A friend was the first to notice that I had changed the name and tagline of the blog. Earlier, the blog was named “Life as I Find It” with the tag line of “Socio-political commentary” Now, as you see, they both combine into the tagline and the new name of the blog is “Satyameva Jayate”.
The friend was aghast. “Life As I Find It was such a cool phrase! Why did you change it? Satyameva Jayate sounds really convoluted as a blog name. Don’t take me in the wrong sense, but are you really going to get into all that idealistic stuff that people can’t relate with?”
Whoa! That’s brutal. What did I do? Changed the name of the blog (incidentally a completely personal initiative) to something that seems to reflect where my attention is these days. To anyone following the blog, it is quite evident, that recently, I am no longer content to describe the life as I find it, but I am voicing my opinions on national matters. Of coming out of this psychological closet my citizenship used to be in. My posts often share an increasing concern about the overall divergence from our roots, truth and democracy. What better name to reflect all this than the highly emotional phrase that declares that truth will win – straight out. A phrase that guided an independence struggle that inspired the world and one a new born India embraced as its motto? A phrase born of our experience in walking the path of truth. We could have had “We are so cool” or “end corruption” or “feed the hungry” as a motto. We didn’t.
Today, the intended guiding light needs someone to light a candle to see if its still burning. Last couple of days, I had been mulling this change privately, and asking people one of two questions. “Do you know what India’s motto is?” and “What is Satyameva Jayate?”
Very few people were aware that Satyameva Jayate is officially our motto. Here are some of the responses I got.
- It is a Sanskrit term meaning victory of truth <- most people know it
- It was used as a slogan by freedom fighters 😮 <– if true, that is one mouthful of a slogan. Different, faster, demanding tempo from the flow of syllables. Intense, but difficult to sustain as a chant.
- It is written on court related stuff
- Its in the video of the National Anthem played in theaters
There was absolutely no personal connection. Informative, but indifferent. No recognition of either the “Hey, these are nice words” or “That’s my country’s words” varieties or anything that connects those words with the person answering.
When asked what is our motto, most people had a blank look. They “didn’t know”. Telling them usually got a “oh yes, I knew that” response. They had forgotten so thoroughly, that even a direct question couldn’t trigger recall. They DID know it. We all (are supposed to) know it if we went to school. But it is a long forgotten part of our awareness. The triggers of attentio to truth that would make us notice it when we saw it are simply not there.
I LIKE these words. I think we made an excellent choice when we made them a motto of a new born democracy. I don’t think they are “uncool” at all. Frankly, I hadn’t expected this response from this blog at least, considering the kind of readership we have here. I don’t think they are “khaki”. I think they are relevant and very much “in” and “evergreen” for any democracy – or anyone who is making conscious choices to become a “better person”.
I was actually quite thrilled when I got the idea for the name change. It just “clicked”. And I still am. I think, that this kind of a perception is actually even more reason that they stay right there, defining everything this blog is, reminding me everyday of where I want to go, helping people form those connections with the truth again, if they find themselves nodding in agreement with something I wrote, and remembering that it was on the “Satyameva Jayate blog”. Learning to associate those words with things that inspire.
As an informal site, I have the luxury of turning on a dime. I wanted to change the name of the blog, and frankly hadn’t imagined it would be catastrophic. For those who are used to the phrase “Life As I Find It” and love it, thank you. I love it too. And it is still present as a part of the tagline on every page of the blog. The simplicity and transparency it signifies will remain a part of this space and me forever – whether the words survive in the tag line or not, because I am slowly getting the idea of regularly renaming this blog to titles I think people could do with reading. I value your readership, and I value your opinions, and most of all, even as I bristled at the criticism of the new name, I appreciate that you had started connecting this space with a candid transparency and I thank you for recognizing that in me, and defending it and speaking up for it if you thought I was diverging.
Every interaction is a learning if I am able to get past the threat of differences.