On Statehood, AAPI Month & Masala Dabba's

May 1 is celebrated in India as Maharashtra Day, the day when the Bombay Presidency became two states of Maharashtra & Gujarat in 1960, 13 years after India gained independence from the Brits. Statehood was pursued to help with governmental logistics, the "Bombay Presidency" was simply too large to govern, and there was no way one centralized body could manage. So, Gujarat & Maharashtra came to be.

Sepia tone photograph of two seated adults and two young people standing behind them. Seated man is in Police uniform, seated woman is holding flowers.
Our family, when my father received the Presidential Medal for Gallantry

On this day, the Maharashtra Police Seva (the State Police) would hold its festivities, marches, rallies, sports day, recruitment rallies and such. It was also the day that officers received medals, and commendations for meritorious service.


As he rose up in ranks in his career, Papa was either attending Maharashtra Day celebrations as an award recipient, or a dignitary. This picture is from 1981-1982, I think, with Papa's first Presidential Gallantry Medal. He was so handsome <3

Statehood isn't about having an inflated sense of pride about regional allegiances. No language, religion, cuisine, culture is superior than another.

Celebrating statehood is like celebrating our uniqueness in the larger masala dabba we call India. It also about asking more of ourselves. While not everyone can enroll in law enforcement, army/navy/ armed forces, we all can do our part to strive for actionable change.

  • How can our communities come together, stay safe, and remain proud of being part of India?

  • How can we make the country we love better?

  • How can we serve it, and its people better without conflict?

  • What small measure of change can we inspire so we can be equally proud of all of us?

  • How can we honor those who serve the country, the state, the community selflessly?

  • What will our children remember about this legacy of freedom and independence we have inherited?

  • How can we inspire the next generation to serve in the greater good of humanity?

The month of May also marks the beginning of AAPI Heritage Month here in the US. As much as it is about celebrating our heritage in the other masala dabba we call America, I ask the same of those of us who are in the US -
  • How can our communities come together, stay safe, and remain proud of being part of a larger governing body?

  • How can we make the country we live in - better?

  • How can we serve it, and its people better?

  • What small measure of change can we inspire so we can celebrate our individuality without sacrificing our sense of community?

  • What will our children remember about this legacy of 'freedoms' we have inherited?

  • How can we honor those who serve their countries, states, and their communities selflessly?

  • How can we inspire the next generation to serve in the greater good of humanity?


Happy May. No matter the seal on your passport, or colors of your flag, if we work together, we work towards the greater good of all.

Just like a well-stocked masala dabba.




AUTHOR

NG_BW 2020_rawai.jpg

Nandita Godbole

Once a botanist & landscape architect.

Now a personal chef & author, an artist, graphic designer, blogger & poet. 

 

Loves freshly brewed chai, the crisp salty ocean breeze, watching monsoon rains & walking barefoot through cold mountain streams. 

 

Believes in the strength, positivity of the human spirit. Is spiritual but not a fanatic. 

 

Mom of one. Two, if she counts her husband.