks to her, and Indian woman at least has a presence in world class tennis. Second, look at doubles matches. They are full of energy and players have to be agile, alert and brilliant in team work. When Federer won the Olympic gold in doubles, no one discounted his victory. So there really isn't any reason why anyone must discount the achievements of our doubles victors.
So this whole India - consciousness, is more of India - criticism, that is very rarely, if ever, constructive.
The next bout of patriotism, hopefully, will come up when the Oscar awards are given out. But then again, there will be talks of how a western portrayal of poverty and sadness won accolades for a firangi, at India's cost. But by then, I am sure most of us would be used to such comments and views and would know better than to take such thoughts seriously.