Free India turned 70 yesterday amidst a jubilant nationalistic fervor! it is another thing that our Independence was just a convenient well crafted handover of power batons from the white master to his brown apprentice until recently where it took us almost seven decades to elect a common man to represent India and the idea of India.
The social media was abuzz with ‘Happy Independence Day’ wishes and Whatsapp groups soaked itself in tricolor.
Not to be left behind the print media too made some tricolor pitches with blown up product advertisements leaning on a dash of patriotism while some media channels paid tributes to its soldiers and martyrs who laid down their lives for this country but there was this one program on CNN IBN18 hosted by Bhupendra Chaubey that caught my attention!
When the whole of India was busy celebrating its freedom and when our soldiers were being shot from across the borders and stoned from within, interestingly enough this program was debating about how much of nationalism was too much for this nation and if the very idea of nationalism was dividing the country!
Like all debates there was a nationalistic narrative and then there was an anti that narrative, I do not know if I should call that anti-national narrative because it was something more than that so I chose to anyway hear out their version of the alleged dangers of overt nationalism to see if the discourse made any real cuts about the problems faced by India and how we could move forward with integrity and unity.
But the debate was less about India or its independence and audaciously more about why any Indian should pride himself about India’s independence or its tricolor where the anchor Mr.Bhupendra Chaubey vehemently tried to prove in vain that there was nothing nationalistic about holding a 8feet long tricolor flag and that people didn’t have to wear patriotism on their shoulders to prove their patriotic penchant.
Although other panelists like Tejasvi Surya argued that just like a man sporting a beard is proud to flaunt it as a religious symbol, it was only spontaneous and natural for a sportsperson representing India internationally or any other Indian to splurge in the tricolor as it is symbolic of national pride.
Although the debate hovered between a sympathetic secular tone and the usual penchant for anything anti-majority where panelists like Mr.Saad Bin Jung made unconnected remarks on a national platform that today’s nationalists divided people using those very symbols of pride like the Bindi(Hindu Tilak) and the Thali(mangalsutra)!
Whatever secularism and tolerance meant?! Whatever respect for other faiths and symbolisms meant! Weather the debate weaved together the non-believers or witch-hunted the believers of nationalism in an open debate on a national news channel but certainly yet subtly the whole debate disguisedly emphasized on one aspect _ that the strong card of secularism(read pseudo) has given rise to overt nationalism and that it has forced the erstwhile secularists to downplay or even discard the Secular serendipity and come up with an alternative term or perhaps coin a new word called Humanism for an inclusive India.
Yes, Humanism is the new catch word of the liberals!
Humanism has always been an essential part of our inclusive indigenous dharma so much that we have often extended it to other forms of life as well and needs no reintroduction to its netizens.
Yes, humanism is a welcome gesture as long as it is extended in sync with the ambit of our constitution and is not lost into the contours of many political isms at the hands of fake human rights activists where one human is made out to be superior because he is a sympathized victim over the other human being who might be a simple law abiding citizen rightfully discharging his duties.
Humanism is relative when it is subject at the hands of leftists, socialists, capitalists or communists however the nationalism debate ended with a dream of a developed and integrated India bereft of any caste divisions and communal chaos 30years down the lane when India completes her 100th Independent year.
But the bigger question is will the media and its masters make a sincere attempt to merit its own monologue and let go of caste and all its political embellishments in their future course of discourses. I did not know that there existed a lingayat votebank or a Vokkaliga votebank until the media highlighted it, hence I find that the media is equally guilty of sculpting divisive mindsets sometimes with over emphasized caste card and sometimes with misinformation overload and many times with half information offloaded!
The fact that there was a nationalism debate on one of our national news channels that too on our Independence Day about why it is not so cool to wear patriotism on your sleeves where a panel gets to decide as to how patriotic can one be or not be and whether it is really important or irrelevant to qualify as a nationalist in today’s scenario, should compel the editorials of these media houses to introspect and analyze themselves if they can ever castigate caste away from their narratives and if they in their quest to score over and suppress an ideology are desperately disgruntled so much that they have to resort to an anti-national pitch to counter the growing dominance of an alternative narrative!