I have decided to write less these days. Because not too many people care to read too much. They do not have the time. Long pieces make people tired. Complex subjects make people switch over to something more interesting. Hollywood, Bollywood, MTV, ZTV, dance stars, football stars, cricket. You know the rest.
But I am just writing about this subject because this question is coming up more and more, even from people whom I had thought were my friends and well wishers.
I write about the Indian government and the people in power, and expose their wrongdoings and clandestine connections. People from India get angry and say that I am anti-India. They say, “Why do you hate India so much? Don’t you have any love for your motherland — the land you were born and brought up in?”
Some others say, “Why criticize India so much, while having a ‘Mercedes Lifestyle’ in America?” They say, “You fled India to have a good life, and now you blast India every time you have an opportunity.”
When I write something about USA and its people in power, and try to show their wrongdoings — whether their economic policies, foreign policies or war games — my American readers blast me. They say, “Why hate America so much, when this country has given you so much?”
And some angrier people say, “If you hate USA so much, go back to your India.”
Sometimes these are mild admonitions. Sometimes these are very harsh words. And once in a while, people are outright nasty and vulgar. Sometimes, being a real man with a real heart and mind, it’s not easy to deal with them.
So, my question to myself is, do I hate India? Do I hate America?
And in short, my answer is: No.
I never hate either of these two countries — the two countries I’ve lived in all my life. I have nothing but love and respect for these two lands that have kept me alive, nurtured me, and gave me opportunities to live, grow and prosper.
I have nothing but love and care and best wishes for India and USA.
All my issues are with the people who are in power in these two countries: the one percent. I have talked about their politics, and I have talked about their covert and overt actions. And I shall keep doing it, as long as I live.
That is dissent to the powerful. This is all I have: a voice of dissent. Educated, informed, critically-analyzed dissent.
And believe it or not, unlike what the one percent and their corporations and media and politicians tell you, dissent is a big part of democracy.
In fact, believe it or not, dissent is democracy.
As noted historian late Howard Zinn had said: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”
Contrary to these critics who believe I hate India and I hate America, I am actually practicing that highest form of patriotism. And I am doing it nonviolently too. I am making my small circle of people think.
Just think about it.