Sunday, April 15, 2007

Mr Murthy...

..has really stepped into it. As Harish writes here 'subtly'(using single quotes stingingly around patriot), he(Mr Murthy, not Harish) thought playing an instrumental version of the anthem magically reduced the 'embarassment' that foreigners might feel if we Indians sang our national anthem in their esteemed presence. Of course, the presence of the instruments would automatically mitigate the tremendous amount of awkardness produced by our singing along with the instrumental version.

There are people saying all the (well-deserved) success that Infosys has achieved and the current President's endorsement of his name for next occupying the post of the President has gone to Mr Murthy's head. I don't think so. All these years, N R Narayanamurthy has been a symbol of what humble middle class people could achieve through grit, determination and ability. Despite the stupendous success of his company, he has not strutted about with unbridled pride and preened his feathers in view of others. Yes, his articles in newspapers tended to irritatingly draw parallels between Infosys and WHATEVER BLOODY SITUATION IN THE WORLD. But that was justifiable pride in his work. If you go from ten thousand rupees to several thousand crores, you will naturally feel happy about your achievement.

It's not just N R Narayanamurthy who slips up and is unpatriotic. All of us are. How many of our parents would willingly send their children(us, in case you were wondering) to join the armed forces? How many will not resort to emotional or other blackmail to keep their children from risking their lives? Forget the parents, how many of us would go and join the armed forces ourselves, even if our parents don't object, or serve the country in some other way? Would we be willing to give up our cushy software/advertising jobs and families and go where poverty is, where diseases are, where misery resides and make a difference? Until we can and/or have, we shouldn't really be launching scathing attacks on N R Narayanamurthy. I'm not saying we have no right to criticize him. We do. We have a right to criticize anybody and everybody and we should exercise this right. We shouldn't be overzealous in doing so. Labelling his actions an 'unpardonable offence' is a bit much. He isn't from the bloody Taliban, for God's sake.

Of course, there are some people who used this controversy to parade their 'liberal' facades and said "we Indians are oversensitive about our national symbols." OK, you 'liberal' jerk, your tone implies you aren't oversensitive about Indian national symbols. So your sentence actually should be "you Indians are oversensitive about your national symbols," shouldn't it? Oh come again? Did I actually hear you say 'you Indians'? Smug bastards. There's nothing wrong in being patriotic, in being proud. Now the Americans show it differently. They burn their flag, use it in nasty ways; but they are pretty intensely patriotic. We are basically more emotional. We are more attached to things, symbols and suchlike. So when one of the symbols was blemished, if you will, it is natural for us to protest. Die, 'liberals,' founts of emotionless pallor, veritable corpses.

No, Mr Murthy's recent controversial behaviour and subsequent statements were just moments of curious and determined foolishness. Of forgetting that there is nothing wrong in us singing our own national anthem; that if foreign nationals feel embarassed about this, we can't and shouldn't help it. We all have these moments(why, just yesterday, I stepped into a puddle of mud.). And like us all, Mr Murthy should be reproached for such a faux pas on his behalf, so that he remembers there is nothing wrong in being patriotic and singing our national anthem gustily in front of foreign nationals. That has happened. Now let's all get on with our lives.

9 comments:

Arcane Crapper said...

Absolutely correct! It seems Mr. Murthy managed to catch a passing infection of a very widespread and dangerous condition called "Foot In Mouth Syndrome". I was laughing my ass off over the whole issue.

PS: I refuse to believe that it was a coincidence. You're right. No use. Hehehehe...

Harish said...

Singing the national anthem with pride and joining or not joining the army are two different issues. If you feel that singing the national anthem is an 'embarrassment' to you or people around you, it just shows that you really don't care about your national symbols and national identity. Just because you do not have it in you to join the armed forces, it doen't mean that you need to tolerate whatever disrespect whoever does to the nation and its symbols. When such disrespect is done by people who are admired and emulated by a large section of the nation, it is also very dangerous.

And one more thing that we should all remember is that all of India's entrepreneurial successes are "what humble middle class people could achieve through grit, determination and ability". And successes of some of the others were even tougher given the kind of 'license raj' they had to face. Being overly proud of your success in public as Mr. Murthy is(which is something the others haven't done), isn't something that looks good. Anyway that's his choice. But disrespecting the anthem isn't his choice.

