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Monday, August 29, 2016

The Irony called Nationalism


Our sense of patriotism is weird and some what unpleasant. It’s not about the love for your country,rather about how hard you hate Pakistan. I would say we shouldn’t be patriotic instead we must be matriarchal since we call India, Mother. Politics is muddled with religion, casteism and racism. They have no principle. Patriotism is measured in hatred and not in Love. Nationalists have no sense of nationalism. Here, nation is equated with religion and religion poison everything it touches. In this 21st century where religion should be a personal thing rather than a collective representation, people still lingers on the values and morals elaborated by the religion for a group of people, when people used to live as a closed unit with minimum contact with other groups. Everything is global, we are living in the age of globalisation.
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Recently some lawyer in Karnataka state, hit the court with a sedition case against a film actress, who just openly commented 
"Pakistan is a good country, not hell. People are just like us. They treated us very well while attending the SAARC meet. Manohar Parrikar's comment is not true."
Anybody in their good sense can see that she was just expressing her view. In one way or other every argument or a comment would contradict some other view. If you can’t distinguish between hurting of sentiments and difference in expression of views, then democracy is lost.

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But the biggest irony is, nationalism is just a persona behind which some interested parties try to establish their vested interests and agendas. Their nationalism creeps in with issues associated with religion, like gods, religious festivals, temples, masjids, churches etc. To them every festival is a religious issue and they equate culture with a particular religion. Their love for country is conditional. They just can’t love unconditionally. They don’t see a starving child in the footpath, they are blind to people who are homeless. Their patriotism is limited to Pakistan and Kashmir. Their Patriotism is defined by the hatred, not by Love. They preach Voting vigorously, but forget to insist on the duties of a citizen towards our fellow citizens. Daily preaching of patriotism is not an option to those who call themselves nationalists. When a poor man from Odissa, Dana Majhi, carried his deceased wife’s body 10kms from hospital over his shoulder with his crying daughter beside, only because he can’t afford a hospital ambulance, we didn’t see any patriotic attempt to tackle such a shameful event. May be because it is common in our country, it loses it aura to demand any kind of approach. It was a perfect situation to show our patriotism and nationalism, but there were no uproar. Everyone just aired condolences and that’s it.
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Nationalism is built on paranoia. Here it is not about national identity it has become religious identity. Nation is always an ethnic-cultural group,especially a country like India. Nationalism comes with the feeling of belonging. If we can’t make our own people feel that way, how are we going to move forward as a country.