In February 2016, anti-national slogans were raised at Jawaharlal Nehru University Campus. After this event, the debate on nationalism started in the country. The same debate of Nationalism was triggered recently by the similar event at Ramjas College which continues till now. For understanding the context of the incident, it is necessary for us to understand what exactly is Nationalism and whether it is important to our country?

Nationalism

Unlike the USA or Australia, ‘Bharat’ which is India is not a young nation. It is one of the oldest civilization on the planet. We have our own culture and way of life.

Bharat is not only a piece of land over which our government has sovereignty. For us, it is our JANMABHOOMI, MATRBHOOMI, and KARMABHOOMI. After conquering Lanka, Lord Rama was questioned by Lord Lakshmana on his choice of settling down in Golden Lanka.

RAMA REPLIED, “जननी जन्मभूमिश्च स्वर्गादपि गरीयसी,”

(MOTHER AND MOTHERLAND ARE SUPERIOR TO HEAVEN.)

Such is our devotion to our Nation. Nationalism for us is considering nation above everything. Being loyal and devoted to the motherland. However, it not ‘exclusive’. It is not about acquiring or controlling other nations, it is also not about forcing other countries to follow our believes and practices. That is the reason why there is no historical record to show that Indians used war to spread their cultural and spiritual ideology. Furthermore, it is about placing primary emphasis on promotion of our culture and working towards making it ‘Vishva Guru.’ Such has been the impact of this ideology that it made a prominent Chinese philosopher Hu Shish to remark that India has been ruling China for the past 20 Centuries without having to send a single soldier across the border. For us upholding the unity and dignity of ‘Bharat’ is our duty. It embodies in us the sense of pride towards our motherland.

Why Nationalism

Nationalism in South-Asia is often referred as the result of British rule. But the concept of Nationalism in Bharat dates back to 300 B.C.E. A teacher cum philosopher named Vishnugupta (commonly known as Chanakya) united the Indian sub-continent which then comprised of several small kingdoms. Most of them were busy fighting among themselves and lacked nationhood. He preached nationalism across the country and tried to negotiate peace between these kingdoms but ultimately all his attempts failed. Afterward, Chanakya raised his own army and made his pupil Chandragupta Maurya its commander. He with his clever military and political strategies united Bharat under the able leadership of Chandragupta.

IT WAS HIS LOVE FOR HIS MOTHERLAND AND HIS NATIONALISTIC IDEALS THAT CHANAKYA UNITED BHARAT AND FULFILLED HIS DREAM OF… ‘AKHAND BHARAT’.

After the downfall of the Gupta Empire in the middle of the 6th century, North India was divided into several independent kingdoms resulting in gradual decline of Nationalism. Nationalism in Bharat revived in the 19th century after the First War of Independence, i.e., after the revolt of 1857. Finally, the revival of nationalism led to freedom of Bharat from the British rule.

Nationalism makes a person think beyond caste, creed, religion, and region and unites us as a nation. The absence of nationalism can have a devastating effect on the country. There were many instances in our history when we suffered due to lack of nationalism. When Alexander invaded Bharat, he had no difficulty in entering a big unguarded country whose kings were busy fighting among themselves. Also when Muslim invaders invaded, we were internally and externally divided and this helped them to loot and conquer Bharat.

Had we fought like a nation, with the spirit of nationalism then no invader howsoever powerful could have conquered Bharat.

THE FEELING OF NATIONALISM KEEPS US UNITED AND MOTIVATES US TO WORK FOR THE GOOD OF THE NATION.

Nationalism in current scenario

After independence, there has been significant progress in the sectors like education, health, defense, space, and women empowerment. On the other side of the coin, instead of following the footsteps of our great freedom fighters who sacrificed their lives for the independence of our motherland, there is an increase in a number of sympathizers for Naxalites, terrorists and other anti-national forces which are causing a significant threat to unity and integrity of the nation.

According to 2016 Global Terrorism Index Report, India ranks 8th in terms of countries affected by terrorism with 7484 reported deaths since 2000 due to acts of terrorism. According to a reported published by Deccan Chronicles, between 2008 and 2017 around 373 people were killed by the Naxals in Chattisgarh alone which includes both, Civilians as well as Jawans. Terrorism in India is characterized by communist, Islamists, and separatist groups. Communist terrorist groups are by far the most frequent perpetrators and the main cause of terrorism deaths in India.

Two Maoist communist groups claimed responsibility for 176 deaths in 2015, which constitutes 61 per cent of all deaths. Police are overwhelmingly the largest target group of Maoists, accounting for a third of deaths, followed by private citizens who are targeted in around 20 per cent of deaths with other categories including the government and businesses. The incident at JNU and Ramjas shows how these anti-national forces are causing the threat to Bharat. Teachers and scholars of many institutions with their poisoned ideologies are brainwashing the innocent minds and turning them against their own motherland.

THIS MIGHT BE EVEN TERMED AS ‘INTELLECTUAL TERRORISM.’

India has experienced a growing fear of terrorism, and there have been numerous terrorist attacks in last ten years including 26/11 Mumbai attacks which took the life of 164 civilians, and many security personnel was martyred. India also faces serious threats from its notorious neighbor Pakistan who is responsible for sponsoring terrorist activities in the country. There is a considerable threat from ambitious and expansionist China. In the light of threats from all the sides, we cannot choose to remain ignorant. It’s the right time for us to recall the idea of nationalism and stand together as a nation.

Summing up this with the lines from ‘Bharat Zamin Ka Tukda Nahi,’ by former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ji-

भारत ज़मीन का टुकड़ा नहीं,
जीता जागता राष्ट्रपुरुष है।
यह चंदन की भूमि है, अभिनंदन की भूमि है,
यह तर्पण की भूमि है, यह अर्पण की भूमि है।
इसका कंकरकंकर शंकर है,
इसका बिंदुबिंदु गंगाजल है।
हम जियेंगे तो इसके लिये
मरेंगे तो इसके लिये।

This article has been written by Shivam Rahuwanshi, a 3rd-year student of Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law.