Pseudo & ultra nationalism- dangerous tool
Mahadeep Singh Jamwal
If we have to define what the word national and anti-national means to a common man, a simple reply we find is that it is beyond their understanding but still one voice will definitely be there, that they have some concern for the country. So definitely we can say that our education has not transformed us in real sense to define the meaning of these words as it is the nationalism which is the requirement to be enforced in individuals. Our pseudo and ultra nationalism has surpassed the true meaning of the nationalism and we consider our patriotism as our nationalism.
Nationalism is loyalty and devotion to a nation. It is a sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests. Nationalism is feelings that people have of being loyal to and proud of their country often with the belief that it is better and more important, a sense of national consciousness yeast to sacrifice. Nationalism is an ideology and it holds that a nation is the fundamental unit for human social life, and takes precedence over any other social and political principles. There is no longer an individual with ideas and motivations of nationalism, but a nation as a group of people together promote nationalism who share feelings, ideas and objectives, irrespective of their individual feelings towards other societal fundamental requirements. The nationalism gets promoted if we have a political sound and awakened society with true concept of the nationalism. But we believe only in the ideology of national Flags, national anthems and symbols of national identity as commonly considered highly important symbols of national community. But if we have to introspect, we find that the infatuated class of the present regime is leading to a thought of nationalism that citizenship, in a state should be limited to one ethnic, cultural, religious, and political or identity group. Nationalism has a subjective dimension to it. Members of a nation usually feel a sense of unity that in certain circumstances may go beyond class inequalties. But we are left with an impression that some vested interest across the nation does not realise the true concept of nationalism and their vested intersts prevail upon in the guise of a true nationalist, whereas it is nothing but just pseudo-nationalism to promote their own vested interests and even we resort to over stretched or ultra-nationalism by exhibiting our extreme loyality to country by even defending a set of politicians in power committing horrific acts to its own citizens.
It has become the fashion of the day that any person putting forth constructive criticism against any move of the government, gives his mind to the situation or speaks something against the ideology of the government, is straight away branded as anti national by the infatuated class which deem itself to be the only elite in the society. This is the harmful as well as hurting and we are feeling and experiencing it in the new regime. How we can forget the statements of political clout as asking for producing more children (in comparison to the other sect of the society), leaving the country not believing in a particular religion, promoting fanaticism, forced change of religion and many more such suicidal attempts and then getting political patronage. In what way such element is exhibiting his nationaism or promoting it, is beyond the thinking horizons. Is it the true nationalism of such minds or just a pseudo-nationalism to keep our political kiosks open?
We do not feel that one has been left with enough courage to spell out anything, if it is disturbing the present regime, and we feel deprived of the fundamental right of expressing the views, a right enshrined in the constitution. Who is to be credited for this type of situation, is a million dollar question required to be answered by the apolitical think tank. Frenzy is prevailing in the space, which has rendered us in a state of drifting away from utilizing the common sense and we feel dosed by some element, claiming to be the only intelligent, visionary, nationalist and game changer in the country. This has created a diversification in the society between the right thinking people and the infatuated to a particular ideology. The political trends since independence have lead to a society divided on reservations, religious conflicts, and castes’ and this has lead to denting somewhere in the mind and hearts of the people and that is the reason off and on some irrelevant feelings erupt in the space such as intolerance, anti national demonstrations and sloganeering.
(To be continued)
There is hardly any society in the world, where total population is follower of one political thought and one religious and cultural following, but we never heard of such statements as to leave the country either from the people or politicians related to treasury benches not falling in line with them. So it is right to say mere stating that one is very nationalistic is not enough his/her words must co-relate to his/her actions also. So we have to introspect at the national platform, whether we are not denting the nationalism, athe national conscious exists but it is required to be enhanced but the pseudo-nationalist and ultra-nationalist are destroying the very fabric of it. Nationalism is devotion to one’s own ethos (character, sentiments, moral nature, or guiding beliefs) and concern for its defense, frequently compared or contrasted with patriotism, which is devotion to one’s own country. Nationalism is closely related to patriotism, the only difference has been commented upon by Emma Goldman (An American known for her political activism, writing and speeches) as “The difference between patriotism and nationalism is that the patriot is proud of his country for what it does and the nationalist is proud of his country no matter what it does, the first attitude creates a feelings of responsibility, but the second a feeling of blind arrogance A system that recruits the passion and pride of nationalism by giving some credit or at least paying lip services to traditionalists is nothing but a pseudo -nationalism. Stand up for those values which are deeply embedded in our cultural ethos. Can an oordinary Indian afford to show ‘anger’ at a regime that feels no compunction in launching FIRs for standing up for the constitutionally mandated rights. Let us differentiate between nationalist and pseudo-nationalists:
o Pseudo-nationalists are those who ignore real problems in the name of promoting nationalism.
o Nationalism cannot become a reason to stifle dissent and debate that is the hall mark of a vibrant democracy.
o To conflate any critique of the government or the state with anti-nationalism is to devalue nationalism. The conflict between democracy and nationalism should never arise in a mature republic.
Nationalism cannot become a reason to cynically deflect attention from matters of concern of citizens. To run with the Tri-color away from legitimate issues relating to failure in governance. In this way expecting to silence the critics, is an expedient attempt to overreach ineptitude, inequality and mal-governance.
We have to restrain our self from invocation of pseudo-and ultra nationalism as who openly take its refuge to target the minorities, religious sections etc. India’s legitimate sense of ‘nationalism’ is imbedded in a multi-cultured, multi-religious, plurality. This vibrant plurality is the glue that holds our country together. All the people of India are participants in this shared sense of nationalism. So any attempt by any group to claim a monopoly on nationalism by doubting the nationalistic bona fides of the others is nothing but an infected thought.
Concluding I will like to cite Rudyard Kipling “Nationalism is a state of mind permeating the large majority of the people and claiming to permeate all its members; it recognises the nation-state as the ideal form of political organization and the nationality as the source of all creative cultural energy and well being. The supreme loyalty of man is therefore due to his nationality, as his own life is supposedly rooted in and made possible by its welfare”. So better the society, better the nation and it enhances the nationalism, but at the top we have to shed our pseudo-nationalism and have to restrain from ultra-nationalism, so that our generation does not come up with this type of congenital ideology. We are required to create such saunas where our pseudo nationalism and ultra-nationalism wasps out to create a space in our thinking of real nationalism. So better to keep the lips glued and shut down the doors of your feelings and expressions closed, if you want to escape from being branded as anti-national in this era of pseudo-nationalism and ultra-nationalism.
By: Mahadeep Singh Jamwal