The entire JNU ruckus seems to have been appeased post Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail. But it has certainly given birth to a fresh talking point among intelligentsia as regards Nationalism and the meaning of this phenomenon. And everybody is busy defining and redefining the term in their own perspective.
While JNU issue was doing the rounds on media, I revisited the past events of my life. Almost fifteen years back, I used to teach 12th graders at a school. In a language book prescribed for Higher Level students, I was reading a lesson to pupils; the lesson immediately captured my attention with its thought-provoking content. I don’t remember the title of that lesson, but can certainly present the gist of it.
In the last few paragraphs, the author asked questions that force readers to think about nationalism differently. He argued that soldiers are the real heroes of any nation, and citizens should always have high regard for those fighters, who lay their lives for their country and fellow countrymen. But every soldier would get only one chance to sacrifice his life for the nation. He doesn’t die every day. Whereas in our life as civilians, we have so many opportunities to show our respect to our nation. There are small things we can do for our country and our brothers & sisters who are living with us.
According to the author, nationalism is not something that we should talk about in our living rooms. In our personal abode, we are individuals with a name, caste, sub-caste, and religion. But when we come out of our house, we are Indians. We may be discussing our religious beliefs and ideals at home, but why should we drag that discussion on streets? Why should we be judgemental on religious issues? We loudly and aggressively discuss our faiths on the streets and our nationalism curls up under the quilt at home.
Similarly, our hygiene system is also coloured with our self-interests. We spoil our public toilets and utilities unabashedly; on the contrary, our toilets and washrooms at home are extremely well-maintained with all those disinfectants and antiseptics.
We never argue or fight over any issue at home with our siblings; but we immediately toggle our combative mode on if a rider from behind starts honking or flashing headlights on roads. Is that stranger so important for us that we waste our time and energy after abusing and fighting him? (And we think that we are tolerant!)
Spitting on roads, abusing other bikers or beggars at crossroads, breaking traffic-laws have become the order of the day. And we don’t see the murder of nationalism in such shameful incidents we are part of every day.
A soldier is doing a great job at the front. If there is heaven, he would certainly get a warm welcome at the entrance. But we as citizens can do equally good to our nation by doing small but good things every day. Follow the rules, do not succumb to corruption, do not urinate and smoke in public, help each other in the streets, co-operate with government on good administration. Let’s do our bit and live (not just show) the national spirit.
Appeal From Jayesh Purohit:
I always hold great regard for our soldiers. They want to see us united, living a peaceful life with great civility. Let us not spoil the beautiful texture of incredible India. By destroying the image of our nation, we are doing injustice to those soldiers, who protect the borders of our nation.