Some feel that nationalism is only about changing names of roads, cities and even country. But we can bring in the “Indianness” in so many small ways, doing away with traditions of the West, which are simply not practical in this new, modern India. Like the judges doing away with that hideous wigs – now that was a great move.
A similar revolution of sorts is happening at graduation ceremonies across India, with students deciding to do away with the black gown and cap. Instead, students are opting for “local” and traditional clothes, some even encouraging local textiles. It first began in Varanasi where for the graduation ceremony, boys wore traditional dhoti-kurta while girls wore salwar-kameez. The Malayalam University in Kerala, for their convocation ceremony, students wore the traditional Kerala outfits in white and gold bordered. IIT Bombay did us all proud when they wore Khadi – the long neck scarves were made from Khadi Bhandar in Mumbai, some 3500 of them worn over white kurta-pyjama. IIT Hyderabad students gave encouragement to local weavers – Pochampalli and got capes designed in this material, worn over Indian traditional dress. IIT Kanpur joined this revolution and did away with the ugly gowns and caps, wearing traditional Indian outfits.
Now this is what we call “positive nationalism” where neither is anyone hurt nor are any sentiments trampled upon.