“Patriotism cannot be our final spiritual shelter. My refuge is humanity,” said Rabindranath Tagore. If one watches television hoping to see something this side of the theoretically possible, you will be disappointed. The only definition of ‘News’ is an endless purgatory, punctuated by profound moments of misery, where one is subjected to the most absurd kind of a tragicomedy Reality show.

Anchors of all shapes and sizes try to attract attention to the raw magnetism of human catastrophe, proudly purring with a feigned concern for the viewer’s sensibility. Some have their eyebrows furrowed with passionate intensity, even when reporting something as inconsequential as a rib tickling road show.

The nausea accentuates when you realise that these jokers are actually concentrating more on the sanctified elegance of their own triumphant voices, than on the tragedy or the comedy of the broadcast. Each channel suffers from an unslakable thirst of wanting to find sensationalism in an otherwise uncommon or a bizarre piece of information.

Earlier, news used to be authentic. Now it is a forged version of reality. This is the ugly face of journalism.

But that isn’t all. What began as a fanatical tirade of a grudge against the ‘others’ slowly snowballed into discrete acts of revenge. Now we find ‘terrorists’ of all cliques and clans trying to sway the general public towards their ‘just’ cause by poisoning our minds with their absurd ideologies.

Garlands for murderers, laddoos for lynchers, endless paroles for rapists and freedom for criminals have all become a norm. What is tragic is that most believe this is right. Not because the perpetrators are no longer criminals with no regard for human life but because with time most of us have developed a cloak of indifference towards such psychopaths. Familiarity, in this case, has not bred contempt but indifference.

What is even more terrifying is that somehow we are channeled into believing that what ‘they’ are doing is not an initiation but a reaction; and that all this is somehow beneficial for the nation. With constant repetition, even our views of the new kinds of ‘terrorism’ is also undergoing a change. From the hardened to the compassionate. This absurd ‘stockholm syndrome’ has now become an integral part of the terrorist’s psychological warfare.

Although this system might be obsessed with a taste for defending retribution, unfortunately for the sane, it results in only further defining the flavour of terror. This is the dangerous face of patriotism.

Whenever my country is blasted with such absurd attacks of ‘nationalism’, some usually prefer to adopt the ostrich mentality. Perhaps because this is more comforting than beating the insane allegations with a sane voice. Or refuting the incredible claims with credible views. Even I do that sometimes. But. Even silence has a way of weighing on the conscience and day by day by day.

When the weight of this golden speech becomes unbearable, I have no choice but to turn to writing, my confessional sanctum. What I cannot understand though, is how long can you keep listening to such irrational bouts of age-old ideologies? How long will people keep reopening old wounds? How long will you keep ignoring the rightful demands of the youths, the women, the farmers and the citizens?

The naïve and the illiterate I can forgive, but how long will the educated intelligentsia keep getting fooled by pompous promises, and bombastic jumlas? How long can one remain a mute party to the limp excuses of corruption and hoodwinking with the help of the IB, ED, CBI, EC and all the ‘legal’ letters of the alphabet? How long can one keep being an aficionado to a death camp cuisine?

Just as an example, let me condense my country’s beliefs into my tiny little world and show you what CAN happen if ‘all’ began to think like ‘some’. Imagine the chaos in my home if my husband turned to me with an accusing question in his eyes, every time a bomb went off in some corner of the world.

Can you see me dive into the scabbard of ancient scriptures and retaliate with my ‘jehadi sword’? Or, imagine the ridiculous altercation between my husband and his son/daughter-in-law if there are burning conversion issues in the country. Can you visualise them running at each other’s throats with Trishuls and Crosses? Or on a more bizarre front, what if I had one day suddenly decided to ‘de-adopt’ Nelson and Champagne, “Okay, you Marathi Cat and Bengali Dog. Kindly pack your bags. There’s no room for you in Odisha. Go find a home yourselves!”

Once upon a time I could sing ‘Saare Jahaan se Achcha’ with a gay feeling of abandon. Now I feel a twinge of guilt every time I hum it. Especially because Hindusthan and its people are now living in the realms of reality and insanity.

We now live in a parallel world where one half thinks that anything good happening is because of exceptional leadership. And everything bad is an international conspiracy where all dirty claims should be swept under the carpet. That the ‘carpet’ needs to be aired is inconsequential because it really doesn’t matter what the other believes.

I know I’m not qualified to offer a way out but if people like Nityananda can, why can’t I? But before that here’s what we should know about our leaders. If they are hell bent on dividing us, surprisingly they have also mastered the art of uniting our internal problems and the social dissatisfaction to such an extent that it becomes easier for us to deflect from the ‘REAL’ issues.

They are also experts in playing not only the ‘blame’ game but also the ‘name’ game. So my suggestion is simple. Instead of playing it part by part, street by street, city by city, State by State, slowly and torturously, why not give it one whole shot?

Why not alter the name of our desi Bharat Mahan and make it sound more polished and genteel? Something more cohesive; more organised; more interconnected; more unified. More POWERFUL. Like the United States Of India!

I have a dream that when my country, and not any cricketer, hits a century in 2047, we can all raise a bat to the Super Celebrations.

I have a dream that one day we will overcome and beat the enemy deeply embedded within our own country- Hunger and Poverty.

I have a dream that 25 years from now, our ultimate goal should be to share our similarities and celebrate our differences. That, and only that would be the true Democratic Indian Victory.

Like Martin Luther King, I also have a right to dream. To jointly wipe out the multiple but invisible faces of ALL kinds of Terrorism. You may say I’m a dreamer. But Iike John Lennon, I’m not the only one. I bet I’m just one among the MANY of the last of the true Romantics.

P.S. Since salt is the only patriotic condiment in the world, PLEASE take ‘my’ naming solution with a pinch of salt. (*history lesson for the genext- salt was instrumental in giving us our freedom*, which by the way, was achieved in 1947. Not 2014).