The distinguishing characteristics of these “nationalists” are:
- Insistence by these “nationalists” that India somewhere in its remote past had cornered all human wisdom and knowledge; whether it be in relation to medicine, missiles, space travel or human lifestyle and therefore attempted “debunking & ousting” on their part of “western influences” which is the strongest “foreign” influence in India.
- Pakistan Bashing.
And these distinguishing “characteristics”, near invariably, would be present together.
Given the overt and covert branding as “anti-national” by these “nationalists” of anything opposed to their distinguishing characteristics; one can’t help but think what nationalism would mean and imply.
Nationalism, of course, would be love for the nation.
But nation is an abstract entity.
In reality and in tangibility, a nation derives its identity from the large numbers of humanity that inhabit and make up such nation.
It cannot be that one would have love for the abstract entity of “nation” without having feelings for the humanity and resources that the “nation” in reality and actuality comprises and consists of.
Thus if anyone claims to be a “nationalist”; such claim would translate into positive feelings not only for the nation, but also for the huge numbers of humanity of which it is made up of.
The necessary implication therefore which comes across whenever a person professes to be a “nationalist”; is that such “nationalism” should mean and include positive feelings for huge numbers of unknown humanity that inhabit and would be found in different parts of the nation.
Unknown in the sense that the so-called “nationalist” would not have personally met all these huge numbers of humans living in the same nation.
But still, as stated, if a “nationalist” has love for his or her nation; then such “nationalist”, at the bare least, is required to show positive feelings for the humanity which in reality makes up such nation.
But a very large number of these so-called “nationalists” with the distinguishing characteristics, noted above, display animosity towards members of a particular community. Now this would be contrary to the requirements of “nationalism” which requires, at the bare least, positive feelings towards the humanity at large which makes up the nation that these “nationalists” claim to have love for.
So, are these “nationalists” with the distinguishing characteristics given above really “nationalists”?
Not only this. As per the distinguishing characteristics of these “nationalists” noted above; Pakistan bashing and “ousting & debunking” of things western are also included.
Nationalism, if it indeed is nationalism, would require love for the humanity at large that comprises the nation in as much as the nation in reality and in actuality is comprised of the humanity at large that it consists of.
Now India has billions of human beings. Billions of these human beings are personally not known to each other. So, a nationalist – if such person is indeed a nationalist as he or she claims – would require to have positive feelings for billions of human beings that are personally unknown to him or her.
Now if the positive feelings for billions of human beings personally unknown are indeed present; then it cannot be that such positive feelings would be able to become outstanding negative feelings simply on grounds of different lands or territory.
Again, if indeed there would be a warm heart for human hearts and minds at large; it cannot be that such warm heart would turn to a cold heart, all of a sudden, for hearts and minds Western or Pakistani.
What comes out therefore is that the hordes of these so-called “nationalists” with their above noted distinguishing characteristics are not really nationalists. If they had been nationalists, they could not have had animosity and aggression arising simply on the name of a nation or region as above noted.
Nationalists are persons who by virtue of the sincerity of the feeling they have for humanity at large are able to turn their activities to the betterment of their more familiar and near surroundings that their nation represents, including its defense against any destructive or harmful threat; but, in the same breath, are also able to connect with a warm heart with the global humanity at large.
These hordes of “nationalists” recently crowding the public space are, to reiterate, no nationalists; but only posing as such for whatever reasons of identity, complexity, misconception, confusion or power grabbing they might have.
In fact, the discussion above would show that nationalism & internationalism – far from having any mutual contradictions – strongly merge and flow into each other.
By Sanjay Kumar Singh at indiaopines blog
The author also blogs here
Also see his other posts here