Anonymous said...

I just think he is asshole.

Anonymous said...

I just think he is an asshole(sorry for the error).

Archana said...

People spare nobody these days.

Parisarapremi said...

ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಗೀತೆ ಹಾಡೋದನ್ನು ಕೇಳಿ "embarrassment" ಆಗುತ್ತೆ ಅನ್ನೋರು ಆ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರದಲ್ಲಿ ಇದ್ದು ಏನು ಪ್ರಯೋಜನ. ನಾವು ಯಾವ ದೇಶಕ್ಕೆ ಬದ್ಧವೋ ಅಲ್ಲಿನ ಭಾಷೆ, ಭಾವ, ಸಂಸ್ಕೃತಿ, ಆಚರಣೆ ಇವೆಲ್ಲಕ್ಕೂ ಬದ್ಧವಾಗಿರಬೇಕು. ಇದು ಎಲ್ಲರಇಗೂ ಅನ್ವಯಿಸಬೇಕು. ವಿದೇಶಿ ಕೆಲಸಗಾರರು, ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿಗಳು ಇಲ್ಲಿದ್ದಾರೆ ಅಂದರೆ ನಮ್ಮ ರಾಷ್ಟ್ರಗೀತೆಯನ್ನು ಅವರು ಕಲಿತು ಹಾಡಬೇಕಾದ್ದು ಅವರ ಧರ್ಮ ಅನ್ನೋದು ನನ್ನ ಅನಿಸಿಕೆ..

ನಾರಾಯಣ ಮೂರ್ತಿಯಂಥವರು ತಾವು ಏನು ಮಾಡಿದರೂ, ಏನು ಹೇಳಿದರೂ ಸರಿಯೆಂದುಕೊಂಡುಬಿಟ್ಟಿರುತ್ತಾರೆ... ವಿಪರ್ಯಾಸ ಎಂದರೆ ದೇಶದ ರಾಜಕಾರಣ, ಸಮಾಜ, ಅಂಥವರ ಹಿಂದೆಯೇ ಸಾಗುತ್ತದೆ..

ಸೊಗಸಾಗಿ ಬರೆದಿದ್ದೀರ ಅರ್ಜುನ್ ಅವರೇ...

Harish said...

Parisarapremi makes a very valid point about how we seem to take eveerything that people like Mr. Murthy tell as eternal, inarguable truths.

Arjun Sharma said...

[Crapper]It was a coincidence!

[Harish]Joining the army was just an example. Pedda.

You mustn't think I'm defending Narayanamurthy or anything. I said he was wrong too. I'm just saying calling it an 'unpardonable offence' instead of 'an act of callous stupidity' is a bit excessive.

He was wrong, of course. And his subsequent 'apology' now makes him cut a sorry figure. Maybe it does deserve to be called foul and vicious names, what he did. Tamma tappu opkolode illa, adoo intha vishayagalalli, andre yaako bejaragatte.

[Anonymous]Crisp, concise summary. Thanks!

[Anonymous again]Sari, errata bere, sayakke.

[Archana]Illa, he's in the public gaze. Spare aagalla.

[Parisarapremi]Neevu koneya line sarcastic aagi helidira anta ee digmooDhana nambike. Neevenantiro?

[Harish]Nindenalli matte?

Parisarapremi said...

ಸರ್ಕಾಸಂ‍ ಏನೂ ಇಲ್ಲಪ್ಪಾ.. ನಿರೂಪಣೆ ಸೊಗಸಾಗಿದೆ ಎಂಬುದು ನನ್ನ ನಿಲುವು.. ಕೆಟ್ಟ ಕೃತ್ಯಗಳ ಬಗ್ಗೆ ಒಳ್ಳೆ ಬರಹಗಳು ವಿರಳ.. ವಿರಳ ಬರಹಕ್ಕೆ ಒಂದು ಬೆನ್ನು ತಟ್ಟುವಿಕೆಯ ಮಾತಷ್ಟೆ ಅದು.. ಬರೀತಾ ಇರಿ..