Nationalism is not some tangible thing that one can see or touch. It is not Jingoism either. It is a feeling that those whom you share a certain ethos, way of life and boundaries with are as important as you. Probably more.
It would have been best if the world looked beyond the differences in cultures, languages, ways and lived as one humanity. But for a long time, some cultures, specially those that developed in the West and Middle East, looked at the world as a Zero-Sum game. The idea that one’s belief system had to be enforced on others by conquest and the victims shed of their identity and moneys was an idea that fueled the invasions from Arabia and the European countries. Colonialization and Slavery were the two of the most devastating consequences of this Zero-Sum game of one-upmanship.
Is Nationalism really important?
Is fighting for one’s own to defend a correct thing to do? To understand this clearly one needs to understand that the British (East India Company) entered India and started the colonial march from Bengal. The first battle was fought in Plassey and the first area to be under British rule was Bengal. One can say – so what? Bengal got Western education much earlier than the rest of the country as well. So was that such a bad thing, many may ask (and do!)?!!
Well, the education happened for a few upper class people and that too for reasons of mental and intellectual slavery. But millions died in the Bengal famines caused by British rulers. These famines killed people in millions! And they were man-made disasters.
The reason these famines happened were the exact same reasons that caused slavery. The life of a native who was ruled was of no consequence or value for those who ruled and had power. The millions who died were worse off than the animals.
Power of those who subjugate you for who you are and weaken, worse break you down, is the power of a tyrant and psychopath. It needs to be resisted.
And, that can happen ONLY based on Nationalism. When something becomes o important that even giving up your life seems the right thing to do, then and only then can one defend against the tyrants.
When the JNU gang riled against India and shouted to break India down, they were exhibiting the classical “Stockholm syndrome” and ready to help those who were working to do what Islamic invaders and European colonial forces had done in the past. NSA chief, Ajit Doval brilliantly breaks it down for us in this video.
Escapism and Nationalism
Indians, it seems, are fine with going via the escape route instead of confronting those who torment us. That feeling of nationalism, which makes people to stand up to tyrants and invaders, is very weak in the country. Probably because nationalism has become a bad word given the ideological onslaught of the Leftist propaganda that was backed by the Chinese and Russians. While obfuscation of clear nationalist imperatives has been the obvious way of these Leftists – by muddling issues of terrorism, violence and religion etc – the consequences of this confusion aren’t fully appreciated.
In absence of a clear direction or way to express one’s nationalism, for every question of India’s integrity has been obfuscated, one cannot make a clear case for going above and beyond one’s survival when tragedy strikes.
Even when obvious death faces one in the face, one is so confused about the “good/bad” that one doesn’t fight the terrorising evil. Instead one takes the “less confrontational” path of escaping. Which is anything but!
In a remarkable – albeit small and not fully representative – study, an NGO got responses which are clearly depressing. When asked what their response would be if terror strikes near them, 90% of the Indians said that they will RUN!
In their report, the NGO concluded that 90% of the people would choose to escape and secure themselves rather than confronting the attacker and trying to stop him or her. On the same lines, 70% respondents claimed that they will try getting to a safe place first and then seeking the aid of authorities during such an emergency situation.
“Very clearly, when terror strikes, young Indians prefer to find themselves a safe haven over helping others out,” commented the report.
The worse part of this study is that these respondents were in the age group of 19-32 years. That is the future of India.
Future of India and Nationalism in Youth
If the future of India is so weak that it cannot even stand for itself when – quite literally – their own lives depended on action and defense, then how and why would they do so for the country at large?
Be rest assured, this mental weakness and escapist mentality is not a consequence of them being weaklings, but because their idea of nationalism has been demolished through constant obfuscation of the reality.
It is one thing to discuss the morality of punishing a thief or a pickpocket, but to argue or debate the punishment and justice in case of a terrorist who was openly involved in killing hundreds of innocents is a reflection of a confused mind. A confused mind can never face tough situations. It finds escape routes.
Interestingly, those who are confused themselves, resort to argument along “Spiritual morality” to further muddy the waters. Little realizing the first advise from Krishna to Arjun in Bhagwad Gita. To fight on the battle field. A battle field that wasn’t his making in the first place. And against an enemy who will not stop even if Arjun didn’t take action. And even if he was killed. For those who fight for their own egos and their own ways as superior to everyone else’s life, don’t stop with one life. They will enforce themselves – their ideologies, their culture, religion, and mindsets – on others till they drop dead. Krishna gave that advice not because he had a war fetish, but because he saw things clearly.
When you look at anything clearly, the path and action is clear as well. It may not be to your liking, but things are clear. British had to be beaten and killed on the battle-field of Plassey. Millions of Bengalis who died in famines could have been saved if some of them had fought back. And killed decisively.
They did not have the will to fight. Because they were confused and could never see the enemy for what he was clearly. Just as these young people in India do today.
The choice is clear – Either we put a cost to Failure of standing up for ourselves, or Fate will put that cost. And, the latter will be very terrible one indeed!