WE HAVE TO LOVE OUR NATION: IF WE DON’T; WHO ELSE WILL?
Lt Gen PG Kamath (Veteran)
Nowadays, nationalism is being scoffed. If you love your nation and happen to opine in public, you will be branded as having been dyed in ‘Saffron’ an oblique reference to brand you with the Rightist BJP. Some may call you ‘Bhakt’, again to slight you as a devotee of Modi. When do we realise that we have to love our nation and if we don’t who else will? In the present times, everyone is espousing globalisation as if ‘nationalism’ has become extinct. Britain has exited from the EU and Trump is constructing a wall on the Mexican Border, conflict raged between Azerbaijan and Armenia for Nagorno Karabakh, China’s annexed the whole of Tibet and the South China Sea and further expanding into the East China Sea to wrest Senkaku Islands from Japan. China, also threatening Taiwan and longing for its assimilation, simultaneously nibbling territories of Nepal and Myanmar and has usurped a major part of Dokolam Plateau from Bhutan. What does it showcase? Globalisation or Nationalism? China’s occupation of Depsang and Northern Bank of Pangong Tso in Ladakh and India’s counter in occupying heights on the Southern Bank of Pangong Tso reveals globalisation or nationalism?
There is also a trend that when you are proud of our nation, you are branded as belonging to BJP. The party has become synonymous with Nationalism. Such a hyphenation; no doubt has enhanced the image of the Party. It is winning elections based on the concept of Nationalism. Just look at the Left Party; not once; they have condemned China for its aggression in Ladakh. How can any Indian who is proud of being one, can really vote for the party? The political situation in Kerala confirms the lust for Gold in humans breaches even the most formidable ideologies; be it the so-called frugal leftist? What about the political parties who rioted in Delhi, during the visit of President Trump? Will any person who is proud to be an Indian will ever do it? One can hold demonstrations against the government without inconveniencing other citizens who need to earn their daily bread to keep their kitchen fire burning. Also, look at the farmers of two states holding the national capital to ransom. Look at the political parties who had once supported the legislations are up against it to embarrass the government in power. Do they have the interest of our nation in mind?
Armed Forces fight on the borders and give their lives for a cause. Is such a cause ‘Nationalism’ or Liberalism or Globalisation or Constitution? Let there be no doubt it is ‘Nationalism’. The constitution is a guide for the Armed Forces to tread on a given path. However, you don’t take risk and rush through a fusillade of bullets and rush through a minefield by recounting a couple of articles from the constitution? When a soldier gives his life, he does not invoke Globalisation. It is patriotism, pride, honour and camaraderie that evokes strong emotions of courage and sacrifice. It is the divine in him that makes him see that the ‘Cause’ is greater than the ‘Self’. We call our country ‘motherland’ and symbolise her as ‘Bharat Mata’: Why? We ascribe divinity to our Motherland so that we fight to safeguard her safety and integrity and the Armed Forces are ready to lose their lives and limbs to redeem the debt owed to their motherland for having borne thousands of our earlier generations in the past to the present.
It is not only a philosophical thought but also a scientific axiom that we are born from the soil and go back to it. Generations of our ancestors have been born from the sacred soil, fed and nurtured from the grains grown from the same soil. Our ancestors have raised their families; got bloodied in wars and toiled on the fields, brought home the daily needs to keep the hearth burning and feed and protect their families. They struggled to leave behind their progeny to perpetuate their race. Once they died, they went back to the soil and nourished the earth with their ashes. The rich soil of the earth again enabled the growth of crops to sustain the next generation. This cycle has gone on for thousands of generations. When we stand and look down at the earth on which we are standing we can imagine how thousands of generations of our ancestors have lived and died on the very same soil. The human bondage to the soil is for millions of years. Our ancestors for thousands of generations have enriched the soil with their remains. We can see the souls who have fought, died and toiled to keep the sacred land as their own. A tree might be bonded by its roots to the earth; however, humans are bonded to earth where our roots run deeper as thousands of our generations have been buried deep within the bowels of this sacred earth. Remember the quote from Macaulay; “How can man die better than facing fearful odds; for the ashes of his fathers and temples of his Gods”. Just assimilate the empowering quote. Humanity through the ages has defended their nations as the ashes of ancestors are buried there and also lies there the temples of Gods!
I want to ask my liberal friends(?) whether they realise the value of the freedom that they enjoy? The nation gives them the security, safety and liberty and also the right to ridicule the very same nation that gives them all? We all owe our country a deep debt that has to be redeemed during our lifetime. It is this thought that we have to pass it on to our children so that the glorious heritage of loving our motherland is passed on to posterity. Jai Hind!
Lt Gen P G Kamath
WE HAVE TO LOVE OUR NATION: IF WE DON’T; WHO ELSE WILL?