Disclaimer – Read before you brand me anti national or anti army.
The country is divided into National vs Anti National debate. We all have opinions, we all have a side to which we are “defend to my death” loyal and the debate turns into verbal abuse and cuss words.
A country which terms raising slogans as a seditious act is a country which has failed the culture of having an alternative opinion. The whole JNU row shows that we the people define “Nation” in terms of what should not be said ( aka Pakistan), what should not be eaten ( aka beef) , what should not be used (aka condom according to a MLA) and everything that falls out of the narrow lane of “should nots” is anti national.
Nation is a collective identity for each one of us and from a collective identity, it has become an inflated ego. Nationalism has one single definition and anyone disagreeing with it will be thrashed upon or to quote some law makers :
“Nothing wrong in beating up or even killing someone shouting slogans in favour of Pakistan.”
But my problem here is not the media trials and the dangerous trend of blind following. My problem is bringing up the issue of “Shaheeds” when the so called Nationalists are scoring less on debates.
When Arnab Goswami shouts at students saying “how dare [they] speak over [him] when [he was] speaking about Lance Naik Hanumanthappa. Now I call you an anti national” and somewhere in a part of India people who have a mob idea of justice get a point to counter.
Yes exactly, the utmost sacrifice by the valiant men for country is being used to score political points. We can not compare #JNURow with the sacrifice of Martyrs. We just can not compare that.
We are a country that fails our soldiers. They live in the most inhabitable conditions, have poor quality equipment, have been protesting since ages for “One Rank One Pension” and every day young chaps are losing life because of failure of state to control infiltration. We remember them when we have to close a case on who is the only nationalist. We quote Lance Naik Hanumanthappa, We compare Captain Pawan Kumar and the alleged“Anti nationals smile thinking “Dekh boli band karwa di maine”.
When this patriotic tamasha ends, you know who has lost this debate – the fallen soldier left behind with a family who will have to fight for some basic rights because of corruption by the great patriots.
Three years back I was hosting a run which was organized to mark Vijay Diwas –India’s victory in Kargil War. I met Professor S.K.Nayyar , Father of Mahaveer Chakra Shaheed Captain Anuj Nayyar. Having watched the movie “Dhoop”portraying the struggle of Mr and Mrs Nayyer to open a Petrol Pump allotted to them during which they not only suffered corruption at every level but also hooliganism. When I asked Professor Nayyer “why has Mrs Nayyer not turned up today”? He replied to me in a bleak voice “ Humare saath jo kuch hua uske baad Meena kabhi bhi aise function me nahi jaati, use chidh hoti hai”
I was ashamed. Yes my dear countrymen if this is what a family of a Mahaveer Chakra Awardee suffers, just imagine what would be happening to other families. Yet very shamelessly we bring up the names of Martyrs to score a point on the debate of nationalism. Because you know that a soldier losing his life is there at the borders protecting your right to dissent.
Don’t use martyrs as pawns. Get your nationalism sorted. Read Tagore, Bhagat Singh , Orwell’s essay and even Mussolini’s speeches but don’t score a point by saying “Wahan sarhad par sainik jaan gawa raha hai aur ye naare laga raha hai , Maaro saale ko itna ki pant me hi mut de “
A fallen soldier does not need a certification from your idea of deshbhakti.
Respect a soldier, it is the least you can give them.