For years, linguistic passions sometimes transcended religion or caste as a priority for many. But linguistic identities struggled to win majorities at the Union level and eventually gave way to caste and religious politics. The focus must now be on clearly articulating what constitutes the Indian identity.
Posts tagged as “indian nationalism”
The recent action against Kashmiri students for celebrating Pakistan's victory in a cricket match is yet another example of gross misuse of the law against Kashmiris. If the government intends to bring back a semblance of normalcy to the valley, it must shed draconian laws and try to win the hearts of the people.
Where once the white of peace waltzed with the green of prosperity, the ballroom of democracy seems to have been replaced with authoritarianism. The power of the citizen has been undermined by politics that cajoles Hindus to think of others as enemies and cudgels minorities to keep a watchful eye on Hindus.
In the inaugural episode of Beyond the Headlines, Editor-in-Chief Mohamed Zeeshan spoke to Ramachandra Guha, eminent historian and author. Guha spoke about Indian democracy, compared India to other democracies, and dwelt on the roles and responsibilities of historians in public discourse.
Mahatma Gandhi and Rabindranath Tagore enjoyed lively debates about nationalism, cultural identity and much more. Their debates have lessons for India on policy and governance, but they also show that if leaders can disagree with mutual respect, they can broaden and enlighten public discourse.
In mainland India, the tribal and ethnic communities of the Northeast are widely associated with secessionist movements. But during India's freedom struggle, countless freedom fighters from the Northeast laid down their lives for India's freedom. Mainland Indians should learn about them.
"You acknowledged the fragility of a unifying pan-Indian emotion, and knew what caveats to heed and precautions to take. You recognised the divisive tendencies which lay at the heart of India’s communal Partition. You knew, too, that we, your progeny, must protect ourselves against these. Yet, we faltered."
India must go much further than just survive this pandemic. A political culture of communalism and vengeance led to opaque governance and misplaced policy priorities. Many Indians voted for false communal pride, but as the pandemic hit, they found that they needed oxygen instead.
Countries that run on manufacturing can afford linguistic nationalism in education. Folks in factory jobs don’t need to transact with people from foreign cultures on a daily basis. But in recent years, even the Chinese have begun to drop their English phobia. For India, English is vital.
The creation of Pakistan was more a secession from India’s multicultural freedom movement than a partition of Indian territory into two states on the basis of religion. The ruling political ideology in India has now pledged allegiance to the ideals of the secession of Pakistan.