Last week when I heard about the Narayan Murthy National Anthem controversy, I thought it's again one of those media misquotes. I mean, the kind of things that were talked about the controversy, how could a guy like NM say or do things like that. Then I caught NM's quote in a press briefing on TV - that triggered the events. He indeed had said all those things.
Well for all that the man has done for the society & IT industry, I for once don't agree with his current views about the whole thing. His rationale was that there are lots of foreigners on Infy's Mysore Global Campus and playing the anthem would have embarrassed them as they couldn't participate while singing or feel being left out.
Funny isn't it? Somehow our fascination for the 'gora' chamadi still persists in today's world. Blame it on the Raj era. Over the years it has got infused into our system and even if we don't agree to it, but somewhere in the back of the mind, the thought still breeds. US ambassador to India walks past the airport security directly from the airport tarmac and is not cross checked by any security guys. Can you imagine our ambassador doing the same thing in US? Do Universities or schools in US stop singing their national anthem in public if there are any ethnic students in their fold?
NM says his firang staff would have felt embarrassed. I don’t understand what’s there to feel embarrassed about. It’s a national anthem that’s getting played and the firings know it – so what’s the big deal. It’s the excuse of NM that’s not convincing enough. Had he said, oh well we just thought let’s keep it to tunes as and never thought about singing it, chances are, no one would have said anything.
I don't know about Karnataka, but out here in Maharashtra, they start the movie by playing the national anthem - not any instrumental version but full song. As the anthem starts I have occasionally seen many firangs (pune is full of them), get up and stand attentively as it gets played. I don't think they would be understanding a word of it and I doubt if they would like to know also, but they know the importance of a national anthem.
NM as a future president – sounds good. But if this is the kind of thought process that he has, then he is not getting my thumbs up.