Friday, 3 November 2017

To Rise up or not…

Last year Supreme Court had ordered cinemas across the country to play the National anthem before film screenings to encourage citizens to “feel this is my country and this is my motherland”. But this October they have reversed their stand by asking whether National anthem should be played in a place like Cinema theatre where the chances of National anthem getting disrespected is more. The sudden ‘U’ turn by the Apex court is surprising, but the excitement with which the so called liberals have welcomed this question is not a surprise though.  Debate shows are filled up by left weaning ‘scholars’ who repeatedly ask whether it is necessary for anyone to wear their patriotism on their sleeves. It was first said by Asaduddin Owaisi, a leader from the Hyderabad based Political party, and later echoed by all other ‘liberals’.

At this point we will have to remember the fact that this practice of playing National anthem in the Cinema theatres was first introduced after the 1962 India-China war. The whole of India was reeling under the sagging spirit after the terrible defeat in the war. Those were the times when we needed a succor of high national fervor. So the Government at that time decided that playing National anthem in Cinema halls, would instill that fervor. That practice was discontinued decades later because the generation which was ignorant of all these history, was not respecting the National anthem.  Later, while passing orders on a public interest litigation, On 30 November 2016, the Supreme Court said that the National Anthem must be played in public theaters across the country before a movie, without any dramatization. It also ordered that the national flag be shown on screen when the anthem is being played. The Supreme Court ruling invited sharp criticism, with many asking if patriotism can be forced upon citizens. Some critics pointed out the order was likely to embolden right wing groups pushing a strident brand of nationalism aimed at curbing dissent, while others said it raises questions on an individual's fundamental rights. It was under these circumstances the Supreme Court has given the above mentioned observations now. 

The majority in this country are not ruffled neither by the order to play nor by the order to stop playing the Anthem. But the people who orchestrate the protests in the name of liberalism are the ones who worry them. These are people who owe allegiance to ‘faiths’ and ‘isms’ which have committed pogroms and mass murders in the past. The leftists, for whom the term nationalism is a very bitter one, will conveniently hide the fact that people in china are convicted for disrespecting their National Anthem. And it is these people and their apologists who have filled up all the vantage positions in our country. Academia, literary field, cinema, arts and all other positions which will influence the public mind are held by these forces. So when these forces raise their voice against our National anthem, it is a matter of concern.  Students and academics who do not have a leftist bent of mind are being regularly victimsed by these comrades in their campuses. Any attempt to instill patriotic fervor among our people will be resisted by these groups as they dream of a pan national empire of their own ‘faiths’ and ‘isms’. 

These forces know very well that the purport of singing our National anthem or our National song is to raise the dormant spiritual energy which binds us together. It is exactly for that reason they oppose it. Let us  remember Swami  Vivekananda, who said,” For our national welfare, we must first seek out at the present day all the spiritual forces of the race, as was done in days of yore and will be done in times to come. National union in India must be a gathering up of its scattered spiritual forces. A nation in India must be a union of those whose hearts beat to the same spiritual tune”.

Patriotism is not just an emotional feeling. It is an expression of our solidarity and gratitude towards our hoary tradition which has given us our precious wisdom. This nation is a repository of that collective wisdom. Patriotism is a way by which we show our gratefulness to all those who have done immense sacrifice for the sake of protecting this Nation. Patriotism is an expression of harmony by the people, who otherwise have a lot of diversity. It is a way to show our camaraderie towards our fellow countrymen and instill the sense of belonging in all.   Patriotism is not an anti-thesis to humanism.  In fact it is the step which will lead us to that utopian ideal. 

V.V.Balasubramanian
YB-ET