Our country is under the clutches of nationalism that borders on fascism. Your opinions and stance can determine your love for country. Or declare you a traitor. Sensitive topics that could be the spot to bring about debates are being used as plots to bring each other apart. Social media is not aloof from the whole situation. A normal incident is twisted and viewed from a whole other angle to stir up controversies. Sensitive topics that are crucial to the democratic functioning of the society are abandoned out of fear of being branded as anti-nationals.
Terms that continuously pops up in public platforms includes – sanghis, bhakts, liberals, communists, anti-nationals and the list can go on. But what is even scarier is that the very definition of nationalism and patriotism has changed. The combined BJP-RSS along with their massive followers give out the definition that what is anti-government is necessarily equal to anti-nationals.
Do we realize what happens if any government is given the free reigns of the entire nation without any opposition? That would amount to a legalized dictatorship. When it comes to governance, shutting down opposing views is a draconian error that amounts to a failing democracy.
Look at the recent Kashmir debacle, a group of students standing in solidarity with Kashmiris for the plight that they have been suffering for years were deemed anti-nationals. To talk against the AFSPA and the brutalities committed by the armies, you are suddenly a terrorist sympathizer. To have an opinion that isn’t pro-government and pro-army, no matter how strong your reason of thinking maybe, you are branded as an anti-national.
Look at the demonetization move by the presiding government that Modi bhakts hailed as the move to bring out black money and end corruption. And I must say, I was thoroughly impressed with the flickering hope that the initial inconvenience could at least improve the nation’s economy in the long run. However my already flawed hope suffered a major hit when the death toll kept rising and common man’s hardships would know no end, and it was all brushed off as a small payment in exchange of development. Comparisons were made with how even the construction of a new highway comes with minor inconvenience for the common man. Comparisons were made on how the army pays with their lives while protecting us but we cannot stand in a queue outside the ATM.
When people came forward to comment on how this trivializes the hardships faced by the common man and how the implementation did not work for the mass, bhakts come up shaming them for being a black money hoarder. This trend isn’t new. But has definitely worked out best for the current government.
If you oppose the government’s move, you are anti-national. It is almost like the worst thing a person can do today is having an opinion that doesn’t resonate with the mass. Even worse is taking a stand for these opinions. It is time to broaden the concept of patriotism and take into account opposing views. Because it is, constructive criticism that has the power to better the governance.