Fragmented nationalism: India redefined
GAYATRI ARORA | 24 Feb 2011

changing face of India,religious,cultural,ethinic and social conflict are contents of todays Era,totally redefines if compare with 61 years ago india.


 India,the land of plurality where almost every region has its own language,culture and tradition.A country that is seen as the perfect example of unity in diversity.Indeed this is a pretty picture epitomized by her National Anthem.Yes,it is true that India is like a rainbow,a nation with many hues radiating from the center,a little bit like the konark wheel.

Within India the plurality of the nation is represented by the distintiveness of regional identity and tradition.

History is witness to the fact that in times of crisis regional identifies have been set aside to defend the 'IDEA'of India.History is also witness to the fact that on the night of 15 august 1947,a new India was born freed from colonial rule to pursue her tryst with destiny.

A destiny where the ideals of nationalism and secularism were meant to be her constant companions.Democracy was meant to be the arena of fair play for all communities.

But India does not mean today what it meant 61 years ago when India was a goal or purpose and an idea that had been carefully nurtured to represent the hopes,desires and futrue of people who had for centuries lives under subjugation.

People like Bhagat Singh,Ashfaqullah kyha,Ram prasad Bismil sacrificed their youth and live for the cause of India.Had they thought about their sub-national identity or religion,we wonder,whether we would be sitting here with you today?

We don't deny that religious identity was a cause in pre-independent India and leaders like Veer Savarkar did focus on the philosophy of Hindutva but the cause of India was always the priority.We all know the text and context do not always coincide.Knowns that we find our constitutional text says that India is a democratic and secular country,but the lived reality is otherwise.

Religious,cultrual,ethinic and regional identity are basis today of political and social conflict.The past few decades are witness to a growing intolerance and a fragmentation of the idea that India once was.

We no longer fight for a India but we sturggle with each other for a "piece" of India.We wonder sometimes does being Indian still evoke a sense of pride and patriotism that it once did?

Does singing the national anthem still bring a lump to the throat.Infact can it?In a nation where a new generation often doesnot know the anthem;in a nation where we fight to remove state names form the anthem,in a nation where just your name can be the reason for you to lose your life.

Unfortunately as we progress our ability to think as secular individuals has suffered.Even though the purpose and goal our leaders had 61 years ago has been acheived,there are enough people who see India form their"colour of ethnicity".They instead fight for a new identity and independent identity as a bengali,gujrati or a tamilion.

We are told that India is incredible,India is shining or bharat amulya hai,The question that we have is: incredible for whom,shining for whom or "amulya" for whom?We already have kashmir and Assam asking for an independent status we wonder what India would be like if the rest of the 26 states also ask the same.If the present situation prevails India would not be Incredible,shining or amulya but fragmented and a India that "once was".