Does having a minority name-tag make one an anti-national?

Who exactly decides whether the Sanghis or the Kanhaiyas are the true patriots
Blog Blog Saturday, March 26, 2016 - 18:12

Why exactly was February 9 being observed on the JNU campus this year? What were the students there trying to establish by commemorating Afzal Guru who was hanged on the same day in 2013 for his alleged involvement in the 2001 attack on the Indian Parliament?

Are they the sole caretakers of democratic ideals while the rest of their countrymen comprises a bunch of mediocre souls unable to rise to their intellectual take on what exactly constitutes Azaadi…is that what Kanhaiya, Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya were trying to prove?

Ok, so their slogans of Azadi were raised against a whole bunch of social injustices plaguing the country in the present times, no doubt. But they could easily have chosen to protest against these on any other day in the calendar year. Why on February 9?

That the so-called future intellectual elite of the nation chose to highlight the nation’s social ills on the same day Afzal was hanged makes one wonder who exactly is a true patriot: the Kanhaiyas or the Sanghis?

Forget about minority tags, but when the nations’ democratic ideals are under threat, there are no two ways about it. It seems to be the in-thing these days for gen-next to be anti-establishment, anti-tradition, anti-heritage and what not. Choose an anti icon as your hero and wham -you become the next big thing in town.

The Sangh’s take on Bharat Mata is undoubtedly jingoistic in nature. However trite it may sound, it’s a fact that most kids of today grow up wholly ignorant of the country’s freedom struggle and India’s rich heritage. So the Sanghis believe that these brats need to be taught the hard way of actually valuing one’s Indian-ness.

But then what JNU students also need to realize is that one can be an Indian without having to always resort to bashing up the governmental machinery by default. You want change, you be the change. It’s so easy to be all sound and fury signifying absolutely nothing, taking a leaf from Shakespeare’s Macbeth.

The Sangh’s take on beef is abhorrent and their unabashed usurping of the Bharatiya parampara as a whole as well as their minority-bashing attitude does not bode well for a pluralistic society.

Mouthing ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ per se is in no way the litmus test for one’s patriotic credentials yet not mouthing it citing religious beliefs does not make sense either. We may or may not ascribe to viewing the nation as a goddess to be venerated but that in no way should come in the way of one’s patriotic allegiance to the country.

So instead of indulging in brutal attacks -both verbal and physical- on each other, it’s high time, the youth of today take the country forward without disowning its complex past where both tradition and experimentation are deemed equally important.

Neither the Communists nor the RSS can take sole credit for India’s sense of nationhood. So please stop trying to make heroes of the Kanhaiyas and the Khalids and villains of the Sanghis once and for all. What the nation wants are patriots from within who would willingly give up their lives for the country.

The Indian armed forces comprise members from varied castes and creeds yet in times of national distress, none of them hesitate to fight shoulder-to-shoulder to safeguard the nation’s borders. But what if the enemy is from within where the country’s secular and democratic credentials are under siege by rapacious wolves in sheep’s clothing –all under the garb of patriotism?

That is when one seriously begins to consider the option of conscription. It is indeed high time, conscription is woven into the social consciousness wherein every able-bodied man or woman at the age of 21 will perforce have to serve the nation for a period of -let’s say- three years.

A mandatory tenure in the armed forces will be the ideal cure for all puerile takes on patriotism and will reinforce the popular maxim that actions indeed speak louder than words.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the personal opinions of the author. The News Minute is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability or validity of any information in this article.  

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