By Mohammad Ahmar:
Nowadays, there is a trend to label someone who does not have the same views as yours as ‘anti-national’. This is happening daily on news channels, and it is so sickening. If you switch on the TV to watch news, all you will see and hear are panellists shouting at each other very loudly. You get the feeling that even if you put the TV on mute, you will be able to hear them.
The worst part is that if someone starts speaking sense and against the views of the ruling party representative, he is either made to shut up by the anchor or termed as an ‘anti-national’ for having different views from that of the government. The worst part of this is that people from even educated backgrounds are falling for this kind of jingoism. For god’s sake, in any democratic country, every citizen has the full right to oppose the government.
Let’s take a recent example. The controversy surrounding the film “Ae Dil Hai Mushkil”. There was a debate taking place in a show on IBN7, hosted Amish Devgan, where Shehzad Poonawalla pointed out how the government has no objection in giving visa to a Pakistani artist and other cross border trades are also taking place. He also mentions a report from October, 2015 which discloses that members of Gautam Adani’s enterprise had visited Pakistan to discuss the sale of 4,000 MW of electricity. The anchor, who always takes the liberty of talking in a loud voice said that he was deviating from the topic. Abhijit Banerjee, another panellist on the show and famous for using foul language started calling Poonawalla an ‘anti-national’. He also criticised him for supporting Pakistani artists.
Since Poonawalla was representing the Indian National Congress, Abhijit, being a self-proclaimed nationalist, did not even spare the ‘Father of The Nation’ Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. I think it’s high time that we should stop this kind of jingoism. Talking of jingoism, recently a a physically disabled man was attacked by a couple for not standing while the national anthem was being played in a cinema hall. India is definitely not an intolerant country. But intolerance is rising day by day.
The nation is not just a piece of land. Nationalism is an idea attached with emotions. Media houses these days are using these emotions to create a rift between government supporters and opposition, by labelling the latter as ‘anti-national’. Words like liberal and secular are being used by people with a very different understanding. ‘Anti-national’ is a loaded term and is being used very casually. It’s very saddening to see this kind of propaganda happening in our country and diving us amongst ourselves.