A rational approach would suggest that liberalism is directly proportional to the progression in time but in today’s scenario, all means of sound judgment seem to be clouded by the veil of pseudo-patriotism. While patriotism is an emotion that requires inward reflection of our duties as national citizens of the country, pseudo-patriotism necessitates the exhibition of the same, disregarding consensual willingness. As is incessantly debated, the many folds and crevices of patriotism seem to have acquired a false sense of affinity towards jingoism, and in the grand scheme of things, if this ulterior wave persists, the essence of patriotism will soon get drowned in the battle cry for nationalistic fervor.

In a recent case in Madhya Pradesh, School Education Minister, Vijay Shah instructed the government schools in Satna District to answer their roll calls by enunciating, ‘Jai Hind’ from October 1. His insistence stems from the martial chants of ‘Jai Hind’ as a greeting and suggests that repeated intonation of the same will foster the love for the country, in the youth, as is deemed necessary by certain political segments. Another bizarre implication of instilling committed patriotism in the people is the order passed by the Supreme Court to play the national anthem in cinema halls across India before the feature film begins and all present in the hall are mandated to stand up for the same as a part of their “sacred obligation”.

The bench referred to Article 51(A) (a) of the Constitution, which states that “it shall be the duty of every citizen of India to abide by the Constitution and respect its ideals and institutions, the National Flag and the National Anthem”, in the processing of this order.However, it seems that the lawmakers are conflicted among themselves because until now, the law precisely stated that it has been left “to the good sense of the people” not to indulge in indiscriminate singing or playing of the national anthem. The playing of the national anthem prior to a film is not only unnecessary but also a blatant contravention of an existing law altered and modified to suit the convenient propagation of a flawed nationalistic outlook.

As is popularly preached, there is a time and a place for everything. There is a certain kind of mood that complements the recitation of the national anthem and the unfurling of the national flag. An atmosphere as nonchalant as that of a cinema hall, reveling in the undertones of humour, sarcasm and wit fail terribly at incorporating the anthem and garnering reverence for the same. The theatre audience consists of a majority, who view it solely as a means of entertainment and exercise their involvement as dormant participants. Instilling patriotic sentiments in a crowd that is only casually aligned to the cause and predominantly treats it as an unnecessary precursor, in itself defeats the purpose for which it is so crudely being materialised.

Both, nationalism and patriotism reek of honor and esteem and rise way beyond the modern day construct of ethnocentricity. It is high time that the learned minds are set free to explore and redefine their allegiance.

Image Credits: The Indian Express


Lakshita Arora

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