Charles de Gaulle, a French General and former President of France once said, “Patriotism is when love of your own people comes first; nationalism, when hate for people other than your own comes first.” At the same time, the word nation defines itself as a social glue that unifies people under commonality. The number of nationalistic qualities in a person can’t be measured under the shadow of xenophobia. In other words, nationalism is a force that groups people together in a way that tends to maintain the division of the human race into competing states. The problem arises when one group starts exerting their kind of nationalism on the rest of the community.
Sixty-nine years ago, Nehru spoke about tryst of destiny, millions of Muslims rejected the two-nation theory and made their choices to stay on the motherland. India was their “madar-e-watan“, and it was India where they would live and die.
Both of the slogans “Jai Hind” and “Bharat Mata Ki Jai” appeared during the Indian Independence Movement. In the first slogan, India is represented as an abstract nation, the second slogan states that India is both abstract and icon, a mother, a goddess.
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When right-wing parties from both sides indulge in sloganeering, they try to project themselves as the winner in front of their core supporters. Asaduddin Owaisi refusal to chant the “Bharat Mata Ki Jai”, as a citizen he is within his right to say that. But the problem arises when he or his party member try to implement his ideas on Indian Muslims. The RSS should also understand that Muslims need not prove their loyalty towards India every time when they are bullied. It is an Indian Muslims composer A.R Rahman who composed “Maa Tujhe Salam“ that gives goosebumps every time when anyone listens to it.
Nationalism can be baby fed to the citizens. Neither by force nor through the power and most importantly not by asking people to prove their nationalism by chanting a slogan. The current Indian Government has been constantly trying to exert their way of nationalism towards the rest of the country. The RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh) is the backbone of the BJP. Both of them are redefining the idea of nationalism. The kind of nationalism which creates a social division and constant hate towards other communities.
Nationalism has become a new debate in entire mainstream media, politician use Nationalism to prove their own stance towards the country, while the average and lower class Indian’s are confused between the exact meaning of nationalism. It also leads to the political division across the thin layer. Questioning anyone’s patriotism is wrong. After all in the Indian Independence movement, Hindu, Muslims, Sikhs sacrificed and spilled their blood.
Article Written by: Aquib Israr