National pride or corporate greed?? That’s the question that kept running through my mind as I watched the Indian independence day parade in NY. The parade is famous for being the largest Indian independence day parade outside of India, and having just moved to the area (and being Indian), there was no way I was going to miss it.
You expect independence day parades to be about national pride. You expect them to be a tribute to the thousands of people that lost their life in the freedom struggle. You expect them to be a recognition of everything the nation has achieved since independence. Yet the NY parade was none of that. Truck after truck, as the different decorated trailers drove by, you realized the parade was more about advertising and marketing rather than celebrating India. From banks to Indian tv channels to even US senators trying to gather the support of the Indian community, all drove by with no sense of national pride or spirit. In fact, most trailers had mediocre decorations and a DJ blasting music as they drove by. As if that was going to make all the people standing and watching in the crowd proud of their country.
Maybe I was just expecting too much. Or maybe I was being too judgmental? Or was I? I mean you go to a parade, and then trailer after trailer all you see are advertisements, poorly decorated trailers passing by, each trailer having their own DJ blasting music, and a bunch of people just packed on top of the trailers (maybe relatives of the organizers) dancing away to the DJ’s music as if they were at a rave. Wouldn’t you be pissed off and disappointed just like I was? As some wise man once said – “Opinions are like a$$holes. Everyone has one and they all stink”. I am sure some of you think my opinion on the parade stinks, but then again, that is the beauty of an opinion. Your opinion about my opinion might just stink :).
I have posted pictures of some of the relatively nicer trailers below. There were very very few of these. I did post a video though, of an obnoxious trailer that drove by (which is pretty much representative of what the majority of trailers looked like).