Tag Archives: patriotism

Mohan Bhagwat’s Divisive Mantra on Automatic Patriotism

It is a mischievous denigration of constitutional principles and values which declare every human equal and bar discrimination.

Mohan Bhagwat

“A Hindu is an automatic patriot and can never be an anti-national.” Remember the line? It is of Mohan Bhagwat, the Sangh supremo, who was at his best last week, at the launch of the book, Making of a Hindu Patriot: Background of Gandhiji’s Hind Swaraj. The book on Gandhi’s journey from Porbandar in Gujarat to England and South Africa and back to India, by JK Bajaj and MD Srinivas, was released by the Centre for Policy Studies.

In this book is the controversial claim that during 1893-94, Gandhi was pressurised to change his religion by both his Muslim employer and Christian colleagues in South Africa, which he refused. And by 1905, the book says, he became a devout Hindu.

Sure, everybody has a right to express their views, the authors and Mohan Bhagwat included, but the veracity of their claim still needs to be tested. As for the alleged pressure on Gandhi, the claim seems to come from out of the blue, and I would take it with a pinch of salt.

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Jana Gana Mana and the Danger of Passing Sentiment as Law

This originally appeared in The Wire

This is clearly the winter of Karan Johar’s discontent. Barely had the controversy over the illegal fine imposed on him by the Mahrashtra Navnirman Sena died down when the ghost of a controversy about his earlier film, Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham (K3G), has resurfaced in the form of the mind-boggling order from the Supreme Court making it mandatory for the national anthem to played in cinema halls before the screening of a film:

All the cinema halls in India shall play the National Anthem before the feature film starts and all present in the hall are obliged to stand up to show respect to the National Anthem.

Prior to the National Anthem is played or sung in the cinema hall on the screen, the entry and exit doors shall remain closed so that no one can create any kind of disturbance which will amount to disrespect to the National Anthem. After the National Anthem is played or sung, the doors can be opened.

When the National Anthem shall be played in the Cinema Halls, it shall be with the National Flag on the screen.

The national anthem is “the symbol of the Constitutional Patriotism and inherent national quality”, the judgment says. “It does not allow any different notion or the perception of individual rights, that have individually thought of have no space. (sic) The idea is constitutionally impermissible.”

Continue reading Jana Gana Mana and the Danger of Passing Sentiment as Law

क्या यही प्यार है? कहो, कहो ना…








आजकल दर रोज़ हमें बताया जा रहा है कि हम देश से प्रेम करें, राष्ट्र से भक्ति. बड़े परेशान हैं आज के शासक हमं जैसों की करतूतों से. जोश में आ कर कुछ भी बड़बड़ा देते हैं : कभी आज़ादी की बात करते हैं, कभी काशमीर की. कभी जातिवाद से छुटकारा चाहीए, तो कभी पूँजीवाद से. ऐसा लगता है हम न भक्ति जानते हैं, ना प्रेम. तो चलीए, भक्ति ओर प्यार, राष्ट्र ओर देश: इन चारों संज्ञाओं का विश्लेषण कीया जाए.

पहला प्रस्ताव: भक्ति में मिला हुआ है डर; प्यार के साथ चलती है रज़ामंदी.

प्यार मासूम नहीं होता. बच्चे प्यार ज़रूर करते हैं, पर प्यार बड़ों का खेल है. प्यार करना जोखिम भरा काम है दोस्त. ख़तरे की खाई है प्यार. क्योंकि डर लगता है कि जिससे हम प्यार करते हैं, वह हम से फ़क़त दोस्ती जताना चाहता है. “Let’s just be friends.”है इस वाक्य से बड़कर कोई अनर्थ? किसी नौजवान से पूछिए जिसने काँपते हाँथों से Valentine’s card दीया, ओर वापस मिला,”Thanks.” हँसी तो फँसी नहीं, हँसी तो भंग आशाओं की शिखंडी कलेजी में घुसी. पर होता है दोस्त. होता है. क़बूल करना पड़ता है. रो कर, हस कर, दोस्तों के साथ मदहोश शाम में पुरानी फ़िल्मों के गाने बेसुरी आवाज़ में रेंक कर, सुन कर, सुना कर. जब बैंड बजती है तो गाना गाओ दोस्त. गोली मार कर प्यार तो करवाया नहीं जा सकता. Continue reading क्या यही प्यार है? कहो, कहो ना…

The ‘Patriots’ of Our Times !

India is a land of surprises, say many.

And how can Bihar, which they say has been witness to a glorious past, be an exception. Of course nobody could have imagined that ‘surprise of surprises’ or (should I call) ‘mother of all surprises’ would be reserved for the Bihar police. In fact it was one life time experience for all of them there where they found how ‘Rs 50,000 can balloon into Rs 1.14 crore’.

The central character in the still unfolding drama is Giriraj Singh, a RSS activist since his childhood days, and a senior leader in the state, who has already carved out a name for himself nationally for his controversial statements. People would remember how he proposed to Modi opponents to go to Pakistan during election campaign or how he eulogized Brahmeshwar Singh, leader of Ranveer Sena, the private army of landlords which had been allegedly responsible for hundreds of killings of innocents as ‘true Gandhian of our times’ when the dreaded figure was killed in a gang war. As an aside it needs be mentioned here that Giriraj Singh was one of the first in the state who had vouched for Mr Narendra Modi’s PM candidature also. Continue reading The ‘Patriots’ of Our Times !