Monday, 15 February 2016

Twisted ideas of 'Nationalism'

Just my little bit on the misplaced ideas of nationalism that's coming up in television discussions these days around the JNU incident. I would like to say, nationalism doesn't only lie in a martyred soldier or in slandering someone who speaks against the state. Nationalism, in a country like India, is also about respecting the diverse groups of the country, accepting that a few communities like the denotifed tribes, the dalits, the Nagas, etc. have been historically wronged and taking provisions for correcting this. That someone who expresses anger towards the state out of hurt that stems from a history of exploitation and destitution is not that bad as someone who swindles tax payers money, commits mass murders in the name of religion, ignores the deprivation of other communities, etc. And also I think it's about time we stopped using the word nationalism. Let's first learn to be sympathetic citizens who can feel the pain and struggle of other citizens. Have the grace not to mock other citizens who 'look different.' With thoughts like Maharashtra can only be of the Marathas, and a situation where many nomadic and semi-nomadic communities have not yet been enumerated by the Census of India and live by begging and prostituting themselves, and times when a young Rohith Vemula has to kill himself because he learns too early in life that people born in his caste community will continue to be weak even with education, why are we sweating ourselves over the term nationalism, really? Until we sort out so many of these pressing issues, I would prefer nationalism being just about India winning cricket, tennis and badminton matches and not fret about who said Jai Hind and who said Jai Pakistan, unless it is the Prime Minster, the Army chief or the ISIS from whom these words are coming. We all know that Jai Hind or Jai Pakistan coming from you, me or anybody for that matter without the reins of power and force will not really change the country. So let's brush words aside, and focus more on what needs to be done in this country.

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