My take on the JNU row in India
Patriotism has become a complicated word today. In much the same way as nationalism has become an outdated concept – neither intellectual nor glamorous enough to be espoused by a certain category of scholars and academia. Under the garb of high-flown statements and using the rhetoric of democracy, what is being challenged is our very nationhood and its sovereignty.
It’s a shame that some of our students and universities take pride in asserting a brand of freedom of expression that reeks of betrayal and sows seeds of discord. Shouting anti-national slogans and showing solidarity with those convicted of terrorism by the Supreme Court of the land is certainly not the way to conduct “debates” and hold “cultural” gatherings. Democracy gives you the right to speak against the government but not against the country. Voices raised in dissent can be tolerated but not voices that wish to destroy the very soil that nurtured them. And if this sounds like emotional drama – so be it. Sentimental patriots are far better for our country than ruthless “intellectuals” spewing hatred without a shred of remorse or sensitivity.
I do not see any two ways about this. All freedom comes with a sense of responsibility and is bound by ideological limitations that cannot be violated. Our constitution grants us the right to express and question but never to breach the threshold that can threaten the integrity of our nation. The constitution was formed not only to protect the rights of the individual but also to safeguard the honour of our country as a whole. Any infringement to that honour amounts to treason and I believe that measures to curb such activity are totally justified.
No university in the world would allow anti-national uprisings within its precincts – and that too in the name of democracy. And here we are, reluctant to hoist the tricolor at our temples of learning, as the flag would represent conflicting ideas to confused minds – while being a symbol of pride towards our motherland, it would also be a mute witness to the mindless agitations carried out to defile it.
Nothing can be simpler than this – no ideals, principles, doctrines or religions supersede the country and her integrity. Any individuals who want to challenge this cannot live on this soil. By all means go ahead and debate about the concept of capital punishment. But those insensitively supporting convicted terrorists and swearing to destroy the motherland do not deserve to be citizens of this country.
Honestly, I don’t understand what the argument is all about – am glad my simple definition works for me.