This article contains phrases that can hurt the feelings of a nationalist.
We are taught to be nationalists right from our childhood. I remember drawing the Indian tricolour and how I used to feel this sense of pride about it. But today, I can’t even look at those three colours together for too long. It makes me feel sick.
The nationalist sentiment grew within me, but it always stayed hollow. So, it was easy to break through it with the resources I found because of my many privileges.
What is nationalism? Is it a love for one’s nation, for one’s country?
When you look at it, it seems quite justified, love for your own country. But what is “your country”? Someone told me that it means “the people of your country”. When I asked them about the people living beyond the territory of India, they said that they were talking about the country, not “the state”.
What does country mean? The Nehruvian hokum we are taught? Unity in diversity? The amalgamation of different cultures? Oh, it’s the era of globalisation! The whole human society is an amalgamation of cultures. What is there to be proud of about being born in India?
If you’re going to talk about beauty, believe me, the whole cosmos is beautiful.
One may say that, “Yeah, people speak in my first language and I feel comfortable around them,” or that, “I feel comfortable in my own town.” But, what about the whole country?
Okay, if you ask me about my patriotism towards my own culture: no, I don’t love it any more than any other culture around the world.
They teach us about aggressive nationalism and perverted nationalism, which are obviously bad. Look at Hitler, or look at Mussolini! But plain nationalism, on the other hand, is good. Alfred Zimmern said, “The road to internationalism lies through nationalism.”
I respectfully disagree! The nationalist song by Dwijendralal Ray, ধন ধান্য পুষ্প ভরা (dhono dhanno pushpo bhora), has got a line saying: সকল দেশের রানী সে যে আমার জন্মভূমি . Loosely translated, it means: “My motherland is the queen of all countries.” But this isn’t aggressive, is it? Oh, it is!
You can say that you don’t consider your own country to be the best, or believe that other countries are inferior, but you just love your own country. Well, I can only ask you, where is this love coming from?
The class interests of the working class and that of the bourgeois class are internationalist. From a macro perspective, they don’t care about their nationalities. The capitalists have got the world market to compete for.
The workers are oppressed all over the world, so they have the whole world to win, eh?
Yeah, the petit-bourgeois (of or characteristic of the lower middle class, especially with reference to perceived conventionalism and conservatism), the middle class, they care a lot about their nationalities.
They are the ones who have surplus time to feel “pride” and “love” for their races, nations or countries.
They influence others and this nationalism is useful for the bourgeoisie who use it to create a divide among the people. Thus, we are taught to be nationalists from our childhood.
Smash capitalism, globalisation and imperialism! “And the last fight let us face, the international unites the human race!”