Dear NRI Friend Worried About ‘India’s Image’ in the World

To love a nation is an intimate exercise,
to sell a nation only takes confidence.
The country you protect today is a broken thing,
its institutions too frail even to protect you–
when the time comes.
But saving a nation is more than a PR exercise.

It takes intimacy to save a democracy,
to locate the wound,
to check its pulse, change the bandage every day.
Look back inward, my friend,
our battle is not against what
they’re saying but what we’re doing,
a country that hurts her own also bleeds.

And one day, when our kids ask how we fought back,
I want to show them something more than
a tweet which says #IndiaTogether,
even when we were falling apart.

Diksha Bijani is a spoken word poet from India. She is a policy graduate from Harvard University, and currently works in climate change at the World Bank. She tweets @BijlaniDiksha.

Featured image credit: Murthy SN/Pixabay and ElisaRiva/Pixabay