What is Nationalism? I am unknown to this word, since India has taken the saffron colour. Bakhts of saffronism has demarcated the quiddity of nationalism and patriotism without knowing what nation is?. If we simply deluge the meaning of nationalism: ” it is a shared group feeling in the significance of a geographical and sometimes demographic region seeking independence for its culture and/or ethnicity that holds that group together.”
It is true that a hyena cannot smell its own stench. Nationalism had become a threat to other religious streams except Hindutva. They delineate the boundaries of nationalism to certain limitation. Just a verdict/slogan of four words has become the certification of nationalism.
Lao Tzu ( ancient Chinese philosopher) words fits rightly in this prevailing situation -“Governing a great nation is like cooking a small fish – too much handling will spoil it.”
Whenever in india , talk of nationalism comes into the limelight, they forget the soul of nation and national identity to lucidly understand nationalism.
Chanting slogans is not the national identity to value one’s nationalism. The worthy citizens of a nation work on the economy and peace of the country not for autopsy on the basis of religion, caste, creed, sex etc. In India, since independence there has been duality on the name of nationalism. This everlasting controversy never came to end. Nowadays, the wave is a rage, that will leave no stone left to destroy every bit of it.
This year, the hue-cry on nationalism started with a ban on the consumption of beef. Even it leads to the death of many human lives that I think costs less than the animal lives. No one raises the question on nationalism on those who wildly set ablaze a truck driver in Udhampur attack. This rage still didn’t come to end but reaches the different educational institutes. Sedation charges, anti nationalist like vocabulary got added to the pages of nationalism. Law-makers taking law in their hands proudly with no feeling of offence. Even rewards for murdering the youth became the content for saffronists’ new posters. Media with base of hoax journalism added fuel to the wild fire. Is this the national identity of india?
Dr.APJ Abdul Kalam Azad might have this in mind when he said – “Tell me, why is the media here so negative? Why are we in India so embarrassed to recognize our own strengths, our achievements? We are such a great nation. We have so many amazing success stories but we refuse to acknowledge them. Why?”.
He along his tenure was too confused and remain unanswered for his whole life with the hype and negativity from media groups.
In India patriotism and nationalism has been mixed with colour of religious sentiments. Being emotional on those names is good, but leading it into the unidirectional way makes it hypocritical. The day is not far when this grave issue will dug up the every bit of nationalism’s true nature.
National media is not alone who cluttered this controversy but some fundamentalists too vitiate this entity. NIT Srinagar outrage row is fresh on our minds these days, where non-local students pummelled the local students and assaulted the nation builders (teachers).
The dual standard from the government is not alien here. MHRD team visited NIT Srinagar to evaluate the ground situation within days after the outrage from non-local students. The question is what about the Kashmiri students of Rajasthan who were beaten , arrested and then suspended from the university. Why MHRD team and media didn’t show a little concern on this issue?.
Until this hypocrisy In the name nationalism is raging in India, peace and unity will never make its existence. Nations do not contain only one colour; nations are like rainbows – every colour has a right to flourish freely. The words of Douglas MacArthur ( Field Marshal of US Army in 1930s) make sense under this context: “I am concerned for the security of our great nation; not so much because of any threat from with-out, but because of the insidious forces working from within”.
Aaqib Javaid is Student of Intellectual Property Rights at Jamia Hamdard University, New Delhi. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org