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Understanding Indian nationalism properly
India is not the 'Continent of Circe' as claimed by Nirad. Indian nationalism is meaningless without regionalism. English and imports are mandatory for the continuity of a viable Indian state.

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Apni Sanskriti, Apna Vesh. Apni Bhasha, Apna Desh. (Emphasize our culture, taste, language and country.) That’s how a Hindi poet describes Indian nationalism. If one tries to understand the lines, regionalism is in vogue and nationalism is fad.

If one tries to understand how India was constructed then are two broadly different views. The first one is the pure traditional and it asserts that Hindus were born with caste. It categorically rejects that Indo-European arrived from Danube. The other one is that a foreign White, predominantly warrior class came to India some 3500 year back carrying with them Vedas and other sacred Hindu scriptures and stayed in India after hybridizing with some of the locals.

Neither of the views appears to be completely correct. The fact is that before the arrivals of Indo-European people Hinduism was established religion with not much distinctions among the priest and warrior classes. Rama gave birth to Brahmins as the first caste and other ones were lesser distinguishable then. By the laws of distributions many among the various races of India were fair and talented. Humans of varying distributions were present all along India.

Then came Indo-European; almost White people, but they were in minority. They accepted local majorities’ beliefs and hybridize with fair locals. India is not the Continent of Circe as claimed by Nirad and accepted by his followers. The Vedas and all other Hindu scriptures are written by Hindus on land and not by migrating nomadic people. Brahmin is practically fully indigenous caste. The fact is that caste is the nationalization, hybridization and localization among all races done over centuries. This was approximately the time of Krishna and if Rama’s creation of Brahmins is forgotten, then he is the creator of the caste as claimed in the Bhagavad Gita.

After suppressive rule of the Muslims, British came and they changed the whole game in the subcontinent. They seeing the shape of skull and bodily features of Indians proposed that Hindus were the hybrid between aboriginal mother and White father; the idea carried by Hindus being the children of Kali and Shiva. British other than imparting the fair color complexion to Hindus imparted consciousness to them as well; national, regional and caste-based. Falsely believing or at least that’s what is claimed by Indians, that Britons would stay in the subcontinent forever, they invested heavily in it.

They created infrastructure, built institutions, started railways, stamps, thereby integrating British India and in the process homogenized it. All this gave rise to what should be called as middle class Hindu renaissance and the rest is history. The fact is there is a great similarity among Sanskrit, Hindi, other Indian languages and English. Indians as a group speak and write the best English outside the Anglican world. And therefore, belief of majorly hybridizing with Whites is more or less natural for Indians.

British investment yielded positive dividends for Indian state. India can not be believed to exist without English. Sure, India is not possible without Hindi either. Both provide glue to this amorphous people of India. India is too diverse and heterogeneous society to have a common perception of a national identity.

The young of India probably do not know that other than demand for Pakistan there were demands for independence of Punjab and Bengal from British India. The Tamils also protested against staying in India in the sixties of the last century. Also, not too many educated Indians would be knowing that like Kashmir many other Indian states enjoy special status in Indian Union; most notably Tamilnadu and Punjab. Watch P Chidambaram singing national anthem! Though it is not audible he appears to be singing the anthem in Tamil. But then this is a minor point as there are bigger issues involved. Tamilnadu’s Chief Minister, J Jayalalita, in her earlier stint in nineties once famously said that though they are Tamils they feel proud to be called as Indians. She was facing the prospect of imposition of President’s rule in the state.  

If all Indians assert their regional identities then it would be very difficult for New Delhi to manage a stable Indian state. Therefore, if nothing helps import and English help; they provide common glue to elites and middle classes of all regions and this is how India remains united. Indian nationalism is incomplete without English and imports.

Thus continuing economic activities is in the best interests of India; it provides not only economic stability but socio-political stability as well. Consumerism also helps India; other than contributing to economic activity the consumerism acts as an antidote for prevalent asceticism and renunciation which are abundant in Hindu, Jain and Buddhist scriptures. The too much emphasis on asceticism as advocated by Gandhi could be very dangerous for Indian state and could lead to its cessation.

English and imported nationalism are inclusive and expansive and satisfy the egos of Indians of all identities. The fact is that WTO has formalized nationalism all over the world as it let elites of the globe unite and help spurt consumerism induced nationalism. The nationalism in India is just not region-specific it is also class specific as well.

The biggest manifestation of regionalism and nationalism is the subsidy provided up to middle classes. Indians generally speaking do not believe much in class-struggles except by those who are to the extreme Left in politics. The credit goes equally to both wealthy and poor. One thing is very good in India that there is not much sectarian violence among any of its principal religious groups.

But consciousness is changing with time and with that all the habits and mannerism, affecting all aspects of social lives. Consciousness has two broad effects: one of spurting consumerism and other of increasing vocal nationalism.

The two go hand-in-hand up to a point in secondary and tertiary producing countries. Beyond a point they are in conflict with each other. India needs to find a balance between the two in the sense that nationalism of one group does not clash with consumerism of another group. With conflicting consciousness people’s beliefs would change. The earth in 2020 would definitely be more literate than what it was a century back but it would be equally irrational. Read one couplet from a song, ‘No matter what’, of Boyzone; American pop band:

No matter what they tell us

No matter what they do

No matter what they teach us

What we believe is true

Also, see how our Prime Minister Dr. ManMohan Singh reacted to opposition’s allegations over corruption:

Hazaron  jawabon se achhi hai meri khamosi

Na Janne kitne sawalon ki abroo rakhti hai

(My silence is worthier than believed. It keeps the questioner happy. Sincerely!)

Sincerely Indians require to speak up their mind and they need to learn to communicate with each other. They need to understand scale, normalization, proportion, mutuality and reciprocity.           

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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