Business Of Patriotism

Throughout the world, humanity, currently, is facing a real threat from nationalism and protectionism. In India, the atmosphere is no different. Since the last general elections in 2014, the country has been divided into two groups in every field. The repercussions of it are so bad that you just can't be neutral these days on any issue and both the groups will try to take you in their side through various ways. They will even criticize you for your stand and will not give you a chance to speak.

Take a look at the ongoing tussle between a girl of a Delhi University and right wing loyalist about a video she has made. The whole matter started when Ramjas College in Delhi invited the students of Jawaharlal Nehru University, Umar Khalid and Shehla Rashid to speak in a seminar called "Cultures of Protest" and the move was opposed quite aggressively by the members of the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. The ABVP members not only blocked the entrances of the college but also attacked the members in the seminar and pelted stones, according to the reports. In protest of this, the students of the Delhi University with few of their professors conducted a peace march from the Maurice Nagar Police Station in the capital. The march was again attacked by the ABVP members and reports said that the police just refused to intervene in the matter.

The girl, named Gurmehar Kaur, who is a daughter of an Army man who was reportedly faced martyrdom in 1999 Kargil War, made a video in protest of this violent activities. In the video, the girl has urged the leaders of both India and Pakistan to restore peace between the two nations and stop pretending. She has also urged that we should stop blaming the people of Pakistan and therefore the Muslims for killing our soldiers as it is not the people but the state of Pakistan is on war against India.

Now all the right wing loyalist has criticized the approach of the girl towards Pakistan. But instead of countering her with strong points they are trolling her badly on the social networks and also threatening her on life and giving her rape threats. Now, this shows the mentality of most of the right wing loyalist of the country. When these people cannot counter a person with the meaningful points, they just stamp the person with various labels such as anti-national. They completely forget that every people in an independent democratic country like India, has its own say and the people has every right to place their own opinion on any issue in a democratic way instead of posing threats and acting violently. This pseudo-nationalism is growing in the country quite strongly and the statements by few union ministers show the backing of the state behind it. Union minister Kiren Rijiju had said that the girl has been used by anti-nationals to divide the country. Instead of making the situation normal, an approach like this from a union minister make the matter even worse. 

But this controversy has more ugly turn too. While supporting the girl many of the people has just gone overboard. A brave reporter like Rana Ayyub just gone forward in my opinion, after bringing the issue of gender inequality in Haryana while countering the views of a Bollywood actor Randeep Hooda on Twitter. Another thing which I think was not at all required by the Gurmehar Kaur is bringing her father into the whole controversy. She not only made the martyrdom of her father the point of discussion today but has made an incorrect claim as many of the newspapers are reporting that her father not died in the Kargil war but faced martyrdom while fighting against the militants. However, she might have realized her mistake and tweeted that those who are not ready to call her a daughter of a martyr, can call her by her name, Gurmehar. But, unfortunately, the damage has already been done. 

By doing this, the girl, like the right wing loyalists, has sold her father's patriotism to make larger goals, in my opinion. The work of the army personnel is indeed respectable but making the business of their martyrdom, the patriotism which is automatically linked to the army of any country is just not acceptable. All of the national media gone overboard with her father's martyrdom and the matter got escalated further. While it's completely unfair to threaten the girl just because she placed her opinion, we should also keep in mind that this ultra-fanaticism showed by the groups in this controversy is resulting into more deep bisection of the Indian society, which is highly unhealthy for our democracy. 

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