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” War alone brings up to their highest tension all human energies and imposes the stamp of nobility upon the peoples who have the courage to make it”.
Benito Mussolini (Italian Politician)

There are number of instances when the present ruling party promoted ‘ nationalism’ through various programs. It is leaving no stone unturned to express its patriotic intent and directing people to follow its footsteps. One of the latest example is ‘ Parakram Parv or celebrating surgival strikes ‘ showcasing the valor of armed forces from September 28 to 30 (Parakram Parv : India to celebrate the second anniversary …. All you need to know , FE online , updated September 25, 2018, www.financialexpress.com). According to Indian Army spokesperson, ‘ on September 29 – 30, noted singers are scheduled to perform at the venue ( India Gate) apart from Military band.’. A notice sent out by University Grants Commission (UGC) on September 19, 2018 asked student to ‘pledge their support to the armed forces’ by writing letters or cards (Vikas Pathak, updated September 20, 2018, thehindu.com) It also encourages students and faculty to visit multimedia exhibition to be organized at India gate.

Dissent expressed

Historian Aditya Mukherjee of JNU, co- author of the book India’s struggle for freedom disagreed. “This is typically the BJP trying to project themselves as the nationalists. They have this great deficit of not being part of the national movement. Now, they are trying to force it on people and militarize campuses. They wanted to install tanks in JNU and if we oppose, it, they will call us anti- national”, he told ‘The Hindu’. This is no way to arouse nationalism , he opined. Speaking to zee media, AMU students union president Mashkoor Ahmed Usmani said that under previous UOA as well as NDA, surgical strikes were carried out across the border but ‘ no attempt has been made to highlight it in this manner’ ( Khalid Mustafa, updated on September 22, 2018 zeenews,india.com) . He also said that the government has failed on all fronts like security and curbing incidents like rape and therefore, it is doing such things by imposing on institutions.

Promoting nationalism

Using attacks on neighboring army bunkers and soldiers to express patriotism and force people to believe seems to be the latest agenda for gaining popularity. Pakistan is being used as a synonym to terrorism, India’s prime enemy and root of all evils. The present government is showing it’s act as its own ‘ personal’ achievement. As Palapre Balakrishnan ( Manufacturing nationalism, updated September 25, 2018, thehindu.com) says “…. . None of India’s Prime Ministers had gloated over victory in war. Lal Bahadur Shastri’s humility helped him steer clear of this in 1965, and Indira Gandhi, not given to undue modesty, did not make capital out of the India – Pakistan war of 1971, which had left the adversary not just bloodied but halved. It was left to others to liken her to Durga. In their dignified silence, India’s former Prime Ministers had followed the practice of great leaders who refuse to glory in aggression. The countries of Europe remember the sacrifices of their soldiers in the two world wars but they do so with restraint. Can it be said that they love their country less for merely wearing a flower for a day, not requiring their great universities to celebrate victory in war?’

Promote peace

The basic feature of fascism is being given importance by the present regime. “Peace is absurd. Fascism does not believe in it” , said Mussolini. ” Three cheers for war , noble and beautiful above all”, he said. This is trend of ‘ celebrating’ strike is dangerous.

People of both countries do not want war on each other. There are many organisations on both sides that promote friendship. Writers, journalists and civil rights activists in both India and Pakistan work for peace and harmony. The governments supported by some fanatics and military are against peace and use war as a tool to further their own political interests.

India has a great legacy of Ashoka who was quick to realise the futility of war after the mass killings in the battle of Kalinga. The Chandala kings, after victory in war, built exquisite temples of Khajuraho to be used by the people. Even Bhagvat Gita, revered by the hindutva forces does not prescribe war as a solution. Teachings of Buddha are replete with non- violent way of living. The people should question such celebrations that spew hatred.

Instead of celebration, peace marches must be held all over India and academicians and students should conduct seminars on peace and how to solve burning issues like rapes, atrocities on women, dalits, muslims and differently abled persons etc. They should force governments of both nations to hold peace talks . Similarly, Pakistanis must also conduct peace marches and urge their rulers to demilitarize borders and reduce tensions so that people living in border areas live in peace and harmony.

The writer from everywhere and anywhere believes like Pete Seegar :
We shall live in peace
We shall live in peace
We shall live in peace ….some day

2 Comments

  1. Sally Dugman says:

    I do not like nationalism, Sheshu. I consider myself a world citizen. I would take to the knee at a public event and raise my fist up in the air if the national anthem were sung or the Pledge of Allegiance were shared. … I have hated war and war results since I was five years old. I have fought against war ever since — getting at it better each year ever since I was young.

    Check this fellow out. I know him a bit if you want to communicate with him. You can let me know if you do so.

    William Blum
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    William Blum left the State Department in 1967, abandoning his aspiration of becoming a Foreign Service Officer, because of his opposition to what the United …
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