The political debate in the country is getting more murky, with the tone “either you are with we patriots or you are against us”. After the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) row, attempts are being made to convert every cuss word into a symbol of patriotism and to trigger fiery debate.
No doubt, genuine patriotism would prove beneficial to any nation, as it gives its people a common purpose and rallies them to support the government during the time of crisis. During external aggression, terrorist attack and other such situations, moral support is crucial. Governments in many countries have been using these patriotic feelings for immediate electoral gains after tiding over the crisis.
Patriotism has its purposes. It also has its traps. History teaches us about many countries where patriotism has demonstrated its dangers by stimulating virulent nationalism, preventing fruitful policy debates besides haphazardly driving the nation into chaos. Politics of patriotism has many traps which people cannot see easily, particularly when emotive issues dominate the political discourse. Politicians and other vested interests take undue advantage of critical situations to strengthen their own positions.
The tactics of subverting genuine patriotism through chanting slogans, issuing sweeping statements and picking up issues that create crisis is almost same across the globe. There is no place for thoughtful expression where thoughtless nationalism dominates.
Genuine patriotism strives for peace and harmony within the country that in turn sets the pace for development and peoples’ welfare. Whenever there was a crisis, people of India have always demonstrated with full sincerity that all of them are patriotic. They will continue to do so to protect the honour of “Bharat Mata”.
The slogan “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” has nothing to do with any religion. There is no harm in people belonging to any religion chanting the slogan “Victory for Mother India.” Yet there is a shrilling debate on television channels with lust for TRPs and all political parties joining it, sidestepping fruitful policy debates.
We have to see through the game—in all such issues right from JNU row to stray incidents of communal violence taking place in poll-bound and other states. Both minority communal-ism and majority communal-ism has its own dangers—the nation to shun both with equal force and support the concept of “Sab ka Saath, Sab ka Vikas”.
Then, we, the entire nation, will be able to more happily chant “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”—unitedly in a single voice.