Society & Lifestyle
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|by Ravi Pipal|
Once upon a time, not long ago, we were made to learn by heart at least one essay in school. Often it used to be - India, an agriculture based nation (Krishi Pradhan Desh). Among other things, the essay used to contain exaggerated description of great mountain range, social tolerance, cultural integration and the holy rivers of India. Our glorious past was pressed in service any where and everywhere. We were like that unworthy nephew of a worthy uncle who flauntingly name dropped his uncle on every occasion.
Initially, obliquely in a hushed tone with jest and later with much solemnity it was proclaimed that India, actually, is a chair (read power) based nation (Kursi Pradhan Desh). The game of musical chair, vying for better and higher chair became so aggressive, people won't let the chair, once occupied, come what may, slip away from their posteriors. They applied variety of glue, Fevicol, Ereldite and what have you so that chair and they could become as inseparable as Siamese twins. They were so much smitten by their love for chair, they simply refused to die without one.
Necessity is mother of invention, hence, we invented hundreds of corporate bodies, development authorities corporations, societies and committees whose term was never enough to complete the assigned task. Chairperson always outgrows the commission to head yet another commission. A new class of politicians and administrators emerged who moved freely heading committee after committee with professional ease.
During seventies, there was a massive import (smuggling) of Disco-mania into India. Disco culture penetrated deep in us through whatever opening it could find. Masses also enjoyed disco-music, disco restaurants. Small towns and even country side had their share of Swadeshi disco through items such as disco bindi, disco bangles, disco shoes, disco slippers disco goggles, disco cigarettes and disco coach (Bombay to Goa). Sizzling seventies gave us two more turning points, film Bobby and bell-bottom but that is another story.
A new slogan was coined - Be Indian Buy Indian. In our bid to buy Indian we went a little too far and ended up shopping politicians, bureaucrats, bridegrooms and discovered to our pleasant amazement that this poor lot was ever so eager to be bought. Our search to find something unique took us to so far little known hazy world of herbs. We were quick to realize that anything herbal would stand out among the 136 types of shampoos and 256 types of toilet soaps currently in the market. Hence, we have herbal with H capital in our household. Herbal tooth paste, herbal Kajal, herbal powder, herbal cream, herbal soap, herbal oil etc. Today you can sell soil of your kitchen garden in the name of herbal provided you know the art of packaging and marketing.
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