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No discourse, just an open arena for extremists

9 1 0

At a time when the words patriot and nationalism are hotly disputed, there must be freedom to differ

At a party in New Delhi at the British High Commissioner’s residence last week to celebrate the “official” birthday of Queen Elizabeth II—whose date obligingly varies according to the hosts’ convenience—guests were asked to stand at attention as the national anthems of the two nations were played. A British woman standing behind me whispered to her Indian friend, “Yours is so much nicer than ours!”

The Indian woman seemed a trifle surprised and asked, “Why?” The reply: “It’s a lovely tune and the lyrics I am told encompasses the whole country instead of glorifying one monarch! We (British) really need to change ours, I think!” The Indian lady did not offer any comment either way, but I was certainly pleased that someone openly appreciated our anthem, even if it was not my unknown compatriot.

I actually love singing my national anthem; I always have. It is true, however, that I took a closer look at Jana Gana Mana........

© The Times of India