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Terrorism and the Rise of Nationalistic Fervour

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Dr Chetana Pokhriyal

Once again, following the heinous attack on the convoy of the security forces in Pulwama, Kashmir, followed by the martyrdom of soldiers including two young army officers, Major Chitresh Bisht and Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhaundiyal from Dehradun, the capital city of the state of Uttarakhand, within a span of 24 hours, the world community is compelled to think critically about terrorism. Nationalism is a modern movement and ideology, but for sure, it is an inclusive and a liberating force. It creates large and powerful nation states.The visible scenario over the past few days on the streets, at every nook and corner, when the citizens poured out on the streets to attack the practices of the terrorists and their oppressive tyrannies after the attack on the CRPF forces, proves it. Increasing globalisation, the tendency of treating our nation as paramount and increasing international terrorism has been detrimental to identifying the distinction between good and bad terrorism. Nationalism is holding fast and the tilt towards national interest is increasing, but it has been different for our country. The support of the government is natural for the support of nationality, but anti-government political parties, non-governmental organisations and even individuals in their attempt to oppose every activity of the government, reach a position of opposing even the spirit of nationalism. Such a situation is very dangerous for the nation, and why not, when it directly affects the morale of the security forces. In the general environment, the criticism and opposition of the government and the system are justified, but it is necessary to be aware of the loss of nationhood while exhibiting such conduct in times of crisis.
I am not sure whether it possible to solve the Kashmir problem. Maybe yes, maybe not. However, what is very clear is that our fight in Kashmir is with the poisonous mentality that every Indian has been fighting for centuries. If we flip through the pages of history, on larger the arena, the foreign invaders have plundered the Indian soil or, if diagnosed narrowly, the exodus of Kashmiri Pandits from their home state of Kashmir or, in the modern era, the rising birth of Muslim terrorist organisations over the past few decades. However, very conveniently, intellectual debates have been avoided and political will has been missing. Nevertheless, the whole world, today, is in the grip of terrorism. This large-scale–mass-democratic nationalism is but an occasional episode in the general drama of mini-fanaticism led by a group of terrorist organisations funded by the neighbouring country. The visuals of Kashmiri youth pelting stones at the armed forces is an illustration of the appeal to race, community, the cult of brutality – the cradle of fascism.
Some people, in their favour, define the freedom of expression from the perspective of the Constitution. There is a need to go into the fold of terrorist and subversive activities. The elements that run these activities, the wing of the ideology of their battle and the elements serving it derive full benefit of backwardness, poverty and illiteracy. It is well-organised, usually well-planned activity and, once committed, the organisation tends to regroup them and initiate the strategy for the next move. Kashmir is disturbed today and is suffering from separatism, especially when it is financially better than many parts of the country. There are all the elements in Kashmir that are taking an open, economic and other kind of support from India, the parent nation and support from Pakistan, the enemy country. In all these circumstances, we need to highlight the spirit of nationalism. It is the feeling of nationalism that it has the power to create national fervour, which gives people the freedom to leave their personal interests and devotion for the sake of their country. This feeling should not be restricted to the extent of the country itself, but it is also necessary to fight against anti-national activities that take place even within the country. In such a situation, it is necessary to revive the same patriotic fervour that was there during the struggle for independence. The time has come when the common people should understand their responsibilities towards the nation; feel personally motivated and morally obligated to the sacrifice of the soldiers at the borders, soldiers who died for power and prestige not for themselves but for their nation, obviously submerging their individuality.

(The author is an Associate Professor and Head, Department of English, in MKP PG College, Dehradun. the views expressed are her own.)