Nationalism vs Democracy


The following article is based on my own interpretation of the said events. Any material borrowed from published and unpublished sources has been appropriately referenced. I will bear the sole responsibility for anything that is found to have been copied or misappropriated or misrepresented in the following post.

Mayank Goel, MBA 2015-17, Vinod Gupta School of Management, IIT Kharagpur


From the past few days India is witnessing a whole new type of demarcation, on the one side of line are people who claim to be nationalists and patriotic and on the other hand are those who claim to be liberal and democratic. Now this demarcation seriously puts question mark on concurrence of nationalism and democracy. On the one hand we have people whose blood boils high enough to evaporate on the mere hint of anti-national activities and on the other we have liberals whose blood boil at any terrorist punishment. Recently when JNU students organized the solidarity function for the Afzal Guru, a convicted terrorist by Supreme Court who has been given death penalty it created a furor over whole JNU campus with ABVP representatives running amok. Now there are three important highlights here-

  • Rationales are being given that Afzal Guru is state convicted terrorist, how can anyone glorify him as it will set poor precedent for others to follow the same ideology. But then RSS also glorifies Nathu Ram Godse who was also state convicted! Question here is who will decide which convict can be glorified and which not?
  • Congress party leaders showing solidarity with students of JNU but then whose government was in power when Afzal was hanged? Is it amnesia or just sheer opportunism?
  • Most people are asking to shut JNU or host national flag in center universities. Does shutting down JNU means all anti nationalism will be contained? Or it will instigate other universities to follow the suit? From when does mere waving of flag over your head has the magical power of instilling nationalism in you?

Sedition charges were slapped against student leader on video recordings as evidences. If you look down the history you will be astonished to see in how much extreme cases sedition charges are slapped. Underlying question here is two fold

  • Who will define what nationalism is?
  • What are the boundaries of freedom of speech?

May be the old saying comes the clear winner here ‘Might make the rights’.

It is the time when students should realize on how much hard earned tax payer money they are leveraging. Instead of indulging in these unproductive regressive propaganda, they should be marching towards progressive world.

And government should on other hand should be more vigil to extinguish these incidents in the very nascent stage instead of playing politics over burning shacks of country.


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