India is supposed to be my home. She’s supposed to be my haven. I love the food, the art, the music and even the ridiculous movies. But over the years and especially since I’ve been with The Girl, I’ve begun to cultivate this “I’m better than you are” attitude towards India.
I stopped following cricket matches – didn’t care if Pakistan beat India. I stopped reading Indian news unless something about India appeared on the BBC or NYTimes. I rolled my eyes, expected the absolute worst from her in every situation and I have usually been right. India never fails to meet my expectations that when there is a choice between right and wrong, she will unabashedly veer towards the wrong. On the rare occasion that she’s done the right thing, I’ve been pleasantly surprised, but cynically questioned the motives.
This hasn’t happened without introspection, by the way. I have asked myself why I have been so harsh towards India. Sure she has one of the WORST records in the world towards minority rights and women are basically equivalent to garbage there, but she has a lot of redeeming qualities too. The US and UK have pretty shitty histories, pretty poor human rights records – so why do I save my worst judgements towards India?
For a while now, I’ve theorized that the reason I am so anti-India, so quick to criticize her, distance myself from the shit-show that she is, is because I want to reject her, before she rejects me.
I break up with India, because otherwise she will break up with me. And where’s the self respect in that?
I am so glad that this has been my modus operandi all along, because with the 377 judgement, my prudence, my prejudice, my whipped up disgust for the country of my birth – have all proven to be a great shield from the sucker punch that the Supreme Court delivered to my gut.
I’m a criminal now? Fuck you, India! I don’t give a shit about what you think I am anyway.
My love is against Indian values? Fuck you AND your values that serve the best interests of the rich and the male folk.
My reaction to the news was mild surprise and disheartenment. But had I loved India, had I had crazy stupid faith that she would actually come through for her minorities and her vulnerable children, I would have been far more hurt by this shit.
So yeah, I am glad I’ve looked upon you with disdain, India. I am glad I have a count down app on my phone for when I can give up my fuck-all Indian passport for citizenship of a country that grants respect and dignity to her minorities – atleast on paper. Not to mention, the travel would be so much easier.
I am glad I had no intention of ever coming back to live there. I am glad I’ve argued with friends who defend India.
But the worst part of all of this is that sometimes I find myself wishing that I was a Straight, Rich, Upper caste, Hindu, Indian Man – so that I could spend some time in the glossy Instagram-filtered version of India that I am only allowed to look at from a distance and remember that I am not Rich enough, not Indian enough, not Hindu enough, not Man enough, not Straight enough to partake of.