In a country where prime-time news is taken to be the utmost truth by many, being politically correct is of very high importance. And what really gauges your political correctness? It is, of course, your affinity towards the government’s political stance. So, in simple words, the more you stand with the government and the less you criticise it, the more politically correct and the more ‘nationalist’ you are.
And that’s where it takes courage to stand different from the government’s political stance. The government has names that it will take to show how ‘anti-nationalist’ people can be. It can also brutally crush every person who tends to be an ‘anti-nationalist’, according to them. Wait. ‘Anti-national’? How? Okay, they made an effort to expose the feebleness of the government. But how can the government be feeble?
The government hit back on our noisy neighbours. We had actually hit them finally, though behind the back. After the death of a number of our very own soldiers. And apparently, there wasn’t anything that could prove it. So, the government comes in, there is a press conference and bang, the nation’s celebrating. The proof? Who needs it? What the government says is already the gospel truth.
The government takes care of the safety of the women in the country. That is why a woman of Banaras Hindu University was allegedly asked by the Vice-Chancellor to not leave her hostel after 6 pm in the evening when they reported a case of molestation. The government’s police even made them feel safer by hitting them with canes because they protested.
The government makes you strong when you stand with them. That is probably why those ABVP students still breathe fresh air, and the mother of Najeeb Ahmed, almost a year after his disappearance, still cries, hoping for the return of her child.
I could go on and mention a number of instances where the government has actually proved to us how strong it is. How there’s nationalism sizzled over everything that it does or tends to do. But will that put me in the same bracket as Kanhaiya Kumar, Umar Khalid, Anant Prakash Narayan, Ashutosh Kumar or some of the other people who tried to do the same? They were all termed as ‘anti-nationals’, as people the who aren’t good Indians, as people who the nation is ashamed of.
Am I an ‘anti-nationalist’?
If fighting for rights is ‘anti-national’, then I am proud to be an ‘anti-nationalist’.
If wanting to know the truth behind things is ‘anti-national’, then I am proud to be an ‘anti-nationalist’.
If making an effort to constructively criticise the people who are elected for my good is ‘anti-national’, then I am proud to be an ‘anti-nationalist’.
If considering the aforementioned people as nationalists is ‘anti-national’, then I’d better not call myself a ‘nationalist’.
Image used for representative purposes only.