When all else fails, there is always the patriotism rhetoric.

Soldiers will take a bullet would you not cast your vote ECI asks Indians overseasADGPI - Indian Army/Facebook
news Civic duties Tuesday, November 22, 2016 - 16:34

In the last few months, there have been plenty of messages, social media posts and WhatsApp forwards which invoke the Indian soldier’s name. “If the soldier is standing at the border for hours/is waiting hours for food/is protecting you, why can you not boycott xyz/stand in ATM queues/survive without food for some time?”

And while the Indian jawan reference to “inspire” the common person seems to be becoming quite omnipresent, looks like the government doesn’t want to be left out:

Screenshot

The message appears after Overseas Indian Citizens take the Election Commission’s online survey before registering as overseas voters. 

After answering a set of questions on the documents you hold regarding age and general knowledge about registering as a voter (which is the form you must fill, what is the minimum age for voting, what do you think are the documents needed), you are essentially told to votebecause a soldier will take a bullet for you. 

Is your heart filled with patriotism yet?

No? You’re probably an ungrateful and spoilt anti-national who does the following: 

You bought Chinese lights for Deepavali (never mind that it is quite impractical for India to not trade with China). 

Watched Ae Dil Hai Mushkil (because how does it matter if the Pakistani artists had much smaller roles and there was plenty of swadesi Indian money that went into it as well). 

You felt tired or frustrated after standing in one of the serpentine ATM or bank queues following demonetization (because common man boohoo!).

No doubt, the Indian troops face and survive in some of the harshest, most difficult conditions. But if you need to invoke the jawan’s name every time you want the public to support the dominant sentiment or government policy, it speaks volumes about the hollowness of your own patriotism. 

 

 

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