By Pillai Vishnu:
At the outset, I would like to say that I condemn the sloganeering by some students (seemingly so of Jawaharlal Nehru University, or maybe not. Who knows?). I, as an Indian, can not accept it if India is abused and will never stand for it.
I want to bring out an interesting aspect to the entire debate (that is if the ‘nationalists’ will allow any debate to take place!). The JNU problem, in my view, should have been handled by the administration, professors and students. Instead, what we got was the Central government (mainly the BJP) adding fuel to the fire to get emotions raging across the country.
Naturally, if there is an action by the government, there is bound to be a reaction. The obvious reaction was that the Congress and CPI (Communist Party of India) added some fuel of their own (ironic, because the Congress is supporting ‘pro-Afzal’ student groups when it was the UPA that hanged Afzal). Anyways, the result was this inferno we have, which is uncontrollable as demonstrated by our very ‘patriotic’ lawyers who beat up journalists to express their love for our ‘Bharat Mata’.
The problem with the inferno is that it has sidelined every other issue in the country. So, while all the national channels, dailies are fixated on JNU, while Arnab is busy being the most ‘Indian’ among us, while all the politicians have taken their sides, I, sadly, came across this devastating news of an entire village in Bundelkhand that gave up farming because they couldn’t tolerate starvation anymore. It had come to a point where they couldn’t even feed their cows. But, hey, that’s not important. We are used to farmer’s dying by now! It’s more important to be patriotic now, because some immature kids, some nobodies hurled some slogans. The farmers, they die every day. What is new?
I couldn’t tolerate this apathy towards an already shrinking profession in the country. No one seems to realise that there wouldn’t be an India to be proud of if the Indian farmers gave up farming. While I blame all politicians who tried to get political mileage out of the situation for this apathy, I primarily blame the BJP and its hyper-nationalism.
It made me want to question the ‘nationalism’ of the BJP. What I discovered was the highest level of hypocrisy, and I share some of it here:
1) The obvious first is, BJP is allied with PDP in Jammu & Kashmir! For the people who don’t know, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) have been long time sympathisers of Afzal Guru. They openly criticised his death penalty and continue to do so even now. The BJP top brass did not have any qualms about forming a coalition government with the PDP. In the end, when it comes to power, who cares about nationalism? So the BJP exempted itself from being ‘nationalists’ in this case. After all, all is fair in love and coalition!
2) One of the National Democratic Alliance allies was MDMK (Marumalarchi Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam) led by Vaiko. Yes, the same man who has cried for the terrorists who killed our former Prime Minister. Vaiko has been famous, or controversial (there isn’t much difference in politics, I guess), for being a sympathiser of Prabhakaran, the leader of LTTE (Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam). What is more surprising is, it was the DMK that broke ties with BJP in the end and not the other way round. It seems that being in coalition with a party openly sympathising with terrorists who killed an ex-Prime Minister was fine for their ‘nationalism’. This is the second exemption.
3) I do not know if you remember that Modi signed a deal with NSCN (IM) (National Socialist Council of Nagaland – Thuingaleng Muviah and Isak Chisi Swu faction) last year in August. Yes, these were, or are, secessionists (the points of agreement were never made public). They have caused the deaths of many of our police personnel and other security forces. What is funny is that the PM had no problem in talking to secessionists, but he has a problem with talking to the ‘misguided’ youth of the capital. The third exemption: talks are not as important as a chance to polarise voters in the country.
4) Now, some history. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, BJP’s parent organisation, did not recognise India’s national flag initially. To quote the 14 August 1947 issue of the Organiser (the RSS’s mouthpiece) in an article titled ‘Mystery behind the Bhagwa Dhwaj’, “the people who have come to power by the kick of fate may give in our hands the Tricolor but it [will] never be respected and owned by Hindus. The word three is in itself an evil, and a flag having three colours will certainly produce a very bad psychological effect and is injurious to a country.”
5) The RSS also, at one point, did not recognise the Constitution as it did not have the words of Manu in it (thank God, sorry, thank Ambedkar it didn’t!). To quote from the RSS mouthpiece once again, an editorial dated 30 November 1949 said, “but in our constitution, there is no mention of that unique constitutional development in ancient Bharat…To this day, his laws as enunciated in the Manusmriti excite the admiration of the world and elicit spontaneous obedience and conformity. But to our constitutional pundits that means nothing.”
The flag and the Constitution were accepted by RSS when it was placed as a condition by Government of India for lifting the ban imposed on it. This ban had been imposed after the assassination of the father of the nation by a ‘former’ RSS man.
I want to show this hypocrisy because I want everyone to understand that the political class is using the JNU issue for vote bank politics, not because of its nationalism. What this is doing is, it’s diverting attention away from more important news.
We have many problems to deal with in our country. Let’s not waste time on some immature, over-enthusiastic young adults who shouted some slogans. Let’s stop making them heroes by giving them undue attention!