Force feeding patriotism and nationalism……

The debate between the importance of ” state” and ” individual” is too long and controversial in the history of mankind. Some thinkers have given so much importance to the STATE that the people or the individuals have become only tools or of no significance. Some authors have given so much importance to the individuals that values, principles, and institutions became weak and subordinated to an authoritarian ruler.

In fact, I don’t want to stretch much and come to the point on the issue of patriotism and nationalism. I want to analyze and discuss how much ” nationalism” and ” patriotism” is too much and how much it should be there to create a balance between’ individual freedom’ and pursuing the goals of nationalism.

In the recent years, it was seen in the country that people were forced to say something like Bharat Mata Ki Jai or the Supreme Court ‘s recent judgment to play “national anthem” in cinema halls before the screening of every film and everybody should compulsorily stand up when the national anthem is playing. These issue exhibit something unusual and disturbing. Can we be forced to love something?  Someone has said once that love is absent where fear is. And why people should be forced to stand up when national anthem playing?  I want to discuss the futility of the arguments:

  1. Even if people stand up for the national anthem, it may be possible that they are not nationalist at all. And who defines what is nationalism? People who are not following traffic rules or having the feeling of hatred towards the marginalized community, they might stand up but are they nationalist?
  2. And how the court and the criminal justice system will enforce this order? It is something impossible to enforce when courts and police system are overburdened and they are not able to punish the hardcore criminals.
  3. Why only cinema halls and not the parliament or courts or colleges and so many others places where national anthem should be played?

In fact, the point is not that people should not respect our national flag or national anthem rather they must respect and imbibe the feeling of nationalism. But force can lead to resistance and it will be totally futile exercise. There is need to create credibility in the institutions of the state and its representatives of the people so that they can give inspiration and people automatically love the country and its principles and institutions.

I will conclude from where I have stated that it is very difficult to choose between ” people” and ” state”. However, the most important thing in the today’s world is that they exist for each other. Without the state, people feel vulnerable and without the people, the state is of no value. So, there is need to create a balance between the rights of the people and respect for the state/country/nation. Rights and duties for “STATE” towards its people are more and more but ” PEOPLE” also have duties towards the state.

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