Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nationalism – Boon or Bane? Part 2

Bharath was definitely excited about the intellectually stimulating discussion seeming to emerge and came back with his response. He didn’t find Anantha’s explanation incisive enough and found the points a little incongruous. The idea that nationalism is a personal opinion didn’t seem to go down very well with him and quite understandably. Nationalism is after all about unity and oneness.

wow!! i guess the subject is provocative enough. hmm 
anantha: i don't understand a bit of wat u mean! except dat u r eager to convey sumthing to rahul and u agree with ashish. balance in emotions!? :) and extremist thoughts? can u explain? and also how dat is relavant here? i like ur thought dat nationalism has nothing to do with boarders!; nationalism without a nation? :) i wud appreciate if u could throw sum light on it plz.
i never thought nationalism was just geography or boarders :). 
however, its still absurd to my brain!
i can rephrase my questions.
firstly, nationalism is not a personal thing, not at all. its about a common "national identity" or a "principle". hw can it b personal? The purpose of nationalism is successfully lost if everybody has their own 'personal' definition. :) 
so moving ahead of the boarders...
wat is 'dat' which makes ppl 'your' ppl? your own? and other ppl?
" its love for wat a 'COUNTRY?' stands for..." is really the point :) wat if a part of the existing country wants to be a different country?; or wat if some or many individuals dont agree with wat the country stands for? do u still consider them as your ppl? or u don't?
wat is dat our country stands for anyway? wat is its culture and identity or ideology? can u plz define? or simply, Wat is it to b an Indian? i am eager to c if dat wouldn't b a desperate generalization, bearing in mind, the huge diversity in terms of everything in this country. 
* i hope the purpose of the debate, which is to re-examine our convictions, will not be lost in the debate. plz keep posting.

your second response is completely based on a presupposition dat i think 'revolt against the government' is ultimate and the only way.
i said just questioning the government!! i didnt suggest any levels or ways, to have u tel me abt other ways. anyways thanks for the options :) 
somebody said "the moment u speak against or sound suspicious of nationalism, u r judged before u r heard" hw true! this is wat i was talking about :) .
"small change at the grass root level..." is an oxymoron!. grass root level change is always a radical change.

Anantha sedulously responded to Bharath’s apprehensions and coherently explained his point of view. He stated

@bharath : OK ill first explain what i meant and then come to what you said in your earlier post. Firstly, nationalism is indeed a personal thing. U may or may not have any one definition to that, but the way people perceive it to be is indeed subjective. And i believe that there has to a certain check on those thoughts or opinions. A balance. Anything in extreme can be dangerous. For example Islam. I have a friend who is the most devout practicing Muslim. No one really has a problem coz he maintains a balance in thought. We all about know about the how the extremist elements in Islam carry out their work. Now nationalism, similarly can have different points of view. You question the very basic foundations of such a thought while a few others subscribe to a different line of thinking. It is all good as long as a certain decorum and tolerance is maintained. 
Coming to borders, i will give a simple analogy. When you build your house, you have a boundary wall. We now share a different relationship with people inside the boundary wall and outside. How you think about the ones outside, your neighbors, good or bad, in contrast to the ones within, is entirely dependent on you, the individual. Here's where the "personal" opinion comes in. 
Borders can be a tricky thing, at least for me. I am not entirely here or there. 
As i highlighted in my earlier post i don't understand the fuss about borders and boundaries. That is because i subscribe to the thought that they must NOT be tools of division and hatred and uncertainty or ridiculous competition to fight over resources. Ideally, a boundary less, resource sharing, all happy world will be great, but practically that cannot happen. 
It is naive to think that a one certain, specific ideology or identity can define a whole nation as big as ours. U pointed it out yourself that it can be a desperate generalization considering the diversity of our country.In a certain way it is.. but it is different in that each one has a different perspective of what is means to them and what they take out of it. 
The question of how we would feel if a chunk of India were to form a different country is indeed a tough one. One may have a certain connection to it depending on the circumstances. We still have quite a large population within India who despise the Pakistani people and also a chunk of people who have relatives among others on the other side of the border. Im pretty sure thats 2 opinions on either side of the river.

Also Bharath, sometimes we have to think beyond the logical and rational meanings of a certain thought. While it may not be correctly defined or have a specific meaning, Nationalism is a great tool to unite a nation. It is what brought our elders together and made them strong to fight the injustice of the colonials. It is a great tool to bring a sense of belonging to you. That sense of belonging is highly underrated however... How passionately you think about it and how you react to such feelings is your individual opinion. 
Also, on another note, I am really proud of the fact that India has given a $5M aid to Pakistan in-spite of all the troubles that we have from them. It is the humanitarian in us that decided to help the needy people of the nation and not necessarily the nation as a whole. 
I hope i was clear enough. Ashish can supplement my points if he agrees with me.
@bharath I'm not sure about ashish but, Yes. I must agree that i presupposed that you would go the revolt way. :) But, i disagree that you were judged. You were heard, understood and confronted with contrary opinions... never judged. You are now presuming that I judged you, before you heard me. :D 
Also u must think why he thought about you revolting even you hadnt said it. May be it shows in your writing.. :p
Secondly, who said we don't want to question the government??? Of course we do. We want justice, we want equality, we want growth, we want progress, we want happiness.... 
And third.I agree... grass root level change is a radical change. The Butterfly Effect.


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