I planned to write about India and China standoff at Sikkim, China testing a military tank at Tibet, OBOR and China’s Submarine prowling the Indian Ocean initially but I decided otherwise only to put down about Nationalism. I will wait for more objective bits of intelligence to opinionate about India and China tiff.
There are also national differences in the theory of nationalism since people define nationalism on the basis of their parochial experience. Media determines what platter is catered to its audiences and that may color our version of nationalism. Opinions around us are mostly focused purely on self-determination. Also, there are times when non-nationalist elements are attacked with ideologies, sense of legitimacy, identity only to come into the limelight.
For an example, In the Israeli-Palestinian struggle, both have upheld another for not being a ‘real’ nation, and as a result, have no right to a state. Patriotism and chauvinism make embellished statements about the supremacy of one nation over another. National stereotypes are also ubiquitous and are mostly offensive. This kind of adverse jingoism, focused at other lands, is undoubtedly a nationalist marvel, but not an appropriate basis for a broad model of nationalism.
Nationalism is basically mindfulness of patriotic sentiments, principles, and allegiance to one’s country. I am no different if you observe in my posts; I am a little biased towards my country too despite inane jokes. But there is also something called Extremism. There is a difference between nationalism and extremism. In my mind, extremism means “faaltu ka josh” (Distorted form of nationalism). I certainly comprehend and put my hands together for loyalty and devotion to a nation but extremism surpasses all the levels of devotion and religious zeal. No, I said it wrong, Religious zeal is paramount in the world. Now, in a country like India, Nationalism means the belief that my country is better than all others which don’t even let it work with other countries at times.
I personally think Nationalism should not essentially infer a belief in the superiority of one nation over others, but in exercise, some (but not all) nationalists do think that way about their own nation. Nationalism has a way to suppress people. Seldom have they understood another nation can serve as an example for their own nation. It is called racial nationalism which can be deliberated an ethnic nationalism, but let’s be realistic, some formula of racism can be found within almost all nationalist movements. It is commonly aimed at neighboring nations and ethnic groups.
In my opinion, the kind of nationalism we feel and pride for is a little hypocrite. Nationalism should be a state of mind permeating a large number of people. I should be able to love my country as well as demand justice. Most of the extreme nationalists don’t abide by the rules, law, and order. They litter around as convenient to their nationalism. They don’t help fellow Indian in need. One Indian from North India holds a different view about someone from South India. Nationalism is not only about going to candle marches in support after a brutal rape. It should also be about serving in need when the time is right. It should be about safeguarding public property, not burning it to ashes in protest. It is about halting at red lights for the safety of all. Nationalism should be about strengthening nation in the economic and political realm. Anarchy is also sadly included under the aegis of (distorted) nationalism at times.
The beginning of nationalism can be traced back to ancient times. People of the ancient world had a sense of allegiance towards their homeland. The Rig Vedic hymns refer to India as “Bharata Varsha or Bharata Khanda.” The notion of nationalism did not take existing shape during ancient India; nationalism was more or less equated with Regionalism. Since there were only a number of small provinces, fidelity towards a province itself was considered as nationalism. In ancient India, regionalism outshined the conception of nationalism.
This sensitivity of oneness encourages every member of the group to feel as equivalents in the pleasure and regret, justice and injustice, pride and humiliation of the entire publics. In such a state of affairs, their perception of nationality blended with the patriotism matures into a political ideology, it is called nationalism.
There are Merits and Demerits of everything, so are of Nationalism. Nationalism plays an imperative role in overall national development further resulting in national independence. Nationalism has also played its cards right in establishing democracy. It extends cooperation and fraternity as well as ensures internal stability amongst societies. Nationalism does come around Internationalism and all round development of human civilization.
On the other hands, it is also a distorted form of nationalism. Does it feel like it’s also a pioneer of imperialism and doctrine for racism? It can also range from anti-democratic to misdeed and misfortune. You can arrest, demean and beat up someone in the name of nationalism. Wow, the world we live in!! Specific examples of nationalism are largely diverse, the issues are hot-blooded, while the conflicts often bloody.
We need to work better at our patriotic sentiments. You don’t merely become “patriotic” standing up to the national anthem. Standing up doesn’t equal patriotism. It can’t be that trivial. Be more to yourself and the nation.