I took this photo on Friday, right before I packed the flag for my big trip ahead. The plan was to hoist it on to the car that I’ll be driving to Mongolia over the next month. But today, I have nothing to be proud of.

In a country where a little boy gets tortured to death and filmed on camera just for the fun of it, where women get groped in public places, where even the national cricket team that brings pride and glory for the whole nation cannot escape religious fanaticism, where writers get hacked to death outside book fairs, where my own mother falls off a rickshaw and an asshole motorcyclist drives over her despite the slow traffic, I have very little to be proud of.

I hang my head in shame. We’re a sick, blood-thirsty nation, with no respect for human life, human dignity and basic decency, but plenty of morals of be self-righteous and judgemental about the way other nations conduct themselves. Because we like to think we’re better, more moral, more pious, more courageous, more honorable than everyone else. But we’re actually just a nation that has spent so much time hanging on to the past that we have spent very little time focusing on the present, thereby failing to raise good human beings or creating a just society. I am ashamed.

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