The Patriot Manifesto

Since a good number of kids who have decided they have an "ideology" at the mature old age of 17 keep asking me what mine is, here it is. I'm writing this as an FAQ response because this gets asked almost every week. Here is what I believe. Here is my "ideology".

  1. I believe that India is greater than all of us. No political party, no single political leader can represent it completely. To say so is foolish at best and dangerous at worst. To be loyal to any single religion, any single election symbol, any particular neta at the cost of the greater national interest is to betray India.

  2. I believe that India belongs to all Indians. No Indian has an exclusive right to all of it and no Indian has the right to declare another Indian un-Indian. To do so is a betrayal of India. To do so is to act against India. To do so is to be an enemy of India.

  3. To me, India means the people of India. Our identity as a nation is varied and diverse and it exists in all of us. It doesn't exist in statues and structures and slogans and chants. It exists in human beings and humanity. The betterment of India must mean the betterment of the people of India.

  4. I believe that we as a people are not perfect. We are not even close to perfect. It is therefore our responsibility to point out all the ways in which we can do better. It is our duty to resist complacency and to not hide behind feel good narratives designed to put us to sleep.

  5. I believe India was intended by its founders to be a democracy with a liberal ethos and that though we are still not there completely, it is an ideal worth fighting for. To this end, we must resist the powerful and speak in favour of those who are being oppressed. It's a duty.

  6. I believe India needs an equal society like a fish needs water. We need it to survive. Without equality, we would be a carcass of a nation. All people of all religions speaking all languages are equally important. To have exceptions to this rule is to push India towards its demise.

  7. I believe India will die if it hates itself. No organism can survive if its right hand is intent upon cutting off the left hand (and more). No organism can survive if it drinks poison every day in hopes of killing just one body part. The same goes for the nation. How can it not?

  8. I believe India needs to take some time off from obsessing about its past and give some thought to its future. I think this is a necessity. To not do so would be to doom coming generations of Indians to starving to death inside and outside tall, beautiful buildings.

  9. And lastly, I believe India is part of the world and has a responsibility towards the world. We cannot close our eyes and act like petulant children when it comes to affairs that are affecting the very planet on which we exist. India does not exist in isolation. It cannot.

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